When I was in the van on my way to work earlier the radio played Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder. Hearing it made me smile and I immediately brought out my phone and sent Simon a text. In the message I said:
“I’m listening to Overjoyed on the radio and I immediately thought of you. It was the one of the best gifts you have ever given me. Thank you.”
At which his reply was to send me back a smile.
It was then that I realized that, trite as it may sound, we actually had a song. Many, many years ago when we were still together I noticed Simon practicing a complicated piece on his 6-string bass and thought, it must be a new piece the band wanted to try out for a gig. Since they did that occasionally I didn’t think much of it. Back then I used to go to his gigs all the time. This particular gig, though, he insisted that I attend and asked me to bring my friends. There was nothing unusual about that request so I said yes.
That gig was at 70s Bistro with Lampano Alley, and it was at around this time of the year (February), on our wedding anniversary. There is one particular song (I think it was “Gloria”) where all the members of the band get some spotlight time so when it was time for Simon’s solo I was not surprised. What did surprise me was when everyone left the stage and then Binky announced on the mic that Simon’s solo was dedicated to me for our anniversary.
He then proceeded to play his rendition of Victor Wooten‘s version of Overjoyed on his 6-string bass. I was transfixed … entranced … speechless … awestruck. It was as if the roomful of people disappeared and there was only him and me. His performance was so good that there was no sound from the audience, not even clinking ice. He was that good!
Our friend, Claire, was so amazed that she had grabbed my arm at the beginning of the song and watched Simon the entire time and when he finished (to a standing ovation) she turned to me with starry eyes and said, “Manang, gumwapo si Simon sa paningin ko.” hahaha
I was so choked up and teary eyed with happiness I wanted to run onstage and give him a smooch but I didn’t. Instead I just mouthed him the words “I love you”. After all, they still had a gig to finish. From that time on, though, my friends and family (who were with me at the gig) and I cannot hear Overjoyed without thinking of Simon.
Just to give you an idea, here is a clip of Victor Wooten (sorry, not Simon) playing Overjoyed. This video does not actually have a video (just a picture) so you can just listen to it. This was the only full acoustic version I could find.