“You look like Bono.”
I stammered. “Um, come again?”
“Spitting image, I swear. You must hear it all the time.”
I handed Jim Walsh my purchase, not thirty seconds old. It was the book he had just released: “The Replacements – All Over But The Shouting“.
Revolver Modele had just finished up their set, and a giant projection screen descended from the ceiling, separating the First Ave stage from the audience. Minutes ago, I watched Jim Walsh onstage, pouring his drink all over the Revolver Modele’s guitar player, and pushing him to the floor as he played. Jim even jumped on the mic for a verse or two. He wisely left the bass player alone.
The screen lit up with giant, glowing Tom and Jerry cartoons, as ‘One For The Team’ began setting up to perform the next set of Replacements covers.
Jim opened the book and paused, pen in hand, clearly drunk, off alcohol or the event or both, and clearly having the time of his life.
“Conrad Zero,” I said, holding my right hand up in what I hoped conveyed a manual representation of a ‘zero’ but possibly also could have been interpreted as jacking off.
He started scribbling my name down in the book.
“Never heard that before?” he asked.
“I guess I’ve never seen Bono without sunglasses on.” I suddenly wanted to talk about something else. “Tried to make it out to your book reading at Treehouse…,” I started, in an attempt to change the subject.
“Oh, what good are book readings?” Jim interrupted with a laugh. “I mean you read the book to people. What is that? People can read it themselves, right?”
“Yeah,” I laughed, “…and you had said that the reading was on the Wednesday *before* Thanksgiving, but…”
“Hey,” Jim said, turning to one of the ladies at the nearby booth for ‘The Onion’. “Doesn’t this guy look like Bono?”
She nodded her disapproval.
“Usually it’s Sean Bean,” I said. “People always say I look like Boromir.”
Jim started laughing, and had to pause in the middle of signing. “Sorry, I don’t want to screw up your book.”
“It’s not my book,” I corrected. “It’s yours.” This just made him laugh more.
“No,” he said, finishing the dedication and handing it over, “it’s your book now. I hope you enjoy it.”
‘One for the Team’ got a great set of Replacements songs (Skyway among them), and did a fine job with them. I left shortly afterward, book clutched in my December-chilled-and-chaffed hands, went home, pulled up the internet, and looked up pix of Bono…
Review to come….