“Hey, it’s me,” says the voice on the phone, and though it has been years, with only three words your soul is stirred to the core.
I arrive at the cabin and take a deep breath, inhaling a rush of intoxicating Northwoods incense, a blend of fir, spruce, cedar, and pine. In the flash of a second I am back in my boyhood, camping and canoeing a thousand miles from here.
Tokyo Dome, 1990. Jimmy Miller, producer for the Rolling Stones, starts striking a cowbell, seconds before Charlie Watts joins in on drums, and thousands of fans explode with cheers, knowing that the Stones are about to play Honky Tonk Women.
South Africa 1998. Sixto Rodriquez has disappeared from the music scene for a couple decades. Rumors of his suicide are dispelled when a small, dedicated group of fans find him in Detroit and bring him to South Africa for six sold-out concerts. The first evening starts when the bass player offers up seven notes that well-worn LPs have kept alive over the years, and the crowd goes nuts. It takes ten minutes before Rodriquez is able to pick up on the notes and play his hit, I Wonder.
A sweet hello, a deep breath, and a few notes. The connections are instantaneous and deep.