Tip-toe thru’ (and around) Tulip

Twenty years ago today, Georgia and I were on vacation in San Francisco, and decided to play as a duo at the Bottom of the Hill.  The lineup also included the Softies and American Music Club, and it was packed.  Looking over the setlist, I’m shocked by how many songs we did, and Georgia–who was just singing–had nothing to do with her hands except drink.  So as we prepared to play an encore, she was distracted by other concerns.  I suggested that she see to them, and I could take the much-voiced request for “Speeding Motorcycle,” there being nothing for Georgia to do on that one in this format.  It seemed like she was gone for a long time, but then again there were lots of people there, and no backstage bathroom.  When at last she returned, she looked shaken, and quickly told me she’d tell me all about it later.  We did a couple more songs to finish, and then I heard her story.  On her way to the bathroom, Georgia had been approached by her mother’s estranged older sister, Tulip, who she had never met.  I didn’t need a description–as crowded as the room was, the out-of-place older woman toward the rear with the neon orange dyed hair was unmistakeable.  While Tulip tried to apologize or explain or rationalize all the rotten things she did to Georgia’s mom, Georgia was concentrating more on extricating herself than listening.  Finally successfully pleading her need to get to the bathroom and return to the stage, she got away and was navigating the crowd without any difficulty.  But that’s not how Tulip saw it.  Admittedly, her experience with rock clubs was probably limited, but she identified a situation that called for assistance, so at the top of her lungs hollered, “LET THE STAR THROUGH.”