ON HAND: Becoming a groupie

This originally appeared in The Tactile Mind Weekly in Trudy’s ON HAND column.

The unimaginable has happened. I have become a band groupie.

I was in Tampa, Fla., over the weekend, and went to a performance given by Beethoven’s Nightmare (BN). BN is an all-deaf musical band, featuring Ed Chevy, Bob Hiltermann, and Steve Longo.

Mind you, I’m not into music at all. Ask me what a guitar riff is and I’ll give you a blank stare. I, like many deaf people, do appreciate loud, rhythmic music, but beyond that? Nah.

I wasn’t really expecting much from BN’s performance. Besides, I’ve been to too many musical productions “for the deaf” that were an absolute waste of my time. I also couldn’t imagine how the very friendly BN members I had met beforehand could make decent music, given how audiologically deaf they were.

As soon as the interactive performance started, I was blown away–almost literally. I sat in the front row, near huge, towering speakers, and my ears didn’t stop ringing for a few hours afterwards.

The band was phenomenal. Deaf and hearing people of all ages–children, senior citizens, and everyone in between–were dancing and pumping their fists in the air. Even a hearing hotel manager was dancing animatedly and shouting along with the crowd.

Some of us talked later about how engrossed the performers were in the music as they played. Bob, in his own world as he banged away at the drums, made his pleasure at playing evident by a non-stop grin. Ed’s wonderfully wild performance was unbelievably heartfelt, quite a contrast to his usual calm demeanor. Steve had a cool, mysterious presence, with a laid-back attitude that clearly showed his comfort with his guitar.

I can’t help but chuckle about what the hearing hotel customers must have thought, because the music was so loud that we could hear/feel it on some of the floors above.

To hell with ‘N Sync. I’ll take Beethoven’s Nightmare any day.

I have to go now and send them a fan letter.

Copyrighted material. This article can not be copied, reproduced, or redistributed without the written consent of the author.

Related posts:

Comments Closed