Ride Hard: Little Ditty About Jack & Dianne

Continues from here.

I sat at the bar of Murphys Irish Pub aimlessly leafing through a menu and nursing a beer while I waited for Bill and Cheryl. Jack had gone out to the band room to do his vocal warm ups and I didn’t want to look lonely and single at a table so I stayed at the bar, for some reason I didn’t think about me being at the bar by myself the same way. I guess that was a bit of a silly thought on my behalf given that most guys hang around the bar to meet women.

Thankfully I only had three guys come up to me in the fifteen minutes I waited for Bill and Cheryl to get there. I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet here but three people asking me out in the one night is extreme for me and not just because I wasn’t a bar type person, it just didn’t happen. It was almost like the guys could somehow tell I was already taken but they suddenly wanted to see if they had a shot because when I was single it just never happened, especially not in such a short time.

Anyway enough about that, when Bill and Cheryl arrived they ordered themselves a drink and we made our way to our reserved table and sat down. We weren’t directly in front of the stage and I was fine with that because I didn’t want to spend all night looking directly at Jack in case I some how put him off his game, we were off to the left and in the middle of the room.

After spending a few minutes reading the menus we decided on our meals and ordered them. I was getting quite hungry and was hoping the increasing crowd didn’t mean we were going to spend too long waiting for the kitchen. Twenty minutes later when our meals did arrive Bill offered me another drink and I happily accepted. By the time Bill returned to our table with the three drinks Jack was taking the stage.

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Murphys Irish Pub, My name’s Jack and I’ll be your entertainment for the night. I’ll be playing a bunch of classic hits and what I hope will be easy listening. If you have any requests feel free to bring them up between songs.”

“Play something with balls Elvis.” came a call from the bar.

I instantly recognized the statement from the movie Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze but apparently not many other people did because instead of laughter the heckler only got stares from the audience which shut him up quickly.

I had my second mouthful of food in my mouth when I laughed and nearly spat the full amount out onto the table because Jack’s first song was Losing My Religion by REM. I looked directly at Jack, I’m not sure if he could see my facial expression given then stage lights in his face but I could see his and he an a huge grin on his face a he started singing the first line.

“Are you ok?” Cheryl asked me noticing my slight discomfort.

I managed to swallow the food down and then I told them the story about Jack’s mistake with the song Losing My Religion which he’d told me the night before. Bill nearly repeated my actions when I finished the brief story.

I know I’m going to give you a slightly biased, who am I kidding, a massively bias, review of Jack’s performance but I still honestly thought he was doing an excellent job. I’m not musical genius and therefore couldn’t have picked many mistakes Jack might have made but everything he played sounded good, and to me, mistake free.

In his first set he played songs from Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Rick Springflield, ABBA, REO Speedwagon and even a few I didn’t know. After what I think was about forty five minutes when he put his guitar down and announced to the waiting crowd he was taking a break and would be back in fifteen minutes the crowd, including Bill, Cheryl and myself applauded him. With the applause still going Jack gave a little wave, stepped off the stage and walked straight to our table.

“That was great,” I said as he approached.

“Thanks so much.” he said to me, then turned to Bill. “Evening Bill, hows things?” then he turned to Cheryl put his hand out and said. “You must be Cheryl, I’m Jack Richards, pleased to meet you.”

Both Bill and Cheryl replied to him in turn and told him how good they thought he was.

Jack sat down with us for the fifteen minute break, a few times people came up and shook his hand, either saying hello because they knew him or congratulating him on his performance. During his break we had another round of drinks and he grabbed himself a Coke to take up on stage with him. His break felt short and before I knew it he was back on stage, at least at the start of his second set I didn’t have food to spit out.

A few times during the second set Jack received requests and played them almost immediately, I don’t know how much he had to change his set to do so but I thought it was a good job. In that set we listened to songs by Dire Straits, and the Beatles and he even got a little more rocking when he threw in a few numbers by the likes of Poison and Meatloaf.

By the time Jack got to his third set the crowd had thinned out a little bit but I estimated there was probably still eighty-ish people in the entire room which I thought was alright. There had been a few people even get up and dance during a few of the songs which to me suggested he was doing something right. When Bill and Cheryl got up and danced I KNEW Jack was doing something right because Bill had admitted to me heaps of times that he just wasn’t a dancer and didn’t pretend to be.

Now you might think I’m a little bit slow here but when Jack got to his final song I had no idea what was coming. He’d obviously planned it but despite me knowing the song I just didn’t expect it. Being completely honest with you in the entire time I had been dating Jack, which was pushing into it’s third month, I hadn’t ever thought about it either. So can you guess what Jack’s final song was?

For those of you as slow as me that didn’t see this coming a mile away his final song was of course Jack and Dianne by John Cougar Mellencamp. Not only was I sitting in my chair blushing throughout the entire song I was laughing and thinking just how damn sweet the guy was.

Bill and Cheryl, despite not being huge fans of 80’s music recognized the connection immediately but thankfully they were the only ones who actually knew me.

“This is your song,” Cheryl said.

“I had never even thought about it,” I replied honestly.

“Obviously he has.” she said.

“Yeah some times the guy is too sweet for his own good!” I said grinning to show I was serious but still humored.

As soon as the song stopped and the crowd started applauding I stood up and walked up the to stage. Jack was putting his guitar down and waiting for the applause to stop so he could thank the audience. Before he had a chance to say anything I stepped up on the stage and gave him a huge kiss on the lips. The applause continued.


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