Sisters of Mercy

The next night was Philadelphia, the Spectrum, another place I’d played before. Not that it mattered. The stage setup was different; the green room layout was different, meaning the mens room looked familiar.

That was the show when I started making it a regular habit to find the backup singers and do a vocal warmup with them. Their warmup routine was similar to the one Ziggy and I used to do but was in a different style.

Their names were Clarice and Fran, and they were twice my age but didn’t look it. The two of them had similar backgrounds though Clarice was from the Midwest and Fran was from the South. They sang in black church gospel choirs when they were growing up, were teenagers when all the civil rights riots were going down, both left home to try to make it in the big city in the sixties. They’d been on tour together dozens of times and had sung with the Stones, Clapton, Elton John, Jackson Browne, you name it. They were each what Bart would have lovingly called “zaftig,” and what I called simply a lot of woman.

“You know, it’s Fran’s birthday on May second,” Clarice pointed out while Fran was spraying her throat with something.

“Hush now,” Fran said, when she was done spritzing. “No show that day, anyway.”

“So? We could do a song on the first instead,” I said. “We’ll be on the West Coast then, right? So it’ll be your birthday here by then.” Time zone magic.

“I like the way you think,” Fran said with a smile.

“You want to do a song? What song do you want?” I asked.

Fran started to say “I’ll have to think about it,” but Clarice cut her off to say, “Her favorite song is the Rolling Stones, ‘Shout Away.'”

“Hush!” Fran repeated. “That’s my favorite song to sing backup on, not lead.”

“Ahh. Well, give it some thought. That’s a month away.”

“Well, and I don’t know what you know.”

“If we’re talking about me, I can learn anything, trust me. And I’m pretty sure the rest of the band can, too.” It’s all a matter of time, really. “Unless you pick something like ‘Carmina Burana.'”

She laughed. “You’re funny. I like you. I just got one question for you, though.”

“What’s that?”

“Why you doing a vocal warmup when you ain’t even got a microphone?”

“I’ve got a microphone!” I mock-argued.

“But you ain’t using it.”

“Well, I don’t have to since you fine ladies handle all the choruses.”

“I know. Which brings me back to the original question.”

“I just needed an excuse to hang out with you gals.”

Clarice grinned. “You are cute. You come do warmup with us every night, all right?”

They pretty much adopted me from that point on. I suppose that was one way to keep me from getting too bossy on them–being bossy on me in a nurturing way instead–but I didn’t mind.

Anyone want to take a pool on how long it took me, warming up with them every night and living in a bus with them, to figure out that they were together? Anyone?


(Psst. It’s ctan’s birthday this week. She’s not much for flowers or gifts but she would love some more reviews on Amazon and Goodreads for the DGC ebooks and audiobooks? -d)

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Comments 10

  1. Chris Cox wrote:

    happy birthday, ctan!

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Posted 07 Apr 2015 at 10:18 am
  2. Chris Cox wrote:

    oh, I forgot to ask, ctan, what song do you pick for your birthday?

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    What do you mean what song? Is there a birthday tradition I don’t know about?

    [Reply]

    Bill Heath Reply:

    For my birthday I pick John Cage’s Four Minutes and Thirty Three Seconds.

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    Excellent choice. We could play the shit out of that one.

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    Cele, the band’s birthday tradition. Which song would you want to sing on tour?

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    Oh, duh. I’m thick sometimes. Um. It’s me so you know I want to do Bohemian Rhapsody. You up to it?

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    You have the range to do Bohemian Rhapsody? Serious question.

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    I used to. I could probably get it back with practice & some vocal coaching.

    Although given tonight’s news I might need to change to a Bowie song. I wonder if we should go dark this week out of respect.

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    No. Because people will need us this week more than ever. You gonna write the elegy or should I? Or should we get Ziggy to do it?

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    I don’t know. Let’s sleep on it (if we can) and I’ll ask you again tomorrow.

    [Reply]

    Posted 07 Apr 2015 at 10:19 am
  3. iain wrote:

    Anyone want to take a pool on how long it took me, warming up with them every night and living in a bus with them, to figure out that they were together? Anyone?

    Hmm. Well, given history, I’m guessing, in order of likelihood:

    1) Never — either they or someone actually told Daron what was going on, or said something that could only be interpreted that one way, or

    2) Never part 2 — he saw them being physically affectionate in a “we’re more than just friends” way.

    Daron … doesn’t seem to be really good at picking up that sort of relationship cue, I’m afraid.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I have to admit, I agree with everything about this comment. Sorry, D.

    Happy Birthday, Ctan!

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    LOL. You’re quite right about Daron’s lack of awareness on that sort of thing.

    [Reply]

    Posted 07 Apr 2015 at 11:21 am
  4. sanders wrote:

    I’m with iain. D, your gaydar is bad, and it’s worse with women–you’ve said so yourself. So I’m going to guess you didn’t find out until the end of the tour when they were headed back home together, and then someone mentioned it or you saw a kiss or something.

    Cecilia, I love the descriptions of Fran and Clarice. I have to wonder what they’d make of both Tony and Ziggy. Ooh, there’s another possibility. Ziggy shows up at some point and they peg him as Daron’s boyfriend, tease Daron a little, and then talk about being careful of their own relationship for various reasons. Given that Daron’s getting slowly more socially conscious, I could definitely see things going that way. I may have to write that for the next round of fanworks if it’s not canon.

    I’m not good at reviews because I want to flail about everything, but I will try. I’m reserving the right to substitute cookies instead, though.

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    Well you can all place your bets and whoever guesses closest to the date will win a sticker or something… because I’m not allowed to give spoilers. Uh, I realize I didn’t give you all the schedule, though, did I. We’re on the road until May 5, then we’re off until June 21 when the second half runs June 21 to September 2.

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    We’ll be seeing more of Fran and Clarice, that’s for sure.

    Cookies are good, too… *whistles innocently*

    [Reply]

    Posted 07 Apr 2015 at 7:05 pm
  5. Kim VanOver wrote:

    Sending you love, light, positive energy and A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Posted 07 Apr 2015 at 8:55 pm
  6. Averin Noble wrote:

    Happy birthday and my guess is Ziggy tells Daron. No, wait, after Baker Street, that’s got to be some after party following that show.

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Posted 07 Apr 2015 at 10:52 pm
  7. s wrote:

    Happy birthday!

    My guess is something happens on Fran’s birthday that gives it away. You, Daron, will likely NEVER guess it yourself. But that’s okay. We love that little quirk.

    On another note, I can’t believe I’m finally caught up. Now what am I supposed to do with myself??? lol

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    OMG you’re caught up. Amazing!

    Now you’ll need to tune in on Tuesdays and Thursdays like everyone else I guess? Follow Daron on Facebook or Twitter if you want to see reminders when the posts go up…?

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    I’m a *little* better at guessing these kinds of things than I used to be.

    Okay, not much, though.

    [Reply]

    Posted 08 Apr 2015 at 3:58 pm
  8. cayra wrote:

    Happy birthday, C! May this year be good and fruitful for you!

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    Thanks! It’s off to a great start so far!

    [Reply]

    Posted 09 Apr 2015 at 4:45 am
  9. Amber wrote:

    Happy Birthday!!!

    And I agree that something blatantly obvious would have to happen for Daron to notice or someone tells him. But to pick a date I’ll say May 5th.

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Posted 09 Apr 2015 at 10:28 am
  10. Sue wrote:

    Happy Belated Birthday Ctan hope you had a fantastic one !

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Posted 12 Apr 2015 at 2:10 am

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