Saturday, May 07, 2016

Recounting a weird dream, with Richard Shindell

I don't put any stock into dream interpretation on the whole. Running away from something doesn't indicate anything. Falling, chewing glass, floating... not indicators of anything. You are just dreaming. 

Weird dreams come all the time for me. I usually walk away from remembering them. Most mornings I wake up and there is a song stuck in my head that was part of the dream. Today I took a big nap and had a weird dream that I actually want to remember. Where better than the blog?

We were living in a small farmhouse style home with lower ceilings, so Geoff was almost hitting the exposed beams when he walked through. If you want to read anything into a dream, you can know that I miss my old house and if you know the address - it is on the market and you can go look at what the house-flipping asshole did to it.

Anyway, It was snowing out, and the windows were icy. I remember there were candles in all the windows, and a fire in the main room's fireplace.

We had someone over who was giving Geoff performance tips on playing guitar in front of a group of people, because he asked for us to find someone for him.  I'd hired a local music teacher to come in and teach him a few things. He didn't want us in the same room with him, but we could hear him playing and singing, and could not make out quite what songs they were. Doug and I stood in the main room of the small farmhouse by the fire questioning what was going on in the room on the other side of the door.

The music teacher came out with love and enthusiasm all over his face and said "He'll do great!" We walked into the room and he'd left out the back door. We asked her if she knew where he was going, and she told us that he went to some church to perform at a coffeehouse. This was a gig that he arranged himself without our knowledge. He told her that he didn't want for her or for us to come with, and told her to let us know we could stay home and watch on a webcam. So we did.

We sat watching on a my laptop  as he performed cover songs by Richard Shindell. Both of us were amazed to hear, and slightly cringey with his stage presence. He rifled through songs, and some of the vocals were just bad. But his guitar playing was pretty good.

We soon realized Richard Shindell was sitting in the front row in the audience, was studying him, and watching very thoughtfully. And Geoff didn't know what Richard Shindell even looked like, so he had no idea. And he kept playing as if he was alone in his room playing for himself. Not for an audience. Richard shifted in his seat a couple times and I saw him visibly wince. There were about 20 people there, and most seemed to enjoy his efforts.

Geoff played several songs, and I took a few screen captures and tweeted them. Dream-Richard looked at his phone at one point, and then started looking around the room realizing pictures of him were being tweeted and he couldn't see where a camera was. He tried to then look more ... serious and focused on the performance.

I don't remember exactly what songs were played, but I remember Doug and I being thrilled that he was performing, and that Richard wasn't laughing out loud at him.

Later, Doug and I are walking around in a very large auditorium, not the one where Geoff's performance was, and Geoff is not with us. Richard is going to be performing there and we are there to see him. It is easily an 800 seater auditorium where Geoff's was just a folding chair filled church hall. We see Richard and approach him to talk. There are dozens of people there, and I'm mad that Geoff isn't with us, but also kind of relieved because I wouldn't necessarily want him to know what Richard thought of his performance.

Doug and I both have beers in our hands (I need to know where this auditorium is so we can go someday).  I look him in the eye and ask him about the coffeehouse. "So, were you there? Did I see you? What did you think? And you can be honest. I'm his mom."

Richard seems incredibly much taller than he really is. In real life, we're close to the same height. I know he's shorter than Doug, but usually when I see Richard, he's on a stage so I guess that is how I picture him. A full 18 inches taller than I am.

He expresses immediate recognition as he recalls the tall blonde kid. He puts his hand to his chin and says "Yeah, that. The show was billed "A Night of Geoff Gxxxxx doing Richard Shindell" which I immediately thought was a bad title for a show. I'm in town, and had time, so I found it on Twitter and had to see who this was who was "doing me."  I thought he was very good musically, his guitar playing was great. He was a little strange in singing though. He seemed stiff and terrified. His voice is much deeper than mine and he tried really hard. Parts were painful, but other parts were very endearing. He's got some nice promise. I liked it. I'd like to meet him and give him some pointers. Has he been playing my music for long?"

Doug answered, "we haven't seen him play guitar in years. He must have been practicing privately, and one day asked if we knew anyone who could come over and give him pointers so we hired someone from the local school of music to come coach him."

"Really?" Richard asked. "Huh. Well, I'd like to meet him and talk about the performance. Is he here?" We shook our heads and said "no, he didn't come with us."

So Dream-Richard said goodbye and left. And that's that.