Brian McFarland Remembers Bobby Sheehan

My Bobby story is an interesting and somewhat comical interplay between Bobby and the basssist of the New Orleans Klezmer Allstars (NOKA) which I witnessed. Sorry - I don't know the bassist's name.

The following events occurred at the workshop stage of the 1998 HORDE festival in Pittsburgh (Star Lake Amphitheater). The workshop stage was located at the very edge of the amphitheater backed by a tall chainlinked fence. My two brothers and I were on the outside of the fence having a few cold beers in the parking lot an d watching the workshop action - essentially we were backstage of the workshop area except for the fence. John Popper was jamming with the guys from the NOKA on the workshop stage as we had overheard that he would earlier in the day.

About halfway through the second song of the set, Bobby arrived in the backstage area via golf cart limo. I noticed that he didn't have his bass with him. He made some small talk with the backstage folk, however, he wasn't here to listen to the tunes. After the second song, there was a bit of a lull; apparently someone ha d a minor equipment problem. So Bobby takes his opportunity and goes up on the workshop stage. He walks up to the NOKA bass player, they exchange a few words and Bobby ends up with the bass.

Although the exchange seemed rather friendly, the NOKA bass player obviously wasn't very happy as he left the stage area. Once he reached the backstage area, he flopped down on an equipment case and was looking down at the ground kinda talking to himself. Apparently Bobby realized how irritated the guy was because a couple times during the song, he looked back in the guys direction and got a big grin on his face. As the song was winding to an end and the various instruments were dropping out, the NOKA b assist started to get up off of his equipment case to return to the stage.

Everybody dropped out except for Bobby, who pushed the band on into another tune. At this point, the NOKA bassist again flopped down on the equipment case, except for now he was even more irritated. The same scene for this song - Bobby looking back at this guy, grinnin' and the NOKA guy looking in the opposite direction, just stewin' away.

As the second song was winding down, the other bass player wasn't taking any chances and went back up on the stage. Bobby was looking to his side (in John's direction) as the song finished. When he turned his attention back to the audience, the NOKA bas sist was standing right in front of him and without saying a word, he proceeded to take the bass away from Bobby. Bobby didn't put up any resistance. Bobby seemed a bit puzzled by the cold manner and actions of the NOKA bassist as he strapped on the bass. Bobby turned to face this guy - face to face, toe to toe - placed his hands on this guys shoulders and proceeded to jump up and down (4 to 5 times) in a mock attempt to push this guy through the stage. This was hilarious, classic WWF material - Bobby was towering over this guy and was jumping up and down apparently trying to jack hammer this guy through the stage yet he wasn't putting any pressure on the guy - just recoiling his own body as in studio wrestling. After he was done doing this, Bobby looked into the guys face for a reaction, however, there was still no reaction - not even a smile. So Bobby walked off of the workshop stage shaking his head and laughing. He promptly exited the workshop stage area - apparently th ere was fun to be had elsewhere.

The memories and the music will last forever.