In which we’ll never
know if they lived happily ever after.
BY SETH WALKER
It had all the makings of a sweet little wedding: the
flowers, the cake, the dress, the plans, and the dreams were all in attendance.
My bandmates and I had on our glad rags as we drove through the Hill Country,
ready to entertain and loosen up this party.
As we arrived, so did the storm clouds…and they never left.
The ceremony was to be held under the Texas
moon and live oak, but even as we set up our gear inside, I knew that Mother
Nature had other plans. A downpour of epic proportions doesn’t describe the
amount of rain that fell that evening. Tents, umbrellas, and roofing tiles were
no match for this kind of fury. In a dash, everyone ran into the main building
to escape the rain…and that’s when I saw the bride. There she stood in her mud
stained wedding dress, cursing under her breath, and questioning her life up
until that point.
But even more tragically, the venue itself, an old limestone
building, was coming undone. Yes, undone – just like the bride. The roof just
couldn’t keep up with the deluge. Trash cans and towels were strategically
placed but to no avail. Not even the wedding cake escaped.
As water cascaded down the walls right behind the bandstand,
our drum set, amps, and PA were drenched. Being seasoned musicians, we played
on, mopping up our gear (and what was left of our professional demeanor) at the
end of every tune. This party was headed to hell in a hand basket and I had a
There was no first dance, no cake-cutting, no kisses – just
a damp, uptight group of folks who
could not “go with the flow.” I’m fairly certain the bride and groom left
separately that evening. (I sometimes wonder if they’re still married or if
that night left an emotional scar on their new lives together that just wouldn’t
Unsurprisingly, the reception ended early. As the place
cleared, we packed our gear and slogged out to our cars. I remember thinking
that this was one for the books. In the months to come, which included an
(unsuccessful) attempt to collect the balance due, the wedding party accused me
of ruining “their” song – “At Last” by Etta James. I played it several times
over the PA during the many breaks we took to wipe down our gear, all in an
effort to avoid getting electrocuted.
The sad thing is, I love Etta James, but every time I hear
that song, I remember that fucked-up wedding.
Seth Walker’s latest album Time Can Change is out June 19 on Roe
Records. Visit Walker
SETH WALKER – “STRONGER THAN YOU NEED TO BE”