John is one of the few that was actually born in Athens, and he has two good friends that go all the way back to middle school. Okay three really if you count that one of them married his girlfriend from when he was in seventh and she was in eighth grade. It sounds so limited and small town, but really they are both remarkable people that just happened to find each other when they were quite young. And they all make their way into the Grammy story.
Tim plays keyboards in John's late 60's early 70's cover band, Strawberry Flats, and also Déjà Vu, the new CSNY tribute band. When I met John, he was playing with Tim in Strawberry Flats. Tim was very soon to be dating his wife Sharon, who owns Rage Hair Studio in Athens. As we all know, timing is everything with haircuts. I almost never get my hair cut because I really don't put enough effort into my appearance on a daily basis. So I time my semi -annual haircut for both the Atlanta party and the Grammys. Except that it is really a bit close to the Atlanta party. And I work, out of town mostly. So it's not like I have nothing but time to dedicate to hair. Erin Collins, obviously at Rage, cuts everyone's hair in the family. We love Erin. She's young and keeps up with new things, she listens, and she is just good. In all honesty, her biggest compliment comes from the fact that my twin daughters who leave nothing to chance on their appearances only go to Erin.
But this is one of those times where I figure out a couple of days later that my bangs are still really too long. And there is seemingly nothing I can do about it because Erin just isn't at Rage at the time I can get there in the short window I have. So I call Sharon and say, I don't know what you are doing at 2:45, but whatever it is, it has to wait. I'm running early for my 3:30 mammogram, and you have to fix my bangs. The Atlanta party is tonight. Of course Sharon is booked, but we go back nearly 25 years so she knows I'm coming anyway. We both have the same personality disorder where we just don't give up until we get what we want, but somehow we manage not to butt heads. It's like when two mafia people nod to each other and respect each other's turf, except that we are actually friends. John has a word for it: relentless. I cannot stand to hear it, mostly because it's true. But, she did fix my bangs in a jiffy and told me just to buy her a drink later. I am not late for my doctor's appointment, and I am not late for the red carpet!
Then, there are Richard and Jane. Richard and Jane produced the most fantastic person in the world, Olivia. And Gus, who I just don't know as well, but I know is that he plays the bass and he is smart as a whip because he is excelling at Georgia Tech. Richard would want me to mention the part about the bass! Olivia is working on no less than three degrees herself at UGA. Bug stuff. She comes by it honestly as her grandparents are Don and Lois Scott, who founded Sandy Creek Nature Center in Athens. She has been babysitting for us for years. Ok, not so much lately, but back in the day that we needed one, she was always first choice. Now when we see her, it is pretty much just to find out what she is doing. In fact, she is such a good fit for our family that we took her with us to San Francisco when we all went out to see John play with Panic in 2006 at the Greek Theater. She looks so much like our kids that if you took a family photo with her in it, you would have no idea she wasn't the oldest child, which is pretty much what we did at Alcatraz. She has been like an older sister to the girls. My kids are of the age where they don't think they need a sitter, and I am not comfortable flying 3000 miles across the country without someone else in the house. So, the obvious answer is to get Olivia to come to the house while we are gone. And there is peace in the house because everyone is happy to spend time with Olivia. And it will be her birthday!