Wednesday July 3rd, 2013
BAR – New Haven, CT
The last time I saw Bleeding Rainbow, well, they were still known as Reading Rainbow back then and I was actually at the infamous show which caused them to change their name. Some of these bits and pieces of the story are already known, but for legal reasons I can finally give my version of what happened that night.
It was a show like any other, as I was sitting at the bar in between standing through band sets. I noticed a guy come in out of the corner of my eye and could tell he was looking at me. The house music was a bit loud, so as most people are accustomed to doing in the same situation, I look toward him and just kind of gave him the nod of the head in recognition. He nodded back at me, but when I looked away I could still see him out of the corner of my eye, looking at me.
He had that look on his face, like he needed to get something off of his chest, but I knew the next band was due up soon and I’m not a particularly cold person (Okay, maybe I am) but I didn’t want to hear about his wife leaving him or him getting laid off. Essentially, this dude looked like a buzzkill and I did not want him to kill my buzz.
Finally, a few minutes later I noticed he’s moved over a few stools and is now sitting right next to me. As soon as I make eye contact with him, he starts.
“You’re here to see Reading Rainbow?” he asks, as if he didn’t know the answer already.
“Yeah”, I replied, hoping my brevity would make him go away.
“How do you expect to see Reading Rainbow without its star?” he then asked me.
At this point I was quite unsure of what he was talking about, so I just played along and felt like I was defending No Doubt or some band like that.
“Star?” , I said, “I’m sure all members of the band are equally as important”.
This seemed to throw him for a loop. I could literally see him composing his thoughts as these words hung over his head. He looked frustrated, like a little kid who just learned English and then finds out there also exists other written and spoken languages.
“Band?”, he said, “Reading Rainbow is a band?”, and he starts cracking up laughing.
I’m beginning to look for some sort of event staff or security, someone who can see just how drunk this guy is or if he’s hopped up on drugs because he’s making me more and more uncomfortable and I’m thinking maybe he needs to be bounced.
“I thought this was about the show” he tells me throw the somewhat maniacal laughter.
I nod, acknowledging that I remember the show but that he’s still freaking me out.
“I used to be on that show, man. I thought they were having some kind of reunion without me!”
Then it all made sense. This was Lavar Burton. I should have recognized him right away, but hey, celebrities are people too and you never really notice them unless you’re seeking them out.
He went on to tell me how he saw the band name on the club marquee and came in, all outraged because he wasn’t asked to be a part of it. Apparently he was at a Star Trek convention earlier that night, two towns over.
Luckily the music started before he could get too chatty, so I did the typical “It was nice meeting you” bit, shook his hand and walked up toward the stage.
As the band prepared to begin their first song, I tried to put Lavar Burton as far out of my mind as possible. And then he jumped up onto the stage and grabbed the microphone by the stand. He began shouting over and over again “I’m Reading Rainbow!” as if auditioning for Spartacus.
Halfway through the Reading Rainbow theme song (He sang a pretty good rendition of it, all things considered), Lavar Burton was dragged off stage by the bouncers I was searching for earlier, kicking and screaming, “I’ll sue you all!!”
A few months later, Reading Rainbow became Bleeding Rainbow.
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