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uglyrockings band is playing
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Posted on Thu, Aug 11, 2005 20:51

im not sure if its a secret or not but ugly has taken to the stage again and will be on the road in a few weeks playing the bar circuts.. rumor has it he is one bad azz player.. if u need more details on this event feel feel to just ask .. if it was a secret sorry for singing like celine dion.. rock on ugly-- i think there are ugly t shirts for sale -- i will find out
get back to u all soon
hey we can say we knew him when he was a mere loner looking for a chick

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Posted on Sun, Oct 23, 2005 22:00

For those of you still interested in following the drama of band life ... I will be continuing this journal on "the other side" ... if you catch my drift.
For those of you still interested in following the drama of band life ... I will be continuing this journal on "the other side" ... if you catch my drift.



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Posted on Thu, Oct 20, 2005 16:25

Wednesday October 19 -- Roanoke VA

Although things have mellowed a bit ... I am still getting over the absurdity of the past several days.

I got drunk ... and let our lead guitarist ... the same guy who tried to keep me on a leash over what might have been a budding love interest ... commit the insane act of bringing a love interest of his own ... into the band. No one in the band... not even Harley ... is talking about this particular news item ... at least not to me.

Admittedly, she's ... I guess ... a decent person. An outsider ... but she has gone out of her way to make herself be accepted. THAT ... I do have to admit. We rehearsed in an empty meeting room at the motel ... weather wasn't cooperating enough for us to jam outside ... she is really talented and has worked hard to learn the material we are playing ... luckily most of them covers due to the fact that we cannot perform our own stuff from the 80's.

Satine was less than pleased when she discovered what we had done and ... of course ... yours truly took the brunt of it. When she got the lowdown on exactly how all this transpired, she asked me if I was planning on quitting(?)

When I told her 'no', she then asked me if I would be letting trained monkeys into the band next. I was already a little fed up with her not being around over the weekend, so I just told her we could talk more about it later on ... we had to rehearse to get our new member up to speed.

On Tueday night, I was just finishing sending my son an email when my room phone rang. Satine. 'I'd like to talk to you'. I told her that we could meet down in the lounge, but she said 'no, just come over to my room ... I'm in the before yours in case you didn't notice'. I hung up thinking 'what is up with that?' ... put my shoes on, and headed on over.

She greeted me at the door ... bathrobe and hair up in a towel ... yikes and double yikes. Told me she hadn't thought I would come over right away and excused herself. Returned a few minutes later in a warmup suit ... damp hair hanging over one shoulder. Told me to sit down. Yes, ma'am. I pulled the chair out from the desk and swung it backwards, perching my arms on the back.

She said: 'I am going to give it to you straight. You have blown this off every time I have mentioned it to you in the past. You are going to make a lot of money from all this, might even make a whole, WHOLE lot. But whether you like it or not, this band has a leader, and that leader is you'.

When I sighed and rolled my eyes at this, she said: 'well, who else do you think is the leader? Those two ... Jody or Harley? How about your singer ... when he isn't chasing groupies? Or maybe Tim?'

At this I shrugged and said indifferently: 'Maybe he is. Or maybe we don't need a leader'.

She switched tactics silkily: 'Fine then, no leader. What about a voice of reason? Someone to keep the boat from flipping over when the seas get rough'.

I smiled at this because we talk about the voice of reason stuff often in a different context here on the threads. I switched tactics myself and told her that a lot of people are wont to not listen to a voice of reason until after the fact.

She sighed ... got up came over to me ... and messed up my hair ... hate it when people do that ... but I didn't move.

Then, still standing in front of me, she said: 'I hate to see this all go in the toilet ... from a personal business standpoint ... and because of you'.

Me? What? I asked her what THAT was all about.

She said: 'You've been a different mood every time I have seen you since your roadie took off with her boyfriend. You've been happy with things and having fun. And you have been apathetic ... like right now'.

I shrugged: 'I told you what the thing with Debbie was ... it's in the past ... I've explained all that. It doesn't tie in, in any way, with what is now'.

I was surprised when she shrugged too, in resignation. She small-talked from there on, told me that she was going to have a late dinner and would be glad for my company if I felt like it. I had eaten already and graciously asked for a rain check.

Back in my room after that, I cleared all this out of my mind ... mostly ... went to bed and slept soundly, didn't wake up until after nine Wednesday morning.

We played the Roanoke Civic Center, over two thousand people showed up, with two local bands (not gonna name them here) ... fourteen songs, including all of our new stuff. We were warmly received, but not overly so compared with the other bands, and we went on last. Josie played on all of the songs ... we made a point of bringing her up to speed specifically on the stuff we'd be performing in this show ... also sang and pretty damn well.

Since I have really nothing else to natter about, I might as well address more about Josie. I will face it that she is a good add to the band ... but we really didn't need her to be better, even though it seems like we are anyway now that she is a part of things. It's just a big change ... a week ago she didn't even exist to us, including Tim.

As I said before, she is going out of her way to be accepted ... has a really nice rig ... 1970 vintage Gibson SG guitar ... customized to her liking ... also has a white stock Strat. She talks to and gets along well with everyone ... I make a point of treating her like everyone else. She contributes well and at the same time knows her place in an appropriate kind of way. There are no outlandish public displays of affection between her and Tim ... they seem to both not want to stir things up in that way.

Everyone else seems to like and accept her, Harley a little less so than everyone else, but he is like that with Satine as well as Tony and Clinton ... anyone who is not an "original insider".

Also, one final note about Josie ... she is definitely eye-candy onstage ... out of place with a quintet of middle-aged dudes. Wears black all the time like Tim ... has bigger arms than any of us in the band except for Harley of course. For our smaller shows ... I dunno where we are going to stick her with the stage set-up ... at the Civic Center there was plenty of room for her to stand between Tim and Bryan. Guess we will have to see about that.

We leave tomorrow for Martinsville south of here ... then a long drive to Bristol to the west on Friday night after the show for our last gig in Virginia.
Wednesday October 19 -- Roanoke VA

Although things have mellowed a bit ... I am still getting over the absurdity of the past several days.

I got drunk ... and let our lead guitarist ... the same guy who tried to keep me on a leash over what might have been a budding love interest ... commit the insane act of bringing a love interest of his own ... into the band. No one in the band... not even Harley ... is talking about this particular news item ... at least not to me.

Admittedly, she's ... I guess ... a decent person. An outsider ... but she has gone out of her way to make herself be accepted. THAT ... I do have to admit. We rehearsed in an empty meeting room at the motel ... weather wasn't cooperating enough for us to jam outside ... she is really talented and has worked hard to learn the material we are playing ... luckily most of them covers due to the fact that we cannot perform our own stuff from the 80's.

Satine was less than pleased when she discovered what we had done and ... of course ... yours truly took the brunt of it. When she got the lowdown on exactly how all this transpired, she asked me if I was planning on quitting(?)

When I told her 'no', she then asked me if I would be letting trained monkeys into the band next. I was already a little fed up with her not being around over the weekend, so I just told her we could talk more about it later on ... we had to rehearse to get our new member up to speed.

On Tueday night, I was just finishing sending my son an email when my room phone rang. Satine. 'I'd like to talk to you'. I told her that we could meet down in the lounge, but she said 'no, just come over to my room ... I'm in the before yours in case you didn't notice'. I hung up thinking 'what is up with that?' ... put my shoes on, and headed on over.

She greeted me at the door ... bathrobe and hair up in a towel ... yikes and double yikes. Told me she hadn't thought I would come over right away and excused herself. Returned a few minutes later in a warmup suit ... damp hair hanging over one shoulder. Told me to sit down. Yes, ma'am. I pulled the chair out from the desk and swung it backwards, perching my arms on the back.

