Last Chances, Pt. 2

A friend of a friend works at a popular bar in Malmö called Klaffbron. Tingsek has performed there. In other words, the place puts Spisen to shame. It would be the most “legit” place I’ve ever played. This friend, Jonatan, is one of those guys who just makes things happen. It’s an unspoken, ineffable quality; you know it when you feel it. After only meeting me once and needing no reminders, Jon put a good word in with his boss Martin, sent him the web link to my music, and gave me Martin’s phone number to get the wheels turning.

Typically it takes several tries to reach people like Martin, but almost as soon as I dialed the digits and pressed call his voice came on the line. “Hi Martin, I’m a singer from San Francisco and Jonatan gave me your number.” “Of course, good to hear from you.” “Definitely. I was just calling to get in touch and see if we could put together a show.” “Sure. I have listen to your music first, but if I like than afterwards we can think about what kind of performance we want to have.” “That sounds great, I’m flexible, however you want to set it up will be great.” Oh crap, it finally registers. He hasn’t listened to the music yet! What is with these people? “My only concern is that I leave Sweden in two weeks. How soon can you have an answer for me?” “Well, my partner is out of town until Monday, and I can’t make the decision without him, so probably Monday at the earliest. I will give you a call next week.” “Ok, thanks.”

His partner? There’s always some excuse. But as bleak as it looks, hope remains. Martin did imply the possibility of organizing a show, and that will have to suffice for now. I can only push the issue so much without being detrimentally obnoxious. With the show hanging on by a thread, I decide to give my accompanist Gian a call and get him up to date. It was nearly a month ago that his efforts to arrange a Stockholm show appeared in vain, thus prompting me to take up the cause. I took him through the course of events and suggested that, regardless of whether or not the show worked out, it would be great to jam together during my last week here. I was pretty upbeat, until he finally responded with the straw that broke the camel’s back. “Dude, honestly, my schedule filled up. I thought I would have more time but now, I hate to say this, I don’t think I can do a show with you. I’m sorry man, I really wanted to but I’m just too busy.”

I can’t blame him. The man makes his living as a musician. He had to do what he had to do. But what could I do? Less than two weeks to go, no definitive venue, and now no accompanist. I was crushed and frustrated at the same time. How could you, Sweden? Torture without rapture, not cool. Last week, I got food poisoning, a nasty cough, and what I’m now diagnosing as a ruptured left eardrum. There is no joy in Mudville today. Mighty Casey has struck out.

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