Tango, invisibility, and music memories


I’ve been to a good number of shows. Music. Not Broadway.

I don’t remember all of them. Heck, I don’t remember many of them. And that’s not because they weren’t good shows at the time. It’s because (for me), music resonates and attaches itself to a timeline when life events line up with a show. I would guess I’m not alone.

In the 1970’s I learned about the wonders of Tango, a miracle mixture of vodka and a Tang like substance that sold for a couple bucks a pint. (It should have come with directions on how to stuff it down your pants so you could get it into the shows undetected. Alternatively, if you drank enough, it made you invisible.) There’s no way the US would have made it to the moon first if a NASA technician had mistakenly sent the astronauts into orbit with Tango instead of Tang. Of this I am certain.

It wasn’t the Tango that stuck. It was the Tango with the Doobie Brothers at the Cape Cod Coliseum. Talkin bout the China Grove…and what not. To this day, if the Doobie Brothers pop up on the iPod, the scent of Tango is not far behind. Neither is the scent of the Cape Cod Coliseum, or Diana (last name withheld).

Just about six years ago to the day, I dragged my teenage kids to Keene, NH for a late December concert with Assembly of Dust and some warm up band. And though it was the holiday season, at the time it was a little less than festive given the life challenges that were circling and poking me in the eye and the gut. I know my kids sensed this and graciously came along though it must have seemed like the new century equivalent of a pilgrimage to Woodstock for their old man.

The warm up band turned out to be The Ryan Montbleau Band. Never heard of them. Never heard of him.

And then they started to play and we were treated to one of those musical miracles where you know from the first few notes that it’s something different. And I held on tight. For an hour, Ryan and his Band sent stuff out there, and it landed in a way that let me take it along.

I still have it. I take it with me wherever I go. And it’s even better now. DSC_0540

He’s a wonderful guitar player and an insightful songwriter and I’m really thankful for that trip to Keene and the ensuing years of music and memories.

If you’re so inclined, check out Ryan’s stuff, which you can find here…http://ryanmontbleauband.com

Or better yet, check out Ryan at Higher Ground in Burlington tomorrow night (12/27/2013). Or maybe in Costa Rica at Jungle Jam on January 16-17. Hmmm.

I’m going to Higher Ground. This time I know what I’m getting.

It’s unlikely I’ll have a pint of Tango stuck down my pants. But if I do, rest assured I’ll get through security. Ya, I was pretty good at that.

observationally yours

And I rather be 75 and sunny,
Than acting like i was 17 and freezing again.
I’d rather be up early in the morning
Than up late at night erasing memories of where I’ve been.
Or to be through at 52 someday stone-faced and bleary-eyed.
You better believe I’m living for the moment but my moment’s growing bigger by and by.

Ryan Montbleau – 75 and Sunny

2 thoughts on “Tango, invisibility, and music memories

  1. Hey hey Matt…glad you are on solid ground…checked out the tunes….good call…thanks for the introduction. Music certainly can bridge gaps…my
    Vice is Mr. Van Morrison. Someday he will play here in Suffield! I can see it now; a summer night with Van on the farm…music permeating our humble hamlet…oh yeah!

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