Laurence and I were up in Sonoma recently and we had a little time to unwind after a short tour. We were staying at a beautiful lodge, and I noticed that they were advertising a wine-tasting event which was to be happening while we were staying there. Laurence doesn’t really drink, and therefore has no real interest in wine tasting, but he knows that I like wine, and love any kind of “event” so we decided to go.
LJ had just gotten a new guitar and was just in the “getting to know you” process and he rarely went out the door without it, so off we went to the wine tasting with him carrying his new guitar in its case. It was really a nice gathering. Lots of people mingling, tasting wines, vintners extolling the virtues of their vineyards. There was even a lovely cheese and cracker spread and all the “little food” you could want. I happen to be a fan of “little food”, so I was very happy.
One of the vintners was presenting his wines for the very first time, and was extremely proud of his product. It was so interesting to speak with him, he had studied wine-making in France and Australia, and then came to America and worked with some of the most highly-respected wineries in Northern California. Finally, he found a vineyard to his liking and was offering the first result of the culmination of all of his hard work and knowledge. I was impressed with his passion and enthusiasm.
I like listening to diverse people talk about what they do. We spoke to other couples about things like construction work, architecture and various other fields of employment having nothing whatsoever remotely to do with the music industry.
There was one couple we were chatting with for a while who were very friendly, as we were talking I noticed that the man seemed interested in Laurence’s guitar case and what might be inside. He kept glancing at it and then finally asked if he could have a look at the guitar. I wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t be a problem for the vintner, so I approached him to ask if would be ok if Laurence took out his guitar and maybe played a bit.
He seemed a bit hesitant. I tried to reassure him that it would be fine, Laurence is a good player. Finally he agreed to let him play “one song”. Laurence took his guitar out and showed it to the couple. There were “oohs and ahhs” all around, his Brazilian Ryan is a pretty spectacular looking instrument. When LJ starting playing, a hush fell over the room and it soon became a magical experience for all. He finished “one” song and was about to put the guitar away when the vintner asked him if he would play a little more.
Laurence nodded and started in on “I Saw Her Standing There”. As everyone was enjoying the music, the vintner came out from behind the counter looking quite astonished. I noticed he was clutching something in his hands. He came right up to Laurence, thrust out a CD copy of “LJ Plays the Beatles”, pointed to it and exclaimed, “Wait a minute!! This is you, isn’t it??”
Laurence was pretty busy playing, so I told him that it was, and the vintner kept shaking his head in amazement. “I can’t believe it, we play this in here all the time!”
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