ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Nov. 10th, 2016 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

I didn’t find him before Remo and the Mazel brothers emerged from their conclave, all three of them grim-faced, but they weren’t fighting anymore. Visibly, anyway. We went through a short soundcheck. I then floated through the timeless void until the show because of Flexeril–or who knows, maybe I had a great time and some deep conversations and I just don’t remember it now thanks to Flexeril, but as far as I’m concerned if I don’t remember something then it’s pretty hard to include here, yeah?

The show was in a similar timeless void. I forgot to worry about the fight and worried about my fingers instead. They held up without obvious pain or malfunction. I skipped the post-show party and took a very expensive cab ride back to Ziggy’s and was unconscious by midnight.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Nov. 8th, 2016 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Finally had a chance to chat a bit with Matthew in that green room. About nothing consequential, you know. But it was good to have people in my life who I didn’t have to try to impress. Speaking of which, Jonathan was at that show, too, but later.

I felt like having told Remo that I wasn’t dosing before soundcheck that meant I shouldn’t. So I didn’t. Which might be why I remember it as clearly as I do. Or maybe because it was particularly memorable. Which it was.

We got up there like usual, everyone gathering around for our daily ritual, the lounge act.

To everyone’s surprise, Remo raised his hand and said, “I’ve got one. Am I allowed to do one?”

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Thanks to generous donations of readers through my Paypal Tip Jar, here is a Saturday post! We get one any time the total reaches $100 in the Tip Jar! -ctan)

I met the Nomad entourage at their lobby call the next day. The bus ride to the venue wasn’t far in distance but, you know, it’s the New York metro area so getting from Manhattan to anywhere was going to be at least 45 minutes to an hour, and that’s if there wasn’t any special traffic problem like an accident or something.

Long Island is a lot like New Jersey, by the way, except I didn’t have the same negative associations with it.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Oct. 11th, 2016 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

I arrived in Massachusetts stubbornly clinging to the idea that I was going to be able to play the show that night even though in the very back of my mind–and probably in the front of the minds of everyone around me–there was a very real fear that my brain was going to explode.

I’ll be honest. I put my earplugs in before soundcheck and the pressure was uncomfortable in a way that was unusual.

Soundcheck, however went off without a hitch. Well, if you don’t count me still having to clutch a pick with the hand in a cast as a hitch. I was not dizzy and I didn’t have stabbing pains in my skull.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Sep. 6th, 2016 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

I had enough on my mind that I forgot to feel crappy about being in New Jersey. For one thing, the Byrne Arena wasn’t that different from a million other venues like it, so it was easy to forget where we were. For another, we saw a lot of the New York crowd, which seemed a positive thing–then again, New Jersey’s best feature was that New York City was Right There. Apparently many folks did not heed Remo’s warnings about contagion and so at various points I got to say hello to Jordan, Jonathan, and Artie. Marvelle was there, too, because he was friendly with various folks–it’s a small world and it would be even smaller if I could keep track of how everyone knew each other.

Anyway, I my Jersey angst seemed low. Maybe the more time passed since I’d lived there, the less stressed it would make me. I hoped that was the case.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jul. 7th, 2016 09:01 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Remo and I went into the hotel bar for a nightcap. I got my bourbon in soda instead of straight up since we were in Florida and it seemed more appropriate for hot weather, even though it had turned into a pleasantly cool night out. I figured I could use the hydration, anyway.

And the bourbon was soothing to my fatigued emotions. It was tiring to hold them in all the time but then it was exhausting to let them out, too. How is that supposed to work? I pondered that while watching the little bubbles make their way past the ice cubes in my glass.

“You think he’s going to grow up okay?” Remo asked.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

For a lot of the day Remo was unnaturally quiet, but I think it was the same as me: trying not to get sucked into the bickering. We just kept our mouths shut and went along with the tide floating the family from thing to thing. He carried Ford for a while and talked baby talk to him and pointed at animals and gave their names even though Ford wasn’t anywhere close to the talking stage yet. I guess you have to do that though so that babies will start talking eventually, right?

