Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Ego Governor
Back in the mid 70's I was playing music, full-time in a rock ‘n’ roll band (...these are some of my fondest memories, not to mention some of the best lifelong friendships made!).

I recall one particular evening while performing in a hotel cabaret. The place was pretty dead except for the bartender & staff and a couple of well dressed & attractive women at a table near the front of the stage. Typically, the guys in the band were often more interested in impressing the “pretty girls” rather than focusing on a good performance. I was as guilty of this as much as anyone else.

One of the cover songs we were performing that night started off with the keyboard player banging away on a cowbell, while I played a “catchy guitar intro”(just as it was on the original version of the song, “Good Time Sally” by Rare Earth). It was one of those songs sure to get everyone off their chairs and up and dancing. It’s just not that easy to do when there are only two people in the audience!

So my buddy...equipped with his cowbell decided to put on a show for these ladies. While keeping a loud & steady beat with the cowbell he started doing this “unique & unusual” dance. It almost resembled something I’ve seen by dancers from Canada’s east coast (“step dancing” I believe it’s called). Now you have to remember.....back in the 70's, there were some pretty extreme & wild styles of dress. In this case it was platform shoes with 4" heels and pants with very “wide cuffs”.

I guess we were all thinking that buddy was definitely going to beat us to the punch at impressing the ladies, but somehow...as he was doing this fast paced “pseudo-maritime dance”, he managed to get one of his platform heels caught in his pant cuff. The leg that was supposed to go "up in the air and back"...stayed put, and buddy came tumbling down pretty hard and VERY loud. (It was one of those portable stages they have in hotels made of plywood and covered with carpeting. Functional, but not designed to be very sound-proof!)

The bass player and I were doing everything in our power to keep a straight face...and continue playing at the right tempo, but we both lost it and soon I was doubled over, roaring with laughter while still playing my guitar part. I think humans can all agree on this. Probably the hardest part of falling down is getting back up! So “red-faced buddy" managed to free his heel from his cuff, stood up, went up to the microphone and yelled, “I DID THAT ON PURPOSE!”...(Yeah, right!!).

So that’s how I came up with the term “ego governor”. It’s like a universal setting that is built into some folks. You know, (or maybe you don’t know?) you’re walking along in your best duds on a “good hair day” thinking to yourself.....“I-AM-LOOKING-PRETTY GOOD!”. You glance sideways to catch a glimpse of yourself in the store window and BANG....you walk into a street sign or a parking meter. EGO GOVERNOR!!

Yes,...my own ego governor has kicked-in, a good many times. After awhile you learn how to laugh at yourself! (In fact I’m laughing right now while typing this and thinking of some of my stellar moments!) Ego governors are a good thing.They keep us honest, and as the saying goes... “The truth shall set you free!” Hallelujah!!!

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