She said: 'I am going to give it to you straight. You have blown this off every time I have mentioned it to you in the past. You are going to make a lot of money from all this, might even make a whole, WHOLE lot. But whether you like it or not, this band has a leader, and that leader is you'.

When I sighed and rolled my eyes at this, she said: 'well, who else do you think is the leader? Those two ... Jody or Harley? How about your singer ... when he isn't chasing groupies? Or maybe Tim?'

At this I shrugged and said indifferently: 'Maybe he is. Or maybe we don't need a leader'.

She switched tactics silkily: 'Fine then, no leader. What about a voice of reason? Someone to keep the boat from flipping over when the seas get rough'.

I smiled at this because we talk about the voice of reason stuff often in a different context here on the threads. I switched tactics myself and told her that a lot of people are wont to not listen to a voice of reason until after the fact.

She sighed ... got up came over to me ... and messed up my hair ... hate it when people do that ... but I didn't move.

Then, still standing in front of me, she said: 'I hate to see this all go in the toilet ... from a personal business standpoint ... and because of you'.

Me? What? I asked her what THAT was all about.

She said: 'You've been a different mood every time I have seen you since your roadie took off with her boyfriend. You've been happy with things and having fun. And you have been apathetic ... like right now'.

I shrugged: 'I told you what the thing with Debbie was ... it's in the past ... I've explained all that. It doesn't tie in, in any way, with what is now'.

I was surprised when she shrugged too, in resignation. She small-talked from there on, told me that she was going to have a late dinner and would be glad for my company if I felt like it. I had eaten already and graciously asked for a rain check.

Back in my room after that, I cleared all this out of my mind ... mostly ... went to bed and slept soundly, didn't wake up until after nine Wednesday morning.

We played the Roanoke Civic Center, over two thousand people showed up, with two local bands (not gonna name them here) ... fourteen songs, including all of our new stuff. We were warmly received, but not overly so compared with the other bands, and we went on last. Josie played on all of the songs ... we made a point of bringing her up to speed specifically on the stuff we'd be performing in this show ... also sang and pretty damn well.

Since I have really nothing else to natter about, I might as well address more about Josie. I will face it that she is a good add to the band ... but we really didn't need her to be better, even though it seems like we are anyway now that she is a part of things. It's just a big change ... a week ago she didn't even exist to us, including Tim.

As I said before, she is going out of her way to be accepted ... has a really nice rig ... 1970 vintage Gibson SG guitar ... customized to her liking ... also has a white stock Strat. She talks to and gets along well with everyone ... I make a point of treating her like everyone else. She contributes well and at the same time knows her place in an appropriate kind of way. There are no outlandish public displays of affection between her and Tim ... they seem to both not want to stir things up in that way.

Everyone else seems to like and accept her, Harley a little less so than everyone else, but he is like that with Satine as well as Tony and Clinton ... anyone who is not an "original insider".

Also, one final note about Josie ... she is definitely eye-candy onstage ... out of place with a quintet of middle-aged dudes. Wears black all the time like Tim ... has bigger arms than any of us in the band except for Harley of course. For our smaller shows ... I dunno where we are going to stick her with the stage set-up ... at the Civic Center there was plenty of room for her to stand between Tim and Bryan. Guess we will have to see about that.

We leave tomorrow for Martinsville south of here ... then a long drive to Bristol to the west on Friday night after the show for our last gig in Virginia.



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Posted on Sun, Oct 16, 2005 20:25

Saturday October 15 -- Newport News VA

I felt like an even bigger idiot than usual this morning.

I don't pay much attention to some things ... particularly lately. I am kinda like ... 'oh, another town ... another gig ... what's the name of the place? ... oh whatever ... long as it's fun'.

I didn't see much of Tim yesterday ... kinda figured it would be like that. His little hookup last night has stirred a good bit of attention and speculation ... Bryan joked ... 'Tim's off jamming with Josie and the Pussycats'.

I felt sort of a need to word up to him about when he was in the hospital. I dunno what his thoughts have been about that over the years really ... only have hearsay from other people, and that's not good enough for me. During this tour we have been at various times band-mates, collaorators, antagonists, confidantes, friends, and enemies. I have alternately felt both good and bad about him. I want to square away with him what it is once and for all.

And in my mind, when he was in the hospital has become a major focal point.

We played at Mitty's Nightclub ... and actually the place is in Newport News, not Hampton. Tim had returned to the hotel sometime during the day to get his clothes and checked out without a word to anyone, but I simply figured that meant he was shacked up with Josie, so no big deal.

Wasn't a big deal either when he showed up well before show-time with her in tow, both of them decked out in black leather which, admittedly as I have stated in the past, suits Tim very well. She helped him set up his stuff and then they went off to a booth to have a drank and cozy up a little.

When he did show up, I resolved to greet him with an "attaboy" attitude and Josie with a "nice to see you again" spiel, which I did. I'll concede that I am a little envious ... she's a right babe ... but I guess more so because Tim seems happy. Guess I ought to address the fact that I don't feel any resentment over this turn of events, weighing it against how he acted out with me over Deb. That would be misguided ... Josie's not our roadie ... just a groupie. Tim's groupie.

We started playing ... pretty much a replay of the night before, which was good. Exception: Jody did a much better job with the set lists ... have a feeling this place caught him off guard Friday night.

As we closed out a good first set ... I resolved to try to buttonhole Tim and see if I could at least make an opening to resolving what had been on my mind earlier. He surprised me a little bit when I told him that I wanted to natter by saying: 'Cool, been wanting to talk to you, too'.

But ... before I could begin, he said: 'I wanna bounce something off of you. It's gonna seem a little kooky, but hear me out because I think it's a really fine idea'. So, since he'd beaten me to the punch, I told him to speak his peace. I wasn't prepared for what he had to say.

He started out by saying that there were songs, such as Clapton's 'Let It Rain', where we sounded 'a little thin'. I shrugged ... really not having noticed it ... but whatever.

Then he said: 'How would you feel about us adding another guitar to the group?'

I dunno ... it was obvious who 'another guitar' was going to be in his eyes. I felt like saying: 'you're kidding, right?' ... but it was clear that he was gung ho about the idea.

So, I kept my expression neutral and said: 'Josie?'

Well, he proceeded to go on and on about how he had been to her place and how she has 'this many guitars' and 'that many effects' and 'sings really well' and all that.

I didn't know what to say, so I acted like I was giving it careful consideration ... even though it was not in my heart. Finally I said: 'Well, after the next set, let's talk to the other guys, see what they think'. I wanted to be neutral ... Satine also hadn't shown up again, so I didn't know what she would think about it, or even if she should have a say in the matter.

Tim matched my neutral expression with one of his own, said: 'If we vote, has to be unanimous, right?' And I could see the wheels turning ... if I was gonna say 'no', would I have not told him now? I could see he was unsure about this. Good. I nodded and said: 'Yeah' ... kept my expression neutral.

And so ... he nodded in return and, without another word, went to join Josie for the rest of the break. Me, I headed for the bar ... ordered a pair of bourbon and cokes ... and brought them back to the stage ... actually I drank the first one in the time it took to get from the bar to the stage.

We played the second set ... I finished the second drink before the fourth song ... crooked a finger at a waitress to bring me two more ... and I was well on the way to being cross-eyed by the time the set was done.

