Sure there were hipsters like my grandmother who lined up the top shelf of books between the left side of the case and a bookend on the right, then did exactly the opposite on the next shelf down; but the idea was the same—a group of books sat snuggled between two nearly identical objects.
No matter how you arranged your books: by date, by author, by title, the beginning and end of the collection usually touched a bookend.
Later on in English-speaking history, a “bookend” was also the definition of a metaphor used to open and close a story or speech. In fact, I bet you’d find a set in each blog I’ve written so far. I loves me some bookends.
That’s probably why in early 2014 when Jason and Cory were putting Scarlet Fever Band together from the fitfully resting ashes of Sharp Circle, it occurred to all of us that a “bookend” concert at Park Street Tavern in early November of 2014 would be perfect. Sharp Circle had gone out with an outrageously fun and emotional bang on November 5, 2014 at Park Street Tavern, so what better way to inaugurate the new band by having its first public performance be at the same place during that same first weekend.
It didn’t occur to me at the time, but I guess that’s a strange use of “bookend,” in that the first bookend ended a band and the last bookend started a new band. Perhaps because we’d all become so tired of our retirement by that point—and really, retirement had seemed like a good idea in 2011—the bookends could be seen as beginning and ending that non-musical period instead. Either way, we wanted to come back in just as we went out.
Fate however said, “Not happening fellas.” Before long a work commitment made Scott unavailable, then an illness in the family made Cory unavailable, and as much as we wanted to make that bookend happen just for the sake of the concept, it ultimately fell through. Many of our former fans had made special arrangements to be back in town and there was disappointment all around.
Instead we opened a month later at a different club, and although the show was great, it definitely wasn’t the product we had hoped to unleash on Columbus, suggesting that maybe missing that bookend show was a better thing after all.
Since then a year has gone by—a year of fun club dates and amazing wedding gigs, and each time we’ve crafted and honed our combined talents and energies into exactly what we want our patrons to hear.
Before I realized it, I was packing up and heading to a Park Street Tavern in early/mid November. A perfect storm of great weather, a winning Buckeyes afternoon game, and a winning Blue Jackets evening game swept in dozens and dozens of people of the perfect ages and attitudes to enjoy our music. Two by two and four by four they came in for “just one drink” and then never left the dance floor for the rest of the night. By the second set break I couldn’t even make it the ten yards from the stage to the bar due to the ocean of really happy people.
I left the show as I leave most Park Street gigs—with ringing ears and drooping eyelids for the long drive back to my home in the 3:00 a.m. hour—but filled with the full understanding that in life, you can’t go looking for your matching bookends. They have to come to you.
And when they do, you’ll see that every beginning is an end and every end is a beginning. When you’re dealing with great friends, incredible musicians and the rhythms that move your very heart and soul, each bookend is truly better than the last.
Hi Columbus. We’re back.