Saturday, April 7, 2012

4-06-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians – Starter Job #94 (God Bless Slowhand and His Good Friend, Harrison)

The Simon & Garfunkel reunion tour party at the Main Squeeze was winding down.  Most of the patrons had filed out, moving up the stairway like irascible cattle, mooing drunkenly, weaving from side to side as they ascended the carpeted stairs to the street.

One lone table remained, a threesome who had only just sat down, hoping for a nightcap.  I neared the table, tired but ready to oblige with a drinks order.  I hoped they wouldn’t be anywhere near as rude as Art Garfunkel and his entourage.  I looked at them.  I did a double-take.  Could it be?  NO!!  Not in a million years. . . it made sense, though, as they WERE both English, and musicians.

All right, get ready: My last customers that night were George Harrison and Eric Clapton.  They ordered beers.  What kind?  Probably Heineken, as that was the popular brewski at the time and I’m sure we had it.  I felt in awe but at ease as I asked, “May I get you something to drink?  What would you like?”

Trembling inside with excitement, I brought my drink order to the bar and whispered to Greg the bartender, “Are those guys who I think they are?”  Greg teetered up onto his tippytoes to have a looksee.  He whispered back, “Yes, darling, now do us proud!”

I brought over the chilled beer glasses and cold bottles of “Heine” to the two pleasant gents and their lady friend at the small table.  I smiled and poured the beers with my usual professional panache.

They all smiled back at me and said thank you.  I was thinking how amazed my big brother, Tom, an Eric Clapton fanatic, would be and I wondered if I could possibly muster the courage to ask for autographs.  But no: that’s not my style and how could I be cool and professional as a server and break that trust that I wouldn’t be a pain in the ass?

And then, George said the very thing I was thinking when I heard he’d passed away in late 2001. . .

“God Bless You,” he said -- for real.  Dear God, I miss George Harrison.  . . I do hope he’s at rest and happy in the afterlife, even just for being kind to an anonymous young server in a bar so many years ago!!

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