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Monday, February 14, 2011

Do A Little Dance, Make A Little Love...

I went to essentially a very large party at the Auto Show in Chicago and the strangest thing of the night was not the cars or the pretty woman or the food that was out there with every manufacturer or the booze which was plentiful or the guys in monkey suits or the woman in the long dresses some of them beautiful some of them not so beautiful, the strangest thing of the night was the band. They had been billing KC and the Sunshine band all night as entertainment where everyone could Get  Down. So I went to GET DOWN.

My wife and I made our way to the front of the stage where some very competent musicians were doing sort of an intro. I thought this was a seventies band my wife said looking at the twenty something musicians. Obviously they swapped a lot of people out I said, watching some very nubile women come on and start doing some really strenuous hip hop. Is KC on the stage my wife wanted to know. Soon. Very soon. Although I did scour the ten musicians to see if he was up there among the lights. But no. No KC

And so waited while the music rose and the crowd swayed and everyone waited for the man. And then just when you thought the music could not get any louder, more intense, just when you thought maybe this was KC and the Sunshine Band. This fat man falls out from the corner in a black shirt and black pants with a head set on. My first thought was someone crashed the stage. Surely, this was not the vaunted KC. This really fat guy who was bald and jumped around in tennis shoes with his black shirt hanging out and worse his stomach hanging out. Surely, this is not the man who penned those now famous disco lines: do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight. To which I have to confess, when I first heard those lines I had no idea what he meant.

But this was KC the man! He jumped around, dancing with the girls, sweating profusely, hanging onto the microphone at the break. He tried to catch his breath and I was not alone in hoping he could make it through the show. Wow! Look at all these people at the auto show! KC shook his head. Wow, I  just turned sixty and quit smoking. Breathing heavy again. And I have to tell you, my only thought is What the Hell Happened?

And maybe that was the line of the night. Maybe when you look around and see how age just tears people to pieces you feel like old KC up there, sweating, hanging on his microphone to take refuge, staring out at the bright lights and woman standing by new cars, thinking wow... what the hell happened?
Rocket Man due out in April

Books by William Hazelgrove