Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Monday, October 06, 2003 Traffic, Jam
There’s a scene at the beginning of the movie All of Me where Steve Martin runs into the club where he’s playing with his jazz band, grabs the guitar sitting on his chair, and sits down just in time to go into his solo. That always rang false to me, because I knew that would never happen. First of all, it’s ridiculous that his guitar would be all tuned up and ready to go. He’d have to plug it in, set up his amp, fiddle with his amp settings and whatnot. He’d have to warm up, if nothing else to relax his fingers from the claw-like state that crosstown traffic had no doubt put them in. And even setting all that aside, the band would never start a number in which the soloist is not yet present. It’s just absurd.
This is what I was thinking about the other night when I had to dash from the show at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul to the band’s 7:30 gig at Betsy’s Back Porch in Minneapolis.
Fortunately, the band did know in advance that I was working until 7:00. So my neighbors/bandmates were nice enough to load my 65-pound bass amp into their car with them and meet me there. All I had to bring was my bass.
As it turned out, I had to make a quick stop at the office before going to the gig. So by the time I arrived, the band was all set up, just waiting for me. On stage.
We’ve lived next door to Myrtle and Bub (not their real names) for ten years now. We’ve always gotten along really well, which is no mean feat when you’re talking about two families who share one driveway. When they told Trash they were looking for a new bass player for their band, I was skeptical; I’d just quit one band, and I wasn’t looking to join another right away. But then they gave me a copy of their demo CD to listen to, and I was in.
As it turns out, this band plays out more than my last one did. Our first gig was Saturday, and our second one is this coming Saturday. We don’t have any lined up after that at the moment, but two gigs in two public places in eight days is still more exposure than my old band ever got. It would just be nice if the gigs weren’t immediately after I got off work.
But this last one was, and so when I arrived at the coffee shop, Myrtle was already talking to the audience over her microphone. Stalling, I believe. I sprinted up to the stage area, whipped my bass out of its gig bag, sat on the stool they’d placed for me at stage left, tuned up as quickly as I could (which wasn’t all that quickly, since my bass had been in the car in an unheated parking ramp for seven hours), and finally signaled to Myrtle that I was ready. It’s a good thing they like my bass playing.
I’d misplaced my copy of the set list somewhere along the way, so I was going to have to share a music stand with Bub. Which didn’t turn out to be an issue:
Bub: “We’re starting with a different song.”
Me. “Which one?”
Bub: “This one.”
Me: “How does that go again?”
It’s a very good thing they like my bass playing.
We got through both sets pretty well. I wasn’t thrilled with my performance; I’ve played much better in practice. Of course, at practice, we don’t have an audience. And getting there doesn’t require me to cross the Twin Cities; just a driveway. I’m hoping I’ll play better next week, since it’s a bigger room. This one will be easier to get to, though; it’s in St. Paul, which is where I’ll already be. On the other hand, we’re supposed to go on at 7:00, which is just about the time that my boss is saying my name from the stage at the Fitz.
Obviously I’m going to see if they’d be willing to haul my bass amp over again. And maybe also my bass. Which I will ask them to plug in, tune, and place on my chair so I can dash in and grab it in time for my solo.
Today’s best search phrase: “Woman shoots police with rubber bands.” You know, some people would opportunistically say that an incident like this means we should pass more rubber band laws. But I say we need to concentrate on enforcing the rubber band laws we already have. posted by M. Giant 6:15 PM 0 comments