Me & Bobby #ThrowbackThursday

In April 2005, I was given tickets to see my biggest musical inspiration, Bobby McFerrin, live at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater in Medford, Oregon.

On the drive up to the show, I looked over to my partner and blurted out, “Bobby is going to call me up on stage by name!” She looked over at me and said, “Ok! I say yes to that.”

In the middle of his set he stopped and asked the audience, “Anyone bring a tuba?” the audience erupted in laughter. He then said “How about a trumpet?… a harmonica?… what about a mouth harp?” At which point I lept up with my hand in the air, knowing full well that I didn’t have any of those instruments. I figured that this was my chance to get on stage with him. He then asked me if I had truly brought a mouth harp, I said “No, but I have a mouth that can make instrument sounds!” He then invited me up on stage and asked my name. When I said “Cornflower” the crowd started laughing, and Bobby looked at me like I was crazy, but with a sweet flicker of joy and adventure in his eyes. He then said, “What do you want to do?” and I responded, “I can start with a beat.

I was shoulder to shoulder with one of my greatest music inspirations.


And there we went. I began beatboxing and he jumped in and layered an interlocking melody over the beat. Before you know it, we were switching parts, he took over the beatboxing and I took over the melody. We then departed into a call and response gibberish fest with us both speaking absolute nonsense languages from another planet. We built and built and built to a crescendo, and then finally, at the drop of a dime, we dropped right back into the groove we had started with as if we had rehearsed it! The crowd went wild! I had my first major music experience of feeling a 1000+ crowd erupt in joy and celebration from something I was a part of.

After we completed to an enormous applause, I went back out to my seat to sit with my partner, I was buzzing from head to toe. I had to have her hold my hand so I could come down to earth again. After another song passed, Bobby then invited a bunch of vocalists to come onto the stage, and after he had almost 12 singers, both men and women, he said, “Cornflower, get back up here, you are a tenor, we need another tenor!” WHAT?!?! He called me up onto the stage, BY NAME! Exactly like what I had blurted out on the car ride up to the show, he called out my name and asked me to come to the stage! I looked at my partner and screamed, “He did it! It happened!

I will never forget this moment, as it was a major turning point for me as a musician.

Here is the clipping from my first bit of press ever about me sitting in and then studying with Bobby McFerrin in ‘05.


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Comments (3)

That is SOOO cool! I can only imagine what a tremendous highlight that was for you. Thanks for sharing. It actually gave me goosebumps.

Awesome @primalgal:disqus! Thanks for reading. Yes, it was such tremendous highlight! A major “Life Moment” as @nikita_gearing:disqus said below.

This was truly a “Life Moment”.. I remember after you got off stage with Bobby, you came back to sit with me and then exactly like you said he would (earlier prior to the show) he then called you back up onto the stage by name.. what a magical life moment. At some point you’ll have to share the stories from your Omega retreat with him..

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