Reaching A.K. status

I’m an official “old guy” / A.K.   An arts agency made a documentary about roots music in Ohio, and a bunch of baby-boomers — including me — was the subject.

We were on the porch, picking away at authentic instruments, so to speak.

Meanwhile, my “old guys” — Muddy Waters, Dave Tarras, Mickey Katz — are dead.

I saw a 92-year-old piano player recently. He wasn’t dead.

I still get nervous when I play. Good, I’m not dead.

I played at Nighttown, a Cleveland jazz club, for an “old guy”/ A.K.  DVD-release party. Something like my 1,028th Yiddishe Cup gig. I played “Nelika” in 7/16 time. I didn’t take the repeat. I was so ahead of the game. I was nervous. Always good to be nervous.

About the Author
Bert Stratton is a musician and landlord in Cleveland, Ohio. He is an occasional contributor to the New York Times, Jerusalem Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer and City Journal. Byliner chose his essay "The Landlord's Tale" as one of the best magazine articles of 2012. He blogs at "Klezmer Guy: Real Music & Real Estate."