I’m white and from wherever I’m from

I got back from Alaska last Monday evening, the trip was great. The music went well, I loved travelling with everyone I was with.

After our first gig, a guy came up to me, Larry Mitchell and Howard Cloud. I’m 6’0″ and the shortest of the group, and the guy says, “First, I’d like to say that you all look a lot bigger in person than you did on that stage. Wow!”

He was a nice guy, Terry, and he’d enjoyed the music and came over to chat. He looked first at Larry and said something like, “You – you’ve got that funky… Larry Graham… cool guitar stuff up in there.” He turns to Howard and says, “And you, you’ve got some Brothers Johnson stuff going on and…” he holds his hands up and makes bass-slapping gestures. I eagerly await my turn, and he turns to me and says, “You, you’re a white guy, and you come from wherever you came from.”

We all sort of freeze with an awkward half-smile and I think I say “uh, thanks?” We busted up about it later. If it was a compliment, it was pretty hard to decipher. If it was a backhanded insult, it was also pretty unclear, because at the end of the day, I am white, and I do come from wherever I come from.