Immediately, Tim corraled everyone and we gathered, after I went and got myself another drink, at the table where Josie was sitting ... looking a little scared ... hmmmm. My head was pretty much in a fog as we all listened to Tim table his proposal ... was vaguely aware of slightly amazed expressions from ... I think Jody and Bryan. Tim sold his idea ... then asked if anyone thought we should vote on it. I stayed silent, but Bryan finally shrugged and said, okay, that we should vote on it.

Without even having whatever sense of protocol or whatever that should have applied and sending Josie away while we voted, Tim asked for a show of hands of who thought we should add her in. He raised his hand, and after a little bit of uncomfortable silence, both Jody and Bryan raised theirs.

I was aware ... well sorta ... of Harley sitting beside me, with his arms crossed ... and that ... I think ... he was looking at me as I stared at the center of the table. I shrugged and raised my hand ... looked up and saw Tim staring at Harley ... looked at Harley and saw that they were having a stare down. Then ... Harley glanced at me ... uncrossed his arms ... said 'whatever' ... and raised his hand too.

So ... that was it ... Josie was a URock ... I remember some muted discussion as I finished my drink, excused myself, got up, and went off to the men's room.

I stood pis*sing at a urinal when Harley, as I knew he would, stepped beside me to whiz himself.

'You okay?', he asked after a long moment. I said something like: 'yeah'.

He finished pis*sing and said: 'I mean, I can tell you're biffed. Bad business. But I mean you okay with this Josie thing?'

I zipped my fly and said: 'whatever'. Then I went back out into the club ... remembered going up to the stage and playing ... but that's pretty much it.

I woke up still in my clothes laying sideways in an unnatural position on the bus this morning ... and the first thing I was aware of besides the fact that my damn neck was sore again, was that there was someone watching me.

I struggled into a half sitting position and saw Clinton sitting across the aisle from me, sipping coffee from a paper cup and watching me with curiosity. I was going to ask what the fu*ck happened, but the answer to that was abundantly clear. So ... I simply announced: 'sh*it!'

He asked me if I was okay ... I asked him if I looked okay. He went on to give me the 'evening news' ... I played three songs ... fat fingered chords ... forgot to sing ... and Tim had motioned to Josie to come up and take my place ... even announced that she had joined the group.

She played my guitar ... and sang 'Tenderness'. I didn't want to ask how that went. Clinton had an extra cup of coffee and after he handed it to me, got up and left without comment.

I rode ... endured mostly ... the 200 mile ride to Roanoke in the back of the bus ... went back to sleep when we checked into our motel ... just got up to check the football scores and decided to type this up; noted that I screwed up the date for the Friday post ... it was actually the 14th ... sorry friends and neighbors.

I hear tell we are supposed to rehearse tomorrow ... dunno if I'll be up to it. At least we won't sound 'thin' if I am not.



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Posted on Sat, Oct 15, 2005 09:57

(Continued from previous thread)

We rocked the place through the rest of the last set ... Jody giving us a heads up we'd slowing down for two numbers near the end. Josie had been at stage front ... attention focused solely on Tim now ... heh heh! When we finally slowed down near the end ... and Bryan somberly began the opening to 'Chanticleer Summer' ... Tim leaned over and said in my ear ... 'take the low chords like usual until the end where he sings loud ... then jump to the high ones ... that should cover'.

Then ... without hesitation ... he turned down the volume on his guitar ... unslung and placed it on its stand ... stepped down onto the dance floor ... took Josie in his arms ... wow, was she ever smiling! .... and they began to slow dance.

I couldn't help but smile ... happy for the bastard ... don't think he's ever been in love ... even when he was married ... doubt he ever will be ... but this was nice ... and isn't there a song that says 'a heart needs a second chance'?

I cruised through the easy three-chord progression ... listening to Bryan sing of a love that I knew was for his lost-and-irretrievable Donna ... thought of Jody and Cassie ... the 'cute couple' who used to make everybody go 'awwww!' ... until Jody's childish nature and Cassie's return to seeking solace in cocaine ruined all that ... thought of Harley ... alone and mate-less while taking care of his kids ... thought of my own loves ... lost or simply cast aside ... smiled.

Then I looked again at Tim and Josie ... she, almost as tall as he is ... head nestled against his shoulder ... eyes closed ... small smile ... he, a serene look on his face ... glancing about ... not at anything really ... except maybe to remind himself that he wasn't dreaming? Who knows? I felt my smile growing as Bryan swung into the closing verse ... his voice swelling with emotion as I slid my left hand up the neck to finger the high chords.

I hadn't seen that look since I visited him in the intensive care unit ... when he was heavily sedated and unconscious, bandaged and casted all over... only his eyes were closed then. See .... no one really knew that I had visited him ... nor had I discussed it with anyone ... or even acknowledged it here ... what was the point? He was a bastard ... I kinda hated him ... he'd wronged me ... showed a lack of the respect which I deserved. I owed him nothing ... but he'd been my friend ... and ... well ... I don't forget. I might not say anything ... but I don't forget. When I'd gone to see him ... it was thought that he might die ... I went to say good bye. No one knew ... no one need know ... until maybe now? Again who knows?

The song ended and I blinked ... glanced down and saw Tim and Josie part and look into each other's eyes as if not knowing what to say. The next song was 'Wait for Me' and Tim had made a half turn to return to the stage when his eyes met mine.

My mind hyper-jumped to his duplicates of the original solos ... 'I've heard this song a thousand times ... I can do it' ... I shook my head and mouthed to him 'stay there' ... he frowned and I nodded and made an 'ok' sign.

Then I made a pistol with my right hand and 'fired a shot' at Bryan ... he hit the A#6 chord ... I leaped in front of my mike and sang: 'Wait for me ... please ... wait for me, girl' ... in one explosive motion, as Jody clacked 1-2-3-4 on his stick, I spun and quickly barked to Harley: 'sing Tim's part' ... worked my foot switch for the distortion ... and launched into the solo.

So far so good ... exact duplicate ... go ME! I sang: ''Midnight hour ... almost over ... Time is running out for the magic pair' ... as I sang ... my eyes fell to Tim and Josie ... her arms around his neck, face buried in it ... him with the same look ... at peace. Hmmm. Last song ... time indeed IS running out ... so now what?

I smiled ... chuckled a little listening to Harley struggle with the high background ... I felt good ... singing a song about a desperate love ... how about that?

I coursed through the song ... watching my fingers on the solos ... not quite the same blur as Tim's Alvin Lee imitation ... but not too shabby ... and perfect on the vocals ... helps when you are really feeling it ... like a messenger or something.

As the music died and I 'gave them an extra twist' and sang the falsetto acapella at the end ... I glanced at Tim and Josie and ... *eww they were KISSING* ....

Nah, just kidding ... actually I thought it was great. I watched them as the dance floor erupted in applause, said 'Thanks ... good night' into my mike ... took my towel out of my case and wiped my forehead as the accolade grew louder.

I turned and Tim and Josie were holding hands ... he was talking to her and I saw him say what I think was 'play the encore'. As he left her and dutifully returned to the stage ... Jody called out 'American Woman'.

I could feel myself frown ... song felt wrong ... don't have Bryan sing about American women when our dark and dour lead guitarist has just met one.

Spontaneously, I yelled loud enough for everyone to hear ... 'no, no, Born On the Bayou!' ... Jody nodded in acquiescence of my override. I watched Tim sling his Les Paul ... take a deep breath ... and launch into what was ... for him ... a mercifully simple opening riff ... Bryan stood ... removed his mike from the boom ... no keys on this song ... came and stood between me and Tim ... 'when I was just a little boy ... standin' to my daddy's knee ... my papa said "son, don't let the man getcha n' do what he done to me' ... dance floor rockin' away ... me plinkin' away at the seventh chords ... Tim power chording the melody ... Josie beaming up at Tim ... what neat way to polish off the show.

