I've got an old album, by Jean -Luc Ponty on both vinyl and CD.

The LP came from a bar I used to run when the album came out in 1979. Saturday afternoons, while I counted the money and AJ cleaned up Friday night's carnage, Jean-Luc would play and play. The LP has writing on it -- my notes as a DJ from 20 years ago -- and a scratch on track three that Harris put there somewhere in the fog of the early 80's. The CD has a cracked case, from when I sold the Lexus, and is still digitally perfect. Same tunes, but not really. There's some soul missing without Brother Wayne's scratch crackling by at 33 and 1/3.

Down in the basement behind the old cans of Sikkens paint and copies of Sport Aviation is my stash of old twelve inch vinyl -- hidden away like an executive's small, expensive habit. I dig 'em out and play Earth Wind & Fire, Kano and all the freaky Euro import stuff you could only get on Disconet back then. Man, this stuff rocks.

But when I hear 'Stay With Me' or 'A Taste For Passion' I'm back at the Opera House. I can smell the stale beer, the old wood, and the dancers who, just ten hours ago, shook the walls stomping and juking to music long gone. Nobody plays Heatwave or Isaac Hayes. Djs just stare when I ask about Kano or Tantra, or Passengers. Jean-Luc ain't real popular either. Even the money I counted those Saturday afternoons looks different now -- Andrew Jackson is blown up and off center on a twenty like someone screwed up, and then got away with it.

It's only now possible in our hurry-up-fuck-you-split-nanosecond culture that I can feel so old at 35.

Genuine Bob tells me that you're a new man every seven years, and I suppose that's true. It's a bit like reincarnation without having to make new friends. I count four separate lives I've lived so far, only to find out that I'm right on schedule for transition into a 5th, if I were to pay attention to the ancient writings that describe such things.

The first stage was finding the theatre -- the usual kid stuff. The second stage was learning to work the lights, and to pull the curtains when the call came to do it. Stage three was moving out onto the stage and addressing the audience. The fourth stage is just closing; it has to do with the proper running of a theatre and how to make money at it. Who goes where, the blocking, directing, the hiring and firing of the actors. (-sings-) Not Another Chandelier ...

Now the fifth stage looks promising: Having done the technical work, having played the many parts, and now having run the theatre successfully, perhaps it's time to buy a ticket. Maybe do one of those improvs where an actor joins the audience to watch the show. Its always the toughest part to pull off, that John Cage move of not playing at all to hear the music between the notes. Stay tuned!