For the second consecutive year, the All*Star Thursday Guest Jammer Initiative selection committee picked a newly crowned FPA World Champion.* That’s right, after shredding mightily with Jake Gauthier and Dave Lewis in the Co-op Finals, and having just missed winning the pairs competition with Tommy Leitner (Congrats to Claudio Cigna and Marco Prati, who were by all reports Spectacular!), Randy Silvey brought his boundless energy and remarkable disc knowledge to NYC. Unknown to us he also invited a pushy broad named Irene who closed down the town, but more on that later.
* – Coincidence? I say NO!
The forecast was again bleak last Thursday. There were thunderstorms all morning, with more expected in the evening. We were very concerned that Mr. Silvey’s flight would not be able to land. With that in mind, members of the Tribe individually made our way to the Bandshell, as the rains forced the closing of the Meadow. I was first to arrive, followed almost immediately by Doug E. Fresh with BenJAMin and Claire in tow. Emma, Young Daniel, and Robbie-Rob, who had just made it back from his own Magical Mystery Tour (and a Berlin ‘Hat’ Tournament win with Young James and Jan Schreck) were next. The Ageless Trevor Brown rode in on his trusty steed, while Bradford T. (who looked lovely in Yella), Tony (in civilian garb), The Oracle, Fearless Lou, The Roginator, Chuck, Quinn-O, TedShred and TLC rounded out the crew. Oh, and The Gamboa was in play on this fine day. Let the Games Begin!
Stump E. Fresh got the call that Randy had landed, and the limo was dropping him by Tavern on the Green, so he grabbed Daniel and got up first. TedShred and Rob paired off, and Lou and I began our day on the Back 9 of the Bandshell space. TO and Rob went at it very hard, in a Jam notable for extraordinary play and featuring a sequence with back-to-back “No Bones” Double Spinning Gitis’. Teddy was making an early bid for that Gamboa. Gotta like that! Lou and I took a brief break, then he invited Quinn out to play, I got back up with Emma, and then Fresh paired up with Roger. It was clear from the start that Ms. Kahle had put in a substantial amount of time at Green Lake while at home in Seattle, because was just crushing it, right out of the box. Throwing with both hands, and sealing everything in sight, she’s really playing great. Just when Doug went off to the West to see if the Eagle had landed, Randy strolled in from the North, with a huge smile on his face and hugs for everyone. I said “Catch and Catch?” to Emma, requesting permission to exit and take notes. She responded by throwing down the gauntlet with a Gitis off of a kick brush and I matched with an Elevator Down combo, sealed with a Triple Fake. Not missing a beat, Emma then hopped in with Quinn and Fearless Lou.
It was quite appropriate that Randy’s first jam was with The Oracle. Flying across the country, getting off the plane, and heading straight to the jam, had no visible effect on Mr. Silvey. He was killin’ it right from the start, and Joey matched his level of play. We all strive to catch that special rhythm quantified in words as “Flow”. They had it instantaneously. Going Dropless for long stretches, they each made plays that left me speechless. Imagine that! Randy did that zany behind the ear brush/mac/thing, into a roll combination, did two spins and nailed a “Lacer” brush-pass, that Joey converted into his own Oracular Spectacular. And this was just the first round of Rand-O-Man Jams! Young Daniel, eager as ever, then eased his way in at the appropriate moment. His footwork was amazing. He also hit a few thigh brushes, and a flying Bad Attitude, to go with a major league Gitis on command. Roger got excited and he jumped in. That quartet dialed it up, going straight to Eleven.
The weekly tribal ritual always involves much movement between Jams so that everyone gets a taste. This is especially true when we have Guest Jammers in town. Ted Shred got going with Mr. E. Fresh and that was very cool. Rob thought that it would be the right time join in, and they all started rockin’. The Oracle saw that and decided to “see how they do things over there.” This too became a major Shred Fest. Around this time, Randy and TedShred got a chance to pair off. This was special because the two of them (along with Erwin Velasquez) won the World Championship in 2002. They fell into rhythm and the time melted away. There are similarities in their respective styles, especially in the way they use rolls, brushes, and attitude adjustments to set up combinations, co-ops, and seals. Randy also likes to get up close and personal as he plays. Sir Tedley never missed a beat when the former was well inside the normal boundaries of personal space. EXCELLENT!