When it was my turn to hold Ford, which didn’t come until one point where all three women went into a store to try things on and we menfolk stayed outside to sit on a bench, I discovered I still didn’t have the knack of baby talk. I always talked to Ford like he was a regular person who just couldn’t answer yet. It was a one-sided conversation but, you know, he had a personality. He wasn’t like a doll–he was very clearly a little person, reacting to things and having feelings. He just couldn’t say anything about it yet.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Both the Musician and Rolling Stone interviews were awkward because both writers clearly seemed to smell a scoop and wanted to dig into all kinds of questions about Star*Gaze and Jordan’s involvement and they couldn’t help but ask me stuff about Ziggy’s upcoming tour. And I just kept trying to steer them back to talking about Nomad and Remo. Like, seriously, if they wanted to grill me solo they could’ve said.

Except now that I think about it I probably would’ve refused and they probably knew that. I don’t know. I found it flattering on the one hand, like I know it’s important to talk to the media and I know it’s a really good sign when they want to know all kinds of stuff because it means they’re actually interested and buzz is building. The worst is to be ignored and nobody cares. But what I was in Miami to do was a different job and them using Nomad’s press contact as a way to get to me seemed underhanded and weird (even though Jonathan later assured me it wasn’t).

Plus I was there on Remo’s dime.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jun. 23rd, 2016 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

I walked into the hospitality suite looking for Flip when it turned out I had, in fact, managed to not bring the charger for my pager. There I didn’t find Flip but I did find Waldo, Martin, and Charlie the flugelhorn player. Charlie’s iron-gray hair was slicked back against his head into a stubby pony tail but that only emphasized the kind of Ichabod Crane look to him: hooked nose, skinny limbs, long fingers.

“Where and when can we rehearse tomorrow?” I asked Waldo, thinking it was a no-brainer kind of question.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Oct. 22nd, 2015 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

The Costa Mesa show was fun. The venue was smaller than a lot of the ones we’d been playing and it felt to me like the intensity went up as a result. People were very very into it.

Or maybe I was more energetic since I’d gotten a good night’s sleep. Whatever the reason, we burned with really high energy right out of the gate and the crowd pushed us to keep it up. I had a solo in the middle of the set that I usually played at the very front edge of the stage. This time totally spur of the moment I took a beer from a fan in the front row, drank it, and then used the neck of the bottle as a slide.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Sep. 1st, 2015 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Welcome to September! We’re back on our Tuesday/Thursday posting schedule! And don’t forget the deadline for the meme contest —click for details— is September 9th! -ctan)

So the thing about live music is that it’s live. It’s not always predictable. And shit happens. A cracked toilet at the venue makes a flood that shorts out the lights. A dog gets loose and jumps into the grand piano and knocks it out of tune. People get sick or injured. This is one reason why, to me, it’s so important to stay sharp and not just fall into a rut of expecting it to be the same all the time. Because something is always going to make you change or adjust.

On this particular night some kind of a lighting problem hit us just at the end of a song, right before we had planned to do “Wishing Well,” and to get us and Louis and the show in general back on track we skipped it and decided to insert it later in the set. Fran was fine. Once the show started any nerves she had were blown away and she had given me that circle motion with her hand that meant “move on.”

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jun. 23rd, 2015 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

I didn’t hear until after the show, but the word was that the St. Louis Arena had sold out, so I guess the national anthem thing worked out. The band was in the bus and rolling out of there before midnight. It was a long overnight drive to NOLA, and we weren’t sleepy right away, so me and Remo and Flip sat in the back lounge and passed a bottle of whiskey and played guitar for a while.

When I woke up it was well into the morning and we weren’t there yet, and I had slept six or seven hours. I brushed my teeth again and went back to my bunk and slept again, probably two more hours? Until we arrived. It felt like a lot of sleep.

We were at a big hotel on Canal Street, at one edge of the French Quarter, where I’d stayed at least one other time. We got checked in pretty easily and then Remo asked me if I could amuse myself until sundown while he took care of some business. I told him of course I could: me and Charlie could rehearse. We agreed to meet for an early dinner.

Charlie and I rehearsed for about an hour and then he wanted a nap. I went out and found myself some lunch in the French Quarter and wandered around listening to street musicians. The temperature was perfect, in the high seventies and not too humid.

It was late afternoon when I made my way down to the gay end of Bourbon Street and got a drink at one of the bars there. I cruised by sitting still at one of the upper level bars and making eye contact with people–men–as they went by. When I’m on a bar stool you can’t tell at first glance how short or how nervous I am.

I was trying to take Colin’s advice seriously. Ziggy’s advice, too. If I didn’t get my balls emptied on something like a regular basis, I would wind up until I snapped. The bus was not a good place to wank, and neither was the bathroom if Flip was in the bed a few feet away.

