And God Created Sidemen
And so the great Leader Nebulon did embark upon a search for suitable Sidemen for his orchestra, and he could find none;
For in those days there were not many, and those that he could find were already working;
Some worked the Ark with the House of Noah, and some had the house gig at The Walls of Jericho.
And many played behind the scat-singing team of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago.
So Nebulon did return to the Lord and and rent his clothing and saith,
Lord, there are many musicians, but no Sidemen!
And the Lord did say,
Shmuck! Have you looked everywhere? Did you call the Union?
And Nebulon did say,
Lord, I have looked high and low, especially low, and only one or two could I find. What shall I do?
And the Lord did afflict Nebulon with boils, saying,
Leave me to think on this!
And just to buy some time he did also visit a plague of locusts on Egypt.
And the Lord did summon a league of Angels, and sent them forth over the land, commanding them to find him some Sidemen.
And the Angels did go to the four corners of the earth, but the only unemployed Sideman they could find was one holy man in India who did play the horn with the slide.
So with great fear the Angels did return to the Lord with the bad news, and filled with wrath he was.
How can this be? At one time the world did teem with Sidemen, as a dead oxen does with maggots!
And the Angels did say,
Lord, many left the business, many have become idiots, and some have even become Leaders, and no Leader will work for another Leader.
So the Lord did cause drought for 40 days while he thought, and the answer came to him. And he called the angels together and said unto them,
Do we not have a factory, that was of the Beasts Of The Field, Inc., a division? And is it not true that this factory no longer is used to make that for which it was built?
And the angels answered him saying,
Yes, Lord. For You had ordered us to create golems, for which it was found there was no great demand, and You were filled with a mighty wrath and ordered us not forsake market surveys nor focus groups in the future. And the operation was closed down with great wailing and desolation for many jobs were lost.
And He said,
Come. Let us retool, and start turning out Sidemen.
And so it was done, and the Sidemen started rolling off the line of assembly.
But a remnant of the golem program remained, and the Sidemen did come out acting unpredictably.
Some stammered and stuttered, some talked to themselves under their breath, and some would not bathe.
Some refused to shave their beards or to have their hair shorn, and some refused to wear the Jobbing Toga.
And some wore the Toga, but left them crumpled in their chariots in between Gigs, or slept in them, or wore Togas from eons past, with ruffles.
And some did not believe in maps, and wandered the land aimlessly looking for the Gig, and some did not believe in the use of the hourglass, and arrived at the Gig whenever they chose.
And some loved the wine of dates, and some loved the burning of hemp.
And some were created without ears, and some with knuckles where their eyebrows should be.
And some did worship the gods Trane, Jaco, Mahavishnu and Ornette, and mocked their Leaders.
And some did steal food from the buffet line, yea, even before the Guests had dined.
And some did try to lay with the Chick Singers, and some with the Guests.
And some did not Read, and some could only Read, and not Blow.
And some had no social skills, and some had no musical skills.
And many of them were Dark, not in pigmentation of the skin, but in the Outlook on Life.
But every once in a while the line did produce a Perfect Sideman;
One who followed orders without question;
One who showed up on time;
One who wore the Toga;
One whose chariot always ran;
One who Knew Tunes;
But these Perfect Sidemen were few and far between, and besides their eyes were glazed, and they were shunned, for they were Boring, and knew not how to Hang.
And soon the land teemed with Sidemen milling about, looking for Gigs, complaining and whining and arguing and occasionally stabbing each other in the back.
And the Lord looked down upon his work, and said,
It will do.