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Saturday Crowd Scenes: Part I
Searchin'........Searchin'........Searchin'........Searchin'...........

Joe Carney



From slow trains and botched plans we arrive late, and walk up quickly on the sounds of vibes that cut through the West Side of the park from their berth on the stage.

Roy Ayers and Ed Motta trade fours on the scat vocals that move the crowd into stomps and sways and "Can you top that?" on the already wet ground.

The live groove is even more laid back than the records, and soon we move through the throng (Red, Black, and Green) seeking the Source. The members of the band are introduced and right on cue the North sky rips open and huge lightning rushes in to fill the gap. Fat, warm drops diving from above. Booming thunder cracks fling their eager water mallets that smack the hollow steel planks of the bleachers.

The rain has crashed this righteous gathering, and the faithful now panic. Hundreds run for the exits. Others brave the trees. Chaos rises in waves of folks who shield their heads and squeal more along the lines of Pompeii and lava than Manhattan precipitation.

Roy looks out and, as the roadies scramble to cover amps and monitors with clear plastic, he waves his right hand to the musicians.

Not "Cut it." or "That's it", but the dashiki signal flag for "Give it up, rain!".
My life, my life, my life, my life......
In the Sunshine........... Bum da-dum. And the exodus reverses.
Fans now rush in,and mob the front to bop hard to the thick twos of the Fender Rhodes and the custom six-string that rests like a toy on the huge stomach of the bass player.

Conga and conga and ride, and all the singers say:

Everybody loves the Sunshine.....Bum da-dum....Sunshine....
Everybody loves the Sunshine...........Bum da-dum. Sunshine....

Women dance barefoot in the tan, clay mud and dreads shake alongside umbrellas and the Source moves us. The rain won't let up, but we do see breaks of bright blue in the distance. Here, deep Blue, the band keeps it rolling and we scream for the shout outs.
We're livin' in Rio.... We're livin in the Bronx.. ... We're livin' in new York Cit-tayyyyy....
We're livin' in Brooklyn, Baby.... ...We're livin' in Brooklyn, Babay... ...Yeah, Roy.

In the end, the downpour does stop and the drumsticks flung into the crowd point our path through the drizzle and under the canopy of elms and oaks. The groove echoes in the wet leaves. In the storm, shelter is relative. Inspiration can strike like lightning, and phrases flow quickly like notes or drops. (June 20, 1998)

JOE CARNEY BIO PAGE

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@The Light Millennium magazine was created and designed
by Bircan ÜNVER. March-April 2000, New York.