Did you know that about 98 percent of oral sex feels exactly the same with a condom on? At least when you’re the one getting blown it does. At least on my dick. Giving head to someone wearing a condom, on the other hand, feels really different to me than when they’re not.

And I’m bringing this up now because? Oh, no reason.

I was in a knickknack shop, working my way back across the Quarter to meet Remo for dinner, when Ziggy’s song came on the radio. “People can NOT get enough of this song!” the deejay said. “Maybe that’s because you can’t buy it, can’t get it on CD, album, or tape. It literally arrived in our office on a reel with a ransom-style note attached to it, but it’s pretty obvious who this is. Heck, we don’t even know the title of the song, so we’re calling it ‘Breaking Chains.'”

Why it took until that moment for me to grasp what the stunt was about, I don’t know. But I suddenly realized the song wasn’t about Ziggy breaking free from me, it was about record company control. Maybe it was even about breaking free of genre. And it was a brilliant stunt because they got all this buzz, all these radio stations playing it, and people calling up and requesting it, specifically because it was something they couldn’t sell.

And the reason they couldn’t sell it was because presumably you couldn’t put me and Ziggy together on a record at BNC right now without someone in the legal department having a conniption.

Fucking brilliant.

Remo and me and Alan and George met two musician friends of Remo’s and we all ate in a little private dining room at one of the really fancy-schmancy places, but I guess because we were in a private room we didn’t have to have jackets and ties on. We stuffed ourselves quite well and then the two friends–who it turned out were a banjo player and a percussionist Remo knew from folk festivals– took us around to some clubs to hear music.

We hit three different places, and each place had a two-drink minimum, which probably didn’t apply to us “guests” but I wanted to respect the rules, you know? And then we ended up back at the hotel playing music ourselves and you know, I’m at my most whole and functional with a guitar in my hands, so I think I made a good impression on Remo’s friends even if I was pretty drunk by then.

And then I paged Ziggy and fell asleep.

When I woke up my eyes felt like they were full of burning sand. Then I realized I had opened them because the phone was ringing. I picked it up and covered them with my other hand. “Hello?”

“Hey.”

Ziggy. God. Ziggy. “Holy shit I miss you,” I said.

“Are you even awake yet?”

“No. Which is how you know it’s the truth. Actually can you hang on a second?” I put the phone down and went to the bathroom because my bladder was dangerously full. Then I drank a little water and puked it up immediately because it was too cold. One thing at a time, I guess. I brushed my teeth carefully, then had a tiny sip of water and it was okay. Okay.

I went back to the phone. “Still there?”

“Yes. Hangover?”

“How’d you guess?”

“This is a New Orleans phone number, you know.” He chuckled.

“Yeah, it is.” I sat on the edge of the bed. The other bed wasn’t slept in and I wondered where Flip had spent the night. “This is the same hotel where you and I had an epic epic epic fight a couple of years ago.”

“Our first.”

“Was it?”

“Our first epic fight? Okay, to be clear, our first epic fight that wasn’t about music. I mean, that was about…us.”

I lay back on the bed. “I’m a moron. I actually didn’t call to tell you that. I don’t know why I brought it up.”

“Because, deep down, you’re still mad about it?”

“No. I don’t think I am. I just…it was a coincidence, and I just can’t keep my mouth shut. Anyway. The reason I called.”

“You just wanted to hear my voice?”

“Yes, but also because I have been hearing your voice. All over the freaking place.”

He didn’t say anything but I could hear rustling sounds that I could easily picture were Ziggy doing a victory dance.

“Zig.”

“Yeah?”

“I miss you.”

“I miss you, too, asshole.”

There really wasn’t anything important to say after that.

ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jun. 16th, 2015 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(DGC News: Daron’s Guitar Chronicles volume 7 ebook is now live for pre-order. Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00ZN34BEK | Smashwords: http://owl.li/OmVAX | Daron & ctan will livechat on August 4th to celebrate. RSVP on FB.)

I did nothing much on our day off in Indianapolis. I finally got to sleep and I slept several hours, and then after the maid woke me up I slept again. I had a short swim in the pool and then a long soak in the hot tub. Clarice and Fran caught up to me there and we all soaked for a while, and then they told me they were going to take me somewhere for barbecue.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jun. 2nd, 2015 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

It shouldn’t be hard to confess at this point that I get obsessive about certain things. Right? I mean: I know it, you guys know it. It’s not news.

