On this Juneteenth, 2023, let’s remind ourselves of what Maya Angelou famously said:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

With that in mind, The Long Afternoon hopes that the folx who came out to hear them (or happened to hear them incidentally while throwing axes, drinking craft beer, or eating walking tacos while presumably walking [sitting tacos are apparently not on the menu]) this past Saturday at the Tussey Mountain Beer Garden will never forget how we made you feel: ambivalent.

We (or I, at least) played atrociously, belying the adage that a miserable if exuberant dress rehearsal portends a stellar show. Forgot notes, forgot lyrics, got off beat, sang off key. I did it all. The most egregious crash and burn came near the end of “Walk Like an Egyptian,” in which, at the end of the third verse (sung in the original by cute Susannah Hoffs, who rolls her doll eyes side to side while delivering the line in the official, i.e. MTV, video), I sang, not “Walk like an Egyptian / walk like an Egyptian” but “Walk like an Egyptian / walk like a taco.”

“Taco” having one fewer syllables than “Egyptian” (or two, depending on one’s pronunciation), my ad lib completely discombobulated the band, and we stumbled (like a drunken Egyptian trying to eat a walking taco) to the song’s end, which our drummer Greg Elliott (aka The Meat Hammer, aka Hammer) wisely signaled with a monstrously loud modified paradiddle that even musicians as relatively unrehearsed as we were instantly recognized as a percussionist’s way of saying “Guys, we’re about to stop this mess.”

Huge thanks to all who attended, especially Chris Gallagher for 1) suggesting there be more bass in the mix (we bassists must stick together) 2) taking pictures without smirking and 3) advising the band on sound from the audience, which helped turn what might have been an unmitigated sonic disaster into a mitigated sonic disaster. Thanks Chris!

Thanks also to Sarah Vollmar, for swaying/dancing to the music without spilling her drink.

Thanks to Doug Edmunds for taking pictures and video (including the shot posted here), and for constructive criticism never before offered to any rock band in the history of the world: “It was a little quiet.”

Finally, thanks to the fantastic people at Tussey Mountain for their hospitality, their generosity with food and drink, and, most of all, the incredible job with talent protection: despite there being no visible security on site, we were able to arrive at the venue completely unnoticed by paparazzi and groupies. It was almost as if no one even knew we were there.

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