He would have to practice at least all day every day till the show (five months) to not be run out on a rail. He would have to select songs that weren't political blowtorches, terrifying death chants or burlesque, lowest common denomenator, college fraternity music. He had to get smart, and very good, very fast.
Five minutes before showtime he was outside pacing, cussing at concrete, ready to drive home and be done with it. The room was over sold out. Inside voice said, No, just do what you've trained for. You'll see.
The standing ovation wouldn't stop.
To respect the interest of the TOSH audience, he performed in the big room at his studio on March 7th / 8th, . The shows were sold out. Again, standing ovations.
The plan was to do live shows every month, the audience loved the idea... and then Coroner's Virus struck.
It would be foolish to waste all that effort, so Richard decided to record live versions of the songs while they were still fresh in his fingers.
In September 2019, Phil Dwyer, one of the greatest jazz sax players on earth, called Richard asking if he would perform on the 26th of January at the local art gallery, The Old School House (TOSH). Richard declined, but Phil persisted. "I will if you'll play with me," Richard parried. They'd performed together before. Phil said yes and the trap was set.
Richard hadn't performed his own music live in years. He hadn't done two 45 minute sets of music since the eighties.
Art galleries are known to draw the upper eschelon, brighter lights of a community. At TOSH, the normal fare is very fine classical quartets, renown soloists. They had recently begun introducing jazz into their fare, with mixed results.
As soon as he hung up, Richard knew he'd made a serious mistake.