Scarlet Fever Band played the Wilson/Hannan wedding at the picturesque Scioto County Club on July 9, 2016. I’ll start off by saying the bride and groom are of my favorite type of wedding-planners—so in love with the presence of music in their own lives that they strive to include live music at every portion of their special day. I played for the half-hour before the ceremony and the processional and recessional, featuring lovely pieces chosen by the bride and groom. Then a few of us did a jazz trio for a cocktail hour on the patio looking over the fairways. Then the whole band did our “thang” for two hours of non-stop dancing that night. Even better, family members of the couple surprised them by getting together and performing two songs after our first set. I must say they sounded fantastic, but the bigger issue was how much joy it brought to the bride, groom and other attendees.
Music is the soundtrack to our daily, real lives. Whether it’s our favorite radio station or iTunes playlist in the car to make any drive feel short; our favorite soothing songs to fall asleep to; our power-up playlist to make the workout really intense; or the various unintended songs from other sources as we move from task to task, it surrounds us constantly.
All of this made me think of myself. Yes, of course, it was Becca’s and Mike’s special day, but in a very real way, don’t all weddings make us, as guests and attendees, think of our lives and loves? As a married guy, I think back to my wedding day when I see the couple at the altar; I see the faces of my children in the new couples’ words about starting their family; I see my youth, happily spent, and still alive and kicking somewhere under my grey hair and crow-footed face.
In this case, though, about halfway through the gig I realized that this was the first Scarlet Fever (and/or Sharp Circle) gig I’d played in over seven years without pain and difficulty of movement in my right arm. A bad fall about 18 years ago caused a break that was repaired with surgery, but over time and extensive gigging, the repair began to undo itself. As some followers of the band are aware, it got so bad that eventually I had to give up my beloved guitar and switch to keyboard for awhile—although I had to be without guitar, I couldn’t be without playing live music with my friends. As it happened, a last ditch attempt at fixing the disintegration about a month ago, highly uncertain as to outcome, ended up working flawlessly. I had been practicing for a bit each day since then and even had a gig with another band that last 90 minutes, neither of which resulted in the pain to which I’d become accustomed.
However, suddenly, there I was, standing in front of the happy, dancing friends and loved ones of Becca and Mike, realizing I’d just been playing guitar for several hours throughout the day, and further realizing that I was digging in and playing with a vibrancy I hadn’t experienced in years, and I was entirely pain free. And… having the time of my life.
Every bride and/or groom wants their guests to enjoy the big day and remember it for years to come—to carve off at least a little slice of the feast of joy happening in those hours. They probably hadn’t given much thought to the guitar player in the band feeling like he’d been born again in a wash of high-energy, funky music; heart beating like the bashing drums and percussion; blood thrumming through veins like the undulating bass; held like glove by the harmonic web of the keyboards; smiles flashing like the slinky horn lines and stabs; philosophy of life told in the lyrics from the singers. Yet that was exactly what happened.
I wouldn’t talk so much about myself if I knew anyone as well as I know myself. But with the music that surrounds us, I’ve begun to believe that when I talk about its effect on me, I might just be talking about all of us.