Wangaratta, June 2022

Last Sunday afternoon, we were going to our local amateur theatre group’s latest production. It was cold and wet, so I figured best to wear some weather-proof shoes instead of my go-to runners that I seem to have on most days, or the boots that get a workout around the yard.

The black leather shoes I chose hadn’t being worn for ages, more than four years I realised.

As I laced them up, I knew they were my go-to-gig shoes.

I hadn’t played a gig for years, and I will never play one again. That thought hit me as I put them on.

It was not a sad feeling: I’ve long got over those. It was a smile of, “Yes, the op shop bought shoes, along with most of my smart band clothes over the years”.

Gig shoes.

I do like an op shop, it’s just a way of life for me. It was a necessary thing growing up, to now becoming chic and fashionable over the intervening years. Like pre-faded and ripped jeans, you could buy at some fancy shop, many folks of my age were trendy without even noticing or caring.

I did like to look cool when on stage. My version of cool may differ from others, maybe it’s like music — you dig it or you don’t.</