The night before I returned to Dallas, I returned to Sabor y Cultura in West Hollywood for an open mic with a different host than the week before. Kevin Kelly was the host that evening. Vocally, he sounded like a cross between Neil Diamond and Bruce Springsteen. Yet the lyrics were not as strong.

After Kelly, a rather large woman got up. Kevin asked if either one of us wanted to play next. Then he asked who was next on the list. The women that signed up as Froglegs (formerly Godmother) asked me if I wanted to go first. I said I was good with her going first.

I don’t know if she had words written down somewhere or if she was just winging it. She asked Kevin to accompany her on guitar.

“In what key?”

“A, b, c, d. It doesn’t matter. Just close your eyes and feel the vibe.”

Kelly looked confused, but, like a good host,  he did the best he could do to help. What followed was a mixture of spoken word, opera, country – yodeling included – a little distorted hip-hop, and a healthy (sic) dose of way the hell out there. Kevin valiantly struggled to play something that made sense in the background.

Four minutes later, she brought it to a conclusion. Jimena and I were sitting there dumbfounded. I was hoping my mouth wasn’t hanging open. Froglegs looked straight at us.

“Are you ready for another one?”

I didn’t know how to respond. My thought was “you don’t really want an answer, do you?” But it didn’t matter. She suddenly turned to Kevin and asked if he knew a certain song.

“No,” he replied.

“Okay, let’s go,” Froglegs said, “Just close your eyes and feel the vibe.” And she launched into another song. Kevin played along as best as he could.

After that “song,” she went back to her seat. I went up and played six songs – all but one from my upcoming cd, Hello Out There,  that I was in L.A. to record. The crowd liked my songs. Several people said they wanted my business card so they could look me up on line and buy my music. After I finished my set and put my guitar up, I walked over to pass out cards. I gave one to Froglegs last. She stood up and looked at the card. Then she looked at me. Then back at the card.

“So,” she said, “does this mean I have your permission to go home, go online, listen to your music, and masturbate?

The others in the crowd laughed nervously. This time I know my mouth dropped open. Fortunately, Jimena said Conner was outside, so I said my good-byes and we left. I can honestly say I never saw that coming. Now I have a verse to a song.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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