Bulgaria or Bust


I've been trying to call Bulgaria. I have it from reliable sources that Bulgaria wants me to play for their national jazz festival. This in itself is amazing as Dr. Easy does not play Bulgarian jazz, or any jazz for that matter. But. . .

It seems that during Tamboura's European stint at the reknown Blues to Bop Festival in Lugano, Switzerland, in 2004, a certain Mssr. Antonyankimolov, Bulgarian minister of cul-cha, heard Tamboura's folkrock'n reggae vibe and went uncharacteristically Bul-ga-ga-garian.

"In my country, our music iss do sevens, elevens. Thirteens, even. Verrrrry complex. Verrrrry, verrrrry complex. But, still ve Bulgarians dance! And zis Tamboura band, vhy dey have not even one tamboura in it, and dey play zis vonderful music in ze four time. Verrrrrry simple. And still, ve Bulgarians dance!

"I vill tell my good friend, Villy Nokitov, who iss like Bulgarian Tony Bennett, Vrank Zinatra, even . . . verrrry, how do you zay 'macho' and zuave-like-moose. He vill vant to bring zis Tamboura band over for to play his big jazz festival. You vill see, ve Bulgarians like all music. And, ve shall dance! All dance, yah!"

I was given a cryptic email address, a phone number with what seemed like four hundred digits and orders not to tell anyone that I'd seen him. Antonyankimolov then told me to call Nokitov, the 'zauve moose' himself, sometime in the spring and arrange a gig at his festival. I figure, I've got nothing to lose so I've been emailing and trying to call Villy Nokitov for well over a month. I get nada, zilch, nowhere. Perhaps the TUB (Telephonov Uber Bulgarese) is on strike? Perhaps Mr. Zuave-Like-Moose is in some sort of trouble and can't get to a phone in his gulag? Or maybe he got a cob on because Tamboura has no tamboura? I just wish he'd let me know. I mean, I hope he realizes that I've got other fish to fry.

Now I notice that there's a strange clicking on my phone line all the time. Probably the FBI or CIA all wound up because I've been making numerous attempts to contact a former communist bloc country.  What of it?   All I want is a gig and a chance to visit Sophia and see the sights. Perhaps I'll learn to play in 7, 11, (but not IN a 7-11, hopefully!) and maybe even 1?. Maybe, just maybe, I'll add a real tamboura to Tamboura?  Nah.

The rest of the band thinks I'm crazy, but if and when I line this sucka up, they'll all want to go. Miss Mary has already been looking up Bulgarian translations for phrases like "I'm tired and I want to sit down" and "Is there a good thrift store nearby?" and "Where can I get shoes for my moose?"

Me, I'm just resting my fingers up in anticipation of this afternoon's marathon phone dialathon to Bulgaria. I ain't giving up yet!


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