City Paper is not for tourists
Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, Justin wrote Iceland, a blog about his band’s American tour. Justin isn’t on tour anymore, but Iceland continues, twice a week, on City Desk.
On Sunday, I played a show in Lamont Park, a popular concrete triangle in Mount Pleasant. Some concerned persons with abundant leisure time love Mount Pleasant so much that they have attempted to ban live music in and around Lamont Park. I do not love Mount Pleasant as much as live music and, for this reason, performed to show my support for live music, which, as an abstract medium, cannot speak for itself.
“Are these your drums?” a young child asked after the show. As Lamont Park is frequented by small children, I was not surprised by his presence.
“Well, the answer is complicated,” I told the child. “Really, these are my bandmate’s drums. But I have access to these drums on a regular basis, and compose with them, and have transported them to California and back, through the American South and Midwest, and north to Canada, and, in due time, may transport them to Europe and Japan. And, although they are not my drums, these drums are fundamental to the aesthetics I have chosen to cultivate. So, in that sense, they are my drums, and no one else’s.”
“What?” asked the young child. “Are these your drums?”
“Yes,” I lied. “Would you like to play these drums of mine?”
“Indeed,” said the young child. The child climbed on to the drum stool, also commonly known as the “drum throne.” Were this child the King of Drums, his throne would be too large. This King’s feet barely reached the hi-hat and bass-drum pedals! Still, the child began to play the drums with his hands.
“Those sticks in your hand?” asked the child. I gave the sticks to the child.
“No—-those sticks in your hand,” I quipped. With little enthusiasm, the child began to meekly tap at the snare drum. Then, dispensing with the bass drum pedal, he kicked the bass drum with his sneaker, also meekly. Then, he looked at me with sad eyes.
“May I have these drum sticks?” he asked.
“Well, that depends,” I replied. “What is your name?”
“My name is Justin,” the child said.
“Surprising,” I said. “My name is also Justin. So, since we have the same name, I suppose you can keep those Vic Firth 7A drumsticks. Just don’t forget the name of the man who giveth these sticks unto you.”
“Wow!” exclaimed the child. “You are the nicest person I have ever met!”
I considered the child’s remark. “I suppose, then, that you have yet to meet many people,” I remarked. “I pity you.”