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Not to be Les Mis(s)ed.

During the 80's I was in the studio audience for two episodes of the Carson era Tonight Show, courtesy of tickets presented to my Mom. The first time was a Thanksgiving night when Mom and a few of the brothers, somewhat disinterested and tripto-glazed, trundled over to Burbank. It was "standard issue", with Johnny, Doc, and while our family is big on anything a shillelagh's shadow from Irish, they sneered at Ed.

Ask me to do the laugh---at your peril.

It was an enjoyable show, with Bruce Dern as a guest and participant in a mad scientist skit. At the next show I was on my own, as everyone else was out of town and probably happy about it. There was indeed a Les Miserables number performed, but not "On My Own". It was "I Dreamed A Dream" sung by Randi somebody, a member of the cast at the time.

It was up my alley. Tales of impossibly long lines and the synthesizers still stored on stage followed the previous evening's guest Madonna, but tonight the fabled band---Pete "Deacon Blues" Christlieb was the evening's tenor sax soloist/gloat gloat/Dan's memory---took on a pair of French Horns to face the Revolution's aftermath.

Before that performance, we had a charming young Pennsylvania (my family again!) lady, either side of eleven, who was an academic enfant terrible---spelling, I recall?---and a liberal era Dennis Miller. He spooled out his then standard line for all the shows on which he guested, "I want to see Nancy Regan in a Riddler costume". Another much better than average episode for the era.

Decades later it's a Friday morning and the Burbank Band is in the eponymous but not affiliated high school's band room a few miles away for the first of a pair of combined rehearsals. One of the joint numbers is, indeed, a "Les Mis" medley and of course "I Dreamed A Dream" is in it. A dream, indeed.

While banners and notes abound in the room touting web sites and social media servers to which to send sound and image, we are in there moving air (after last minute chairs): the notes on the page may well end up as impulses on tablets, phones and the usual stuff I'm late to get, but we are, seasoned by a most happy pair of band leaders, putting them into the visible world.

Can you hear the people singing? Most probably Mentor, and many others, will hear the people playing.

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