"You don't know that song?" I was surprised. She knows a hell of a lot more about music then I do. "Here, listen" I repeated the sequenced "La la las" but laughed before I got to the ridiculously high octaves that go something like "Ahah ah ah ah ah ah ahhhh...." Are you following this?
Well neither was Maggie, but luckily before I had to torture her or any of our eavesdropping guests with more of my tone deaf humming the bartender Darren comes by and he having not only worked in the music industry but also having a pretty great voice, knew which song I was butchering "Oh yeah that's a one hit wonder," but he couldn't remember the name either. He did the "la la las" justice before humbly admitting that he couldn't hit those last octaves either, later stating "that's why there is only one Mariah Carey."
The night went on and we still didn't know the name of the song, but it stayed in our heads as customers shuffled in and out, one of those being a character by the name of Vine (vu-ney). He came in with disheveled grey hair, well worn chucks and a swagger that told me that if I didn't know who he was, I soon would. Darren and Maggie being well known Phoenicians themselves knew him already and the night went on as most nights do at our restaurant, with great food, a slue of drinks and interesting conversation. The conversation (and Vine's presence) was so interesting I guess, that just before close, Daniel the owner of the restaurant made a surprise visit to sit down with Vine and talk business. It turns out that Vine being the owner of a local coffee shop by the name of Drip, and Daniel being one of the best known coffee roasters in the 602, had a vested interest in talking to each other that night. So we closed the restaurant around the two entrepreneurs sitting at the bar, business was discussed over fresh roasted espresso and small talk was made over fine dessert sherry.
Vine, a relative stranger to me was true to the swagger he walked in with, and little by little revealed layers of himself that I wouldn't have expected, but fit him perfectly. Like when he uttered "Hey you wanna hear my new song that comes out next month?"
We popped in his CD and through the speakers heard Vine's voice, a good one, singing something about a girl of course, and wondering where this girl was. And despite the lovelorn sentiment of the song, the melody was sweet and upbeat, sprinkled delicately with girlish background vocals that simply whispered "la la la la la..."
It was a good song so we played it again, this time poking around at his career in songwriting. And though he was modest when Daniel asked him which songs he'd worked on that he might know, he responded with a question "Does this song remind you of any song you've heard before?"
Darren and I shot each other wide-eyed looks and smiles of disbelief. "La la la la la..." and in a fury of snapping our fingers and shaking our heads we cried "Yes... yes... that one song we can't remember the name of! We were just talking about it today."
He seemed unfazed and perhaps almost used to hearing this. Just to make sure and wary of overstepping just what he meant I asked "Wait, did you have something to do with that song?"
He chuckled, took a sip of his sherry, and said "well a little, I wrote the damn thing."
I couldn't help but laugh; it was just too uncanny. These days when you don't know the name of a song that floats around your brain, there's google or youtube or even that iphone app to alleviate the gnawing wonderment. But never in my life (and probably never again) has a character popped up in the moment to tell me the name of the song and to add "oh by the way I wrote that song."
The name of the song is "Lovin' You" as performed by Minnie Riper. Enjoy.
Oh and he had a little something to do with this one...
Oh and this one too...
So I did some research after I wrote this blog and I couldn't find any proof that Vine had anything to do with any of these songs, at least under that name. Not that I don't believe him. The story though, still happened just as I told it and I'm sticking to it.