Wait, that is beside the point.
Eric said that Ben was really cool and a good drummer and funny. That was key. So one afternoon, at an anti-war rally in Raleigh, I saw Ben and Linc and casually mentioned to him the possibility of playing music.
"Sure man. Also, I hate war." We cheered. A few days later, I sent Ben an email memorializing our conversation and letting him know that we were going to get together on Sunday for our first practice, but I never heard back from him.
Faced with the possibility of no drummer, Robert volunteered that if we couldn't get anyone else, he would drum.
The night before our first practice, Matt, Robert, Finn and I went to see Des Ark and Cantwell, Gomez and Jordan at the Nightlight. This was the Nightlight's first weekend and the room was pretty packed. Between sets, we saw Ben and Lauren. "Oh hey," Ben said, "Did I ever respond to your email?"
"No," I said.
"Oh, shit, man. I am in!"
"We have practice tomorrow."
"I'll be there!"
And thus, the final piece of the greatest puzzle known to mankind was in place. Wait, what? I don't know.
At the time, Ben and Lauren were living in Carrboro, just a few blocks from my house and I would sometimes go over and work on songs with him in Lauren's knitting room, just the two of us. Usually the practices ended with Ben playing the drums with Lauren's knitting needles and the both of us laughing or him making up names for the songs and the both of us laughing. Ben named "Tree Full of Snakes" and "ESP Territory." There are probably others, but I don't remember.
Typical AP Practice Conversation:
Matt: Serious musical question.
Finn: Serious response to musical question.
Robert: Serious counterpoint to musical question.
David: Ben, what do you think.
Ben: I have a shirt just like that.
Ben gave me a corduroy jacket that had been his father's, a grey one with a "Joe Namath" label inside. A sleeve is coming undone, but I still wear the jacket everywhere I possibly can.