Friday, August 21, 2009

Ning's 40!

Henning's 40th....

Oh my. Henning, friend, bandmate, producer, comedic partner, is turning 40 today. Unreal.
"well, actually, Brian, it's not so unreal when you do the math.."
Ok, thanks left half of brain. But I'm trying to be creative here, so take a break.

Did I ever tell you all about the first time I remember interacting with Henning?
It was 1997, and The Figments were playing at Pearl Street, opening for The Lilys and New Radiant Storm King. Oh my, what a show. I was wearing an orange turtleneck because I didn't want Kurt from the Lilys to be the only embarassingly retro looking guy there.
Anyway, I wasn't feeling too great, and went out for some air, but instead went next door to the Baystate. There I saw Henning standing at the bar.Maybe it was Tuesday night.
I was a bit nervous to approach him, because we'd probably only interacted through social buffers like Lord Russ. Never one to one. And we're both a bit shy and mean looking.
In any case, I says to to Henning, I says:
"Hey, I listened to the Big Plans For Underachievers cassette in my car the other day. I really like it. Reminds me of a lot of things that I like."
Henning smiled and said "Thanks".
He was 29 probably. I was 25?
A bit before or after (who can remember? I'll have to dig up my journals..) we played music for the first time together. It was in a basement on Bardwell Ave, in Florence.
Pre Aloha Steamtrain. I don't know what we were thinking, but Lord Russ had gathered Henning, Matthew Zapruder and me. Henning was relatively new in town (see "I Was Thinking of a Time").
The only thing I remember playing was Harry Nilsson's "Me and My Arrow".
Who knew that that would be only the first time of a subsequent thousand something times that I'd be seated behind the drums watching Henning sing and play guitar? That we'd
appear at crazy places? Bars, theaters, dorms, enormous outdoor stages... We'd log thousands of miles driving to shows, play to crowds of 1 and 1000, from Boston to San Fran, That we'd record...oh man, I should figure this out. How many songs have Henning and I been on together? I'm gonna guess 138.
I do hope that I can be writing another one of these when he's 50 and I'm 36. I mean 46. Guh. And that we'll have recorded another 150 songs and played another 500 gigs.
Rest assured, neither of us will have pony tails, or wear hemp baseball hats with Armani Suits.
Will we?
Happy Birthday, Ning.

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