Oh! I just saw this, Billy...no, I haven't. I'm still looking for "scrap" lumber on the side of the road...I've seen lumber out there but if it isn't on the side of the road, it ain't "scrap"...
The last 3 weeks have been very busy and very positive for me in my musical career. I'm working up new material with OTA (On-Time Airline, the Bay Area group I play with outside of Pee Wee's schedule). We had a personnel spasm and the band is improving rapidly and evolving into a dynamic ensemble. I played 9 gigs in the last 17 days, last Friday we played at the Intercontinental Hotel Convention Center in the Galleria area for a charity group that sponsors needy kids. They're based out of ruling-class NASA and River Oaks Houston society. The shindig they put on was a gala Chinese-themed formal fundraiser...
See, I look at this stuff from a poor man's perspective. I see how much money they're spending on a deal where they're supposed to be trying to make money. They coulda had this at an American Legion post's outdoor arena and served barbecue...but they spent a quarter of a million dollars on this place, the decorations, the food and drinks, the wait staff, the band (we would have played it for free because technically it's a benefit) but they paid us $200 a man. Cool with me. I thought it was all a fabulous waste of money until the speaker got up. He's a prominent Houston lawyer who does high-profile cases ranging from corporate takeovers to fraud advocacy. He gave an outstanding talk...and he revealed at the end of it that he grew up in their program...he was a homeless delinquent headed for a life of crime when they took him in at age 14. He is living proof of their success. We played our butts off for these folks and we will be back for their next party.
Friday night we played at Capone's back in the Galleria area. We set an all-time band record at $520 in tips for one night...plus we got paid...some lit-up high rollers showed up halfway through our last set and they threw 200 bucks in the kitty for us to play a 5th set...we played till they closed the place. Something happened that night that I'll never forget as long as I live. Halfway through the first set, the former keyboard player for this band walked in. I probably mentioned before that he always had an attitude and I was usually the recipient of it...well, he comes in, sits down and watches me play keyboards with the band. I was thinking, oh no, here it comes...when break time came around, I went over and hugged him, said howdy, etc. and he says "You sound great. You play keyboards with this band better than I ever did. You're doing the songs the way they're supposed to be played. I had no idea you could do that." I said man, I expected you to say "You suck!" He said "no, no way, man. You're playing the right stuff and you're doing it with class. I'm glad I saw this"...I was so blown away I can't say...
He complimented me!
I played a benefit the next morning in Alvin with another band that called me Friday. Then that night I went to Pasadena and played at Lone Star with Pee Wee again till 1:15. The band is working on having a great sound and we're all paying very close attention to detail...a lot of bands approximate the songs they're playing...we're nailing every note, chord, beat, bar and phrase. It's better than it's ever been. I'm really enjoying playing keyboards; it's challenging and it presents an opportunity to orchestrate my chops without having to duck-walk around with a guitar hanging down to my knees...not that I didn't like that, either, but the guy on guitar now is a musician of note who concentrates on playing only...different deal than what I was doing...I was a song and dance man over there. But all that time I was playing guitar, I kept hearing what the keyboards were doing and deep down I hoped that I'd some day be given that gig again. I promised Pee Wee I'd make the best of it and he's told me he is amazed at how good the songs sound now. Heck, all I'm doing is playing them right. I'm not showing off. It just turns out that it makes the whole band sound tighter and more together.
Thursday I'll play downtown all day at the Super Feast. Everybody have a great Thanksgiving! WC1
Last edited by WildcatOne
on Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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