Thinking vaguely (and not for the first time) about doing some gigs as a solo cellist. I have a couple of hours of very nice backing tracks, which I recorded into my computer. All finished, mixed, and ready to go. Doing two sets would be easy.

Not easy: cartage. I’ve had a minor but persistent backache for the past three days. Looking at the amp I use for my electric cello, I’m thinking, “There is no friggin’ way I could lift that thing in and out of the trunk of my car.” I’ve done it many times, but this week I wouldn’t even attempt it. I know better.

This whole thing about being 60 — it sucks. And I’m ridiculously healthy compared to a lot of people my age. I work out. I look around 24 Hour Fitness and I’m generally the oldest guy in the gym. But then I get a backache from sitting too long in my easy chair.

I need acolytes. Minions. Roadies. Servants. I suppose I could dragoon one of my high-school-age cello students into helping me load in for a gig. That would work once. But not as a regular thing.

Last year I looked into buying a car with a lower rear cargo compartment. Forget it — they don’t exist. And you don’t even want to know how much a van with an electric lift costs.

If I book a gig, I have to know I’ll be able to show up and do it. A backache is not a reason to cancel a gig.


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