2007-03-24: The Wrong Nancy Wilson


Jane_icon.gif Steven_icon.gif

Summary: Two musicians talk about music.

Date It Happened: March 24, 2007

The Wrong Nancy Wilson

Starbucks, Lower Manhattan, NYC

The door opens just before noon, and through it comes a five foot eight inch brunette. She's twenty-something, carrying a guitar case and backpack slung over opposite shoulders. A light jacket covers a black tank top over dark jeans and two - inch heeled boots. They tap on the floor as she walks, headed toward the counter to place an order. "Good afternoon, Sam," Jane greets the teen girl working there. "Thanks for helping me out the other day. Could I get a vanilla mocha cappucino?" Sam nods while going to fill her order. "It's all good," the barista replies. "You're her attorney, after all." A debit card is offered and processed to pay for her order, and she waits for it there.

A couple of seconds later, a young African-American boy enters the cafe. With a guitar strapped to his back, and carrying a number of study materials, most of which appear to be Music history or Music Appreciation textbooks. As he walks to the counter, several of the regular patrons send a quick smile or hello in his direction and begin whispering to themselves about a small, impromptu performance the other day involving the boy and another woman. He quickly slips behind an older fellow who gets ready to place his order after the brunette.

A short time later she's got her cup in hand and turning away from the counter. On the way to a table, her eyes spot the man and study him. Her expression shows curiosity, the eyes betray a hint of rough experiences and confidence. It's a brief appraisal, after which she selects her table. Gear is set down on the floor and a seat occupied, where she continues to watch the guy. Her ears pick up some of the buzz, but not exactly the subject.

After the older man moves to the other end of the counter to pick up his order, Steven orders his own "Soy Vanilla Latte", with a bright smile at the Barista. However as he tries to maneuver his way to wallet, all of his study materials fall. Red from embarrassment, the boy kneels down to gather his things. Besides the performance, this also happened the other day much to the amusement of some of the patrons who remembered. In the midst of the confusion, a large blue book with a double-helix and title, "Activating Evolution" can be seen in the pile.

"Let me help you with that," Jane offers, moving from her seat to begin collecting some of the items. Her hands first reach for the Suresh book and note the title. No comment is made on it verbally, although it does prompt a raised eyebrow. "You play?" Her head nods toward the guitar he carries, this seems to be foremost in her interest about him.

Steven finishes collecting his books and stands, helping the woman up, "Yeah, a little," he then notes the woman's "gear" over by her table, "I see you do too." He smiles brightly once again. Finally he reaches in his pocket and pulls out a small wad of bills. After sorting through them, he pays for his order.

"I do," she replies. "For several years." Jane hands back the Suresh book as she straightens and makes eye contact. "What're your influences?" A few steps are taken, she watches and waits to hear how he answers the question with interest.

It only takes a couple of seconds for Steven's order. After he ponders her question a bit he replies, "I tend to lean towards alternative rock from the 90's. Oasis, Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse; groups like that," He takes a sip of his drink and then chuckles, "Although I really like all kinds of music, I've even played a little country a couple times, gotta love that Toby Keith," He adds, still smiling.

"Interesting," she remarks, heading back to her table. A look back and move of her head invites him to join her there. "Mine stretch back to the sixties, maybe earlier. Chuck Berry, the Beatles, Page, Clapton, Hendrix, Brian May, Van Halen." Jane pauses to throw in another name and see if her recognizes it. "Nancy Wilson, Joan Jett… There's a string of others, and some who sang instead of playing. Like Pat Benatar."

Steven's eyes seem to sparkle at the name, Nancy Wilson, "My grandmother opened for Nancy Wilson in the mid 60's during a performance back in Florida," Steven seems to clutch his drink as he thinks back nostalgically, "As she tells it, my grandmother used to be a lounge singer in Coconut grove, back home. She was always a fan of Jazz which is why she know Wilson at first sight. Once Nancy heard my grandmother sing, she asked her if she could fill in for an act that had canceled last minute."

