Sunday, February 27, 2011

What's Old Is New Again

Remember that gig I thought I had coming up in my last post? Never happened. It turns out that the bar we were supposed to be playing was having problems. Or at least that's what I was told. They weren't alone. Remember that new drummer I was talking about? He's out, too - showing up for practice 90 minutes late - twice - and not responding to our phone calls is generally grounds for a rapid dismissal. But as usual, there's more to it than that. And because of that, I'm going back behind my drums again.

Y'see, while ol' Phife wasn't the best drummer in the world, let alone the best person, he could sing fairly well. And with his departure, there was no one left in the band to sing backing vocals behind me. And then Roger strays from the CD of new songs I wanted the band to learn and starts noodling his way through a handful of Styx songs. I advised him that we could only tackle material like that with not one singer, but three - and I didn't see anyone else stepping up to the mic. And with the new drummer not panning out, I made the decision to go from being merely a singer to being a singing drummer again, and hire a new lead vocalist.

And on top of all this, our bassist was ailing as well. I won't go into details about - it ain't pretty folks, that's all I'll say - but he was unable to play. And while we were able to drum up a replacement for Tom, this guy wasn't going to be available full-time due to family. And he also had issues with the new drummer, so it behooved me even more to get back behind the kit. But Tom's health is improving, but how much so is still somewhat of a mystery to me. So for the moment, we have two bass players, with Tom playing on the weekends, and the backup coming in to rehearse during the week.

So we got together last night for my first rehearsal as drummer/vocalist, and it went remarkably well, though getting there was quite a challenge. With the recent snowstorm, the roads can be a bit...... dicey. And Roger's place isn't on a paved road. I picked up John (the backup bassist) at the Transit Center in downtown PA and headed up to Roger's place, only to find that not only was the road impassable, but Roger and Ron weren't even there - helping a friend move at the last minute, apparently. They showed up soon enough though, and we got on to business. None of them had ever really heard me play before, and well....... let's just say they were happily surprised. At one point Ron actually got down on all fours and bowed to me. I guess their drummers had been of rather inconsistent quality as of late.

It felt good to just rock out, I must say. This was more the style of drumming I had back when I first started gigging around PA 15 or so years ago, made all the more better by years of experience and understanding. But now I've wound up leading them into an even bigger pickle - who do they call to replace me when I'm out of town? I don't even want to know any more.

And a quick side note for you. My Carson City homegirl Jazmyn posted to her Facebook page about going to see the Stonz. I almost had a heart attack thinking 'did they fire me without even bothering to tell me?' before I remembered that they were playing at the Atlantis. So I'd assume that Alan Zukor is keeping my seat warm for me until the next good gig comes along. Whenever that will be. I'm starting to get a little worried.....

Breathe Joe, breathe. Just be patient.......

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