My drums instructor invited me this week to a class of blues music to watch some of the music school's advanced students jam together to late '60s blues. This was Clapton before Tears in Heaven, when Cream meant more than just the top off your milk.
There were multiple mic checks and excessive feedback with hissing. The mostly amateur musicians were working hard to get their act together on a weeknight after, in all likelihood, a long day at work.
Yet, it was magical. There was the thump of wood against leather ( a sound no drum machine can match), the throbbing of the bass and the crunching of the lead guitar. The players were all enthusiastic, learning from each other and their instructors, feeding off each other's energy, jamming to a beat all their own. Sunshine of your love bled into Strange Brew as I was transported.
Gigs long back from a time long ago swam before my eyes. Jaws (R.I.P.) at the end of East Street (those burgers...mmmm), those young and raw bands doing their covers of the classics as we sat on stone benches in the crisp night air. Singing along word-by-word to every band (and their dog) covering Summer of '69 or American Pie. The magical pyrotechnics of Parikrama as they added alaaps to Deep Purple and set the night alight with Floyd and Zeppelin. Yelling 'start the f*%&ing music' and band karo ye atyachar when bands didn't measure up. Learning that Cyrus Broacha wasn't just a scripted wise guy as he had an unruly crowd eating out of his hands in two minutes flat.
A blast from the past, completely worthwhile.