Small world

So I’m sitting outside at Drinking Liberally with Brendan’s foot in my lap, trying to work out the tightness in the back of his knees. Somehow, we fall into a discussion about local music, and thus, local musicians.

A friend of his wrote a song for the local minor-league ice hockey team, and he says it’s getting played on WIP sports radio. This reminds me of former Flyer Dave “The Hammer” Schultz, who had a hit single with “The Penalty Box”, and then of Kenn Kweder, who wrote and performed the classic “Ballad of Manute Bol.”

“Do you know Kenny?” I say. “We used to play the same coffeehouses when we were kids.”

Brendan does. In fact, he says, he knows him well. I grin and tell him to tell Kenn he knows me, too. This is one of those things that, even though we don’t see each other often, and haven’t seen each other in a few years (the last time, he was opening for Jim Boggia at the North Star), it will be as if we saw each other yesterday.

Brendan gets very excited and says Kweder is a genius. I do not disagree. By now, I’m done working on his legs and we are pounding on the table to emphasize our strong approval of various Kweder tunes.

We finally agree on a favorite song, “Heroin”. We are singing enthusiastically:

But then I met you
I met you
I met you
I met you at the meeting
I met you at the meeting
And I thought that you
Were at the meeting
For the same reason
That I was at the meeting too

But then I lost you
I lost you
I lost you,
Lost you at the meeting
And it left me feeling totally
Black and blue

I said doctor,
What can I take?
What can I take?
He said hey, Kenn
Why not take some heroin?
And I said heroin!
It is the only way
It is the only way to get back
To you!

We’re pounding so hard on the metal table, Somegirl’s beer glass vibrates across it and crashes to the sidewalk. Oops. (It reminds me of the electricNFL football game my brothers had when we were kids.)

Just then (no, really – just then), Brendan’s cell phone rings. It is his mother, telling him he left his Kweder CD in their car when he visited, and that she and her husband loved it, “especially that ‘Heroin’ song.”

Talk about synchronicity. When Brendan gets off the phone, he insists on calling Kweder to tell him this tale. Kenny doesn’t pick up, so he leaves a message.

Kweder calls back, Brendan tells him the story of his parents becoming Kweder fans and then tells him he’s “sitting here drinking with Susie Madrak.”

“He says he loves you,” Brendan reports.

“Tell him I love him, too,” I say. He hands me the phone and we talk briefly. He promises to come down some night soon.

Philadelphia – a small town in a big city.