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When I was living in Seattle, my band mates and I decided to go out one night and see the Spoonman perform at the Showbox. You know, the guy made famous by the Soundgarden tune. I have no idea what possessed me to go along with this. I hated that guy. I mean here I was workin my butt off tryin to play all the clubs and get a record deal and some bum (he was a street musician) gets big playin the freakin spoons! But I went along anyway.
The Showbox was one of the premier clubs in Seattle at the time and the place was packed! There was one or two opening acts and then the Spoonman came out. Everybody went nuts for this guy and then the place got deathly quiet. You see, beatin two spoons together doesn’t really make a lot of noise, so you have to be quiet to hear it. I wouldn’t say that I heckled the Spoonman, but I also didn’t really go along with the whole being quiet thing. One girl in particular took offense to my behavior and actually moved to the other side of the room. I was in one of those moods that night so I followed her over there and continued to talk… at an elevated volume. She was not amused.
Finally the bum finished beating the spoons together and it was time to get the hell out of there. On the way out, somehow I ended up right behind my new “friend”. So I tapped her on the shoulder and asked her, in the most friendly voice, “Did you enjoy the show?” She turned around so excited to tell someone how great it was only to see my smiling face. I’ve never seen a person go from such excitement to such disappointment so quickly.
Thankfully the Spoonman has gone away now, probably back to the alley, but at least he gave me a great memory and a good story to tell. Got any good concert stories to share? Leave me a comment! I’d love to hear em!
After my first band went our separate ways, it was time to start a new chapter in my rock life. I needed someone to help make that happen. Someone that could rock. Someone that had the same passion and desire that I had. Then…in walked Chuck Yeager.
NO, NOT THE TEST PILOT! SHEESH!
Chuck and I had always known each other, but never in a rock kind of way. Chuck was the perfect fit for me. I mean he was exactly like me! We both wanted the same thing, to be a rock star. And we were both willing to do whatever it took to make that happen (including wearing clothing that was wayyyyyyy to tight and unappealing).
Chuck was (and still is) a guitar player. And a damn fine one. Throughout our years together; I was always asking him to do stuff that was insanely hard to do. For example, play and sing Skid Row tunes, or the great idea of trying to be a power trio. The thing is though, every time I came up with some wacky idea…he pulled it off. I had full confidence in Chuck and never once doubted his abilities.
Chuck and I rocked a lot of years together and put together several different lineups, all of which could blow the roof off a place at any time. Our love for music created a lasting friendship that has seen many a-packed night club, countless empty beer cans, and yeah…even us be a part of each others wedding. Here’s to ya bro! Keep rockin!
The first time I was ever in a mosh pit was also the last time I was ever in a mosh pit.
It was 1989 and I was at a small club in St. Louis Missouri (Mississippi Nights) to see Testament with special guest Savatage. Well no one but me was there to see Savatage and that was obvious by the front row seat that I had. And by front row I mean, standing and actually leaning on the stage! Savatage put on a great set and I even managed to snag a pick from the guitar player. Then there was about a half hour or so break till Testament took the stage. I was determined to keep my spot! I didn’t even go get a drink or go to the bathroom! The crowd started to grow as it got closer for Testament to take the stage and I overheard some long-haired dudes talking about going “over the wall”. I had no idea what this meant but I wasn’t about ready to wimp out.
When Testament came out there was a mass of people that started pushing, shoving, kicking, punching and it took all of about 10 seconds for me to get bounced to the back of the room. I thought about trying to make my way back to “my spot”, but decided that I could see the show just fine from where I was. All in all in worked out in my favor because after the show Testament’s drummer came out and sat down at a table with me; I was able to get his autograph (along with the rest of the band) and we talked about wearing ear plugs for about 20 mins. I have not been in a pit since then and honestly have no desire to be, my seat will do just fine to enjoy the rock!
Any good concert stories that you have? I’d love to hear ’em! Be sure to leave a comment and share ’em with me.
Somebody once told me that in the music business you have to spend money to make money. I always remembered that saying when it came to buying gear. Of course when I first started playing; I would pretty much take anything that anyone gave me, but as I became a better musician I wanted better gear.
I remember the first piece of cool gear that I got. For Christmas one year my parents bought me a Nady wireless system. I really thought that I hit the big time. I remember walking down the street on Christmas morning, in the snow, with my bass, while my brother and sister yelled out the window at me telling me that they could still hear my amp. I was definitely ready for the arena show.
When it came time to upgrade my bass I was pretty sure that $500 or so would get me something nice that would last me a while. Well I didn’t have $500, so I asked my grandpa for a loan. He gave me a blank check and told me to go get something nice (something nice, haha, God love him). I ended up spending a little more than $500 (about $1700 actually, it listed for $2400 though, what a steal!) and came home with an American made Spector NS 2. The salesman/owner of the guitar shop took me into his office when I bought it and showed me pictures of Sting, Eddie Van Halen, Kip Winger and a few others; all who were playing the same guitar as me! He really made me feel cool! (of course he just sold a $1700 guitar to0!) By the way, I still have that guitar and it still rocks.
The only problem with having a totally rockin guitar is that you have to have a big amp to go with it. I worked all summer and saved up my money and went back to the same guitar store and told them that I need an amp. Of course they were happy to help me and gave me another killer deal on an Ampeg SVT 140TC stack! I figured Ampeg because every famous musician I knew that had a Spector bass also had an Ampeg amp. I was definitely concert ready now!
And oh by the way, I still have that amp too.
I’m always lookin’ for somethin’ new to listen to and every now and then a band comes along that I’ve never heard of. That’s the case with this band that I’ve been listening to the last couple days, Neon Trees.
Neon Trees “arrived” earlier this year with their debut album “Habits” on Mercury records. The group had it’s earliest beginnings in southern California and then later in Utah. Catchy hooks, vocal harmonies and big guitars are what you can expect from this pop-rock, dance-punk band.
Check out their new single and video “1983”, and then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of “Habits”. Rock On!