Beth and I left Sam and Cassie with a friend and went to see Bobby McFerrin and Voicestra at Zellerbach last night. Was a great show; he’s as silly, reverent, and amazing and with 11 talented improvisational vocalists to work with, it was a decadently visceral experience.

Seeing the show brought back memories of the only other time I’ve seen him in concert, way back in 1985 at the River Oaks Theatre in Houston. He was the second act of a double bill that night, with Stanley Jordan (!). I remember going with Rich Simental (aka Roadrunner, aka RoadRich from the pre-Internet BBS days where we answered to our handles more often than our names) and Matt Tye Whose-Surname-And-Handle-Escape-Me.

It was pre-Voicestra; in fact, at the end of the show, Bobby invited “a few people from the audience” to come up on stage and sing with him. I’m pretty sure the three of us just teleported from the excellent seats Matt’s Tye’s mom got for us (she was with Rice or U of H, who were putting on the show) straight onto the stage, along with 21 other folks. And we followed it up with my first visit to Marfreless. A night I’ll never forget. Blow-you-away incredible.

Was in the middle of a particularly spiritual piece of last night’s concert when I remembered that Matt Tye died not long after that night years ago. I couldn’t keep my eyes dry for a while after that. He was a smart, gentle, generous soul and the world’s a poorer place for his absence. It’s got me remembering Toast Terrace, Penny Lane, BBS parties across from the old Zilker shooting range, and a host of handles: RoadRich, SSR, Rael, Wiggly Toes, +Rich, JTK, ref, jas, Johnny Mnemonic, Big Boy, SysLep, Reaper, sine, cq, Wall, Gryph, JoeD, HowardTheDuck, Phant, Trav, Info …

Hope the world’s working out for all of you, if you happen to look in.


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25 January 2007