Lovejoy Is Back in Chicago

2017-07-24 – My son Cal plays keyboard in a band called Lovejoy. They returned yesterday from a month-long tour of the eastern half of the United States (Boston to Austin). We all went to see the band play last night at Schuba’s, a bar and music venue that is a block from the home we brought baby Cal to almost 24 years ago.

I am exhausted. It was way past my bedtime.

It’s an adventure having a kid in a serious rock band. When they announced their tour of 20 or so cities in 31 days, our thoughts naturally went to . . . Who is going to drive? Would they be sober? Where would they be staying? Would you please keep in touch? All the natural questions of fame-seeking parents.

And so they made it through without any serious problem. And came back to play again in their home town. Chicago. Little by little their audience is growing.

And in their return concert, they handled an on-stage crisis—a busted drum—with ease. They are now seasoned performers.

When things like that happen and the affected musicians scurry to make things right, Cal fills the time with music from Claude Debussy. This may seem odd, but it seems to work.

He played a number of the piano works of Claude Debussy for his senior recital in college. You never know when these tunes will come in handy.

My favorite is a tune that I played for many years called Arabesque No. 1. This piece contains a rhythmic difficulty—playing 3 beats with one hand while playing 2 beats with the other. It took me months to figure it out. And the truth is, I can only accomplish this feat in this one song. I was never able to generalize the skill. When I told this story to Cal, he said, “oh, you mean this?” and he proceeded to beat the rhythm out on the table. I can’t do that.

Still, when he casually plays this song to fill time while his band mates fix a broken instrument, I can’t help thinking that maybe he got something from me.

Now, as I am writing this I hear some live jazz piano coming from upstairs, for the first time since Cal left.

Welcome back, Cal!

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