1997 – THE HELL IT AINT
The year in 1997 and the place is Charlotte NC. As I mentioned in the last part, I wanted it to come to me and not have to goto it. Through some luck at the workplace, I hooked up with a new music partner, Jay Jarrell and I joined his band as a bassist (it fell into my lap, as I wasnt actively searching to joing bands or looking for musicians). Jay had some killer original songs which surprised me, how poppy and audience friendly his songs were. In a much more streamline approach, we had this band ready to gig in about 2 months. I cant tell you any of the other players from the band, but the biggest gig we had was on New Years Ever 1996 at the City Canter near Fat City. BTW Fat City, best chili around, if the place is even still around. Hell STEVE FORBERT played in this venue. After the gig, the band fell apart. WOW.. Jay and I were like oil and water and I feel in a good way. We had 2 major arguments, one time on the golf course and one time the night of this gig and we would get pissed at each other. The next day everything was ok. I really wish me and Jay would of explored music together as I feel we could of collaborated on the some killer tunes. Guess what though, Jay was in the same boat as me, working for big business and feeling like … fuck you have to work, which of course makes making it a really hard assignment. I just feel Jay and I had some major fire and water type connection and could of made some hot music. Once again, we never talked about any future for this.
SPOONFED played the new years gig and it was a disaster. The band was fine but our guitarists girlfriend (who was also our harmonist) got totally wasted and just went into business for herself and wouldnt stop ruining all the songs with her non stop blowing this harmonica. Even the songs she wasnt in, she was ruining by being in. Just a sad affair. Earlier everyone but Jay had been drinking and Jay I guess knew what this girl would do and tried to get everyone to stop drinking. Though his non stop bossing everyone around about just pissed me off big time in which me and Jay got into a screaming argument with each other in the van waiting for the gig to start. Jay was right, but his approach wasnt good LOL. Anyways it got more hilarious as the time got closer to midnight. The owner of the venue wanted to be center stage for midnight to count it down but our lady was making sure she was right next to him on stage. At one point the owner, trying to get this girl off the stage, said but this is my place. The best was still to coming, as we start counting down to midnight, she take over and starts counting down at the wrong time and starting yelling happy new years about 30 seconds before and when the owner said its not time she goes “THE HELL IT AINT”. Got some pictures and some actually recording of this countdown, so check em out. But this was awful, the nicest place Ive ever played, the biggest stage and the worst outcome. Wish Id or recorded some of the band practices to show how good some of Jays songs were (one song in particular, Hurricanes was awesome). SHOUT OUT TO JAY, MISS YOU BUD!!!!
ENJOY THIS AS THE OWNER TRIES TO GET DONATIONS
& COUNTDOWN TO NEW YEARS
BUT OUR HARMONICA PLAYER WASNT GOING TO BE DENIED!!!!
One thing really sticks out, I hated moving the equipment, setting up the equipment, breaking down the equipment and waiting hours before actually being able to play. At this point in my life I was still doing the corporate america thing and the thought of doing all this work just to gig (esp in freezing cold charlotte weather) made me question weather I wanted to even be a gigging musician. Looking back now in 2017, I SHOULD OF BEEN QUESTIONING WHY I WAS WORKING FOR THE MAN FOR HIS SLAVE MONEY instead of following what I really love. So everything gets conflicted here, if I didnt have the job would I feel any different about all the work it took setting up the gig and everything.
I remember there was the band Asphalt Ballet and we bought a bootleg show of theirs. At the time they were playing small clubs across america and this VHS tape was really interesting as the first 3 hours of the tape was just the band in the parking lot of the venue and around the just killing time. This explains why rockers have so many tattoos, if this tape was the norm for touring bands then there is so much downtime its unreal. I would go so far to say as you would have to very disciplined not get strung out or drunk out waiting for all this. But as Im also finding out, the bands that really make it far, might sing about partying and drinking but they dont do it (cough cough Gene Simmons).
Im doing this multipart series on all the phases of my songwriting and gigging out as a retrospective look to see if I ever had the will or chance to make it anyways. Looking back 20-25 years after the fact, is like living in the past, but its giving a lot time to reflect on it all.
The next part we cover moving from Charlotte to Daytona, the LIKE A HOLIDAY sessions, the Dale Earnhardt tribute releases, the STONE SUMMER website and some bullshit concept music I tried plus my girl tried to tell me in 1998 … GOTO NASHVILLE but did I listen. 1997-2007.