I wrote a piece for the Biolog called How I Became A Linda. This was the original, longer piece I wrote.
Over the years I’ve been asked the question, what’s it like being married to a musician? That’s such a tricky one to answer, because the answer is, it depends on the day. Music has always been one of the most personal and vital parts to my being. So marrying a musician seemed only logical. My life as musician’s wife has actually been a number of different roles over the years. Each one different depending the phase of life we were living. When I met him he was jut a guy in a band playing at a party. When we started dating he was a professional Bluesman, touring the US and Canada, headlining blues festivals across the country.
The first phase was my “Killing Me Softly” phase. Seeing the music man onstage for the first time. “There he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes, Strumming my pain with his fingers, Singing my life with his words killing me softy with his song, telling my whole life, with his words” Truly a moment when the world around me stopped, and I knew I would forever be changed.
Once we began dating I entered into my “Magic Man” phase. The week we started dating he whisked me away to Long Beach. My friends thought I was crazy, my parents trusted my instincts and gave me enough money for a bus home just in case…. “Come on home, girl he said with a smile, I cast my spell of love on you a woman from a child! But try to understand, try to understand I’m a magic man!” And he did cast a spell, one that I’ve yet to shake…
Being alone while he was gone was a hard thing to get used to. This of course was entering into my “So Far Away” and my “Save Tonight” phases. “One more song about moving along the highway, Can’t say much of anything that’s new, If I could only work this life out my way, I’d rather spend it being close to you, But you’re so far away” Oh, the phone bills were outrageous, and the nights I spent starring up at an empty sky missing him seemed endless. Then he would come home, and we would spend every possible moment together. Until inevitably we would find ourselves on our last night. We would do our best just as the song Save Tonight says, “Save tonight and fight the break of dawn, come tomorrow – tomorrow I’ll be gone, save tonight and fight the break of dawn, come tomorrow – tomorrow I’ll be gone”
Over time being on the road wears thin. For the girl left behind, and the man alone on the bus. The decision to leave the band and come home after years of being on the road, didn’t come easy for him. In his heart he knew it was time, and though I did my best to be supportive either way, in my heart I just wanted him home for good. Years later I would I swore I heard Michael Buble sing about the night that I drove to the Oakland Airport and picked up my music man. The night he left the road for good. “Another aeroplane, Another sunny place, I’m lucky I know, But I wanna go home, Mmmm, I’ve got to go home“.
Then we began our life together. He immersed himself back into the bay area blues scene and hooked up a gig with a local Blues legend. I was able to join him on most gigs, and began to see what it was like to be part of the scene myself. Part of the band, part of that second family, in spite of the fact I was so much younger than everyone else. By this time we were engaged. I was no longer the “girlfriend” I was his Old lady, his woman, his fiance. Or as I remember it, his tiny dancer. Truly living the life with him. “Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band, Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man, Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand, And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand”
In time that gig too would end. He was ready to start fronting his own band again, and he started playing at a new club downtown. This quickly snowballed into him becoming the hottest ticket in town. Headlining our summer festivals, charity events, monthly shows, even hosting a weekly jam night, that anybody who was anybody came out for. Being that we were married by this time, it was truly a different experience. I was as well known as he was, just from being his wife. I helped promote some of those charity gigs, and events. What I remember most of those days, is late in the evening after the bar would close…“First thing I remember when you came into my life ,I said I wanna get that girl no matter what I do, Well I guess I’ve been in love before and once or twice have been on the floor, But I’ve never loved no-one the way that I love you..and I love you, And it was late in the evening, and all the music’s seeping through”
Becoming a mother forever changed my role as musicians wife. Suddenly, I wasn’t able to go to his gigs or stay out late at the bar. That feeling of being left out, though silly, was hard to handle at first. Another woman married to a music man had obviously had some similar late night phone calls as the ones I had during that time. The nights I would look over at the clock, waiting for his gig to end, and these words would float through my head… “Just a few more hours and I’ll be right home to you, I think I hear them callin’, Oh, Beth what can I do, Beth what can I do?”
Though my husband does play every couple months, and a few outdoor shows during the summer, his biggest fans are actually the two little ones that call him daddy. I get as much a kick out of watching him captivate them with his guitar as I ever did the huge crowds at all those Blues Festivals and classy clubs. The trick to being a married to a music man? Being faithful. Faithful to him, to my kids, to our life together, to myself, and of course, faithful to the music that brought us together in the first place. “Right down the line it’s been you and me, And loving a music man ain’t always what it’s supposed to be, Girl you stand by me, I’m forever yours, faithfully”