Minutes after his New Year’s Eve concert at Kansas City’s Folly Theater, I was stunned to see funk saxophonist Maceo Parker join us in the elevator of a downtown hotel.
"Maceo, your concert was great!," I slurred. The rickety old elevator was exceedingly slow, giving me a chance to break into my James Brown routine for the Godfather of Soul’s former bandleader. "Maatheeeeo! Gooood gahhd!," I shouted. "Blow thaaat hooorn!" Maceo smiled patiently, and didn’t administer the beat-down I deserved. It wasn’t until the next day that I knew to be embarrassed beyond comprehension.
The evening began so innocently. It must have been 1989, and the Pitch gave me tickets to Maceo Parker’s concert, along with passes to a pre-concert dinner. My date and I were joined by a very nice couple. We talked about sports, music, and how much we were looking forward to the night’s show. Imagine our surprise when the concert began and the man we dined with turned out to be the great Fred Wesley, trombonist and arranger for Brown, George Clinton and Bootsy Collins!
I might return to bacchanalian New Year’s Eve celebrations one day. If I embarrass myself tonight, it’ll because I lost my food in the fondue pot.