That Time I Gave Meshell Ndegeocello A Ride
Updated: Aug 14, 2021
Back to the magical land of Atlanta we go. It was sometime in the 90s and I was working at Daemon Records, an indie label owned by Amy Ray of Indigo Girls. Dispatched on an errand for some reason or another, I had arrived at the recording studio where Amy and Emily were recording their latest album. I do believe it was Come On Now Social. In any event, there I was at the studio with my signature keeping it cool aura. At that point I had come to know the duo well enough to not freak out every time I came near them and had developed a relaxed easy rapport with them both, but especially with Amy who of course was my boss and I saw her quite a bit. There were several people milling about the studio. Managers, record label types and studio musicians. One studio musician who happened to be there was the preeminent bassist Meshell Ndegeocello. Now this I was not expecting. By this time, you all know the words running through my brain. “Keep it cool, Carla, Keep. It. COOOOL.” I was not prepared for this encounter in the least so I immediately defaulted to my safe, celebrity meeting strategy. “Hello.”, then silence. The session was over and Meshell was packing up her gear while casually announcing that she was going to walk up super busy Claremont Road at least a half mile to her hotel room. Walk up Claremont Road???? This is the South, is there even a sidewalk on Claremont Road?? I was a little horrified and of course duly impressed by how hardcore it was. My horrification nearly doubled when I heard myself say “I’m actually leaving right now, I can give you a ride if you like.”
I WHAT??!!! For the love of God Carla you just can’t help yourself can you? I mean, look at that bass in that hard shell case. It’s huge!!! Is it even going to fit in Sunshine? What are we going to talk about? What if we hit all the lights? What if I say something stupid?
Well, it’s too late for any of that. I made the offer so out the door we went. I literally have barely any recollection of what happened next. I think I blacked out from the sheer thrill of it all. I do recall that we got the bass in the car and we had a nice, mellow, sincere down to earth conversation. It was perhaps the sweetest, most exciting, most nerve-wracking half mile car ride of my life. We get to the hotel, Meshell gets out, grabs her stuff and thanks me profusely. I say goodbye, ease Sunshine back on to Claremont toward our next adventure while delightfully losing my cool screaming OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!!!