Tuesday, 18 November 2008

I was in a band once......

*Part 3- You’re in, you’re out!*

My second gig in my newly named band was embarrassing. Al’s band RACK were heaps tighter and actually played songs people knew.
Jim had gotten us in trouble because he was pissed and threw up in the car park.
He was having girl friend problems.
There was never a chance of getting groupies if we continued to play like this.
We needed a new strategy.

In the short time since the band had started Rogers playing had improved, (my own was progressing slowly) he had also taken to searching out new songs (that mainly suited his tastes) and painted banners to place behind the band for live performances, which he kept in his garage.
We all made a conscious effort to practice more as we were clearly not ready the last time we played.
I was now working in as a factory hand so I had cash coming in and bought my first electric guitar a Maton Telecaster copy.
Lovely to play but a bit tinny, thank goodness for fuzz boxes.
Jim was missing more practises due to his working in the city and Roger was usually organising them at times that were inconvenient for Jim to attend. Jim who at the time was obsessing about his ex girlfriend was constantly drunk or whining about her. This culminated in Jim being sacked by the band, something I was not really big on but it was a band decision, this was my first experience in band manipulation and should have payed more attention, because I would be next.
I met a guy called Tony prior to starting work at a drop in centre I went to near home, he had great parties and I introduced him to Jim’s ex girlfriend, he said he always wanted to sing in a band so I offered him the job.
He turned up at the next practise much to the other guys surprise and announced he was the new singer, we tried a few songs , he could sing , he got the job.
The hard part was telling Jim who was still a good mate that we had anew singer and by the way he was dating your ex. Stressed times in deed. It was easier to get drunk and listen to mournful songs. I’d written a few songs with Tony and the band was still doing a 50-50 mix of originals and covers.
I was starting to miss practises as I was the only one working (the others were still at school or college) and I couldn’t be shagged running home and missing dinner.
I was also spending more time with Jim as we had more in common and also Al who had been kicked out of his own band about the same time as Jim got the boot.
Al said he got the boot because he went to the wrong school. The real reason was the other guys had a mate they liked better they wanted to join.
Al had gotten himself a girlfriend he met at a party who lived on the other side of town and Jim hooked up with one her friends, I tagged along because they were nice people who had great parties. It was during one of these sojourns that I missed that one too many practises and was informed by phone that my services were no longer required.
I called them a pack of cunts and told them they can’t do that.
I was wrong and totally deluded if I thought they couldn’t.
A revenge band of Jim, Al and me was out of the question.
Al had sold his guitar and both Jim and him were spending a lot more time on the other side of town.
It was getting tedious and quite frankly the girls weren’t that hot so I tended to stay on my own side town and go back to my old crowd, in the process nicking Tony’s girlfriend for myself.
Now this girl’s best friend was Mandy who sung back up at the Kashmir gig, and her big brother was a great guy who had only just started going to the local youth club.
James was a big Teddy bear with a great sense of humour and a bigger personality, he is still my best friend to this day and we both were groomsmen at each others weddings. I was drawn to James as many people were as he was fun to be with and life was never boring with him around.
James was a Rolling Stones fanatic and we would sit for hours rediscovering the entire Stones back catalogue. He had a trick where he would play his harmonica and make his dog howl along. I use to take my guitar around and jam. Me ,James and the dog.
Meanwhile Roger and the band had managed to secure a gig at his High School as part of an “Express Yourself “ week or something like that and they needed some one to mix the sound.
So he asked me. I had realised long ago with Roger that he some how had a distinct separation of friendship and band matters and he asked because no one else knew what how to do it , that and the bastards were playing half a set of my songs.
The gig was quite a good performance and they carried it off well, it did get a bit grating when Tony kept referring to myself as our mixer and writer of our next song several times. Hell it was good to get credit, because I knew we weren’t getting paid.
Tony celebrated the end of the gig by announcing he was leaving the band.
Thank you and good bye. I don’t think they ever saw him again.

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