Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Santa Rhumba

Ned was on TV this morning.

The guy in the middle of this picture is Tom Fay, who used to be lead singer for a group called the Rhythm Kings in the era when Ned was performing with Lawsuit (the guy on the right is K.C. Bowman, who was also in Lawsuit and now has his own recording studio and two other bands).

In 1994, the Rhythm Kings and Lawsuit and a bunch of other local bands put together a CD of Christmas music as a fund raiser for the Sacramento AIDS Foundation.  Lawsuit recorded The Grassy Knรถel and the Rhythm Kings had one of my favorite Christmas songs, The Santa Rhumba.

Lawsuit called it quits at the end of 1996 and I don't know how much longer the Rhythm Kings stayed together, but apparently they haven't performed together in years.  I also don't know how they happened to have been invited to perform the Santa Rhumba on the morning program of one of the local TV stations.

Fay invited Ned to come with them to the station and KC, who had come up from Oakland to attend Ned and Marta's Christmas party and his father's 75 birthday party also came along to play the guitar.
When we saw him last night Ned let me know they were going to be on, but the show runs four hours and he wasn't sure which hour they would be on.  He suspected they would be on the 7 a.m. hour, but I set up the DVR to record from 6 to 10, just in case!

I have never watched this station and probably never will again.  Near as I can tell, all they do is tell the news and the traffic.  I cannot tell yu how many times during the course of the 3 hours I watched that I heard what the weather was going to be and saw traffic cam shots of the same stretch of highway.  There is funny chit chat among the hosts in between, and then off again to the weather report, in case it changed in the last 5 minutes.

Ned was right.  They were on the 7 a.m. hour, at the very end....and if they had cut out one of those weather reports they would not have been cut off before the song ended.

As a teaser for the 8 a.m. hour, the hosts said that the Rhythm Kings would be back and again it was at the end of the hour and the song was cut off before it ended.

K.C. played the guitar; Ned just futzed around.  He had rhythm instruments for the first song and just danced with and around the female vocalist for the second, but you know?  He's a media guy.  He has been on or around stage just about his entire life and he definitely knows how make a show interesting and how to present the camera guy with something more interesting to film other than a bunch of musicians standing in line across a stage, playing. Ned danced, kibitzed with the woman, and made faces when he could see the camera pointed at him.  As a result, he got more screen time than anybody else, though the others got their fair share as well.

It was a fun morning and always fun seeing Ned on stage.  They said they hadn't performed The Santa Rhumba in 20 years, and it was nice to see it performed live again too.

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