I met Steve Gadd.
played on many of
the greatest songs ever.
And just in case
I reminded him.
I got him to sign
He was embarrassed –
And told me he liked
the fact that I was wearing
It takes all sorts. And I was the
only one he’d seen not wearing
long pants. So that was a talking
A local drummer-ape had been assigned
as his driver. When he wasn’t sitting
on Steve Gadd’s knee
he was picking the lice from his back and
swallowing swiftly as if it contained the
secret to the feather-touch triplet movement between
the hi-hat, the bass drum, the snare.
I didn’t dare tell Mr. Steve Gadd
that I was sure I could play 50 Ways long
before I could.
But as he looked at me with the eyes that had stared
at the back of Paul Simon’s head
I could tell that he knew I would not
have it right.
What’s left to say?
I told him that Late In The Evening was
some sort of secret pathway.
He told me he liked my hat.
A day later I would drive 200kms
to give him a hat – oh, and
to watch his gig.
I was blown away to see and hear the guy that
I had been aware of since I was seven or eight
years of age. His shuffle-feel intros, outros and bridging
fills for Paul and Carly Simon, for James Taylor and Steely
Dan, for Chick Corea and others all
dangled around him like dazzlers and chains.
He was blown away to see me in jandals – “you’re
wearing flip-flops?” he questioned – in the voice
that had told Rickie Lee Jones he “might have something”
for that bit during Chuck E.’s In Love.
The local drummer-turned-chauffeur
was crouched on the stage, later in
that evening, almost sitting
inside the pocket of the solo
Ready to pounce
at the drop of said hat.