John Kelly is a great journalist who writes a column on DC for the Washington Post. He also plays drums for a local band, the Stepping Stones. Joe saw this tweet from John the other day:
The Stepping Stones are a Monkees tribute band.
Well, of course we were interested, for several reasons:
- We love local bands.
- We love the Monkees. (Yeah, I said it.)
- We've met John Kelly, because his wife, the lovely and talented Ruth, is the sister of an old college friend of mine, and I've known Ruth for years. However, we haven't seen them in several years.
- We were due for a date night.
Then we read the write-up on the show at the Golden Bull's website.
One item -- not the misspelling of "Monkees", by the way -- immediately struck me. One of the band members is Tim Brennan, "college professor and guitar virtuoso". I lived on the same floor of the same dorm at the University of Maryland as Tim, and he was a virtuoso guitarist even then! (Also: very very smart.) I haven't seen Tim in well over 20 years.
Actually, this made perfect sense because Tim was married to Ruth's sister.
Well, that nailed it. Off we went to the Golden Bull.
We got there early to have dinner, which was delicious. The band was setting up, and when Tim walked by I called "Tim!" (as you do) and boom! Hugs all around. A couple minutes later, Ruth came up to our table and boom! Hugs all around. We went up to chat with John, reminded each other of how we met, and talked a little bit about this story that John wrote about my ancestors.
Then, just before the band got started, another old friend, Art Brodsky, popped around the corner. Art also lived on the same floor of the same dorm as Tim and I. You guessed it; boom! Hugs all around. Art joined us and we watched the show together.
The show opened with a really good acoustic set by Dan de Vise, the band's lead singer and guitar/keyboard player. Dave Meredith joined in on a few tunes, then Dave did a really acoustic set, accompanied by a very cool drummer who used a small box drum and a bongo drum to add great percussion. I kept staring at this guy, because I had the feeling that I should know him, but I couldn't place him for the life of me.
At the end of the set, Dave acknowledged the cool drummer: Chris Mauro.
I went to grade school with Chris Mauro. All eight grades. I haven't seen him since 1966.
Then the Stepping Stones got started.
Oh man! They were GREAT! Here's a sample:
(The audio quality isn't terrific, but keep in mind that it was recorded in a restaurant, from the back of the room, on an iPhone.)
During the break, I went up to Chris and said, "Hi Chris, did you go to St. John's school as a kid?" His eyes got as wide as plates, but I could tell he didn't quite remember me. I introduced myself, and -- you guessed it again -- hugs all around. We chatted; I learned he plays drums -- all kinds of drums -- regularly around town, and he put us on his mailing list.
All in all, it was a great night good food, old friends, and fine rock and roll. I'm a believer!