"It's an honor," I take his hand in mine and somehow understand that I am there working for him up unto and until he's almost too legendary for me to be this close to him.
He smiles, "That's sweet."
So I just start working like it is the most important thing I have to do. I take a zillion photos that night with a borrowed Canon Rebel.
There was that one night he called. I should have checked my blood pressure then. I called Charlie as soon as we hung up. I called Charlie just like I remember calling Kim about Pony Boy when I was twelve years old (except Pony Boy never called. I would have died), "Dude. Garry Burnside just called me. That's crazy, Charlie. He said, 'Yeah. Yeah. Whatever you need.' What?"
Charlie laughed. "Garry's awesome, Shea."
"I know, Charlie. He was taking a break from a set. He was working and he called and that's insane. I feel like he's you know, the legend. I haven't even delved into his music yet. It's just crazy that he'd be so kind to a half ass whatever I claim to be. That was my fifteen minutes, man. If that's all I ever get that'll be fine with me."
"Garry is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet."
"I know. I know. But I feel like I'm just a fool around him."
Again, he laughs. "You'll be okay."
I didn't bring him a gift, though I was able to tag along to his party. And he was kind enough to shake my hand and let me take photos of the night I fell head over heels, absolutely in love with the blues. And I hope everyone everywhere gets to experience at least one night like that in a place like the Rendezvous. It was the best live concert I've ever seen and I've been to church and music festivals and Eric Clapton and Leonard Cohen and Kelly Joe Phelps twice and Tchulahoma before it burned down. So yeah, I'm saying I've seen some live music.
I am grateful for Garry's birthday.