When my older son was just starting junior high school, it seemed that all of his friends were taking music lessons of one sort another. After looking around for something that was reasonably priced and wouldn’t sound too horrible while being practiced, we settled on the guitar. I found a teacher who asked a reasonable fee and whose name, believe it or not, was Mr. Tamborino.
Our son labored diligently over scales and chords; Mr. Tamborino was a tough task master. Within a short time, with visions of a built-in band in his dreams, he convinced his younger brother to learn the guitar and his sister to learn the bass guitar. The practice sessions were not bad, especially if a neighbor happened to be mowing the lawn.
When my boy went off to college, he soon met more would-be musicians and they labored together toward the dream of being rock stars.
A good deal of their time was spent deciding what clever name to go by. They settled on “The Ex-husbands” although none had ever been divorced, nor married for that matter. They wrote songs. One that I liked and could actually hum was titled “She’s so Ambiguous.”
While still college freshmen, they pulled themselves together and lo and behold, got a spot at a well-known club that had been the birthplace of some rather well-known rock hall-of-famers.
Being dutiful parents we, along with the parents of another Ex, traveled down to New York to hear our boys. The place was called CBGBs and was located in one of the seamier sides of the big city. We’re talking seamy! “Mom, get a cab. You don’t want to be walking around down there,” I was advised. Especially when the gig was scheduled for 4 a.m.
We dressed in black to try to blend in, but that was easy; it was pitch dark in there.
The maitre d’ had handcuffs clipped to his belt.
I ordered a bottle of beer reasoning that it would be hard for someone to slip drugs into it if I opened it myself.
The band that played before our boys seem to scream a lot and throw their instruments on the floor.
At last the Ex-husbands were introduced and we clapped, refraining from yelling “Yay!”
They sounded terrific and my fears of being a big city crime statistic began to subside. As we acknowledged another milestone in parenting, my husband yelled over the din, “Did you ever think when we were tending fevers, bandaging skinned knees and taking trips to the emergency room, that we would be doing this?”
My boy is currently a real husband and has daughters who play piano and drums.
And now I have another occasion to hear a band made up of people I care very much about. This Saturday night at the Putney Inn there will be a fundraising event for the Morningside Shelter. Performing that evening will be three guys I worked with, many years ago: Mark Tarnacki, James Pentland and Richard Davis. They do not go on at 4 a.m. and I have no worry that my drink might be spiked.
Once again, I’ve got to go hear “my boys.”