Thursday, October 02, 2014

Auditory Hallucinations

Hogan and I had lunch at the Oxford Canteen and Paul Williams showed up! He remembered us. Hogan and I had just been talking about our favorite (well, my favorite, I'm not sure it's Kelly's favorite, though she certainly likes it a lot) verse of Williams's composition "The Rainbow Connection": "Have you been half asleep/ And have you heard voices?/ I've heard them calling my name" it begins. We related it to our own auditory hallucinations and had quite a nice discussion about going mad. That was before Paul Williams showed up. So anyway! On the Thacker Mountain radio program that night (tonight!), he performed "The Rainbow Connection"! Slade, who plays stand-up bass with the house band, confided to me that it has a really tricky key change to G-flat. But they pulled it off with aplomb! BUT! Paul Williams neglected to sing the verse about hearing disembodied voices. So here's the thing! He knows Hogan is a musician, and when she was getting her book signed by him, he asked, "Did you notice?" Meaning did she notice he had skipped a verse. And she said yes. And he said, "I owe you a verse." SO! Who could follow Paul Williams singing "Rainbow Connection"? Our local punk rocker (I guess you'd call him) Tyler Keith came out with nothing but his guitar and fearlessly sang an awesome song that was a scene-by-scene recap of THE OUTSIDERS (pictured). And thus did he successfully follow Paul Williams! At the end of the show, the house band surprised Paul Williams by playing another of his compositions: the finale from BUGSY MALONE. I was proud to see two former students of mine, Dent May and Will McIntosh, leading on guest vocals. A chorus of adorable local children joined them! And then Paul Williams, good sport that he is, got up and joined in, too. That was really something. I mean, it was nuts. As the final chorus was repeated over and over, with more and more joyous cacophony, reminding us that "you're going to be remembered for the things you say and do" - Tyler Keith came back out and hopped into the mix - I don't think I'm lying when I say some kind of spiritual trance was enacted upon the crowd! I feel pretty good. Hey, as I was typing these words, McNeil arrived for a visit.