Involuntary sittin' in

Cathi Norton cathi@UNITEDWAY.MONROE.IN.US
Thu Jul 31 11:40:41 EDT 1997


I don't know about you, but when I feel REEEEEEaly bad, I like to slink off
somewhere (preferably a blues club) and sit in a dark, dark booth and moan
along with some blues torch singer where no one sees me and it doesn't
matter if I have three -- yes THREE drinks -- and (that's right, Richard) no
cigars.

Not too long ago I was feelin' that way so I put on some seriously offensive
slouch-around clothes and drove over to indulge myself at a club where a
friend was scheduled to play. I mean I was feelin' so low I was moanin' even
before I got to the club door which when I opened it gave me a big SURPRISE.
They had remodeled the club; people entering had to stumble across the stage
to get to the chairs. My friend, mid-set, said on the microphone "Cathi
Norton has entered the building!" Applause. Oh (expletive deleted). I
elaborately rolled my eyes (the audience laughed) and I headed for a dark
corner.

No breaks...my friend gave a long speech about how lucky we were because
Cathi Norton was going to come up next set and thrill us with some tunes.
Audience applause.  Where are all those gas explosions when you need them?

I did get up and give a bad impression of Bruce Willis singing Billy
Holiday, before declining a second number and beating a sneaky exit through
the kitchen. All this to say...I vote with whoever it was that suggested you
ask the person first privately whether they want to sit in -- while they
still have a real "choice" about it. (It usually takes nothing at all to
switch me into my performing flea routine, but sometimes....)

And Billy C. asked how does an "old fart" get back into playing if s/he
can't ask to sit in. Usually after talking with some of the players, it
comes out that you play/sing/whatever, and they ask you. I've been known to
decline but ask for a raincheck. Then the next time -- it all happens
naturally. My rule of thumb is don't push. If the opportunity arises and you
want to -- go for it. But if the situation seems uneasy -- pass.

Cathi N.





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