506. Pump Up The Jam

Two more things happened before Orlando and I left which are relevant. Maybe they’re one thing, actually, though they happened a few hours apart.

The first is that to kill time while we were waiting around, we went to a gate that wasn’t in use, and we played together. My flight to Boston was still showing “delayed” by several hours so we had nothing better to do. A little while later, my flight was cancelled entirely. I’ll spare you the gory details, but add this up: massive blizzard in Boston plus a zillion frequent flyer miles plus Carynne being a kickass manager and making some phone calls equals a transatlantic coach ticket and a hotel voucher.

When I tried to explain to Carynne over the pay phone that I needed to take a detour to try my hand at flamenco, all she said was try to get a phone number at whatever hostel I ended up in so that if there were any emergencies she could call me.

Anyway, Orlando and I clicked right away when we started to play together. No audience, no goal, just jamming and playing around and teaching each other things with notes and licks. I forgot we couldn’t actually talk to each other for a while there.

The other thing that happened, though. The other thing. Turns out Orlando was booked on the same flight to Seville that I would take if they could get me on. It also turned out that his plan had been to squat in the airport overnight. I took him with me to the hotel the airline had provided instead. There was a bed for each of us. We played again for a while when we got to the room… I wish I had a tape recorder because playing it for you would beat describing it.

He was good. And he was used to improvising. He was as fearless as I was when it came to trying stuff out musically. Maybe Guitar Craft had helped that, but I think that’s just how he was. He was a lot more versed in flamenco than I was but that only meant he could show me a lot, which gave me a lot to mess around with.

At one point we had put down our guitars to get some sleep. The wakeup call was coming at four a.m. We still couldn’t really talk to each other. But he took my hand to look at my nails. He held up his own hand, comparing them. All the way back in L.A. I had started growing the nails on my right hand so that I could play without finger picks. I had a bottle of clear nail polish in my guitar case and had been putting on a coat every few days.

Next thing I knew, Orlando was rubbing my hand up and down the stiffie in his jeans.

“Are you gay?” I asked.

“No,” he said, which left me wondering if he had understood the question. He unzipped.

I was perfectly willing to stroke him. I unzipped, too, and he seemed perfectly willing to reciprocate. Getting off with a stranger was an unexpected but not unwelcome end to a very odd day.

It didn’t take long to both get off. We’re both good with our hands.

(Reminder: if you donated in 2013 or 2014 and you didn’t get the “unexpurgated” version of the post above in email as an ebook, drop me an email and I’ll send it to you! I’m ctan.writer at gmail! Also, Daron wanted me to share the following video with you, which is one example of what two people with guitars can do…)


  • Averin says:

    How did Orlando have the means to get to Virginia? Or is that an adventure for later?

    • daron says:

      I didn’t ask. I suppose it’s possible he just saved up for a long time. Or his relatives helped out. I think there were some scholarships too but I didn’t know who got them.

      I should have mentioned. Rents in Spain are really low compared to what we’re used to here.

  • Amy says:

    I had totally forgotten how much I enjoy the vintage videos on Daron’s posts. Oh, the ’80s/’90s – I see what you did there and I’m still not sure what it was.

    Daron, it’s great to see you having a less fraught sexual encounter, like a slow calming from Defcon Z down to a place where you can get laid and not have to fret about it for hours/days afterward.

  • Kunama says:

    Ah Rodrigo Y Gabriela! They did a lot of the guitar work in Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack! They’re gooood.

    • daron says:

      Yeah, they rock. Didn’t realize they were in that soundtrack! Really excellent.

      I’m partial to Ottmar Liebert, too, when it comes to “new” flamenco. Saw a concert of his recently at a jazz club, un-amplified. Incredible.

      And there’s Lara y Reyes, too. Another duo. I’ll put some of those on the posts coming up. (Saturday.)

  • Joe Casadonte says:

    Good old Techtronic — I had a cassette tape of that song, just a single, I think. A looooong time ago.

    Is Rodrigo y Gabriela considered Flamenco? Diablo Rojo (which was the name of a roller coaster, IIRC) was always one of my favorites of theirs.

    • ctan says:

      Rodrigo y Gabriela are considered “nuevo flamenco” basically. A lot of guitarists followed in the generation after Paco de Lucia such that in the 90s a lot of them broke out of the traditional forms, separated from the dancers, and did strictly instrumental music. Some, like Ottmar Liebert, were “fusion” and others hewed more closely to the traditions. Now it’s a whole genre, pretty much, that Rodrigo y Gabriela are a big part of.

      • Joe says:

        Sounds like a Blue Grass/New Grass type of thing. Thanks for the info (that I could probably have Googled myself…)

        • ctan says:

          Somewhat, yeah, now that I think of it. Traditionalists were kind of against the guitarists striking out on their own so much but it’s gotten so popular that now they seem to accept it’s a new “tradition” of its own.

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