The last time I saw Jimmy Cliff
he had hair.
It was in Berkeley or maybe it was Oakland and it was in a garage turned into a place for Reggae.
And to tell you the truth it
could have been Peter Tosh and
not Jimmy Cliff. There’s a lot
I don’t remember about Berkeley
and I’m not proud of some of the
water under the bridge.
But tonight it all worked out.
Bald Jimmy Cliff sang The
Harder They Come – TWICE. It
was what I came for and
to tell the truth I didn’t want to
come at all.
But we gave away a zillion tickets
on the radio and I said I’d show up
a zillion times on the air.
So as I was lying in bed for a nap
the wife said you better get up and
be a man of your word.
I am glad that my wife turned on the light
and raised the curtains.
For it was a clear and
unreasonably cool July night on the shores of Wolf Lake.
At sunset, you could look through
the stage to see Sears Tower.
During “I Can See Clearly Now” I had to go pee but instead I stayed and danced with
my wife and kid.
The water under the bridge reminds
me that I don’t deserve such purity but what the hell – it’s Hammond, Indiana, on a Wednesday
night. What kind of heaven could that aspire
Afterwards Jordan who has announced games
with me since he was 15 joined us and we
headed to take a picture with bald
Jimmy Cliff. We wound up last in line
because I’m 52 and had to stop at a port-a-potty.
"If you weren’t so old we wouldn’t be last in line," the three of them cajoled.
The guy ahead in line
named Mike recognized my voice and asked if I was me and I said that I was.
"I listen to you
every day, man. I told my wife that has to be you."
"It is me," I told him, and I did what I always do - I thanked him for listening.
And I mean it. And I mean it also when I say that
it was a good night under a moon that a cow jumps over.
My wife bumped
me with her hip a few times and grabbed my hand
and my daughter fetched us beer and Jordan
smiled. It was a good Jimmy Cliff night. It doesn't
even bother me that I can't remember if it
was Jimmy Cliff or Peter Tosh in a bar that was
Berkeley or Oakland in 1982.
I run radio stations and a streaming video network in Hammond, Ind., and write this blog.