We finished ... started breaking down ... noticed Tim and Josie and close conversation ... then she went and sat at a table and waited. Tim went to work on packing the case/tray that held his foot switches ... finished with that ... started breaking down his amp and the head.

I went over and put a hand on his shoulder ... 'just go, man ... I got this'. I looked at me and ... well ... I dunno what I saw in his eyes ... understanding or whatever ... he half shrugged ... half nodded ... went over to where Josie was sitting ... arms around each other and off they went.

This reminds me of kind of one of those scenes like you see in a movie ... where a character is reflecting ... kind of feels half-happy ... half ... I dunno what ... sad maybe ... but not 'sad' sad ... y'know?

Probably not ...

You know what, though? Good for Tim. Really.



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Posted on Sat, Oct 15, 2005 09:42

Friday October 15 -- Hampton VA

Stayed at the Hampton Inn in Hampton VA ... tongue-twister? Heh!

Yesterday was my mom's birthday ... I sent her some flowers and ordered her some bedding that she wanted on the internet ... was pleased to hear that it arrived on-time okay. She is *censored* years-young ... huh? ... for some reason I cannot type her age ... hmmm. She's Eye-talian ... musta put the mallocchio on me all the way from Pittsburgh! Just kidding ... she loved the bedding!

Back to business as usual ... this is a long post... all voices are nicely recovered and I can go back to being "the guy with the green strat ... stage left".

We played at the Bar Norfolk ... a nifty dance bar that was adapted for live entertainment. Widely diverse crowd ... people my age ... people my kids' age ... mixed crowd ... fun crowd ... lots of people dancing.

But not at first. Jody unaccountably made our first set too tame, and he noticed it too: people were coming out on the dance floor, staying for half a song, and then leaving. During our first break, he worked feverishly up at the sound and light boards with Miguel and Clinton, giving them the light and sound cues for the changes to the set list. Of course, Miguel didn't bring along a printer to print the changes from his laptop ... so Jody would have to call out the changes to the set list as we finished each song.

When he told us this, I got a little antsy and went up to check Miguel's new list. Crap, 'Tenderness' was the first song of the second set. Lucky thing I checked.

So ... I had peformed this song on Wednesday night ... and was disappointed with how it sounded. Too loose ... particularly Bryan a little out of sync on the keys with the rhythm. As we returned to the stage, I informed him what the first tune of the set would be and carefully (didn't want to bruise his ego) told him let's make sure "we" were tight with the rhythm. He shrugged and nodded.

We bounced into the song and as soon as the bass and drums kicked in, there were people on the dance floor. Yes! My voice was good ... Tim and Bryan were excellent on the background. And as soon as the song ended ... Jody thumped on his foot pedal and said just audibly enough to be heard ... 'Mournblade!'

Tim grinned eagerly, retrieved his bottleneck from his pants pocket, and launched into that wicked slide riff. Then he gave me a wink and jerked his head ... a signal for me to close in on him for our duel.

I felt a little cocky ... pushed up my sleeve and made a muscle ... then slid across next to him and joined in as a crash came from Jody's kit and Harley thrummed in on the bass, Bryan joining in behind with another eerie wind effect on the synthesizer.

There was a well-muscled black haired girl dancing right in front of us that I was barely aware of as Bryan and I dueled at the end of each verse. Each time we dueled, she played air guitar with us. I got a kick out of this and grinned stupidly ... and Tim pouted and sneered tauntingly at her ... I think he was enjoying himself.

We blitzed through the rest of the second set ... winding up with 'Don't Forget About Me' as we finished. The black haired girl was there through the entire set ... apparently alone ... hmmm. And ... as we finished ... she took a quick glance at the empty bottles of Coors on Tim's and my amps, flagged down a passing waitress, and ordered us too more.

Anyway, Tim and I glanced at each other ... she introduced herself ... Josie-something. Talked with us ... pretty girl ... 28 ... kinda hard-looking ... turns out she plays guitar too. Oh.

I dunno a lot about guitars or what makes them work ... I just play 'em. Tim is far more into that stuff ... every guitar he's ever owned to my knowledge ... he's torn them down and rebuilt them to his liking. On the other hand, my Strat is completely stock ... I only change the strings and adjust the harmonics.

Well, Josie talked on and on ...Tim and I finally sat down on the edge of the stage ... nursing our beers while she sat on the dance floor. Tim was getting into it a little I could see ... good ... went and picked up his Les Paul, slung it over her shoulder, and started showing her stuff.

After a bit ... I nodded to Tim ... shook Josie's hand and excused myself. I drained my beer, went to the beer and ordered up another to nurse through the last set. Instinctively I briefly looked around the booths for Satine before I remembered that she had said yesterday that she was going to take it easy for a few days, whatever that meant. Heh! Whatever ...

So ... I stood at the bar and chatted with a group of girls and guys almost young enough to be my kids ... they engaged me in conversation actually. Asked about the band ... I gave them a brief history ... but before I knew it, I was talking about myself and giving them the story of what led me back to all THIS.

After maybe a minute of that, I could tell I was boring them. So I smiled, thanked them for coming to hear us, 'don't drink too much, drive carefully' and all that, like I was their parent or something.

Then I did a slow circuit of the club to head back to the stage, stopping periodically so I would time it right. Tim was still up there with Josie ... guitar turned down real low ... and she was jamming on it a little for him. Tim was laughing and nodding encouragingly. Then I saw him say something and shrug ... Josie removed his guitar ... helped him sling it back on himself ... and gave him a nice big not-too-brief kiss full on the mouth. Oooyah Tim!

I discreetly watched her move back into the crowd before heading to the stage ... I arrived and he gave me a careful appraising look which I answered with a neutral casual nod, rubbing my hands together like I was anxious to get going again.

Jody slipped between us ... informing curtly us as he passed 'we open with 'I'm Goin' down' ... 'I'm Losing You' ... then 'Adult Education'. I took a swig off my beer and placed it on my amp. Bryan and Harley were making their way slowly back to the stage and I leaned over to Tim and said casually: 'why don't me and you work together on a song when we get a chance?'

He glanced at me and said: 'Sure' ... before adding ... 'what brought this on all of a sudden?'

I told him: 'I had an idea about a song that we could both sing, kind of a running dialogue ... two different views'.

He frowned and shrugged: 'Interesting concept, I think Chicago did something like that when we were kids though ... so what kind of dialogue?'

Mischievously, I cocked my head in fake thought and said: 'We could call the song 'Skirt Crazy' ... we both seem to have different views on that ... or do we?'

Well ... this brought an instant scowl from him ... until he could tell I was pulling his leg ... so I added 'Current events being what they are and all ... whaddya think?'

Tim's scowl slowly evaporated into a sneering smile ... his eyes never left mine ... until he finally turned and scooped a pick from the top of his Traynor ... then he smirked evilly at me again and, predictably, said 'fu*ck you'.

Everyone back on stage now ... Bryan glanced back over his shoulder and Jody called the tune ... then Bryan glanced at Tim ... another tune with an opening guitar riff ... the way we do it ... before the rest of the instruments kick in.

Tim stared at something in mid-air that only he could see in front of him speculatively for a moment ... then he turned his head and said 'go on ... take it jacka*ss'.

A challenge ... I had been practicing this little 8 bar riff during lulls every time we'd practiced ... trying to emulate Tim ... he always laughed at the arpeggio of his that I'd never been able to duplicate ... so I instead did a quick double power chord in it's place. Fine.

