"You want me to go see who?" I asked.
"Me'Shell. Me'Shell Ndegéocello." He looked at me like I had lost my mind for asking him to pronounce her name again.
"You should come with me, just look at her name on this ticket," He said as he quickly pulled two tickets from his wallet.
"Anyone whose name can use up an entire ticket like this deserves a couple of hours of your time."
That was 12 years ago.
It was my introduction to the neo-soul, funk, jazz infusion, bass guitar playing, openly bi-sexual woman who rocked the 14th Street Playhouse and my idea of live music.
I was not ready then for the Me'Shell experience and being one of the few heterosexual couples in the joint. But, she converted me to a fan for life and I always have her music in my CD player or on my jump drive at work.
She doesn't seem to tour often, similar to Prince with his hit and run style tour dates, so after 12 years I had the chance to see Me'Shell again live at Apache. None of my friends wanted to go, not wanting to miss her again I flew solo. After all, it might be another three years before she returns.
I got there early and claimed my spot on the floor mere feet from the stage and enjoyed every minute of the 1 1/2 hour set. Being on time had it's advantages since there were only two people separating me from the musical genius and I could hear her whisper to the musicians when she pulled away from the mic.
A little disappointing that she only did new songs, but they got into a groove that included seeing her play the hell out a bass guitar. I really missed some of the older stuff, but she opened the set by saying she was "40 years old now and her music is changing." Very few people seemed to mind the new sound.
It was a great night.