It All Comes Down To One Thing

Art by Jera Sky

Art by Jera Sky

Could there be a better day than Mardi Gras to come back and write for Don’t Burn The Pig? Hardly! What with the band’s 7th studio album, “Big Whiskey and The Groogrux King” being recorded in the Big Easy, and the name of that record having sprung from Dave’s interaction with a local wanderer in need. Plus, the cover of that album reminded many of a Mardi Gras parade, and, of course, who could forget “Alligator Pie,” where Stella finally got into one of her daddy’s songs, which, by the way, depicted the destruction that Hurricane Katrina dished onto New Orleans’ 9th ward. For all of these reasons DMB will always be as New Orleans as a po boy to me.

But, the biggest reason why Mardi Gras will invariably remind me of the Dave Matthews Band is because, for me, that’s where it all began. Back in 1995, when I was visiting a friend in college for the festivities. She was obviously waaaayyyy older than me, or maybe a few months younger, but whatever. Anyway, on her couch was where I first laid eyes on Dave, as he was performing “What Would You Say,” on David Letterman. To say that it was a life-changing experience would be an understatement. Little did I know that it would instigate a lifetime of associations in my brain, that I couldn’t turn off if I wanted to. Which, incidentally, I don’t.

For example, the other day, my daughter, who mysteriously shares the same name as Dave’s daughter, Stella, decided that it was time to give me a new nickname. You see, last year she called me “Pregnant Woman,” and then “Recovering Woman,” and now she’s decided that I need one more intermediate alias before she can return to calling me “MaMaMo.” So, with all the logic of an incredibly sweet five-year-old, she settled on “Belly,” because, as she wisely says, my belly is feeling much better now that I’m not pregnant anymore. And what was my first thought, besides how cute she is, when she said this? That DMB has not one, but two, songs with belly in the title, and, Dave’s famous line about toast, jelly, and bellies. And next we’ll talk about cats, hats and rats. What would you think about that?

But seriously, at this point, I can’t imagine what life would be like without thoughts like: “Oh, it’s raining. I wonder if Dave will ever cover “Fool In The Rain,” again; Or “Wow, Sirius XM is playing Alanis Morissette. I just know she was talking about Dave and how she would like him to go visit her in California so she could find out how old he was when he wrote his first song, in her ‘Dear Matthew’ song,” or “Hey, look there’s an airplane. Good thing I looked up at the sky.” It’s funny. It’s neverending. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Even to be away from the world, today, when there’s snow outside, and my head won’t leave my head alone. Instead, I’ll say goodbye, while dreaming of beachballs, cornbread, and all those summer games that last forever.

Hello Again,

Hayley