I gave Tim a quick 'who? me?' glance, before I launched into it. Bryan was right on top of it and ... four bars in ... let go with a loud 'hooooooooooooo!' before he started banging away at the keys ... and with a voice like freshly ground number one gravel .... 'I'm goin' downnnnn, down, down, down, down dowwwwn!'

Tim took the rest of the solos ... but at one point ... he glanced at me and I saw him mouth ... 'pretty good'. I blew the bastard a kiss.

(continued)



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Posted on Fri, Oct 14, 2005 22:44


Minnie415 write:
Whew! Brian - that almost hurt my throat just reading it! LOL
You describe it so well!
Hope you are all feeling much better now!




Hye Ugly,
If you are ever near a Chinatown and you see a sort of herbal shop or Chiense supermart, go in and look for a jar of herbal syrup called 'Pei Pa Ko'..it does wonders to your throat. In China and the East , most opera singers take it to soothe and protect their throat. Great for curing sore throats and coughs and v. nice to take...(trade secret)..lol



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Posted on Fri, Oct 14, 2005 11:01

Well, you are getting closer to my stomping grounds. Come on to Houston - several rocking clubs. The "Hop", which plays 50's and 60's, 70's music usually has live bands on Wed. They are so packed on weekends they don't need live bands then. They have two locations in Houston. Real dancing crowd, great dancers. I am not sure what other rock clubs are in Houston, Dallas, but someone will know.

wwwww



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Posted on Thu, Oct 13, 2005 04:20

Wednesday October 13 -- Richmond VA

It's been a quiet last few days and there isn't much to write about. So ... what is a quiet day in the life of a band member on the road?

Sunday afternoon ... long drive down here from Arlington .. we are now in the old capital of the Confederacy. Have been through here a couple times in the past, but never been here.

Sunday night ... ESPN Sunday night football at the motel bar lounge ... went up to room at halftime ... read a book while watching the rest of the game. Lights out at 1:30AM.

Monday morning ... *yawn* ... breakfast at the motel was sparse ... walked a half mile with Miguel to a Denny's ... Sausage ... eggs ... English muffins .. coffee .. lots of coffee.

Monday afternoon ... would have been a good thing to rehearse ... but yucky weather and some voices still on the mend negated that. Plenty of dirty clothes in the duffle bags ... so went with the roadies and Jody to the laundromat.

Monday night ... dunhh .. dunhh .. dunnh .. dunhhhh! Monday Night Football ... sans Bryan and Tim in the lounge ... a real nail biter ... but the Stillers pulled it out at the end.

Tuesday morning ... started with a 3 mile run in crappy weather ... gave the puny arms a good workout in the motel weight room ... worked up a good sweat ... felt good.

Tuesday afternoon ... bored ... called a friend on lunch hour back home and kibbitzed for a while ... stopped in on Tim ... his voice is on the mend nicely. Not so with Bryan ... he is more frail and underweight than ever and won't eat. Took a short walk to a convenience store and returned with Vitamin C and some orange juice. Told the bastard I wasn't leaving until I saw him chug some oj like he usually chugs a beer.

Tuesday night ... still bore ... worked out in the weight room again until my arms were numb. Called my son and we had a great talk. Then I visited the roadies in Tony and Clinton's room ... played rummy until after midnight .. got a little toasted on bourbon.

Wednesday morning ... visited Tim ... he's all better now ... Bryan's almost back to normal, but coughing a lot ... actually drinking a lot of honey and lemon tea and he is more wired than usual from the caffeine. Heh!

Wednesday night ... played at Bogart's ... and were decidedly out of place in a joint that usually doesn't have live entertainment on a weeknight. As I understand it, this is a jazz joint on weekends, and we are no jazz band. Bryan sang about a dozen songs ... Tim and I split the rest relatively equally. We occasionally play one of those shows that just DRAGS and this was one of them. Great food though and we ate for free.

Summary: No drama ... seems like there isn't much to write about. If the show had been more fun, there would have been. Oh well. Quiet morning ... our weekend will take us to Hampton and Norfolk before we swing west through the panhandle and then into Kentucky.



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Posted on Mon, Oct 10, 2005 11:13

Whew! Brian - that almost hurt my throat just reading it! LOL
You describe it so well!
Hope you are all feeling much better now!



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Posted on Sun, Oct 09, 2005 18:43

Saturday October 8 -- Arlington VA

What a pis*ser of a day this was. First a nice long drive down from Glen Burnie to Arlington ... freaking beltway traffic ... Tim looked sick as a dog ... slept the whole way.

Checked in, turned off my phone and decided to catch some zzz's. Awakened by a knock on the door at quarter to four and just knew it was Tim. He looked worse than this morning ... nose all red ... stuffly and sniffly. Told me "there's no way I can sing tonight ... can you take up the slack?". Told him I would ... what choice did I have?

He told me he was going to go back to his room and try to sleep some of it off. I ordered room service and made a point of lemon and water. Later on I kicked up my feet and was watching Iowa and Purdue play when another knock came at my door. Bryan and Harley. More bad news ... I took one look at Bryan and knew what it was ... he looked as sick as Tim ... and his voice was all raspy. Uh oh.

With our two top voices out of action and only me and Harley with "serviceable" voices, we faced a decision and I suggested that we get Tim, Jody and, yeah, Satine in on the deal. An hour later, everyone was in my room. I laid it out for everybody ... we were faced with going on or cancelling the show and losing the payday. If we went on ... it was likely that Bryan and Tim would be able to muster a couple songs at best, and if we did that, we were faced with them not being available for backup vocals.

Satine asked the obvious: could I sing the bulk of the songs? I didn't know if I could, I didn't even know all the lyrics to all our songs. Bryan said that he might have three or four songs in him if we picked the right ones to put on the set lists. I looked at Tim and he shrugged and said he promised he'd be good for 'Mournblade' ... no one but him was gonna sing that song.

Well ... we usually do anywhere between about 27 to 36 songs a night, depending on how long the songs we select are. Jody finally suggested that we pick, obviously, songs I know, and we let Tim drag out as many closing solos as possible. Sounded like a good idea ... maybe the ONLY idea.

I went back to Jody's room with him and the first thing he did was toss the lists he made for that evening. Then we went over our repertoire list ... picked out stuff I knew ... and compiled three ten song lists. Thirty songs ... Harley would pick up a couple ... his range isn't good ... he knows it and doesn't try to hide it. He basically sings because we need another voice on our songs. I would sing twenty-two of them that night.

I'd never sang more than three.

Jody arranged it so that I would get two one-song breaks each set. I felt overwhelmed ... and felt like telling everyone that we should bag it. That would've been bad business, not to mention failing to "have everyone else's back". Not an option.

Well, we were to play at Mr. Night's in Arlington. Place was just taken over recently by, interestingly enough, the owner's of "Mr. Day's". Nice place ... good Saturday crowd, and I was apprehensive as we were setting up.

When I was all set, I headed for the bar, ordered a vodka with lemon joice and stood there sipping it. Satine came over from where she'd been sitting, gave me a two-handed slap on the shoulders and said: "you can do this". I chuckled a little, told her that all we needed were football helmets and she could give me a head bu*tt for good measure.

Unusual woman! Damn me if she didn't grab my ears and give me a not-too-light bu*tt. Then she said "ow!", rubbed her head and told me that I'd better sing damn good for that.

So ... we went on ... I was nervous and tight, they'd set me at stage center for the very first time ... I was the "front man" ... yikes. Did three and four songs in a row for the first set. So far so good ... pumped down another drink during the break.

