Friday, July 28, 2006

Syd and Spin

It's 1992 give or take a year and while visiting friends in Baltimore there's a double bill of some one-time golden pals o' mine Peter Blegvad and Syd Straw that's too good to pass up at Max's on Broadway in Fells Point (the neighborhood where I learned to drink while in college, but that's a different story, isn't it). We wander about the neighborhood early, as it's meant for wandering, and we also decide to eat at a place called Al Pacino's Pizza, fearlessly flying in the face of lawsuits. As we eat, who also comes in to eat but Syd Straw and Peter Blegvad. Blegvad is a bit more retiring, if pleasant, but Syd is just as friendly as you might imagine in a goofy, endearing way. We and a few other folks also headed to the concert chat a tiny bit with the stars who probably don't get picked out of crowds too often, even despite Blegvad being 6' 6" and wearing very plaid pants, but mostly let them be.

Then, during the show, between songs Straw--who kind of free-form monologues between tunes (so much so at a much more recent gig she even halted songs to chat and blurted out, "Oh my god, this is turning into a Cat Power show!")--suddenly opted to shout out to her new friends from Serpico's down the street, as she called it, and named all of 8 of us she met earlier in the evening. I'd never been name-checked from the stage before (or since, come to think of it).

Sure enough I managed to snag the set-list and she'd actually written all our names there, in a far too neat pen. I've got that setlist someplace, and not just in the warm spot in my memory.


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