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Progressive Travels

The haphazard chronicles of a professional musician and his relentless pursuit of an otherwise boring life.

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Location: St. Jacob, Illinois, United States

If it ain't Baroque, fix it!

30 April 2006

Tattooed Ladies

Friday, 28 April 2006
Dale is always hinting that he would like to play more shows closer to him in the Lincoln County Missouri area. Many of his friends make the drive to St. Charles to see us there, and sometimes even to Edwardsville IL to see us at Rusty’s. I can understand the pressure from them asking him to do some local shows, as I have had some of that myself. Most of the BWB stuff centers around the St. Charles and North STL County area, as the majority of its members have traditionally been from that area.

So, Dale decided to take matters into his own hands and booked a gig at a new bar in Moscow Mills MO called The Tattooed Lady. He knows the new owners, or knows some people who go there, or drove past it one day, or something of that ilk. At any rate, we were scheduled to play for their Opening Weekend celebration.

It was originally slotted to be a small PA gig, as the room is slightly smaller that Rusty’s. Bobby’s small system is not yet together, so I was to bring mine. We discovered last week that the band scheduled to play Saturday night was some old SLME friends including Rob Sherman and Tony Hines (both excellent musicians, I might add). They offered to bring in their system for us to use Friday night, which would give them the opportunity to tweak on it without having to be playing at the same time. It sounded like a win-win situation from both sides, so we readily agreed.

I arrived a bit past 19:00, right behind Bobby and his lovely wife Roberta. Load in was a snap, as there is a door at the back of the building just to the side of the stage. Well…I say “stage”, but it’s really nothing more than a drum riser built into one corner of the place. Said door is literally right next to the “stage” and we were told not to block any of the doors, including the most important one just to the left of the back door which is the beer storage room. This made setup a bit trickier than normal, but, being the experienced professionals that we are, we made it work. Rob and Carlos arrived a bit later, as they got caught in accident traffic on I-70. Rob’s system was quite compact (not unlike mine), but also quite powerful (completely unlike mine). Most of it fit in his Jeep Cherokee, the rest stowed in Carlos’ minivan. Setup went very quickly and we were done with about ½ hour to spare.

We jumped into the sets with reckless abandon. Well, actually, it was really nothing out of the ordinary. I just wanted to say that. There’s very little about BWB that qualifies as reckless, unless you consider the second set from this night. For some unknown reason, we seem to have lost complete control over the beginning of that infernal Georgia Satellites song Keep Your Hands To Yourself. It found its way to the top of the second set, where we commenced to butcher it with reckless abandon (or, as Mike Stevenson would say, “You sliced that one deli-thin.”) I don’t know what went wrong, but in the last six months we have lost the ability to hold that one together. I made a mental note to myself to remember to send out an urgent email requesting that we drop this song from the repertoire and erase any record of its ever having existed in the setlist. I never really liked that song anyway, even when I was playing it back in the 80’s with Deron Boyd singing it. He did a fine job – especially the Sam Kinison break-down – I just never cared for it. Unfortunately, everyone seems to like it well enough to always pack the dance floor and sing along. There’s no accounting for taste.

The end of this set was a complete and utter disaster as well. Possum Kingdom is not a song that we have really had any trouble with in the past. Of all the songs we play, this seems like it would be the most likely candidate, as it is replete with odd time signature changes. We’ve never really had any issues with this until this night. Dale seemed to loose it around the beginning of the second verse, and everything went south from there. He simply forgot the words. No problem, right? We’re professionals. We can deal with this. Instead we just idled in the groove, waiting for Dale to find himself – which he never did. Through shear frustration, we lost the groove and the song became a giant fustercluck. This went on for what seemed like an eternity. I finally walked up to my mic and started the second verse myself. This seemed to prompt Dale out of his malaise, and he picked up midway through the verse. When we finally ended that abortion, we thanked the crowd for suffering through that and took a break. I grabbed the setlist and made a B-line to Carlos to express my wish to never ever play that Georgia Satellites song again. He agreed that we should definitely replace it with something that we can still play, and was as perplexed as me about where it all went so wrong…and why. We all have theories, but…

The rest of the night went off pretty much without any more catastrophes. We ran a bit long at the end of the night due to the door prize drawings in between sets, but still managed to squeeze in War Pigs. Carlos didn’t go hog-wild with the solos, and seemed a bit agitated and ready to get out of there. We had a pretty decent crowd most of the night (in fact, the place was packed when we started), but they began filtering out by the middle of the last set…that whole Friday night thing, I guess. It wasn’t the most beautiful crowd I’ve ever seen, but it was much better than I had expected considering the circumstances. Most of the BenWahBabes were there – Carlos’ lovely wife Dawn, Bobby’s lovely wife Roberta, and Dale’s lovely wife Chris. My lovely practically-wife/girlfriend Dawna didn’t make it this time. It’s a long drive, and she had to work Saturday morning. So, she just went to my house after work and was waiting for me there when I got home. Sweet! No diversions to Baltimore this time. My long drive home was accompanied by the debut album from the Utah-based prog band Hourglass. It didn’t last the whole way, so I popped in that Circus Maximus CD to finish the journey.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Rob said...

Hey Paul,
Thanks to all of BWB for the opportunity to twist some knobs while actually in use- CD's don't cut it! Hope you all found the mix satisfactory, wish we could have stayed a bit longer...well, after your account of the following sets, maybe not! FWIW, first set sounded good!

30 April, 2006 23:18  
Blogger Deron said...

I WANT MY RECORDS BACK! I WANT MY RECORDS BACK! Just to add an addendum to this, I hated that fucking song too. The way it came about was while practicing in my basment, I started screwing around with the "Green Acres" theme! Paul does a mean Ava Gabor, just ask him! For whatever fucked up reason, I went into the Georgia Satellites coming out of it. It worked! Since neither you nor Steve were about to sing it, I sang it myself. The whole Sam Kinison bit was just to make the damn thing bearable night after night!

03 May, 2006 03:03  

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