11/29/2012 – tales from the clubhouse vol XIX

Over the last few weeks we did 2 live radio concerts. Since our idea of rehearsing is for me to email the boys what key a song is in a few hours before the show starts, some anxiety is bound to creep in. I especially like it when I say “ok let’s do “Off My Mind” and Chris says “which one is that again?” It keeps things fresh.

Each show was an hour-long, and we did all originals. All of the electric tracks on the CD, plus a brand new song called “Middle of These Tracks”, and two older songs of mine called “Rescue Me” and “Two Coal Cars”. Twelve songs total. This gets us to an hour. More or less. Invariably we start off like gangbusters…..and I take things much too fast. So the first 5 songs or so go by at Ramones-warp speed. Then I realize that we’ve got to be more….er….leisurely. Which means Wiggy has to take a shit load of solos and me and Lenny have to dance a lot more. We have this little Rockettes move that we do that really brings the house down. Literally. At the Woodlands we nearly broke through the stage.

Ah…the stage. Or stages. Or a bunch of crates jammed together. Lucky for us we’re a four piece band because the area we have to cram ourselves into is about the size of a hula-hoop. Wiggy’s Hiwatt…..Lenny’s bass rig….and them pesky drums…leaves me with plenty of chances to fall off the front of the stage. I wanted to bring a can of diet pepsi on the stage last night but it wouldn’t fit.

Having the show broadcast means that between songs….you have to do something. Dead air is a no-no. So I kinda just blurt stuff out. Talk about the songs. The weather. The mammoth crowds we draw on Wednesday nights at 10pm. I said hello to my friends listening in Belfast. I try to push the CD and say thank you a lot. And I try like hell not to curse. Cursing on the radio is bad. And all the while I’m also trying to re-tune my guitar. Bob Dylan used to ignore the audience for 10 minutes at a time as he tuned and re-tuned. When they got restless he’d just tell them to go bowling and come back later. But I’m not Bob Dylan so that won’t work for me. I do the best I can, and I’m proud to say that in 2 hours of live radio time there’s been no dead-air. There may have been non-sequiturs and some bum notes, but no dead air.

Back to the songs we added before I check out on this little missive. I was searching for something we could jam on. A good last song. In truth I was looking for a song that could be 3 minutes long, or 15 minutes long, depending on how much time we had left to fill. So “Two Coal Cars” fit the bill. Three chords, and plenty of space to go up, come back down, and go up again. Plus you can dance to it. Ok, you can’t really. But it works good for a set-closer, so we’re gonna keep it. A good radio song. Who doesn’t dig songs about coal?

Last night’s show was recorded, so we may have some audio to share soon. The first radio show we did last month was videotaped, so we hope to make that available too.

Stay tuned. Ain’t this fun?

In a bit…



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