The night before my big date to the Greek Theater, I went out with some friends to a bar in Santa Monica. The huge bar at this restaurant was the main attraction, crowed with people drinking. It was a dimly lit and reeked of alcohol and sweat due to all the bodies packed inside. I took one look and thought we’d be crowded like sardines, standing the whole night, but some chivalrous men waved us over, gave us their seats and even bought us a round of drinks. The bartenders were in a mad rush to help everyone, shaking, pouring and grabbing tips as quickly as possible.
That’s when I met Bobby. Seated to my right, this hybrid between an outdoorsman and a musician had shoulder length shaggy blonde hair and wore a wife beater tee under his blue plaid flannel shirt. The outfit was completed with black leather rock n' roll pants. He was grunge to the max!
“I wrote that song Jump for David Lee Roth,” he announced to the entire bar. “Go ahead and Jump, Jump!” He was pretty drunk, his light brown eyes barely open but he was definitely the life of the bar, even with his slurred speech.
“You might as well Jump!” I joined in, laughing.
“Jump!” My friends chimed in. Everyone was tipsy.
“Yea, that’s the one,” Bobby said attempting to point his finger at me. He had a devilish grin with straight white teeth. Bobby had a sun kissed look, tan arms and strong biceps, but his dirty fingernails were not those of a man who sat inside writing music for rock stars. They looked more like those of a construction worker or a mechanic. I chose to look beyond the obvious wanting to believe in his story; that he was a song writer for famous musicians.
When we all got up to leave, Bobby tried to tag along but was having trouble walking. It was obvious, he drank too much. Way too much.
“You shouldn’t drive like this,” I told him in my familiar role of caregiver. Since I learned that he lived in my neighborhood, I suggested he ride with me. When I dropped him off at a large, security building on a tree lined street not far from when I lived in Beverly Hills. He stepped out and almost fell over but managed to catch himself. I had no idea this man would become a great teacher to me.