AP—Fort Wayne, Indiana
Nudged by Big Brother Bob, one of our fair residents, George Kalamaras, ventured out in the arctic cold this evening to see one of his favorite bands in rock & blues history. It had been 38 years since George had first seen Savoy Brown in Indiana at the Hammond Civic Center, where they headlined an incredible show with Status Quo and the original Spirit, featuring Randy California and Ed Cassidy. While not the original line-up of Savoy Brown this evening, the band still featured legendary guitarist Kim Simmonds and a solid band.
According to an anonymous source, dog-tired from a grueling week, and in the midst of preparing for another next week, Kalamaras flirted with the idea of not attending tonight’s show. However, Bob Arnold of Longhouse Publishers provided George with the necessary nudge, full of unabashed Leo fire, to kindle enthusiasm at the end of a tiring week. This nudge, coupled with the revelation from George’s wife Mary Ann that smoking is banned in bars in Fort Wayne, and fueled by chai tea at a local Indian restaurant, was enough to allow Kalamaras to break free of the chains of his otherwise cozy hermit-cave.
It is no secret that the Fort Wayne poet prefers quiet and solitude. He’d been torn whether to attend the concert of one of his favorite bands. Part of the complexity involved not returning home from campus until 7:00 p.m., needing to make dinner for his beloved beagle, Bootsie, and a promise to his wife to have dinner with her following her Friday evening class, in which she teaches poetry to a community group of adolescents each Friday evening at the Three Rivers Institute of Afrikan Art and Culture. It is reported that Kalamaras did not care to engage a bizarre juggling act just to listen to music on a blustery night in the Midwest.
However, our sources reveal that Kalamaras realized, when Arnold suggested going and leaving early, that he could indeed break the mold and could actually do something similar—that is, do the opposite. He could honor his commitments and attend the show late. Thus, fueled with spicy Indian tea, Kalamaras arrived at the 9 p.m. show at 11:00 and caught nearly an hour of an amazing set (at the reduced rate of $10 from the original asking price of $23), which had 63-year-old Kim Simmonds on his knees at one point perhaps 30 feet in front of Kalamaras during an 18-minute version of “Hellbound Train,” in which Simmonds played a glistening white flying-v guitar. Earlier, as Kalamaras traversed the parking lot on his way into the show, he heard the melodious funk of “Wang Dang Doodle” and knew he’d made the right decision to attend, especially when he walked in the door and saw Simmonds wailing on a sunburst Gibson hollow-body 335.
When Kalamaras had phoned the bar earlier in the evening, they’d promised that the band would play until 1:00 a.m., but according to an aging hippie who befriended Kalamaras after the show, the band apparently started early and thus ended a little early.
Still, an hour with the legendary blues band was enough to send Kalamaras into sheer ecstasy. His new friend even gave George a playlist, distributed by the band, after George approached the man following the show, asking what he’d missed. The man’s friend, seemingly stoned out of his mind, had been crying out for “Louisiana Blues” over and over near the end of the show, so George figured he could trust those dudes as they knew the older material. He was about to ask another freak, who left before he could, since George noticed he had a poster that Kim Simmonds had signed for him from an early Savoy Brown show in L.A. in the 60s featuring Delaney and Bonnie, as well as The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, a little-known band that is another favorite of Kalamaras (featuring Aynsley Dunbar of John Mayall fame).
Regardless, the two freaks befriended Kalamaras, although alcohol fumes from their breath nearly caused the poet to faint. Part of their bond was that Kalamaras had seen the band 38 years before, and one of the freaks had seen them 40 years earlier in Fort Wayne. Kalamaras had apparently missed “Poor Girl” and “Looking In,” both from the Looking In lp, his all-time favorite of the band, as well as “Train to Nowhere,” from another favorite, Blue Matter. Kalamaras, in seeing the playlist, was secretly relieved to see that the band did not feature other songs he would have kicked himself for missing, particularly tunes from Raw Sienna, A Step Further, Getting to the Point, Blue Matter, Shake Down (the first Savoy Brown lp, long out of print), and Looking In, although Kalamaras was fortunate to catch “Leavin’ Again” from the latter.
Kalamaras was delayed in arriving at the show, as he got lost on an old county road on this windy night, searching for the bar. One bonus was that he got to hear “Badge” on the car radio as he was back-tracking to find the bar, with George Harrison’s amazing bridge, and that set the mood for George to sink into his rock roots.
It has been reported that Kalamaras is now safely home, seeming to blend in quite easily back into his hermit-cave, ready to light a fire and read a good book—of course, with Bootsie Beagle at his side. We have received reports that he thanks his friend Bob Arnold for encouraging him to attend, and that he has said that he had realized that on some level he knew Bob would encourage him to dig out of his mole-hole and that is likely why he wrote Bob earlier this afternoon regarding his indecisiveness. It is also reported that another good friend, Ray Gonzalez, also encouraged him to attend a month or so back.
Kalamaras reportedly is curious why sometimes he needs a nudge to do some of his favorite things, but he has decided that he has had enough material to ponder this evening and simply wants to crawl back into his mole-hole after being out among 250 drunk people.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
AP—Fort Wayne, Indiana