is the artist formerly known as Dan Bern
. He writes and sings what you might call punk
music. I am noding this a week later, but March 30th I saw him in concert. A Bernstein
Bernstein puts on a great concert. As he plays his guitar, one foot is behind the other, and he plays alone, keeping perfect time rocking back and forth from one foot onto the other. When he plays his harmonica he closes his eyes and it's like he's kissing it. When he sings his spit flies. By the end of the night his sweat runs in rivers down his face. What music. The second show he opens with "Tiger Woods
"- i.e. he comes onto the stage with "I got BIG BALLS". The crowd goes wild. There is irony and intelligence and pain and anger.
He should be famous, but as it is it seems a quarter of the audience knows him personally. Between the two shows he comes into the womens's bathroom. He is not a woman, but he has knocked, and he's standing there softly taking to a friend/girlfriend. I have no money to pay for the second show and I'm hiding in the stall from imagined bouncers because I want to stay anyway. I am awed to see him in person, the creator of so much wonderful music. So I get his autograph on my Village Voice
. I ask him to play "Cheese
" for the friends with me (aspiring cheese farmers). After he goes out I sit down on the floor, happily stunned.
After the show ends and the lights come on he comes out onto the stage and can be seen hugging his friends and acquaintences. I want to give him something. When someone has given you music, you want to give him/her something. So I give him a booklet of my poems
. It's drivel. I feel unworthy.
Wrap your ears around some Berstein. And go see him in concert. It's like nothing you've ever heard. There's a black tornado, black tornado, spinning around in my body sometimes....