Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vignettes from Vermont: For You, Mom

Robb Bower in the Graffiti Vault at Fiddlehead;
Robb first visited Fiddlehead last September (HERE)

BENNINGTON -- This steel-fortified vault that used to protect gold and the kind of money you dream about is now the coziest spot on the planet, where newborns and 97-year-olds alike get chalk dust on their fingertips, where the new currency is spur-of-the moment artistry that springs to life on blackboarded walls, where blues singers from Poughkeepsie sing songs to their moms who have gone away to the Great Beyond.

Well, only Robb Bower has done that that last thing, which he did today, when he became the first Graffiti Vaulter to Unplug It Up, too. Indeed, days after he sang "I Am Missing You" at his mom's memorial at Park Lawn Cemetery, he performed it live for the camera.

It took a few days to summon the energy to sing it at Fiddlehead at Four Corners art gallery because emotions galore filled the memorial weekend that doubled as a reunion chock full of love, laughs, tears and tunes. Then everyone left and it was just son and dad again. He was drained. Art Gallery Dude saw Robb walking along Main Street Sunday evening with his wife Maggie. They rested on a bench in front of the Putnam Hotel ...

Today he walked into Fiddlehead with his 6-string and reunited with AGD, shared a few stories about the weekend, like how he played music with some of his best friends in the world. Joining Robb in song were his first cousin Brock Walsh, a Harvard grad who sang backup for Linda Ronstadt, and longtime music buddy Andrew Gold, who performed with The Eagles and Jackson Brown before making a fortune producing Disney soundtracks.

Rose Tobias died 125 days ago after a brief illness ... 

She was a spitfire who lost her fiance, an Air Force pilot, in World War II. She became a nurse, got married, had 3 kids. That marriaged ended and then she found Chuck Tobias, they married in '78, and that's when life took off as you read in her obit (here).

After he chalked it up by promoting the 15th anniversary of the Blues Bash -- one of the two summer music festivals he runs near San Diego -- Robb pulled out his 6-string and quietly strummed the chords during an introductory chat with Art Gallery Dude. He choked up and wanted to cry but held it together and in 30 seconds he summed up Mom:

"I am very much her son because she was very opinionated, she was so loving and she spread her love and her sense of humor everywhere she went and in every organization she was a part of. But there was something about the 1st of May ... 

" ... they had a thing in college, he continued, "Hooray! Hooray! It's the 1st of May, outdoor screwing begins today!" That was said by a close friend at the eulogy and everyone just went crazy. So that just shows a little bit of her sense of humor."

Robb said "I Am Missing You" began as a song for a friend who died of cancer but that it never materialized beyond of the music. Then Rose died and the words fell into place. 

Don't be surprised if the song takes flight.


After that burst of Unplugged emotionalism, Robb pulled it together and took a few photos with AGD to 1) promote the Blues Bash and 2) pose with a special camera.

About that "Blues Bash" behind Robb ... click HERE

We'll tell you whose camera that is tomorrow and explain its significance vis-a-vis the Graffiti Vault. After the quick song and photo session Robb bought a beautiful turquoise quartz-crystal necklace for the love of his life in San Diego ...

Want a crystal-quartz necklace? Click HERE
then email with the one you want


Robb Bower's performance also gave AGD an idea: Graffiti Vault Unplugged!

Want to Unplug It Up live in the vault? Email for details or just keep reading this blog for the next few days (or till you go to the Great Beyond).