But I got sort of embarrassingly obsessive about trying to hear that song again. I didn’t even know what it was. A new single? A B-side? I knew I should call Jordan to pick his brain, but I wanted to hear it first. And the thing is we were just starting a run of three shows in three nights: Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland. So we were living in buses for the foreseeable future.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( May. 5th, 2015 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

We blew the doors off the Worcester Centrum. I really think that pushing everyone to do “Baker Street” had heightened the whole band’s cohesion. Or maybe it was just that after a day off everyone was fresh and well-rested. Whatever it was, we were on fire.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

We drove all night to Syracuse. No, that’s no accurate. The drive was only five hours, but we stayed in the bus overnight, parked at the venue. I sleep better when the bus is in motion, so I slept about four hours and then just lay there in my coffin wondering about where we were.

The Carrier Dome is unbelievably fucking immense. No wonder it wasn’t sold out. We play all those hockey and basketball arenas, some at colleges, some in cities, and they usually hold around 18,000. This place had basketball but they also had football, indoors, under a dome, and it seated well over 40,000. In fucking Syracuse. No offense Syracuse, but your population isn’t that dense. I felt one really couldn’t blame anyone for this humongous place not selling out, though I don’t actually know what percentage of bands who play there come close.

I got sleepy again finally at the worst time, around noon when Remo had to go do a radio spot or something and so everyone else wanted to grab a “Baker Street” rehearsal, since that night we’d be doing it.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Apr. 21st, 2015 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

That night there was something of a party at the hotel. Not an official industry type party, nothing that formal, although there were some industry people there. Like Jordan. And some friends. Like Matthew. I guess it was more of a mass hangout than a party, do you know what I mean?

I had a long conversation with Matthew about essentially nothing, which was really kind of nice, you know? He was doing well, so was his partner, one of his photos had been picked for some prestigious thing I didn’t quite get the name of, but mostly we just…talked. I know most people take for granted that talking with an old friend should be easy but I never take any social situation for granted. I have the ability to fuck them up no matter how stress free they should be.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

A limo came at the crack of dawn to take us to the TV studio. I had slept okay, just not enough, and when I’m really tired everything feels painful. Like even coffee is painfully hot or painfully bitter–even after I’ve put sugar and milk in it. Remo directed the limo to take us through a drive-thru, and got an entire bag of McDonalds hash browns and made me eat one. That made me feel a bit more awake.

We were taciturn and drowsy together. We discussed what we were going to play while we tuned our guitars in the green room. Then a producer or director of some kind, a woman, came and asked what we had in mind, and Remo hit a switch and went into a higher energy mode: charming yet down to Earth rock star mode. I was still my tired self.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Apr. 2nd, 2015 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

When I opened the door to my hotel room I could see my leather jacket was on the corner of the bed nearest the door , as if someone had dropped it off in a hurry. I stepped on the day sheet on my way over to check that my wallet was in the inside pocket. It was. And I did a little dance when I saw the day sheet said:

Today is
APRIL 3.

You are in Flushing, New York.

Tonight’s show is at the Brendan Byrne Arena
in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The bus leaves at
1:00 PM SHARP.”

I tried to imagine that I was going to be completely unaffected by the fact that tonight’s show was in New Jersey. Why should that matter? Lines on a map. So what. New Jersey, New Schmersey.

Freshly showered and dressed, I presented myself in the lobby at 12:45 pm and didn’t see anyone else, but the bus was out front. The wind was raw and cold like winter was still hanging on in this part of the country. I knocked on the door and Randy opened it. He was our main driver, a forty-something guy with enormous arm muscles, biker tattoos, and a crew cut. All I knew about him was he used to drive long haul trucks and he liked driving rock bands better. He rarely said much, preferring to let his nod imply good morning or hello or whatever. I nodded back and got into the nice, warm bus.

Martin was already there. “Hey, stranger,” he said.

“Hay is for horses.” I sat down next to him in the front lounge. “Is it supposed to warm up today? This cold is brutal.”

“Not for a couple of days, I think. What, you weren’t watching the Weather Channel at four in the morning like an insomniac should?”

I looked at him. Something about what he said didn’t feel like our usual poking-at-each-other banter. “Have I been that bad?”

“With insomnia? If it’s bad enough for me to notice, I’d say yeah.”

“I slept fine last night.” I shrugged instead of elaborating on why. “So was it you or Flip who brought my stuff back?”

“Don’t look at me,” he said. “I take it you had a good time, wherever you went?”

