I just had what was likely my best gig, and I didn’t even have to haul my PA with me or dress up. Or as Chris Schmauch, the photographer said in his own blog post, “Brian has officially raised the bar”. Last week, Brian contacted me and said he wanted to propose to Julianna, his fiancé, at Davenport Beach. He wanted a guitar player and a photographer secretly in on it. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
My role was a “random guitar guy” on the beach. I would just hang out, the happy couple would show up with a blanket and a bottle of wine, and I’d somehow work my way over to them and play a song or two. Eventually, they would dance, I’d play without singing, and he’d pop the question. Chris would wait in the wings to document the whole thing. I knew my usual repertoire (bad drivers, cell phones, swipes at modern technology) wasn’t exactly romantic ballad material, so I pitched a couple of choice covers.
My wife and I, along with Chris, arrived on the cold (really cold) Davenport beach a little ahead of time. Chris wandered around as random “camera guy”, I played my “guitar guy” part and just noodled along, and my wife looked for beach glass. Brian texted me a bit later and described what they were wearing, so we’d recognize them. They were dressed for sun – good thing they had wine. I waited a bit, and after 15 mins or so, I headed their way and planted myself about 30 feet from them.
Brian walked over, said “Okay, here’s the setup: She thinks we’re settling a $20 bet on what kind of music you play. Julianna says “hard rock”. I say “country folk”. Brian thinks on his feet. Like I said, “brilliant”. I wandered over, we chatted (it was SO fun to play this part), and I went into a ballad version of Tom Petty’s “American Girl”. She sang along. Good choice on my part. I started playing Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love”, which Julianna also sang along to. They danced, he dropped to one knee, the folks on the beach went nuts, and Chris got the whole thing on film.
Spoiler: She said “yes”. Congrats to the happy couple. I was honored to be part of this romantic little scheme.