Three minutes as folk-rock stars

Way back in 2010, the band Good Old War had a YouTube cover contest. The winner would get to sing on stage with them (they didn’t specify where). I learned about the contest at 9pm on the final day. I pulled my daughters out of bed to try to throw together an entry with our version of Coney Island. Here it is –

You had to submit your entry via Twitter, which I’d never used before. So, I set up an account and tweeted my first (and close to my last) tweet. I realized just before midnight that the post was private, so I made it public just as the contest ended.

The band told me later that they’d already picked a winner, but they couldn’t resist putting the girls on stage when they saw our entry. So, they invited two winners.

The only problem was they had intended for the performance to be at a concert at Drexel University in their native Philadelphia. We lived in Atlanta, 800 miles away.

But what’s a 12-hour drive (each way) in the grand scheme of things? We arranged to drop the toddler off with family in North Carolina, and hit the road.

My brother and his family drove down from Vermont to see us and my aunt and uncle in West Chester let us stay at their home.

We rehearsed backstage a couple of times with the band and I tried to adjust to the higher (original) pitch of the song –

We walked around campus and people actually recognized us from YouTube. Little celebrities! The concert had several openers, so it was after 11pm before we went on stage. My exhausted son threw up on my brother around 10:45 and we rushed to the bathroom to clean up. Some got on my sleeves, so I rolled them up for the performance.

A fan (of the band, not us) caught it on her phone –

I was crazy nervous. My son may have sympathy vomited. The audience started singing while I was still playing an intro I didn’t realize I had added to the song.

It wasn’t a stadium, the invitation was more about my adorable girls than me, and you probably haven’t heard of the band, but it was one of the highlights of my life. “Remember that time we drove 12 hours to Philadelphia and sang with Good Old War?” Yeah, I do.

Good Old War and the Hills
Good Old War and the Hills

See also:
www.goodoldwar.com