Perched on a Street Corner

Posted 6/30/2009 by coelder in Labels: , , , ,
I was struck by the first rendition of Tom Petty’s “Free Falling” by a gentleman in his early 40’s on a side street between two houses. He was genuinely talented but nothing special stuck out with his oversized amp and a backup guitarist that came in sporadically when the moment inspired. It was a nice warm up for the ears. Backyard jams seemingly bringing out the festival feel and openness of the community.

Moving through the crowd, we’re trying to get to the main stage to see the ever-lost-in-the-90’s-band Cowboy Mouth. Known mainly for their song “Jenny Says,” that was all I was hoping to hear. Yes, going to hear one song may be odd but at a free-for-all open air festival, you can get away with it. With raspy vocals after years of touring (1993 was a while ago, ladies and gentlemen), the boys looked tired but did seem to be enjoying themselves and the Red Stripe boosted atmosphere. Unfortunately there was no Jenny to be found and we were left empty eared.

Call it courage. Call it peer pressure. Call it naivety. However you explain it, it takes an unreal amount of confidence to get up during one of the biggest street festivals in the Virginia Highlands of Atlanta and perform a solo… as a 13 year old. Perched on a residential corner of Virginia Avenue, the boy’s 1.5ft amplifier produced just enough volume to grab the attention of those admiring various booth art and bring those passively walking by to a shocking halt.

His family sat on the steps behind him, singing along, cheering, and admiring the gusto of the young rock star. Whispers were passing through the crowd. “He’s got serious balls.” “Would you have done that at his age?” “If he keeps this up, he’s gonna get major play.” The intoxicated cheers increased his confidence and little grins unfolded as he played for the crowd.

Even though I know I’m not going to push myself out of my comfort zone this second, his impromptu performance provided inspiration to many to look for a moment to jump out and forget your inhibitions in front of total strangers.

Cheers, VaHi Summerfest Rock Star.

1 comment(s) to... “Perched on a Street Corner”


WHayes said...

still think that kid looks like Paul Dano.

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