The waitress introduced herself, “So you are the legendary Lightning Larson. I am Virginia Madison. Whatever you need just get my attention, and it’s yours, and I mean anything. Oh, this is my friend from out west, Issy, she is just visiting.”
Both women were tall and model thin, but the friend was beautiful, supermodel type, with cupid bow lips on a nice sized mouth, dressed down in a loose-fitting plain blouse. The jeans she wore were also loose with flat soled boots and no jewelry. It was as if the woman was trying to blend into the woodwork.
In Ricky’s world that meant either she was on the run or she had been abused or both. The music man shook both of their hands and said, “Well, ladies, it is an honor to meet both of you. I think I am going to go practice since I have been retired for a few years.” With that, he walked to the stage pulled a chair up, sat down and ate his grilled cheese.
A few minutes later Ricky plugged in his electric guitar, turned the volume down low on the amp he was using so that it did not disturb the crowd before the performance. The first song he played was his “Tears of Betrayal.” He sang the words to himself without a live mike. The waitress’s friend, Issy had slipped into a chair by the stage and was listening to the instrumental part which was so sad and heart-wrenching that she was crying by the end of the two-minute mark of the song.
Ricky’s eyes were closed as he concentrated on the new song, making sure he played it at a pace that would generate the most heartfelt response from the audience. He glanced up and saw that the only person listening was the waitress’s friend and she was bawling. That was the effect he was looking for. Smiling to himself he then ran through several of the songs for tonight and waited for the other band members to come up on stage.
He noticed the woman named Issy had not moved.
Just as he started running through some of his rock and roll standards, he glanced up and saw Eddy V walk through the sparse crowd of people beginning to gather for tonight’s show. The man was the lead guitarist for one of the legendary rock bands still touring and a fellow sailboater.
Ricky noticed that the man got distracted by the woman named Issy. He saw her give him a thin smile but could not make out what was said. The exchange did not last a minute, and then the tall skinny man jumped up on the stage as the older man said, “Nice to hear you are back. Lightning, we are doing a joint performance tour with Sailor Phaster, and we will be here next month. I will get you tickets and an intro. She could use a good guitar in her band. If you had not retired, I would have had you playing in her band, and all her gold albums would have been platinum. Sorry to hear about Amy. Yeah, I have heard already! There are a lot of us that worry about you.”
Then the musical legend looked at the other band members that were cowering at the back of the stage and yelled, “Can I borrow an ax?”
Ricky just smiled as he shook his head.
Once the legendary rock and roller had a guitar, he yelled, “I feel like some Hendrix.” Looking directly at the woman Ricky knew as Issy, Eddy V began with “Foxy Lady”, then still looking at the woman he went into “Are You Experienced?”, “The Wind Cries Mary”, “Hey Joe”, “Purple Haze”, and ending with “All along the Watch Tower”!
Once Eddy V had sung all the songs, he ended his set with, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the second-best guitar player in the world! I give you Ricky Lightning Strikes Twice Larson!” With that, he hopped off the stage, bowed at the feet of the woman named Issy, and left to an ovation as loud as any at the music venue ever.