Second set, Harley sang 'Bad to the Bone' and 'Ten Inch Record'. I had opened and closed with four straight songs ... last of which were two of Bryan's compositions ... felt very weird singing them ... forgot the lyrics to 'Angry Love' halfway through ... glanced at Bryan and he was mouthing the words ... but I couldn't make out what they were. Was laughing to myself as we went for our break because I remembered them as I was walking offstage!

Didn't feel so nervous ... my voice was getting tired though ... pounded down another drink while we were all sitting at Satine's booth ... everyone telling me I could do it ... pounding me on the back and all that ... felt like a backup QB in for the hobbled star. I didn't get another head bu*tt though.

We were closing the night with 'Wait for Me' (I winced) and then 'Mournblade' (mercifully) for our encore. This set also had 'Adult Education' in it, another strainer. We had 'Pump it Up' in the middle of the set and, by the time we got to it, I was yelling more than singing.

I gave 'Wait for Me' everything I had left, which wasn't much ... I thought I even SOUNDED tired ... and I really emptied the tank on the acapella at the end. The customers applauded nicely and I was relieved .... done ... and coughing so much I thought I was gonna bring up blood.

Well, almost ...

Of course, they wanted more and as we finished the opening to 'Mournblade', it dawned on me that I still had to sing the closing harmony with Tim. Ah sh*it!

Well ... when we hit it, I got one rep out and felt my throat tightening, prep to another coughing spasm. I had no choice but to stop singing. But when I did, I heard not one, but THREE voices still singing .... what?

I immediately knew that one of them was Harley ... he'd seen me coughing after the last song, told me about it later. Yeah, he was singing ... way at the top of his range.

And Bryan ... damn ... I looked over and saw his mouth pressed up against his mike, eyes screwed shut ... singing. He told me afterwards ... whispered actually ... that he felt like his throat was turning inside out ... but he added that it was the least he could do ... having my back for me.

Well ... we survived this show ... a good payday too ... good percentage of the door.

Hopefully as we continue our swing through Virginia ... everyone's voice will be back to normal by Wednesday night. I know ONE that probably won't!



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Posted on Sat, Oct 08, 2005 18:22

hmmm.... interesting.... that you feel like you've narrowly escaped a snake-pit. That's the impression I get every time you describe her.... brrrrr.... I get shivers... not the good kind! LOL
But of course I wouldn't get the right kind of shivers cuz I'm a woman. ;-)
Listen to your gut feeling.....
she's definitely reeling you in... slowly but surely.... very clever Satine is.. smooth operator... smooth as satin. Knows exactly what she wants and what she's doing. Doesn't miss a beat.



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Posted on Sat, Oct 08, 2005 02:57

Friday October 7 -- Glen Burnie MD

I remember this town always used to be one of the exits I passed on my way to Rehoboth Beach on vacation when I was a family man. Just slightly surreal to actually be here.

Rehearsal time ... Bryan's finished another song. I asked him if he had worked on "Tryin' to Be the One". He rather non-commitally said that he had been doing so, but it needed some more work. Fine. He also suggested, in light of the fact that he only had one new song ready, and none of the rest of us did, including me, that we pick up another cover.

I have a big chest that looks like an old steamer trunk that is filled with sheet music that I have bought (along with performing license) over the years. Bryan spent the morning on Thursday on the bus going through it. He picked out an interesting tune.

When he suggested it, the rest of us just looked at each other. The song is "Tenderness" by General Public, a tune from the 80's which is ... well ... sort of a New Wave tune ... not our style. Miguel dutifully downloaded the song from KaZaA onto the laptop he uses during our shows and we listened to it.

"So who the fu*ck does the girly 'Aaahh, aaah, aah, oh!' at the start of the song', was Jody's question. Tim and I glanced at each other dubiously knowing it would be us. But then Bryan suggested that since he and Tim have the best high range, they would do it ... which meant I would be singing another cover. I sure am doing a lot of our singing all of a sudden.

We tried it ... not bad ... the guy singing has a little bit of a David Bowie sound to his voice, which I can handle. I play fill-in rhythm during the whole song ... easy chord progression ... no tabs. We listened to the song twice ... again in a field outside another no-name motel ... rehearsed ... and we had it down lickety-split ... hmmm ... is this band getting tight or something? The piano has sort of a spritely sound to it that Bryan picked up very quickly. Song has a good bass & drum beat to it that makes a good dance tune. Okay ... so we have added New Wave to our repertoire now. Interesting.

Bryan's new composition, a tune called "The Stage is Set" ... I dunno what I think of it. It is a good tune ... but conceptually it is a copy of Led Zeppelin's 'Kashmir' ... and I dunno what I think about that. It is decidely not a dance tune ... which limits us to doing it as a first set song ... before people have gotten liquored up and start dancing.

Satine showed up briefly to talk with us on Thursday after we were done rehearsing. Harley and I were sitting on his amp having a beer and she sat down and mentioned that we don't play another concert type show until next week in Roanoake. She asked us how we felt about that and both of us just shrugged. Then she mentioned that, if we felt like extending the tour another two weeks, she would try to get us some more concert type shows closer to hom when we swing back north. We got the rest of the band together to talk about it. Reactions were mixed, so it is still up in the air.

Oh ... almost forgot ... Tony's high school pal Clinton drove all the way down from Philly to join us. The dude actually quit his job to come aboard, but I have a feeling working in a deli wasn't very fulfilling unless you consider the fact that he mighta liked hoagies ... he's about 5'10 and must weigh 250 pounds. He can run a light board okay though.

We played at Glen Burnie's big hot spot, and maybe the ONLY hot spot, the All-American Sports Bar. The place is nice, it's clean, and it's BIG. It has a hooters type atmosphere and there were plenty of hooters to look at too. Jody decided to keep our two new tunes on the shelf for now, but 'Adult Education' was on the list closing out our second set. I had a little laugh wondering what Clinton would look like onstage, but he didn't join us when we did the song. I teasingly asked Satine if she would like to take Deb's place ... got another rare smile and a declining shake of the head and brief sparkle of the sky-blue lasers.

Tim's voice sounded a little tired when we did 'Mournblade'. I hadn't talked to him since early Thursday morning in Satine's room, but I mentioned that his voice sounded strained. He said he felt like he was fighting a cold and I did take note that he continuously drank water with lemon during the entire show. I should have too ... was a little sniffly this morning and I am sure it's because of the weather changing. But it's a little worrisome, and after the show when we were all talking I mentioned it might be a good idea to give Tim as much of a night off from singing as we can tonight. Everyone agreed.

Everything else feels mercifully normal. As I close here I want to take time out to give long overdue thanx to everyone who has been emailing me. It's great to hear from you all and I have been taking a little time out to post a little more in the forums than I have been. It's been therapeutic and fun, doing that, and hearing from all of you! Thanx! Also special thanx to Cub for his post, as well as to my special friends for your words of inspiration.



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Posted on Fri, Oct 07, 2005 11:44

Ugly,

Skirt-chasing does not get you far...you are dealing with a lawyer.So be very weary...takes one to know one.



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Posted on Thu, Oct 06, 2005 14:57

Wednesday October 5 -- Cambridge MD

Okay, so I rode in Satine's car with her, but not alone.

While the rest of the crew headed for Cambridge on Sunday morning, Satine, myself, Tim and Jody headed up to DC for some site seeing in Satine's new car, a Toyota Solara convertible (she dumped her rental last week).

I was particularly interested in seeing the Pentagon. I didn't know it, but should have expected that the repairs to the place after the 9/11 incident have long been completed and, incidentally, with the demise of the WTC, it now again holds its old title of the worlds largest office building.

