Greenwood, CO – Fiddler’s Green with Dad – July 28, 1998

Dad was coming to town.  He called Thursday to say he was at the international airport in Denver and, would I be interested in playing “Sign of Rain” at his sold-out 18,000 Fidler’s Green Amphitheater show over the weekend.    

His call came in as I was packing up after a terrible, nerve-wracking gig opening for a local gal named Lee Nestor.  I clutched my new cell phone between my shoulder and my ear as I repeatedly stabbed my guitar into my trunk trying to tetris it between a mic stand and amplifier.   The night was cool. A low garland of clouds stood sentinel around the foot of the Flatiron lit by the moon. 

“What Dad?!?” 

“Do you want to play one of your songs at my gig at Fiddler’s this weekend?”

“Yes, Of course, I want to Dad!  God, thank you so much for asking.”

“Sure my Sal.  I really love that song.” I was terrified and thrilled. 

“Let’s meet up before the show and work out some parts.”

“Yeah, sure, of course,” I said absentmindedly, consumed by fear at the prospect. How was I going to play for 18,000 people when I’d just come from an audience of 20 shaking from head to toe?

Dad and I met up backstage at Fiddler’s Green on the day of the show in the Kraft services room which was peppered with processed meats, chips and sugar cookies.  I grazed nervously on pineapple slices skewered un-consentually with grapes on flimsy toothpicks.  Dad fisted handfuls of mixed nuts, tossing them around in his palm like a percussion instrument waiting to finish his last mouthful. It was great and relieving to see him.  We sat on red pleather couches and worked up some harmonies. He complimented my voice which made my confidence soar. 

But after sound check and vocal exercises and the last pineapple kabob, I began to get nervous in a way I’ve never before experienced.  I had to put a towel over my head and lie down on the couch in Dad’s dressing room.  I found myself choking on heartbeats stuck in my throat. 

When I told Dad how scared I was, he reassured me sweetly, “You know, I still get nervous going on stage too Sal.”  I was pretty sure this was untrue but his warm hand on my shoulder was gentle and calming and even when he left me in the shadow, stage left, to enter the blinding lights on stage, I could still feel his hand there, letting me know it’d be ok.

I don’t think I moved, let alone took a full breath between that moment and the time he introduced me.  But as he said into the mic “I’d like to introduce my own flesh and blood, Sally Taylor.” I pulled my spirit back into my belly with a full laugh and a toss of my giant hair. I leaned into every one of those knife-like nerves knowing they had enough voltage to electrocute me.  I didn’t squint into the light, I let it burn me alive and as I plucked the first 3 strings, I was connected to Source by 36,000 eyes.  This was AMAZING and miraculously, as I went into the chorus “Maybe it’s a sign of rain..” the heavens opened up and it started to rain a warm, relieving, summer rain on the crowd. I could hear an audible “ahh –“ and when I turned to look at Dad, his eyes were glowing like sapphires, full of pride.

My song.  MY song.  MY SONG!  Vibrating through all those hearts. 

And here is what I learned — The nervousness I felt, was my body’s reaction to resisting the love trying to come through me, meant for the audience.  It was so hard to hold all the love the universe had in store for that giant crowd.  I didn’t trust I could deliver it.  I felt like a congested pen desperate to deliver ink to a brilliant thought.   I realized that perhaps that is the job of the artist. Dancers, writers, painters, perfumers, singers, we strive, less to create than to remove obstacles that stand in the way of people receiving the love always meant for them.  We attempt to transcribe universal love into the language of the human heart.  We are conduits, vessels, and postmen. are pens, not the ink.

Thank you Dad.  What an amazing opportunity.  Thank you Fiddler’s Green.  Thank you Rain.

Reader interactions

6 Replies to “Greenwood, CO – Fiddler’s Green with Dad – July 28, 1998”

  1. A Beautiful Gig Story 🤲💖
    We are so lucky to share your most intimate moments with your mom and dad and your vulnerability at it’s best.
    I am so grateful. These would all make a great book.
    Thankyou Sally …I love all the photos.

  2. A Beautiful Gig Story 🤲💖
    We are so lucky to have you share your most intimate moments with your mom and dad with us and your vulnerability at it’s best. These would all make a great book.
    Thankyou Sally …I love all the photos.

    1. Thanks SueAnn, It was a special night and a paradigme shifting event for me.

  3. Sally – another fabulous memory highlighted by a visit from your Dad! I wish I had been at Fiddler’s Green to see the two of you! I loved your imagery – the non-consensual combination of pineapple and grapes, the metaphor of your nerve-ridden body being the congested pen. Beautiful!

    1. Thanks Cindy,
      I think I’m still on a high from just remembering that gig!

  4. I love this Sally, you and Dad! You’re so very lucky and so very real and talented!!!

    Universal love coming strait from the heart.

    Thanks for sharing

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