Where is it now? The glory and the dream…? – Wordsworth
Dr. John the Night Tripper (image courtesy Wikimedia)
So. We start with a digression of sorts.
I went to see Dr. John, the iconic New Orleans musician, over the weekend. He gave a great show. His band was killer and he covered the full range you’d expect: blues, jazz, zydeco, rock ‘n roll, boogie woogie. Of course, he did the two most well known hits “Right Place Wrong Time” and “Such a Night.” And he did them splendidly.
The most powerful moment of the night, though, came not during the closing number and encore but just after. Monsieur Rebennack took a curtain call, moving from one side of the stage to the other, waving and pointing to the audience as he basked in well deserved appreciation of a fine show.
It was not what Dr. John did but how he did it that made the moment haunting.
Once away from the piano, the audience got a dose of the reality that’s been beating Boomers over the head since 2016 began. Rebennack doddered around the stage like the 75 year old he is, guided and supported by his trombonist. It was a beautiful, heartbreaking reminder that we’re going to spend the next decade saying goodbye to a generation of incredible musical talents.
Intimations of Mortality Recollected from Misspent Youth, to paraphrase a pretty good English poet.