“Got a good night’s sleep,” I said, and that closed the subject.

Within a few minutes we had everyone but Remo on the bus and Randy gave a double toot of the horn before pulling away from the curb. I took that to mean Remo was off doing press or something.

I confess I actually didn’t know who the fuck Brendan Byrne was and I didn’t care. I vaguely knew he’d been a governor of New Jersey but I didn’t know if it had been during my lifetime or what. The Brendan Byrne Arena, on the other hand, I knew of as the hockey/basketball arena at the Meadowlands where a lot of big concerts took place. I had never actually seen a show there, though.

Insert standard joke here about how in New Jersey the area known as “the Meadowlands” is a giant swamp.

The acoustics were good, though. I’ll give it that.

Remo was still not there by 1:30 so I got the band together for a pre-soundcheck rehearsal where we worked on “Baker Street.” Honestly I didn’t want to rehearse it so much that everyone got super-comfortable or bored with their parts. All the backing musicians had backgrounds in jazz, and the regulars were up for being challenged: part of what would make it exciting is that it’d be so fresh. Alan had even found a keyboard patch that gave him a sound kind of like the one in the original.

Remo still wasn’t there when we wrapped that up, and a brief debate took place between the sound crew and Waldo about when he was expected and whether we should give the stage over to the opening band, who were a kind of quirky blues band called Puddle in the Road. I hadn’t had much of a chance to talk with them yet.

While they were debating, Remo came in, so that answered that. We ran through half of three different songs and everything checked out fine, which meant it was time to go back to doing nothing until showtime. I decided to sit and watch Puddle in the Road do their check. They were fun, and one of the songs was so catchy it was going to be stuck in my head for a week at least.

Which led me to asking Artie later, when we were hanging around, “What’s it going to take for a band like Puddle to make it?”

We were sitting in the main green room, which the crew had set up with a couple of couches and a snack table with bowls of fresh fruit, granola bars, and containers of yogurt in a bowl of ice. Artie had a half-eaten cup of yogurt in his hand. “Well, depends on a lot of things. I mean, the style they’re playing is great for parties, but it isn’t really what radio is looking for right now.”

“Okay, but isn’t hit radio basically any-genre-goes now?”

“Well, except country and rap, and even those have one or two exceptions.”

“Exactly. So why not, whatever you would call what they do?”

Artie dug around in his yogurt cup, apparently having discovered the fruit on the bottom. “What would you call them?”

“Quirky blues? Party blues? I don’t know. But that song, ‘Hop The Fence?’ It’s really catchy. Don’t you think it could catch on if it had a really fun video?”

“Possibly, but you know, typically a record label isn’t looking for a one-hit wonder. If that’s their one really hot song, their best bet might be to license it to someone–have someone like me shuttle it to an artist on my roster.”

“Hm, yeah.” Jordan would have probably said the same thing.

“The history of this band is kind of interesting, but not exactly the best for a commercial breakthrough,” Artie went on.

“Yeah? I don’t know anything about them except Remo likes them.”

“They started out as a college group, playing on their campus, and then expanded out to playing campuses around the country. To hear them tell it, they were a Grateful Dead cover band for all of a few weeks but quickly moved to more uptempo blues with a touch of ska.”

“And that’s a strike against them?”

“Well, the band wasn’t originally called Puddle in the Road, either. It was ‘Pothole.’”

“Ah.” Good name for a jam band, bad name for a band in an era when there were Moms Against Music groups campaigning for censorship and boycotts.

“Yeah, Even with the name change they’re pigeonholed as a quintessential campus party band. They have a pretty good thing going with regular gigs, but no radio penetration at all.”

“Huh.”

“Also, and it’s annoying to even think about but it’s more and more true in the video age, they’re great musicians. But they’re not telegenic.”

“But couldn’t you make them more telegenic for video? We had stylists all over us before we filmed ‘Why the Sky.’”

“Well, you also had going for you that you and Ziggy start out good-looking. And you’re both in good shape.”

By good shape I think he meant neither of us was chubby, unlike the lead singer of Puddle who was sort of a schlub. I knew better than to argue about that. How cute you were or whether you were considered “hot” by the teen magazines had nothing to do with whether someone was a good musician or not, but I knew what record companies looked for was a lot of things other than musicianship.

“The sad truth is that if I want to go out and sign a quirky blues party band because I think that’s the next hot trend,” Artie said, “I can probably go out and find one that’s more marketable than this one. Which isn’t to say these guys aren’t going to make it. Every band has strikes against them.”

