It is a week later and it seem my brain is still relaxing in Margate, NJ. It seems inevitable, at least once during the summer weekend trips that the musical documentary The Last Waltz will make an appearance (this was directed by Martin Scorsese who triples in cool points for this and his love of music, have you seen Lightening in a Bottle? If you remotely enjoy the blues, go see it, NOW!). The setting is typically family and friends who are basically family, sitting, talking, laughing and most likely drinking. Images flicker past, performances begin. It serves as ambiance, as background music and great entertainment, but now also a staple in my summer memories. One of my personal favorite moments, I mean there is an impressive gathering of musicians to commemorate The Band's last concert, but I love during Eric Clapton's performance his guitar strap slips off and he asks them to hold on to fix it and Robbie Robertson picks the solo right up; it's seamless and amazing and beautiful.
How amazing would it be to have your own "Last Waltz" of sorts, as a last hoorah before you leave your earthly body behind? To gather your favorite people, family, friends, inspirations, musicians, whatever and whomever you like! It's quite ego-centric to think that someone like Muddy Waters or Dr. John would show up to commemorate my little life, but it's sure fun to imagine the guest list.
In my mythical Last Waltz, I would want to gather at night under a sky filled with bright stars and surrounded by trees. I would give Charles Bukowski his own table and ask him to simply read his poetry all night long; there would most likely have to be a promise on my end to keep the wine flowing, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Maya Angelou would provide opening remarks, her velvety voice hugging the air and settling on the surrounding branches. I would engage Alice Walker and Toni Morrison in conversation trying to embody their regal sense of tone and power they release on the page. I can't envision music without Tori, but would ask her to sit next to me during dinner as well. Ben Harper would be present for both my viewing pleasure, but also to provide some sweet guitar-ings.
My Nan and Pop would definitely be there, holding hands, finally reunited. My Pop's laughter would set the rhythm for the evening and I could hear him call me Mega-Bucks again. We would sit side by side, pipe in his mouth, as we completed crossword puzzles in our respective leather recliners. My Nan's bean soup would be the first course and I would get to see her smile again and My Uncle Lou's kielbasa would be an appetizer. Ultimately all of my friends and family whom I see now would be there, but I envision a crowd of people who's lives I hope to touch or change for the better in my lifetime.
It would be a glorious party with wine flowing, my favorite foods (so you know watermelon will be there!), guitars, drum circles, banjos, family and friends. It would end as the sun began to rise and the sounds of my favorite things and people slowly faded away.