Well, I can finally say this:
Dirty Joe is dead. As in doornail. As in 'stick a fork in it, it's done'. And the next evolutionary step is already looking good.
I gave John Eddy a call a few days ago, to see if we could get together, get a rehearsal in, and maybe scrounge up a gig. It took a few days for him to get back to me, but it turns out that he'd got one better than that - an old friend of ours was coming home, and looking for a drummer and bassist for his band.
His name is Eddie Perez, and he goes back quite a ways up here on the Peninsula. And oddly enough, it took him moving to Tacoma and signing on with Powerlight for for us to meet. He didn't last all that long with Powerlight, but then again who does? In hindsight, my decade and change with the group must make me some sort of freak. Eddie and I have remained friends, and recent phone conversations revealed that he'd even done a stint with Steppen Stonz. And it turns out that Eddie has a blues/rock band called Willis (you were wondering about the title of this post, weren't you?), and he and his fellow guitarist Tommy were in need of a rhythm section. John was covering the bass just fine, but they needed a drummer with a little more..... oomph.
Talking to Eddie yesterday didn't really end on a high point though, as he really wanted a drummer that could commit full-time, though he knew I'd never really be able to due to my own commitments. And as a by-the-way sort of thing, I did mention that Mike and Arthur could potentially be in need a guitarist in the future. Here we were, each of us trying to poach each other out of their B-gigs for our A-gigs! But we agreed to get together and jam if the space could be arranged.
It took a while for me to get Joy up and moving, then load my gear up, then get to this garage out in Agnew, then set up. You know the drill. Along with John, Eddie and Tommy, Ron showed up. He looked okay. Well, as okay as you can be for a man in his (terminal) condition. He didn't play as much he normally would have. He looked a little out of his depth at times, sand said as much. And to be quite honest, he was tired. I can tell that the chemotherapy is taking a toll on him, but he wants to keep playing. He doesn't want to go quietly, that's for damn sure.
We didn't really have as much time as we would've like to play, but we seemed to groove well together - they really liked my groove when we played Pink Floyd's "Money", and were even more impressed when I told them that I'd never played the song before. And "Money" isn't an easy song to play, starting off in 7/4, and moving through a swinging solo section in 6/8 before going back to 7/4. We rolled through a few other songs, with me mostly learning the way Eddie and Tommy did things and hacking my way through the proverbial jungle. We maybe played for only about two hours, but there was a definite vibe between the four of us, as the small group of friends and family noticed that we were pretty tight, even though this was the first time I'd played with Eddie in the better part of a decade, and the first time I'd even laid eyes on Tommy. And I think they were pleasantly surprised that I called a second rehearsal for tomorrow afternoon.
And I'd better get some sleep now, because I have a busy day tomorrow. First the rehearsal, then taking Joy down to the local skating rink to see my sister's roller-derby club Port Scandalous play for the first time since she assembled the club a few years ago.