Dimensions: 40" x 63 1/2"
Medium: serigraph on canvas
Edition Size: 10 - Artist Proof
Availability: Sold out at publisher but still available at Peabody Gallery
Nate Longstepper will one day pass on to that great Encore in the sky, but when he does it will be somewhat redundant, as he is already part of eternity. It all started some years back when Nate, a long-suffering musician with big dreams, was playing lead guitar with a band called, "The Tirekickers". He was right in the middle of a capably done but unremarkable improv solo on the Tirekickers' only hit, "She Won't Cook My Bacon", when he spotted her in the crowd: the legendary "Roxanne The Rio Rough-Houser". As everyone knew, she was trouble. She was fresh from the fight, down for the struggle, right on the money and flush with cash after recently divorcing her third billionaire, Baron Gott Bupkus. She winked at Nate and the next thing you know it was Tuesday and neither had slept since Saturday night. Nate fell hard. By Wednesday he could already smell the fresh paint on the white-picket-fence protecting the well-manicured lawn that lovingly surrounded the small but gracious post-war bungalow they would grow old in together. Strangely, the same was true for Roxanne. At long last - true love. They made plans to make plans after his gig that coming friday. The Tirekickers spent their rehearsals beforehand warning him about her. They all made bets with him that when she came to their gig on friday night she would show up late - and she wouldn't be alone. Roxanne knew nothing about all this, of course, so when her Bugatti got a flat tire en-route to the show she didn't give a second thought about inviting the nice, kind mechanic to be her guest at The Tirekickers' show. Well, The Tirekickers came out for their third set. Nate looked out at the crowd and saw that she had finally arrived.......... and she wasn't alone. Reflexively, he picked up his guitar and out it came - a note so blue, so heartbreaking, so pure in it's beautiful truth that everyone left. They simply couldn't take it. Roxanne had every intention of explaining herself the next day - until she walked down her street. Everyone was talking of the history that had been made the night before. They said Nate's performance was transcendent, almost as if God himself had summarized the perils of love and had used Nate to express it in one perfect "Blue Note." Overnight, Nate had become what he'd always dreamed of being. Roxanne had a decision to make, and she decided to do something she'd never done before: she put someone else above herself and her desires. For years after that she never missed one of Nate's shows, and she always hired a date to accompany her. Nate became a giant, a musical legend. Eventually Nate commissioned National Guitar Company to make him "Lefty", a one-string, left-handed guitar. For him it symbolized life post-Roxanne - A world turned upside-down. For all his success, he was miserable. He even had 'Lefty' fitted with a custom picture-holder so a photo of Roxanne could watch his tears fall. Every weekend it would happen again: Nate and Lefty would take the stage in front of a packed-house, he'd see Roxanne with a date, and out it would come: one long, mind-bendingly sad note. And every night the show would end with only one person left, the only person able to withstand the sadness: Roxanne. When he finished, he'd look straight at her, take one tiny nibble of a delicious pear - and leave. It took a long, long time for Nate to realize what was really going on......... but he did. And on the night he finally figured it all out he came on stage, took Lefty in hand and played just one song, and upbeat little ditty he had just written backstage called, "I'm 'Bout To Get Some Bacon Cooked." Afterward he walked out into the crowd and took Roxanne by the hand. They left together, smiling, and headed off in the direction of the all-night hardware store. They were hoping to buy some fence paint. The end.