Lou and Emma Jammed long and hard, enticing Rob to join their circle. Emma continued her fine play, and my boy Fearless hit Hein move after Hein move, because he was so happy to be home after a pretty rough couple of weeks. I was then able to get a Jam with Randy solo for a bit, and then Fresh joined is and that was great. The two of them toured together back in the day, so they always knew where the other was going to be. Doug E. likes all those funky angles and Randy? He like EVERYTHING! After a while, I stepped out to give them time together (though I think Daniel hopped right in to replace me). My final Jam was a second go ‘round with Emma, and she was still rippin’ it up. As it got dark, and the twilight settled in I hit my final seal, calling “Onus” and Emma promptly nailed a Gitis! Gitis out, of two Jams in one day? That’s doin’ it right.
There were many folks who played great all afternoon, so when Rob convened his committee of between 2 and 69, it was a tough decision to be made regarding The Gamboa. That said, there was a clear winner—EMMA KAHLE!!!! Our sister from the Northwest became the first woman to receive the coveted prize, and she Earned that MoFo, wiping out the competition with an extraordinary display of skill and determination. All this and she hadn’t even unpacked from her trip back to NYC. You Go, Gurl!!!
The next stop was Chez Meier where the Tribe gathered for hops based refreshments, tasty beverages a la Chrissy, and NYC pizza. It does not get any better than this.
Friday was a beautiful day. Ted, Fresh, Lou, and a few more folks came out for a sliver of Silvey. I had the pleasure of getting Randy’s first Jam and it was an honor. He is so good and so quick that it felt like magic from the start. It was one of the best Jams of my entire life. We had one long dropless stretch, where Randy was everywhere. He was ThisClose for a while, which normally would seem awkward, but in this circumstance felt perfect. Man, did I feel lucky.
Hurricane Irene was due Saturday evening, so a subset of the Tribe got an indoor Jam up at Barnard College. That was the work of Emma, Daniel, and James who are all Spreading the Jam up at Columbia and its sister school. Irene spared NYC for the most part, though much of the North East was not so lucky. The Hard Corps of the Big Apple sends out our thoughts to all who were adversely impacted by the storm.
Sunday was a crazy kind of day. All of NYC parks were officially closed. Joey and Brad had played at Washington Square on Saturday, so we decided to give that a try after Irene’s eye had passed by. Mind you, it was her backside that made things tough. That and the nasty a** Parkie who chased us outta Washington Square, even though there were no tree anywhere within a hundred-foot radius of where we were playing. Attendees included Joey, Young Daniel, Young James, Randy, Fresh, Lou, Emma, Brad, Rob, Chuck, Jill, BenJAMin, Claire, and Clovis, the Frisbee playin’ Corgi . We shifted to an alley next to the NYU Library and there were some magical moments. The wind howled and swirled, yet Randy, The Oracle, Daniel, Fresh, and Lou had a rip roaring Jam. It was almost like the Harlem Globetrotters doing their thing with a flat ball. Randy, Fresh, and Joey all exhibited extraordinary control in the wind, Daniel was masterful, and Fearless was virtually flawless under extremely adverse conditions. Which, of course, we don’t need.
Randy finally got a flight out to LA, and made a connection back to Seattle on Monday. Whatt great weekend. Our next A*TGJI invitee is Anton Capelman from Germany on September 15th, just before the Velasquez Brothers New Jersey Jam Camp (Big Ups to Tita Ugalde!!!!) There are several other major Shredmeisters scheduled to join the fun. Soooo…
When are YOU Comin’ Down?!