my friend –––––––’s brother, Calvin

Calvin is introduced as CM’s brother because I think all younger siblings should pay a price for being born second. I’m first born so this is a likely opinion for me to hold. Even if I were a younger sibling I would introduce myself as So-and-so’s little brother, Ashley. Fair is fair.

Calvin is the best guitar player in the world except for Paco de Lucia. He will be terribly upset that I wrote that because he thinks he’s too young and too pale to be as good as he is. And it will put him in a fix because everyone will expect some serious stuff from him now. It’s okay to sneak up on people with serious stuff but when they hear it coming it can be nearly impossible. I don’t know why he is worried. I didn’t say he was the best and Paco won’t die for a long time. His dad only just died the other day. I know because I was with him that night in Albuquerque and he flew right back to Spain when he heard. No encore that night.

Calvin played around the world with Otmar Liebert and on The Tonight Show once. Many lousy acts play on that program so it doesn’t prove he is the second best guitar player in the world. But I don’t care if you don’t believe me. I don’t have to prove anything to you about Calvin.

Calvin is younger than I am and he hasn’t been playing guitar as long as I. That makes me embarrassed because I’m not even in the top 10,000 guitars players and I’ve been playing longer than half of the top 10. I could say I was busy with other things but that’s just an excuse. Mostly I was watching cable TV and wasting time catching bugs and stuff. I’m embarrassed I’m not the second best guitar player in the world instead of Calvin. I have no damn initiative and never have so there you have it.

Calvin is also better looking than I am, and taller too. And he’s a real platinum blonde and I’m not and he loves Ayn Rand too. So the only thing I can do to bring him down is tell the story about how he doesn’t wash dishes well but I played that card already. He is, like his brother, a little short on hate but I think he has just enough to be okay in my book. He’s not a badass like CM and Neil and I but that’s no crime.

On The Tonight Show he was backstage with some other young guitar player. This young guitar player was playing with John Lee Hooker. All my friends love the blues, to a man’s woman’s child. None of us play it much but damn if we don’t all listen to it all the time. So meeting John Lee Hooker was a big deal for Calvin and made us all jealous. I wasn’t jealous that Calvin was on TV. Only that he got to meet John Lee Hooker.

The blues musicians went first. They came off stage after their set. This hot young blues guitar player had been showing off. Maybe he was nervous to be out there with John Lee Hooker. I don’t know. But he blew it.

John Lee Hooker said to him extremely tersely in his old black bluesman voice, “Next time don’t play so many notes. Play the blues.”

He had played too many notes and forgot to play the blues while he shared a stage with John Lee Hooker. What a shitty thing to do. Calvin—though he was nervous and forgot to shake hands with Jay Leno when it was his turn—wouldn’t have done that.

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