Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sit-ins

This one is a re-visit to a web-board post I made in early 2006, held back out of respect for the innocent victims...It's time has come =)

Sit-ins

We’ve been trying to get more door head-count for our original power trio that gigs these 4-5 band shows in LA so we can get the better time slots and not always play last (closing time). Our singer/guitarist is a pretty good car-salesman and has booked some decent gigs and came up with an idea after chatting with some 80s hair-band rocker chick on MySpace to let her sing one song in our set.

She had talked it up how she would bring a bunch of “her people” to the gig which is what we were after. She also stated that she had a couple of deals in the works for her own singing promotion that would mean some “industry folks” and a video cameraman would be there to see her perform. Bonus as far as we’re concerned. We checked out her site and saw that she looked OK and wore skimpy outfits, another bonus. Close inspection of the shots by yours truly had me a little skeptical as to her age, but hell I’m old so I’ve got no room to talk, especially if this broad produces half of what she’s talking about.

We have her booked to come to the last half hour of our practice in North Hollywood on the Wednesday before Friday’s gig. She wants to sing a cover of a Stones tune that is really easy and we practice it twice before she shows up. Now she comes in and while it’s 11:30am and I know that rock & roll folks are still sleeping in this town, she’s a little more than just tired looking. This girl has some miles on her. Again so do I so I act nice. She sings her song a total of 4 times though with us and of course as usual we’re too loud in the practice studio so it was hard to be too critical of her singing and our guitarist sang with her so the drummer and I just focused on keeping the tune tight.

As we were leaving I mentioned that “you know that we’re on late…” and she started freaking out a little about how all her people would be there at 10:30 and that we needed to play earlier. We said we’d ask the promoter but knew that it wasn’t going to happen. I come to find out later that she had not been mis-led by our guitarist , but is just friggin nuts…After she split we discussed that she might not show up and that’d be OK if it happened and we’d just do our normal thing and have fun as usual.

I listen to the CD we recorded at practice on the drive home as usual and notice that this girl can’t sing. Not a lick. I email the rest of the guys and send an MP3 of the song to them. We have a couple of laughs about it and decide that we’ll still let her “sit-in” for her big song – but that the guitarist would back off the mic and let her hang herself in front of “ her people”, That‘s if she shows up at all, which we all doubt at this point. Friday night – West Hollywood – The Cat Club on Sunset Strip – 5 bands, we’re on last (12:30 – 2am) and they are running 20-25 minutes late by the third band. They have a backline so I only have to bring my bass.

I’m there with the drummer for about a half hour and notice our guitarist’s case is there. He’s in the back area with our guest singer listening to her freak out over when we’re playing and talking about all “her people” that were there. This girl has to be pushing 40+ and is wearing a long coat over lingere/boostiere and has her hair in some big scary red arrangement that looked a little like the big red monster with the sneakers in the old BugsBunny cartoons. A half gallon of makeup and something that smelled odd. I counted 3-4 folks that looked like they were with her. No video camera. If the 3 people I saw were “industry folks” I’ll eat my hat. Well, she proceeds to annoy anyone connected with the show for the next 2 hours and wind herself up tighter than a $2 watch. I stay clear of her until I’m approached and asked if we can at least do her song first in our set. No problem, Sketchy-Girl!

When the 4th band finally wraps it up we’re now at 1am and we start to set up while they tear down with the usual “too many folks on stage together bumping and such”. Our drummer takes a full 10 minutes each time since he swaps all the cymbals, the snare and the bass pedal which is pretty standard for most experienced drummers. The guitarist and myself tune up, adjust the amps and we’re ready to go and wait for the drummer. Singer-Chick is about to spin through the roof and when the promoter’s gofer asks us how many minutes before we’re ready, the drummer replies “5 minutes”. “I DON’T HAVE 5 MINUTES! “ yells our “Special Guest” and I reply “There’s the door…” She either doesn’t hear me or chooses to ignore me and has her buddy hop up on stage and announce her through the PA – not us, just her “on her Southern California Tour” or something to that effect.

The drummer screws the last 2 cymbals on just as the guitarist hits the opening 4 bars of the song and we all fall in just like we planned it that way. She finishes her song and her buddy says something else in the PA and we blast into our regular set firing on all 8 cylinders and tear the place up. We see her and “her people” run out the door halfway through our first song, SEE YA!

We play a good set and tear down laughing about what had just happened. The guitarist said he wanted to kill her. The drummer said he’d help. I just kept laughing. A friend of the guitarist came up to him and said “The band was good, you sucked” which just had me laughing even harder since I didn’t know at first that they knew each other. We now have a good classic story to tell which this band needed since we’ve only been together for 6 months and we’re too old for stories like “We were so wasted we almost drove Jimmy’s daddy’s truck over the cliff with all out gear in the back with Larry and some chick”. This one will suffice for now.