To understand the real and lasting impact of live music, sometimes you have to strip it down to its honest core — a couple of acoustic guitars, a timeless lyric, three band members sitting in a kitchen and singing to their most loyal fan.
I saw all of that Wednesday night at a rocking house party hosted by two of the coolest septuagenarians I know. Dick and Sue Zeihen and their friends became Waiting for John groupies back in the 1970s. They followed the band throughout Wisconsin. Dick, a graphic artist, even designed the Waiting for John logo and collateral marketing material.
“We were the only band we knew that had our own stationery,” said lead singer John Gorski, whose sweet tenor voice sounded exactly the way it did when I first heard it as an enamored 10-year old girl sitting in the pews of St. Therese church. “Everyone else had to write on hotel stationary, but we had our own, with first and second pages.”
Battling back from successive strokes, Dick doesn’t get around as well as he used to and, when the band heard that their No. 1 fan was struggling a bit, they offered to reunite for a pick-me-up concert.
Their set celebrated music, friendship, and joy. It took us all back 40 years or so and we reveled in the trip.
If you want to see the real and lasting impact of live music, take a look at the beaming faces of a sweet retro band and their No. 1 fan.
Here’s a little taste of the magic….