Okay, I'd promised "her cool self" that I would give her plenty of "Brian" time, so we had dinner on Monday night. She's indeed a fabulous looking woman, but I was pleased that she was all business.

Told her all about me there was to know ... marriages ... kids ... jobs ... lack thereof. All the while, that penetrating laser of a gaze. Made it hard to believe that she wasn't looking at me, but rather dissecting me. We knocked down a bottle of wine and she actually laughed at one point at a joke I made about myself.

As the discussion continued, we got to talking about me losing my job. At this, she noted: 'Interesting turn of events for you. You were the only one of these guys who made it as a professional out in the real world. And in one fell swoop, you were reduced to what they are or were'. She asked me what my thoughts were on that.

I told her that I didn't feel reduced to ANYTHING. In the time we were apart, all these guys were still equals to me. And I wasn't talking about the lifestyle or the life, I was just talking at the individual level.

She took all this in and then told me that being equals is what made us good as she saw it, and would be a key to our success. I wanted to tell her that this kind of success didn't matter to me. That this was what I wanted to be right now, but it could change. Of course, if I'da said that, she'd have torn up our contract and threw it in my face.

We played at a brand new club called the Rad Pack. Seth and a lanky old guy (older than me even) who Seth called Bones filmed some footage. We all watched it later on in this big suite Satine got at the Marriott. I had to laugh, we just look like what we are, a bunch of old guys back for another throw. It was fun to watch though and there's a lot of footage of Tim, which is good since he's the best looking among us. And there's a close-up segment of his hands playing the lead on "Mournblade" and his fingers a just a blur. Damn he can play.

I would like to close this here, but unfortunately I am sure you'd all like to hear about this. So ...

It was five in the morning when the 'party' finally broke up and everyone started to leave. Satine asked me to hang around for a little bit. I wasn't tired and could hang out for a while, but Tim heard this of course and gave me the "you're skirt crazy again" glare as he left.

She poured herself a glass of wine and damn me if she didn't stretch out on the sofa in the suite. She told me to have a glass and gave the chair next to the couch a shot with her lasers, indicating I should sit down. Without knowing what to think, I obeyed.

The talk was interesting. She said: 'why didn't you go see Tim when he was in the hospital after his motorcycle accident?' I shrugged and told her what it was. There had been a lot of animosity with all of us, but also he had sort of a little thing for my then-wife which I didn't appreciate which added oil to the fire.

She said: 'I talked with him. I dunno if you ever knew this but he was really hurt by that'. Again I shrugged, it was in the past and this was business now. I didn't care to feel like I was being accused for something that had played out the way it did. I told her: "He's never mentioned it to me. If we'd have still been friends back then, I'da gone to see him. But we weren't and that was that'.

I didn't tell her I really hadn't wanted Tim to be with us when we got back together again, but it was true. When I went to see everyone about it, I'd excluded him. And, of course, it was Harley who wouldn't have it. It was Harley who went to see Tim. And it was Harley who lied, when Tim had asked him why I didn't talk to him about it myself, and told Tim that I wanted him back with the band, but I was uncertain how to approach it given what had happened. And of course, when Tim came to me and told me what Harley had said and told me it was cool and he held no grudges, I was floored.

I gathered that I was just giving her the "know you guys" info she wanted. Talk eventually turned to her and, when she talks about herself, she talks a LOT. She'd had sort of a sad childhood, bounced back and forth between divorced parents and respective step-parents. Never really had anything like a real "home base" growing up and married at 21. Her first husband put her through business school, a kindness she repaid him with by divorcing him when she became established with our current management company, although the fact that she said he cheated on her a number of times probably influenced it. Never married again, continued her schooling and added on a law degree, specializing in tax and contract law. Very efficient.

She sighed languidly as she finished her tale and all of a sudden I felt like I shouldn't be there. I glanced toward the window and could see through the drapes that it was daylight and felt like I should get some sleep. Like she was reading my thoughts, she stretched in a way that was feline and got up from the couch. I got up too and she slipped an arm through mine and walked me to the door.

At the door, way too close, she turned the Sperry-Rand lasers on again and said neutrally: "Well, this was nice". I said 'yeah, it was' as I inched back a half-step and held out my palm for a handshake. She regarded it in a sort of dubious way as if I was offering her a rattlesnake, maybe I shoulda hugged her or something ... I dunno. Then smile number 15 and she shook it ... reached past me for the doorknob and said: "Thanks".

As I slipped out and the door closed behind me, I half-had that feeling that someone gets when they escape a snake-pit. At the same time ... ah hell, if the guys think I am skirt-happy, maybe they are right. There IS indeed something about this woman ... this Satine.

Well ... haven't been to bed yet and I might as well stay up now because we are leaving in two hours. Schiesse!



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Posted on Thu, Oct 06, 2005 04:21


Bonnie88 write:
Hey Brian,
Have you ever thought that this diary you are keeping is fast becoming a sort of best seller? By the time you finish this tour of yours you could also publish your journal to coincide with any CD or music video your agent planned for your band?
That would be an interesting sales gimmick.



Good point! Ch-ching! $$$

  


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Posted on Wed, Oct 05, 2005 17:37

Hey Brian,
Have you ever thought that this diary you are keeping is fast becoming a sort of best seller? By the time you finish this tour of yours you could also publish your journal to coincide with any CD or music video your agent planned for your band?
That would be an interesting sales gimmick.



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Posted on Wed, Oct 05, 2005 00:14

What can I say Brian...every day is a gift....enjoy!
Love Julia

  
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Posted on Tue, Oct 04, 2005 10:41

(continued from previous post)

We burned through the rest of the set ... all covers ... crowd loved it. So did I. We closed with Springsteen's "She's the One" in which Tim lowers to a husky baritone ... interesting choice by Jody ... a song that we had in our repertoire, but had never performed because we had no keyboard player ... Tim played the solo that should have been done by a saxaphone note for note on his Les Paul, with an effect that sounded very "sax-like". And I didn't know Bryan could play keys like that ... sneaky bastard.

As we were taking our bows ... I looked up at the corner of the bar and saw Greg. Well, so this was it, so long Deb. As we were breaking down, Greg moved to help and nobody stopped him. I finished quickly and went to sit with Satine. Told her we could get together to talk, but also that I hoped she understood I wanted to keep the right protocol ... and she said it was fine. I saw Deb saying her good byes to everyone ... hugging Miguel and Harley ... shaking hands with the rest of the guys ... Tim talked to her for a bit ... saw him shrug a couple times as he was talking and her nodding and smiling herself a few times.

Finally she looked in my direction ... smiled. I nodded and winked ... the earlier good bye was okay and nothing more needed to be said. All in all, she's a good soul and I wish her the best. Besides, she'd never once talked to Satine and I don't think there was a reason to.

We play in Cambridge MD on Wednesday ... I can't remember the name of the place.



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Posted on Tue, Oct 04, 2005 10:40

Saturday October 1 -- Dover DE

Do Not Disturb.

I felt more like writing on Sunday, which was when I wrote this posting, as opposed to Saturday morning. But I felt like leaving the sign hanging outside my door all day yesterday after I posted. But there WAS work to do.

I resolved to not let this get to me for a number of days without really embracing the idea. I was in a business venture in which I had allowed something personal to get to me, and that was wrong. Needy maybe even. In any case, I'd let this crush on Deb go too far.

