From inside the caravan, I watch Dylan arrive in a cobalt blue Chevrolet. I tune my Ibáñez again and let a long while pass before heading to the basement. From the top of the steps I listen to them play a couple songs. I gather my strength to begin the descent. I inhale deeply and start to go down, as if submerging. Rick sees me first, he hails smiling before I even get to the bottom.
- Hey there, Nar! Cool. You brought your guitar.
Dylan has his back to me. He´s talking to Garth. He takes what seems like forever to turn round and face me.
- Well, well... the famous Salvador Ibáñez. Turns out these guys were telling the truth after all...
I lift the instrument in my left hand, holding it out towards him. He does not move, just asks sarcastically,
- Are you just a collector or do you actually play?
- Well... I´m not too bad, they say. And yes, I´ve got a few guitars, but this is my favourite. I won a bet, a long time ago, in Spain.
- Quite a story, I´m sure. You might wanna save it for another day. OK? Now, let´s listen to this Ibáñez. I wanna carry on with the songs we got planned for today – old, mysterious, even tragic... that´s the vibe. Know this one?
With his twelve-string acoustic he starts strumming a melodic wave ridden by a whaler I know well: Bonnie Ship the Diamond. I respond by joining in and a surprised look fleets across his face. Without a word, he looks at the band, indicating that they should follow suit. One by one they come in with their instruments, except Richard who remains seated in silence at his drums. So intense is the feeling from hearing us together on the deck of that ship that I am about to lose time when Dylan - his voice aflame- gets on to the chorus a second time:
So it's rise up my lads
Let your hearts never fail
When that bonnie ship the Diamond goes
fishin' for the whales
We finish up and Bob looks at me for a few seconds, his head cocked to one side. Rick smiles, giving me a thumbs up. Standing next to his drums, in silence, Richard takes a photo.
In the newspapers, and for months now, space ships like flags have been taking off in a race to set foot on the moon. In the basement, just this evening, on board his ship, I have just landed.