"I am the sanest man who ever lived." Bela Lugosi, The Raven, 1935
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Last night at Kenny's
A few notes from last night.
*When people ask me how any gig went, I usually say, "I played some good s--t and I played some crap." I don't know otherwise how it went because I am one of three, and I was not in the audience. It's not like a baseball game, either, where you win or lose. It went like it went and the audience liked a couple of songs in particular---"I'll Cry Instead" and "I Wanna Be Your Man". I liked it---got there early, talked to John M.'s Dad about his moustache, and it felt good to play electric guitar in public after all these months.
*The band made $XX in tips, which we split three ways.
*Bars carry a dark energy in them. If bars sold weed instead of alcohol, there would be an entirely different energy about bars and I'd probably like setting foot in them better.
I recently read that the reason loud music is played in bars is to A) Keep people from talking, which means all there is to do is drink and B) to upset people so they buy drinks to make themselves feel better.
So you play your set and no matter what sort of music you perform, a bar will usually follow your show with ear-splitting, heartless, soulless music piped over the system that completely and instantly destroys whatever vibe you've created. If people want to tell you how much they enjoyed your show, they have to yell.
*When a battery has been sitting, dormant, in an echo pedal for a few months and you test it out and it still works, it doesn't mean it'll work for an entire 45 minute set. You'll probably get 10-20 minutes out of it as I did out of mine last night. Note to self: buy a new battery every show, or better yet, plug it in the wall.
*The last time I played Kenny's Castaway's was in 1996. I hadn't been in the club since then.
*You meet the same people you met when you first started playing in bars--the pasty, reasonably friendly sound man with a single syllable name, the sullen doorman to whom there isn't any point flashing a smile to---instead, the Westchester quick upturn of the head and blinking of eyes serves as a greeting---the bar staff to whom a request for three waters for the band might as well be a request for a double half-caf vanilla latte, extra hot for all the (lack of) speed it takes for you to get it, and such.
*There is a particularly delicious and pleasing feeling you get when members of your family show up, especially when you know they have busy, responsible jobs and could otherwise be at home. A person's presence at times means more than anything they might say about your music.
*When three are equal onstage, it's different than when it's you and a few hired guns. I like being the boss of The Maxes but I also enjoy being part of an equal trio where everyone sings.
*It's nice to be able to play the music of the Beatles with two others who are steeped in the catalogue, and to twist and turn the music as you see fit and still have it accepted.