Gerald Pullman isn’t actually a rock star, nor is his name actually Gerald Pullman. But you can catch his music videos on CMT and GAC, so discretion is the better part of valor.
Long before he made his way to Nashville and the national stage, Gerald was making the rounds in Delosa as an opening act at small bars across the state. One of those bars was the Buick’s Bar in downtown Colosse, where I had gone to see Roscoe Davis, who was headlining. Pullman was a workhorse who did a lot of shows so I had seen his name here and there, though I didn’t know much about him.
What I remember most about the first time I did see him play wasn’t him but a young woman named Melanie that I danced with off and on throughout the night. We talked some but danced more. She was attractive and had a way of making a guy feel special even without words. Pullman, on the other hand, was awkward all night and I distinctly remember thinking that he sounded distracted. In between acts while I was at the bar, Melanie left.
I didn’t have any particular interest in seeing Pullman again, but I must admit I was at least a little interested in seeing Melanie again. I didn’t figure that there was anything there, but I found excuses to go anyhow. I never saw Melanie again, but with each passing show Pullman got better and better. He never repeated his lackluster performance from that first night.
At some point I struck up a conversation with Gerald about his upcoming record. Along the way he mentioned that he was a little concerned about what he would do after this record was released because it had “the last of the Melanie songs.”
“Melanie songs?” I asked.
Apparently, he used to be wild over a girl named Melanie. Mel was the inspiration behind every love and heartbreak song he had written up to that point. I asked him if she was back in Surfenberg, his home town.
“No,” he explained. “We grew up together in Surfenberg, but she came here to go to college.”
I remembered his Gerald’s first show. How Melanie had apparently gone to see him play because she left before Davis took the stage. How awkwardly Gerald played. How it was likely that he was trying to play songs about Melanie while she was right there in front of him dancing and flirting with some guy.
I’m guessing that he didn’t remember either the incident or the guy that she was dancing with. I didn’t remind him.