The bookish accountant and Diamond Dave

My dad helped to start a legal association and they would have their meetings in places like Bermuda, Cabo San Lucas Mexico, and the Cayman Islands. Every so often my parents would invite my siblings and I to join (I know, we were deprived children) and we would get to sit by the beach sipping drinks with tiny umbrellas while my dad and his colleagues toiled away drafting bylaws and statues off in some closed conference room somewhere.

Often our days of lounging would end on some windswept point overlooking the ocean, when we would join everyone from the association for dinner. It was at one of these such dinners that I ended up sitting next to a quiet, introverted lady, an accountant from the association. She wore glasses and was soft-spoken…I was pretty sure she had several cats. She reminded me of the “Church Lady” from Saturday Night Live.

She didn’t talk much, if at all. I remember as the conversation languished being silently annoyed that I couldn’t sit next to my dad’s colleague Harry who actually was Prince‘s lawyer at one time. He handled the litigation around the Purple One’s fight to get out of his record contract, which led to his changing his name to the “artist formerly known as Prince” and being famously photographed with the word “Slave” on his cheek. But Harry was at another table…and tonight it was me and bookish lady and I was doing my best to keep the conversation from flatlining.

So I asked her about music…what was her favorite group? What did she like? Her response could have knocked me over with a feather.

“My first cousin is David Lee Roth.”

This is one hell of a bombshell from someone who seemed like her idea of raucous music was an Everly Brothers concert.

After I picked my jaw up off the ground I asked her what “Diamond Dave” was like. She said he was a pretty normal guy.

She mentioned that she would take girlfriends to see Van Halen in the 80’s, and they would go backstage and hang with the band. She said she even stayed at David’s house and hung out by the pool with her friends, and that he was always a courteous host.

This is pretty amazing given that Rolling Stone once called David Lee Roth “the most obnoxious singer in human history.” Or that the guy has been known to perform with drunken midgets on-stage.

But if you think about it, maybe the only way to make it in music is to convince the world you’re crazy. Would anyone even care about Amy Winehouse if she were normal, if there weren’t pictures of her wandering London in her underwear? Or James Taylor, who at one point spent time in a nuthouse? Britney Spears shaving all her hair off only helped things in the end, didn’t it?

At the time of my dinner with Bookish Lady, David Lee Roth was in the news again because he decided to become an Emergency Medical Technician in New York City. He even cut his hair short to go unrecognized. His trainer was quoted in the New York Post saying Roth was” very studious, punctual and hungry for knowledge.”

Apparently this crazy on-stage persona, who leaped around doing scissor kicks and screaming, was serious about stepping out of the limelight and just helping out. He didn’t need the money. Sure his career wasn’t at its peak, but he could still play shows in Topeka and make lots of money.

He was even credited with saving a Bronx woman from a heart attack. I remember asking Bookish Lady about it at our dinner, and she said something to the effect of, “he just wants to help people.”

Who knew?

Next time you’re sitting at dinner with a stranger who seems boring, ask them about music. Maybe they know one of the Beastie Boys.

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One Response to “The bookish accountant and Diamond Dave”

  1. Moina Says:

    I dig! Music is an equalizer of sorts….and I miss those fancy pink drinks with umbrellas.

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