Last night I played guitar for Nora. Over the past couple of weeks I put together a new show. If you’ve ever seen me in concert, you know that the speaking and audience engagement in between the songs is just as important to me as the songs themselves, and I wanted her to hear it all before anyone else.
I set up my gear, amp, floor pedal, stomp boxes in the living room, just like a regular concert, put in my contacts, put some stuff in my hair and got all dolled up.
We were both very tired, had forgotten how much preparation goes into getting ready for a tour, packing up the CDs, clothes, going over the gear checklist, etc.…
But this was very important. Sure, it was excellent practice for me – I’ve only played guitar for a handful of people since the beginning of the pandemic. But I needed her to see the new show because this whole “thing where I play guitar for people” is as much hers as it is mine.
Nora was on the road with me as soon as we got married. In the last seven years, she has been at every single show save for maybe 5 of them. She handled so many of the things that were never my forte - the promo, making posters, mailing out CDs, merch at the shows, making sure I had my energy drink before any given concert. She even handled some of the booking and management responsibilities.
We spent hours and hours together in our a little hatchback and then our minivan on the long drives. we came up with a lot of the show material together – anything that you may have actually laughed at in concert was probably her idea.
But I played for her just like I would have in front of an audience, and I played my heart out; songs that I had played for her 1000 times and songs she had only heard once or twice. And I sang and I shared the meanings behind the songs and I allowed myself to be vulnerable with my wife and we laughed and we cried.
And as I hit the road today for the first shows in a year and a half, touring solo for the first time in eight years, as I pick up whatever remains of my Guitar career, as I find out if I’m any good at doing this anymore, as I find out what it looks like to be a professional musician near (hopefully) the end of a global health crisis, Nora, please know that it is such an honor to be your husband, your partner.
You truly have my heart, Nora. See you in a couple weeks.