The Shindig

With as much as Carl and I have experienced over the last five summers at Bumper’s Landing, it is safe to say that we never know what to expect on any given night.

Saturday was something that we have never seen before.  Something different, something unique and something almost wild and weird. I was initially perplexed, and then suddenly it came to me . . . It was a

It was a happening, a rendezvous, a wild, whacky, weird, wondrous beach party.  It was a

It was a night when everyone showed up to a party they never knew existed, right on time.  The guys, the girls the food the drinks and oh, the music!

The music showed up all right, thanks to Bob and Carl.  We were the the master of ceremonies on this zany show that began from our first verse at six O’clock and lasted until the final chorus faded away after eleven.

It was a night when almost everyone was on the very same page.  A night when all things were possible.

A night when love was in the air, as if the summer of love was reborn, some fifty years later!

Most times, people do their own thing in their own way.  Enjoying what they set out to enjoy, without really interacting with anyone else.  They arrive, enjoy their night and go back home, happy and content, but not really achieving anything else.

Last Saturday we saw people come together to celebrate as one on a perfect summer evening by the water.  They sang together, they drank together, they played and danced and dreamed together.  It was an eventful epiphany!  Ok, a 

It was the most fun that we have ever been a part of.  (and, let me tell you, we have had many fun nights in our long musical career!)

The first set was truly magical as one after another, the people began groovin’ to the beat of each song we launched into the night.  First five then ten, then the entire dance area was filled with euphoric people, all moving as one to the steady rhythm.

After the first set, we got with many of the happy participants and found out just what they had in mind for the rest of the night’s musical selections.

It was quite apparent that all they wanted to do was dance!

So, dance music it was!

Hot, heavy and classic.  Any classic song that would fill the dance floor was on the list.  Seger and Morrison.  Motown, country and good old rock & roll.  Any tune with a beat and a vengeance.

Now the dance area was filled and girls were running to pack it even more.  Each song elicited some form of musical elation as the first blasting bars exploded from our speakers.

Smooth by Santana illustrated it best: “Oh it’s a hot one, like seven inches from the mid-day sun!”

Every song we played seemed to ratchet things up one more notch as I began to fear that Carl and I could not keep up the pace.  For one thing, we were approaching our twelfth hour of working.  (We began at nine that morning as we loaded gear for a show in Shelby Township that lasted into the afternoon.)

The tempo was crazy as one dance song melded into another.  There were people shouting, singing, yelling, twirling. There was music blaring, drinks being spilling all around us.  Sometimes we barely paused between songs, and would only do so to change guitars.

The Shindig magic was absolutely working though!

Everyone was having a great time.  The interesting thing about this night in my mind was that it was like a flash mob; everyone simply showed up out of nowhere and began playing their own part in one huge ensemble.  It was as if Bob Fosse himself choreographed the unscripted chaos.

Since it was a big day on the lake for boaters, (the annual Muscamoot Bay Raft Off.) Bumper’s had made certain that there was extra security on hand in case anything were to happen.

But on this enchanted evening most security personnel were simply part of the play, enjoying the show.

Some of the lead characters began to really shine as the beat and booze filled them with enough liquid courage to cast most inhibitions to the wind.

There was the girl in the little black dress with her entourage and boyfriend, grabbing most of the spotlight.  Dan the singer man with his daughters grabbing the mic.  (amazing job, by the way!).

There was a couple who’s choreography could have been right out of The Urban Cowboy.  And a hundred other people right out of the studio audience of the timeless early sixties TV series, 

 

After ten O’clock things got really out of control.  We tried our best to hold on by throwing out every dance number we had been holding back.

The crowd was limitless at this point.  A dark shadow flickering with images of heat and rhythm descended on the boardwalk.  The country girls were two-stepping’.  The rockers were shaking their fists to the strains of Tom Petty:  “Well, I don’t know, but I’ve been told.  You never slow down, you never grow old.”

The Ford boys had a ringside seat for all the action.  Jack’s eyes were wide open, (not wide shut), through it all.  He sure does have a way with women.  He’s usually in a picture with a pretty girl every night.

It was our last set and we had found our next gear just when we needed it.  We gave them Wagon Wheel, Country Roads and Tennises Whiskey.  Brown Eyed Girl, Your Momma Don’t Dance, and did it all while pledging to . . .  Be My Lover!

The last song of the night for us was the immortal rock ballad, Love The One You’re With.  It was the epitome of the the summer of love, back more than fifty years ago, but, still as relevant on this amazing summer evening.

There were chants of encore! (and several cash offers to play more), after our last song faded.  However we just couldn’t top what we had already done.

After all, what would you expect when you were just part of a real live 

 

Rb

 

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