Gary and cousin Loriís adventure to Philadelphia to see Jill Sobule on February 6, 1999 at the Tin Angel


Theme of show: pajama party

The 2.5 hour trip to Philly from Long Island was luckily uneventful with perfect directions. The show was at 10:30, our dinner reservations (to assure us of a reserved table at the show) was at 8:30. My plan was to eat from 8:30 to 9:30, then get on line. Even with a reserved table, I thought it was still first come first served for those who had reservations.

We get to Tin Angel at about 6pm. Now what do we do? There are some cool places in the area, but not too many. It is February, so it is cold. Not the best conditions to just stroll around for 2.5 hours. There are plenty of bars around. I decide that we could hit the Irish bar that has a nice Guinness sign in the window at 8pm, hang there for half and hour and then go eat at Tin Angel.

First we go to Tin Angel so I can ask where my table is, or if they have even assigned them yet. My questions was whether the reserved tables are pre-assigned, or are they first-come first-served for those who have reservations? He asked my name but just checked to see if I was on the list. He said donít worry, Iíd get a good spot and that I donít have to get on line early. I told him that if my table wasnít close to the stage, Iíd rather take the general admission seating, where I can get right next to the stage, albeit, on a stool rather than a table.

We walk around the block and find a little coffee café, where I have a homemade hot chocolate and a mousse dessert. Lori has a coffee. That takes up about half an hour; good! Then we head to the liquor store so I can look for a bottle of 1994 Joseph Phelps Merlot, or my favorite South African Merlot that I always get in the Hamptons. I don't want to buy it, but just to use up some of our spare time. No luck, but that wastes more time. We then take a leisurely walk around this college-style town and go to Tin Angel to eat.

I notice that the waitress is the same one from the November Jill Sobule show I went to. We sit down and when the waitress comes over I mention to her that I remember her from November and ask her if she remembers the guy who was supposed to meet the internet girl who didnít show up back in November. She said, "Yes, I do. You sat back there by the pole, and I even remember what you ordered." Wow! Lori couldnít believe it, but I told her that itís not as outlandish as it seems. How many people meet an internet chick at the Tin Angel?

We order only two appetizers and feel really bad when they bring out one plate with half of one appetizer and half of another. Feel bad? Why? Because we are taking up a table and only being charged $14. Weíll leave a good tip. I go to the bathroom to change into my pajamas. When the bill comes, itís only $7. That will not do. We leave $20, so the tip turns out to be close to 200%. I hope that made the waitress feel better.

We head to wait on line, which is already 20 people long! Shit! I look to the top of the stairs to see if I can find John N (name abbreviated to keep privacy, and he has a long last name thatís tough to spell anyway). The guy who I asked where my seats were said, "Heyí youíre in the front row." Sweet!

Show time.

We sit down right in front of the stage. I set up my mini-CD recorder stealthily. Um, I mean, if I were recording the show, I would be setting up a recorder right now. John N comes by and I introduce him to Lori. We have a nice chat. We are joined at our table by three people. I ask them that if Lori and I get on stage, if they can take pictures for us with my camera. They ask if I plan on going on stage. I tell them the whole story. I also tell Lori that if I get on stage, Iíll see if I can get her up there too, as opposed to her just walking up with me. I lent her a copy of the Clitoris song, and she added harmonies to it. She sings in a barbershop quartet, you know.

Jill it at her best, as always. There is no such thing as a so-so show by Jill. I am undecided on whether to have a clitoris incident tonight. She asked for requests halfway through the show and I stayed silent. She asked for a request from John N, and he asked for "Big Shoes." Jill said that she couldnít remember all the lyrics. Damn, if I just knew that song a little better, I could have helped her out. It was at this point that I knew what I must do, I just had to find the right time. She stumbled through "Big Shoes." I thought, "Next time, Iíll carry the lyrics to that song also."

She has John N come up on stage to hold her lyrics book for two new songs that she doesnít quite have down yet. She then says she only has a few more left and that she wants to please everyone. Thatís my cue. I kinda whine, "Clitoris?" someone else yells, "Lucy At The Gym." She looks in my direction and goes, "Alright." YES!

She tells the story about how the song was born and then looked at me and asked if I had the lyrics with me. What respectable fan would I be if I didnít carry around the lyrics to "Clitoris" with me, so I said yes and she asked me up on stage to sing it with her. Upon walking up, John N gives me a high five. When I got up there I told her that my cousin sings barbershop quartet and that she has done some harmonies to it. I asked if she could come up too. Jill approved. Lori comes up; nervous. Iím cool as a cucumber. We have to figure out how to get three people in front of a single microphone. Her performing partner, Jim Boggia offered his microphone, so Lori and I moved to it, but then Jill said she needed to look at the lyrics. I knew them by heart, so I took the other mic, Jill was on her mic, and Lori was between us both. It was a cute sight with me at one mic, which I must say was too high for me, but who am I to adjust someone elseís mic, while holding up the lyrics for Jill and Lori. (a poorly formed sentence, and probably not grammatically correct)

The crowd was in non-stop laughter. I didnít want to sing too close to the mic as my voice is only slightly better than Counting Crows. Lori has a great voice but there was no way you were going to hear her from where she was standing. I could hear her on stage, but the audience could not. While Lori did her harmonies during the chorus, I could see Jill look over with a smile of approval. Maybe sheíll ask Lori to sing backup on her next CD. Hehehehe.

We went back to our seats and got pats on he back. After the show was over I went back stage to give Jill a couple of CDís of previously recorded shows that I know she was interested in. She asked if I recorded them myself, of which the answer was "yes" to one of them. She said she hoped someone recorded this night's show, but I was too scared to say that I did. I'll make sure she gets a copy.

Now for the letdown. When I went to hit stop on the recorder, I noticed it was off already. Either it finished or I hit stop at the beginning of the show instead of un-pausing it. Damn, because the last time I sang with her, you couldnít hear me on the recording. This time, I was closer to the mike just enough so you can make me out. I had no way of knowing if it recorded, as I didnít have headphones with me. Also, I wasnít sure that having the minidisc run out was bad. I know you have to hit stop to create the "table of contents" on he minidisc, but I never read anywhere what happened if it just ends on itís own. Damn, now I have to wait 3 hours until I get home.

When we leave and go to the car, we get passing comments about our pajama attire. A couple of drunk girls are standing with us while waiting to get our cars. They ask why we are in pajamas and we tell them the story. They canít believe we came from Long Island just for this, and worse, that we are now driving home at one in the morning.

On the New Jersey Turnpike, I have an idea. Although I donít have the headphones with me, I can still see if the counter is going up on the minidisc recorder. Good news, it recorded. Bad news; the next day, while recording to my PC to burn a CD out of this, I anxiously await the Clitoris song, and it gets cut off one minute into the song. At least there is proof I was on stage again with pictures and the beginning of the song.

Thank you for the chance to satisfy whatís left of my fifteen minutes of fame. I still have a few minutes left on that counter.


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