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Saturday, September 20, 2014

For All The Love of Rosie

So, here is an interesting story to go along with the song I am going to share.
I met Kim Doolittle completely by accident. I was really into the blues,  live blues, and had been watching Stormy Monday on Cable TV and going down on Monday nights to see the live jam also. It was around 1992. I remember that much. I stumbled onto Dawn Duval and Lorraine Ingle from that, and I loved their vibe and original songs. So, I began to go to some of their gigs, of which they played many in those days as Blue Willow. From them, I met many other original blues artists on the scene.
There was a big blues event produced by the Blues Society in town, and I decided to go down to that and see a few performers. Kim was not one of them. I didn't know her and had never heard of her or her songs.
But there she was, on the stage just as I arrived, playing her songs in only the way she could,  with her stories to go with them. I definitely made sure I looked her up and was going to see her perform her own gig as soon as I could.
A few weeks later I noticed she was playing a gig on Church Street, near Wellesley. Or maybe it was Jarvis Street. Not sure. It was one of those. For sure I remember one thing. It was definitely the gay area of town, and nobody didn't know that. Of course, I didn't care or think of that. I just wanted to see her play her songs and find out more about her. 

It wasn't much of a gig. Smaller place, not many people and just her. A Sunday night. Acoustic. No band and just a simple guitar. None of that mattered. She could, and still can, carry a gig by herself by just playing her songs and telling her stories.
I didn't know her, and she certainly didn't know me. But one thing was obvious. Even she could see that the gay guys were all over me. I guess I was so into the music, that I wasn't paying attention to that. I do that with women also. If I am there to listen to the music,  a really hot woman could hit on me, and I wouldn't even notice or care. I am there for the music. 
But, a guy bought me a drink. I didn't know it was from a guy, so even though I don't drink alcohol and tried to refuse it, the bartender said it was paid for and he was going to give it to me anyway. I said fine and he put it on the counter at the bar, where I was sitting. 
I should have figured it out. Other than Kim, I don't think there was another woman in the whole place. That is highly unusual when you go to see a girl singer. They have lots of female friends that come to their gigs. Not at this one though.
Then the guy who sent me the drink started talking to me. And of course, he was hitting on me. He thought if I was in that bar, I must be gay. And he was very forward. After her first set, Kim, noticing this, came over, started to talk to me, and tried to get me out of this situation. It didn't really work. After she went up for set number 2, he started again. Even telling him that I am very "not gay" and completely not interested in his advances, he wouldn't let up. I almost left. He was ruining my night. But I didn't. I liked Kim's songs too much, so, I just sort of ignored him and eventually he left. 
After set 2, Kim and I talked a bit at the bar, and she invited me to a jam she did every Tuesday at Quinn's with Kelly Kavanaugh. I guess she thought I might not come. But I said I would, and I did.
It was a great jam. I pretty much went every week when I could, and Kim noticed that I would write in between sets to pass the time.  I am not really the type who socializes much at bars, unless I am out with friends or engaged directly by someone. She saw my writing, looked some of it over, and said we should write together some time. We ended up doing that, once, and it went well, but we never did it again, and it never amounted to anything. But, in the course of that, she noted that I had a nice voice and if I ever wanted to get up on stage and sing a song or two, she would be happy to let me do that.
I certainly am no singer, and I resisted that idea of getting up for months. But finally, I learned a song and decided to try it. I did okay, and I got up a few times and did better each time. But, I really came to the jams just to listen to Kim and her friends. So that is what I did and stopped the singing, for which, to be honest, I really suck at. I am a very good writer, and a poor at best singer. 
Kim, on the other hand, is a fantastic writer, singer, songwriter and performer.
The first time I heard the song I am going to post along with this blog was at that jam. It was mind blowing how good it was, and of course, it still holds up today. 
For All The love of Rosie. It's a great song. And a true story, as she told us many times at that jam. Once you hear it and listen to it and the words, you will never forget it. 
Just as I have never forgotten that night. The true stories make the best stories and songs. Maybe one day I will write a song about that night. For sure though,  I wont ever be singing it. I will leave that to the talent like Kim.

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Daily profile about a specific artist,their life, their work and their impact