“You’re saying these guys aren’t unique?”

“Only in the sense that every band is unique. But I would bet you I can find another uptempo blues band with a Jimmy Buffett-meets-They Might Be Giants vibe.”

“Huh.” That was kind of a chilling thought. “How many flamenco-influenced cello and hand percussion bands do you know?”

He shrugged. “If you’re doing it, I guarantee you you’re not alone. Someone out there, among the millions and millions of musicians we don’t know, other people are doing it, too. And if there’s a sudden breakthrough hit in that vein? Then there’ll be a stampede to sign a pile of them.”

Yeah. And four out of five of them would end up in hock to the record company and that would be that. But of that one out of five who made it to the next level…

Yeah, I was depressing myself thinking about it.

“That reminds me,” Artie said. “Tomorrow morning, before you leave for Philly, could you come by the office to sign some stuff?”

My hackles went up. “Sign some stuff?”

“You know, some CDs and promo photos of you.”

“Oh. You mean autograph. I don’t know what I was thinking.” I was thinking we hadn’t finished some paperwork, or like they needed me to amend my contracts or something. I was paranoid. “Is there some point when the whole band is heading down there?”

“I don’t think so. Nomad’s been to our offices so many times we didn’t set something up for this trip.”

“I’ll see. I’ll have to figure out how to get to midtown from the boonies where we’re staying. That might be easier on our day off. We’re off Friday.”

“We could send a car for you if we need to. I’ll check the schedule.”

I nodded. I’d have to check the schedule and make sure I wasn’t supposed to be anywhere, but with Remo doing most of the promo appearances on his own, I hadn’t had to do much.

Remo came in then and poured himself a cup of coffee, added milk and sugar, and then poured liberally from a flask into it before he sat down, looking rough around the edges.

I was going to bust his balls about being late, but instead I said, “You all right?”

“Yeah.” He took a swig of the coffee and grimaced. I guess even with milk and booze it was too hot. Or maybe it just tasted awful. He seemed pensive.

Artie got up to throw away his yogurt container and drifted away. Everyone else was elsewhere right then, too.

“Something on your mind?” I tried again. Remo was generally not an angst-ridden type of guy, you know?

“Did you hear about what happened?” he finally said, after another grimace-inducing swallow of coffee.

“No.” Or I wouldn’t be asking. But I didn’t say that.

“To Clapton’s kid.”

“No…?” My skin prickled with dread, though, from his tone of voice.

“Four years old. Fell out a window in Manhattan. Fifty stories. God.” He covered his eyes with his hand. “A janitor left the window open at his girlfriend’s condo.”

“Oh, jeez.” I couldn’t even say the words that’s awful. I also wasn’t sure how close Remo and Clapton were or if the heavy upset was all because Remo was thinking that could have been Ford who fell out the window. “When?”

“Last week.” He coughed and drank the rest of the coffee, setting the empty mug down. “He was going to come to the show but he’s lying low. Grieving.”

I didn’t even know Clapton had a four-year-old kid. “Have you talked to Melissa?”

“Not about this. I don’t want to freak her out.”

“Randy’s got a phone installed in the bus, you know.”

He nodded. A moment later he got up, and I knew now that I’d planted the idea, he was going to call Melissa anyway.

It’s a dangerous world out there, sometimes.

I don’t know what she told him, but by the time I saw him next, he was back to normal, all his emotions stuffed back into his pocket except for his usual laid-back jollity.

And the show was fine.

(Note: Both the cold New York weather on April 3, 1991, and what happened to Conor Clapton are true. It was hard to pick a song for this chapter. -ctan)

ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Mar. 19th, 2015 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

The first show of the tour would be in Atlanta, at an arena officially named the Omni but referred to by the crew as the Waffle Iron because of the shape of the roof, which looked like a—you guessed it—waffle iron. We had several days off in LA before the actual show because the crew and rig had to travel across the entire country to get there.

I kind of wondered about this. Nomad was a band from the West Coast, and here they were starting a tour in the East. Moondog Three had been a band from the East Coast, and we had started our tour in the West. Was that bad planning? Or was it good because it meant you ended up closer to home in the end? I wasn’t sure. It probably had more to do with when the venues were available. Carynne once told me that to set up any given six weeks on the road she probably made about five hundred phone calls. That was about four-hundred-ninety-nine more than I would have been willing to make before I freaked out and bailed.

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