I ride public transportation in Geneva virtually every day. One of the things that users of the system soon learn is that they will frequently be “entertained” and subsequently solicited for donations by a variety of musical acts while riding the trams (Geneva’s light rail network). These acts typically involve some combination of guitars, accordions and/or stand-up bass fiddles, along with some vocal accompaniment. I’ll be honest, when I see a group filing onto the tram with their musical instruments, I generally groan, but I do reach into my pocket for a franc or two figuring that if someone has the stones to wake up in the morning and decide they’re going to spend the day riding around town on the city tram playing an accordion for donations, that’s worthy of a small donation.
So I’m riding the tram to work last week, and two guys climb on board, one with an acoustic guitar, the other with an electric guitar. Now I’m somewhat intrigued. They spend a minute or so tuning up, and I start thinking to myself, “this is different… I wonder what these guys are gonna play?” Next thing I know, they start in on a classic tune from my favorite 1970s rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd. (Not to be confused with the current, fraudulent version of Lynyrd Skynyrd.)
As they played the opening riff and as the tune’s first lyric, “Big wheels keep on turnin…'” wafted down the length of the tram, I said to myself “Hey, that’s Lynyrd Skynyrd!” So I jumped up, started my phone’s video, and made my way down the aisle to get a front row, standing room only view that was only temporarily obstructed by some dude walking to his seat on the tram. And I coughed up a full 5 francs for the privilege!
Note: This post is dedicated to my friend Ed, and my son Pat, fellow lovers of classic Lynyrd Skynyrd.