She chuckles. "That's cool. You're from a musical family, it seems. But… I'm talking about a different Nancy Wilson. She's a guitarist, her sister Ann sings, they're the core of a band called Heart." Jane settles back into her seat and blows across the open cup for a moment to cool it a little, then resumes speaking. "She stands out for being uncommon among women who play. She rocks. Her heroes were guys like James Page."

Steven chuckles at his misunderstanding, "That's cool, I'm always looking for new music to check out. This girl I met here the other day put me on to the Filipino band called "MYMP", apparently it means "Make Your Mother Proud," as he speaks he makes his way to the woman's table and joins her, placing his books in a neat stack in front of him and fastening his guitar to the chair. Since all the people he's met so far in the city seem to be in school, he guesses that her backpack means she is studying something, "So what school do you attended?"

"I don't," the woman grins. "That was over with last summer, after seven long years of college. Now I live in New York and make my living as a musician." Jane has something of a playful look to her eyes as she speaks, and she waits to catch what he might say about her spending so much time in school. "So, 90s alternative, like the Seattle sound. Maybe some Metallica and Queensryche too. Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam."

<Load up on guns…Bring your friends…Its fun to lose…And to pretend…Shes overboard…Myself assured…I know I know…A dirty word>
Steven sings a little "Smells like Teen Spirit" rocking out a little while comically playing on an invisible "drum set". After which he replies enthusiastically, "Yeah, I like that sound. But most of the people that attend my school are into the classical opera type stuff. I guess that's what I get for attending a school most known for its orchestra." He laughs a little referring the Manhattan School of Music.

"Oh, I know," she answers with a laugh. "There were a number of them at my college too. We had all kinds. I like to innovate here and there, something I picked up in my studies. Beethoven on guitar, that classical style. It actually lends itself well to metal." Jane listens, and remarks "You've got a solid voice, could use a little training, but hey, you're young. Do you write?" A pause is taken, she fills her lungs with a long breath, and starts to sing. "Got your mother in a whirl, she's not sure if you're a boy or a girl…" The pitch is mid-range soprano, sung with a little growl.

Steven shakes his head before taking a sip of his drink, "No, I don't write myself, really I just enjoy playing and singing right now. But who knows? Maybe in the future I'll get that "writer's itch"." He takes a moment to listen to the woman sing, obviously impressed. She's good…maybe she can teach him a thing or two.

"Rebel, rebel, you tore your dress…" It trails off after a few bars, a quiet and confident grin showing. "You've got plenty of time, you're what, eighteen?" Jane's eyes go a bit distant, she muses. "I remember those days, when I first got to college. I'd been around music for years before that, the 'rents insisted, they wanted me to be well rounded and all that, but… college is where I found the real passion for it." Fingers lift the cup and she sips from it, then sets it down. "What about you? Play anything other than guitar? I've been keeping my eyes open, looking for a drummer, keyboardist, and bassist."

"I started out playing the keyboard in my grandmother's lounge," he says, now dancing his fingers across an imaginary set of keys, "Like I said, my grandmother was really into Jazz so she insisted I learn at least the piano. I wasn't really good at the wind instruments…." He seems to think back a little, "My grandmother said I didn't have the right "vibe"." He seems to laugh a little excessively at what appears to be an inside joke, but he quickly recovers, "Yeah, but everybody says I've got years to develop my skills, but development isn't paying the bills right now…" He chuckles a bit.

"There's ways to deal with that," the woman replies. "Pick spots, sit on the street with your case open and play, you'll make money if you're good. As to the piano thing, I'd like to see what you've got there sometime." Jane reaches into her backpack and rummages around a bit, coming out with a small printed card which says Doctor M. Jane Forrest on the first line. The second describes her as a copyright/trademark/IPR attorney, and the third has her phone number: 283-2260. "Give me a ring, and we can talk about this more." From there she stands and shoulders the items to leave.

Steven takes the card and politely stands as she gets ready to leave, "I'll be sure to give you a call!" he exclaims. He hasn't been asked to professionally perform in a while, so he's kinda excited, "Oh, and thanks for the idea, I'll be sure to try a few spots on the street." He smiles brightly.

She nods. "See you." And there Jane goes, heels tapping on the floor as she makes her way out. The door opens, she steps through it, and a short time later is gone from view with coffee cup in hand and gear over her shoulders.

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