Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tell Me The One About Practice Again: Tim on Tour, Part Two

Day -1 (Thursday)

From Part One:
...the band's been working steadily for 5-6 years, has a decent catalog of polished originals...

Specifically, the Deadly Fists of Kung Fu have around 35 songs of various shapes, sizes and ages, only about 15 that exist on recordings of any kind, about 10 (or less) of which I have. So, my advance knowledge of more than 2/3 of DFKF's material is limited to having heard the songs live, anywhere between one and 100 times. And while I've played guitar for 25 years, I've only played live about 3 times (not sure I count the show where the singer quit the band onstage), with a band that as a rule, didn't practice. Also, have I mentioned I don't usually play bass?

Zac, Jason, and Andy B (the actual band) don't consider (or maybe refuse to consider) any of this as we open the lid on the One Rehearsal Before Tim Burns The Band To The Ground.

Unlike the greenhorn here, these other three guys know their business; practice runs like a Swiss watch, despite my unintentional attempts to rearrange some of the songs. We blaze through the planned dozen song set (several of the songs that I've got recordings of, thank God) twice, and I even impress by knowing the Special Secret Cover Tunes. We break camp, and I'm giggly that they haven't called the weekend's venues to beg off.

And now, we drink. Because nothing better prepares you for a 500-mile drive than whiskey drinks and no sleep.

Interesting diary entries from the actual touring starting tomorrow, I swear...

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Weekend at Rock Band Fantasy Camp: Tim on Tour, Part One

Day -4 (Monday)

Say you're in a band. Say the band's been working steadily for 5-6 years, has a decent catalog of polished originals, and has some paying gigs 500 miles away. Before you go, you double-check to make sure everybody took Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off for the traveling and the shows.

Oops. The bass player can't go. What do you do?

If you're the Deadly Fists of Kung Fu, who have some brains, you call... not me. You (wisely) call former band members first, then professional music-types who might be able to learn 10 of your songs in 2 days, and then... you still don't call me. No, next you bandy about the idea of moving your main guitarist to the bass spot and play your songs as a sparser three-piece, like Rush, or the Dixie Chicks. Beyond even that, you ponder canceling the shows. Again, these are the logical, appropriate options.

Day -3 (Tuesday)

What shouldn't be an option is reading a text message from a three-Yeungling and buffalo chicken bloated friend that says:

...if none of your bass player options work out, I'll do it.

And then replying, "Okay. We'll practice Thursday night, and leave Friday morning, for the show that night."

Oh, shit. Didn't expect that.

more to come...

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