It's been a minute since I first started this blog. I had a bit to jot down a particular anecdote that still amuses me to this day. I hope it gives you a laugh!
“If you’re looking for a female FINGER, I’m definitely not it!”
Craigslist: a veritable who’s-who of online creepers, gawkers, and assorted freaks. I didn’t know that one day I’d inadvertently plunge myself into the pantheon of such folks, but c’est la vie! I had just entered my sophomore year of college, and at the encouragement of my friend, Maddy, started going to an open mic in Saratoga Springs, NY, at a place called Gaffney’s. What a moment in time that was… Goddamn, I could ramble about the countless evenings I spent there at open mics, as well as what would become full-fledged shows later on. But, that’s for another time... As my comfort level with performance grew – I had only played here and there on guitar, but never sang in front of people – I found myself looking to branch out a bit. I’ll never forget the first time I was paid for a performance. To be paid for art, and something I loved doing, was one of the best feelings up to that point in my life.
My first paid “gig,” so-to-speak, was at a bakery in Glens Falls, NY, called Rock Hill Bakehouse. Owned and operated by Matt Funiciello, the place was immensely inviting and welcoming to artists of all levels, from those who could barely tune their instrument to those that made anything seem virtuosic and effortless. The man who worked for Funiciello that was in charge of all music-related matters at the bakery, Stephen Gallucci, reached out to me with an offer. Ninety-minutes, $50… I was rich! I jumped at the opportunity and found myself to be hooked as soon as I got on stage. Not long after, I began playing various coffeehouses in the Upstate region, as well as a sprinkling of art festivals and theaters. It was at this point in my career that I took to Craigslist to find a “female vocalist.”
Looking back at the phrasing of the ad, I’m very surprised I found anyone – it seemed nothing short of an awkward AI rendering of what to write for an ad concerning another vocalist. Very robotic. Very forced. Very “on-brand” for me at the time, in terms of navigating social graces. I digress… So, I wrote the ad in a flash, published it, and waited for the responses to come flooding in. I mean, why wouldn’t they? Forming a band is an easy thing… right? One day turned to two, which turned to three, and pretty soon it was a solid week before someone wrote back. What I received, however, I never fucking saw coming.
“Hey! If you’re looking for a female FINGER, I’m definitely not it!” Horror washed over my face when I realized the cause: a silly typo changed female singer to female … finger. I can only imagine, given the other details of the ad that involved “going back-and-forth,” and “sharing the lead,” how wildly hilarious this ad read. That being said, after a quick phone call, the error was cleared up, and I made time to meet this person daring enough to respond to such a fucking creepy advertisement. Yes, I know I’m the person that made the ad.
We met at a time where convenience on my end met her own personal life being uprooted and demolished. It was a fucking terrible mess she went through, and she told me how she needed a distraction and project to sink her passion and free time into. I believe the first song we played together upon meeting was, “Bad Moon Rising.” Love the song; it’s nostalgic as hell for me, but really? I still wonder how we settled on that one. Somewhere along the way, planned rehearsals turned to drinks under Saratogian skies, and it wasn’t long before music started taking a backburner position. She was in the process of re-inventing herself after such a tragic personal loss – at the time she was going to school to become a dental hygienist – and we were making each other really happy.
I remember laughing when she asked me one day if my father was a dentist. She had just used the restroom and noticed my toiletry supplies… knowing I wasn’t a dentist, I surely must’ve been a dentist’s son. Right, she was! “Has anyone checked out your toiletries and asked you if your dad was a dentist?” I admitted through a chuckle, “Can’t say they have!” It was an amazing summer! Sure, there were a few speed bumps along the way.
For example, it turns out that “Are you done yet,” in response to someone crying to you is not a salient reply. Who knew? I sure as fuck didn’t at the time, but I never made that mistake again! Looking back at that summer, I realize how much I learned in such a short period of time. “Don’t you go falling in love with her,” a friend of mine would say as she saw her and I spending more and more of our free moments together. “Hahaha, don’t be ridiculous.” Whoops! As years rolled by, I’ve fallen in and out love with other people, but I will never forget how that time of my life felt. Part of me still loves her. Part of me will always love her, and I know the same is true for her. We just never got our shit together at the right time, despite our damnedest efforts.