There was a time when I provided the soulful soundtrack to your life. Whenever a 80′s movie star stared across the ocean, deep in reflection, trying to decide if a tough, yet fashionable Miami cop could love again, I was there. Whenever a girl with impossibly big hair leaned in for a romantic kiss, I was there. I opened and closed every movie of your pathetic, zebra print-wearing young life. And yet now, when you hear my mournful wail, you snort with laughter.
It’s not like I’m a goddamn Casio keyboard. You can’t just press “Latin” and make me sing. I’m a respectable musical instrument. Legendary greats like John Coltrane and Saxophone Colossus Sonny Rollins have danced their fingers across my keys. I bebopped with Charlie Parker. I was tight with Bird.
But do you remember the Jazz greats who played me with such skill and soul? Noooooo. When you think of me, it’s that fucking Kenny G. that springs to mind. You know he’s the biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era? He’s sold more than 75 million albums! Thanks to me. I brought him fame and fortune despite his horrific Weird Al hair style. Behold my power!
But still, you snicker.
You lost your virginity with “The Best of David Sanborn” in the background, you miserable ingrate. Do you remember that? Do you?
And now my last vestage of cool has passed. The Big Man, Clarence Clemens, has shuffled off his mortal coil. Left me Dancing in the Dark. I am officially doomed to elevator Musak and weekend reruns of Turner and Hooch.
What’s a wind instrument to do? I suppose I still have military bands on my side, but that won’t return me to my glory days. Where’s Spandau Ballet when I need them? You liked that song. You know it’s True. Unfortunately, nowadays the only place you hear a Careless Whisper from George Michael is in the men’s room at a public park. More shame is heaped upon me. When you’ve been mocked the way I have, not even INXS can Give You What You Need.
I’ll tell you what I need to do. I need to find that big shirtless guy from The Lost Boys. Vampires are cool again, and he knew how to wail.
I bet you wouldn’t laugh at him and his enormous pecs, if he and I ran into you in a dark alley, steam rising off the rain soaked streets, a single streetlamp glowing softly overhead…
** After I wrote this I heard Lady GaGa’s “Edge of Glory” – with the cheesiest sax solo in YEARS. There’s hope for you yet, you saxy beast.
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