I was shaken from my reveree yesterday by, of all people, Tony. He stopped by my room and told me that, since it was obvious Miguel would be elevated to be our stage manager, he figured that we would need someone to fill the spot Deb was leaving after her last show with us. He mentioned that he knew someone who would fit in very well. I told him that as long as it wasn't a female, I'm sure we'd be receptive.

He didn't seem to get what I meant, but in continuing, he told me about a guy he had gone to high school with in Philly (the 'highly noted' Benjamin Franklin H.S.) who had run the lighting system for their musicals when he attended there back in the late 80's. Fine.

We played at Breaker's again. Soon as we arrived, I went out, smoked a cigar and took a walk until a little while before show time. I knew I was gonna be okay, I just didn't want to be around anyone.

I came back in time to tune up and go over the set list. Tim came over and sat beside me. 'After tonight, you let this all go, right?', he said to me. I looked at him and told him I'd already done that. I saw him look past me and figured he was looking at Debbie. Then he said, 'she's got a rock on the left ring finger in case you didn't notice. Don't get all worked up again'. Whatever. I didn't look.

Bigger crowd than Friday night ... lots of couples. Jody had loaded up the end of the first and the middle of the second sets with slow songs. Lots of people on the dance floor. For the first time since back near the start of the tour, I went onstage with the sunglasses. The black eye is gone and the scar is a fading pink now.

I quit smoking twenty years ago, but midway through the first set, I bummed one from Tim, took a few puffs and stuck it up under the strings like he does. We closed the first set with three straight blues tunes ... I felt almost like Jody was testing me. Not once did I look in Debbie's direction. Discipline.

She was nowhere around when we took our first break, but I found Satine sitting again at a corner table and went to sit with her while I had a drink. She wanted to know why we didn't do any of our originals in the first set. I guess no one had clued her in on the fact that Jody draws up the set lists, but I did mention that it was probably prudent to save them for the second and third sets since we only had a few right now.

She, like I said, has this intense stare with those sky blue eyes when she is listening to someone talk and it was going right through me. I'm a little intimidated by her, but not only for that reason; I don't want to screw up anything for us and always feel like I am on my guard with anything I say to her. The whole time we were talking, and the talk eventually tapered back to less-serious small talk, she didn't smile once.

Back onstage for the second set. When I sang 'Wait for Me', I finally stole a glance at Deb. She was watching me intently, her chin resting on her hands and that rock on her finger poking up on the side.

I was okay ... I kinda knew I'd be ... the acapella just wasn't perfect like it had been the night before. And ... we closed the set with 'Adult Education'. Deb joined the roadies onstage ... standing beside me as we tore into the tune ... 'up! ... up!' ... watching intently as I worked the Flanger pedal with my foot between the verses. It was good ... it was fun ... and she was just another human standing up there with me. Until ...

The song ended, the set was over ... and she stepped close and put her arms around me and hugged me like it was for dear life ... said in my ear 'you're a special guy ... you'll always be special to me'. And that was it ... her hair fell as she turned away and I couldn't see her face.

Well, okay, that was nice. She stepped off the stage and into the crowd and almost immediately some guy came up to her and started talking to her. I set my guitar on its stand and flipped the switch on my twenty year old amp to let it cool down. Then I went and rejoined Satine at her table ... rescued her actually from some young blonde dude who was hitting on her.

Something struck me at that moment about Satine ... not to focus too much on another skirt here... I likened her to the 101st Airborne in 'Band of Brothers'. Like Easy Company ... I felt that Satine would have told me, had I mentioned it, that she 'did not need f*cking rescued'. When I sat down on the other side of her from him, she promptly ignored him and it took him another minute or two to realize he had used it all up and he got up and left.

Satine was instantly 'interested' in me. With her eyes, she indicated Deb where she still stood talking to the guy, and she asked bluntly: 'so, what is the story with you two?'

I took a couple of minutes and explained everything ... leaving nothing out ... but speaking almost from a third-person point of view ... right down to referring to myself in the third person context, which confused her for a moment until she realized I was talking about 'Brian', not 'Bryan'.

All the while she was listening, there was that same penetrating stare. When I had finished, she asked me in a very 'counselor-like' way, 'and how do you feel about all this?' I answered: 'I've told you what it is, I'll be fine. I'm fine now. I let myself get led on, and I realize it'.

She finally (mercifully) dropped her gaze to her drink and stirred it in a kind of idle way. Then she said to me: 'While I do know the history of the band and of each of you individually, I really don't know any of you guys. This is a business venture and I didn't feel it necessary that I know you personally except for what's in your heads as far as music and performing goes. Now I am seeing that may be wrong'.

I shrugged, not knowing what she meant, but then she continued (with the stare again): 'I think that I should do that now and I see no reason not to begin with you, as you are the seeming leader of the band'. I shook my head at this and told her: 'I'm not'.

She shrugged herself at this and said: 'Whatever. What I would like to do is for you to forget about all this thing with your roadie and her boyfriend, forget it ever happened. And when we leave to drive down to Cambridge tomorrow, you ride down with me instead of with the rest of the crew on the bus. We can talk and, if you don't mind, I can pick your brains'.

I considered this for a moment ... and considered it a bad idea.

'Uh, uh', I said, 'bad idea. This Deb thing has kinda gotten out in the open with the rest of the guys. If I ride down there with you, it would look bad, and the guys would think I'm skirt happy or something'.

Satine leaned back in her chair and gave me the lasers again. 'Interesting', she said expressionlessly, 'I'm flattered'. I laughed and shook a finger at her: 'No, no. Don't be. This is what it is. Business'.

Again the lasers ... in full silence as she digested what I'd said. Then ... smile number 14, I think. 'Business', she nodded ... and motioned toward the stage with her head ... 'go play' ... her dismissal. Getting used to those.

I was just as glad as I got up and trooped up through the crowd to the stage ... unusual woman ... mysterious ... assertive. I shook my head to clear the cobwebs ... right ... as if ... that'd be all I need!

Tim was in high spirits ... literally ... as I joined him on stage: 'Let's kick some hairy a*ss, muther f*cker' he growled, giving me a hard clap on the shoulder. I flicked my amp back on, slung my Strat, and give him a mocking sneer. The rest of the guys joined us and, after a brief test, Miguel signaled from the sound board that we were 'go'.

We were to open with 'Mournblade' and Tim turned in a circle addressing all of us: 'New riff ... same 16 & 32 bars ... stay with me, jacka*sses!' ... then he ripped into a powerful new opening that would have done Steve Vai proud. After his 16 bar opening, I jumped right in with him, but after 8 bars, on the spur of the moment I popped my Flanger pedal and started to improvise.

Tim's pouty smile showed that he approved as we chainsawed through the rest of the opening and then, his lips were jammed against his mike as he sang 'oh, the edge is DULL, why don't we sharpen it, bayy-hay-bay?' ... oh he was drunk and he was on FIRE!

I stepped back and watched Bryan's shoulders popping as he played the chords on the piano ... doing a rip-down on the keys at the end of the first verse ... He was into it. Jody? No problem ... spraying sweat as usual already ... even though it was the opening song of the set.

Harley? The dude has an enormous 6-string Fender Bass ... but he is like the late bassist John Entwistle of the Who ... totally unanimated on stage. I turned and looked at him, goading him with my expression ... finally mouthing 'C'MON! DO SOMETHING!'. He gazed at me passively, seeming to refuse to take the bait ... and I finally gave up because it was almost time to do the ending harmony with Tim. But ... as we launched into that, I heard Harley scatting double notes on his bass at the end of each rep, something I didn't even know that he knew how to do. As we ended the song, his head was down ... but then he looked up at me with an evil grin.

(Continued)



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