But where was Elaine?
I was just remembering a time that I'd been asked to play keys for a soloist named Elaine. She was down to perform at a morning service at a church in northern Sydney. I'd asked good friend Dave H to join us on bass guitar. After rehearsing earlier that week we were all set to go.
The morning of the performance arrived and Dave and I found ourselves at the church, setting up amps and getting things organised.
"Elaine will need a microphone stand set up over there," I pointed out to the sound engineer."Where can we plug this amplifier in?""You'll need to push that pulpit out of the way...""Does that organ move at all?"
I wasn't sure why Elaine was running so late to turn up, but we were busy getting things ready for her to simply walk straight in and soundcheck.
The place was really filling up with people and we hadn't even started sound checking yet. These people were very keen. But where was Elaine?
I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I looked down at a stern faced gentleman who stood in front of a small group of people like he was the spokesperson for a delegation."Look buddy, we don't know who you are, or who this 'Elaine' person is that you keep talking about, but our service was supposed to have started ten minutes ago and you need to leave!"
It suddenly dawned on me. We were at the wrong church! We sheepishly started carrying gear off the platform and into the foyer. They'd started singing their first chorus while we ferried gear out to the street. Embarrassing!
As we finally stood by the roadway with various musical gear and puzzled expressions on our faces we heard a big "Oi!" There was Elaine's husband in his car. They'd been at the correct church venue wondering where we were. Elaine's husband had been circling the surrounding streets wondering if Elaine would have to sing her songs A Cappella.
We scurried into our vehicles and raced to the correct church venue. There was just time for us to walk straight in, for me to sit down at their grand piano and for Dave H to plug his bass guitar into their PA. We then started to play. Needless to say, it all sounded beautiful, especially Elaine with her incredible voice.
I wish I could say that this was the only time that I'd turned up to the wrong venue, but I seem to have a geographical haze that I live in pre-performance. At least it worked out this time!