I sat at a table with 3 of my friends/co-workers at this nice little chicken joint in Hollywood. I, like usual, faced towards the door by the mirror with one friend to the right of me and the other 2 across the table. There were plenty of people there, it was packed. There was a line outside to get in, like usual. We were laughing and telling jokes and talking about work, nothing unusual for our crowd of geeks. We had just ran a Windows 95 update on all the computers and I had been busy fixing a bunch of floppy drives while that was going on. Just the same old boring stuff, you know.
Across the way, the security guard smiled and began to greet this man who walked in the door. The man greeted the security guard in return, very friendly, they knew each other. When he turned my way, his good looks and nice smile overwhelmed me. I needed to know who he was and needed to meet him. 5’9″, dark, clean-cut with a charming demeanor. As I sat there, trying to not make myself to obvious, I thinking about whether or not I would find a way to meet him.
It was time to leave. We grabbed the check and headed to pay. As we stood there, the opportunity arrived when the security walked up. Calmly and coolly, “Who is that you were talking to,” I say to him, “introduce me, yes?” The security guard smiles and agrees without hesitation. Tiger is his name. We exchange phone numbers and part ways. Even better, he’s super nice and even cuter up close and personal.
Months later, Tiger calls me over to his house in Los Angeles, CA. We’ve known each other for a while by now, as friends, so I didn’t see a problem about going over and really wasn’t sure what to expect. He has told me some things about himself, including his work in music. We went into the room in the backyard, the studio. As we walked in I was a bit surprised to see Platinum records hanging from the wall, but maintained my cool. It’s not like I haven’t been around others in that business, but this was a first for me, a studio in someone’s back room. As we talked about things, here and there, he says, “Butterfly, I want to do something for you.” He sits me down across from where the mic stand is and says, “be patient.”
He sets up the mic, pushes a button and in the background the track plays, its familiar at first. As he stands in front of the mic, he starts to sing with a beautiful and perfect voice:
|She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine a.m.
…It’s just my job five days a week
A rocket man, a rocket man
And I think it’s gonna be a long long time…
He did this dance with it, while he was singing. He always sang but this was the first time a man had ever sang to me and it had to be a Tiger… (or a Lion, as he would call himself. He would also have called me sheep rather than the Butterfly.) Every time Elton John’s song plays, my mind goes back to that day, in that dark, home studio, where things were peaceful, me and him and him singing Rocket Man. Where he described things that he thought were true and I argued with him that he was wrong. Where he laughed and played with me, as friends do sometimes.
It has been a long long time Tiger. It’s been a long, long time.