So you want to be in a band?
5:50 PM Friday. Wife calls and asks if we need anything other than milk. “Beer.” is the response.
Three-year-old is now upset because Netflix has frozen and won’t play her show; and we still have no milk. I’m trying to cobble together some sort of dinner from whatever I can find in the fridge and pantry. It seems one of us forgot to pull something out of the freezer this morning.
“Daddy? What’s Doggy doing?” I turn around and notice the dog making as if to puke on the floor and quickly usher her out of the house where she suddenly forgets to puke and goes barking mad after a squirrel instead.
I need another beer. Once, many years ago, beer flowed freely. Buckets of them just appeared on stage all the time, compliments of the house or of fans or whatever.
The perks of being in the band: Lots of free beer and almost no dog puke.
Part 3: Here we are now, entertain us…
Where was I?
Where was I?Oh yeah. There we were, basking in the glow of the fluorescent lights at the country-western bar out in the boonies where, if truth be told, we just narrowly avoided a good ass-kicking. It was our first real show as a band and I think we walked away with about seven dollars each. We were on our way. But way to where? We had no clue.
One day I got a call from a guy named Mark. Mark was from New Orleans and knew what a party band was. At that point, he could have said he didn’t know what a guitar was and I would have paid for him to get lessons because we just could not find a player who could be ‘uncool’ enough to dress up for a show. I invited him out to the space, we all jammed, and he joined the band the same day.
Once Mark joined, things started moving rather quickly. We booked shows at smaller venues around town. We never got paid very much but the shows were fun and people seemed to like us so it was a good time.
Then two problems arose. The first one was that Mark and Animal didn’t get along very well. The second was that Animal’s work schedule changed and began to cause conflicts with practice. And it’s hard to really get in a good practice without your drummer. Oh well, we weren’t too upset about it. They would learn to like one another and schedules would figure themselves out. We didn’t have time for drama. We were there to ROCK!
Then Mark got a job offer in another state and just like that we were without a lead guitar again. Animal was pretty happy about it, but the rest of us were bummed.
So began the search for the next guitarist for the Pants.
I was the contact person for auditions and booking and it always seemed that when we were a man down we would suddenly also be in high demand from venues looking to fill openings. Clubs we had been trying to get into for months started calling about a week after Mark left. It sucked to have to turn them down. When I’d call a few weeks later with the band fully staffed, they’d be all, ‘meh.’
Then we got a call from a guy who called himself a guitar player. But this was not a guitar player. This dude showed up and very nearly set the air on fire with his superhuman wailing-on-guitar skills. We all stood there in awe and wondered what the hell this guy was doing here. He was obviously a professional. Did he even know that Dez had a tendency to lift up his kilt and show his nuts to the crowd? He did. To everyone. Including Mark’s super-religious parents. It was hilarious. We were supremely outclassed and everybody knew it. But, you know:
\m/ METAL \m/
That was how Grap joined the band.
This whole time, Dez, Bag, and I continued to learn songs and try to improve the act. Back before we even started playing out, Dez and I rigged up a leaf blower so that we could shoot toilet paper onto the audience. We had stickers and flyers made. We had a really cool banner. And lights. And road cases. And cables, and a helmet cam, and lasers, and a giant papier mache joint attached to a smoke machine, other smoke machines, and other stuff. Lots. And. Lots. Of. Stuff.
Our production was ridiculous for a bar band, a band whose fee barely (rarely) even covered our tab, but we had high hopes. We also tried to choose songs that were popular, relevant, fun to play, and could be played with the instruments we had.
It turned out that of all the issues plaguing this little band of misfits, song selection was one of the most difficult to resolve.
Find out why next time at www.dumbwhitehusband.com.
What happened next? Find out on the next Did It Myself.
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