Monday, 24 November 2008

I was in a band once....

For the next six weeks from 3/11/08 I will updating weekly.
My career (?) in music
A six part confession of how I never made it.
In e-book form to download and read at your pleasure

*Part 4- The move sideways off the ladder.*

Roger’s brother’s 21st was coming up and he wanted a band for the party, Roger would have had the ready made answer except that he no longer had a singer and his guitarist (Russell) was in Bali with his Family. Guess who came knocking on my door?
Roger wanted to know if I wanted to put a combo together for the occasion, also asking what Jim was up to. I told him I was good for it but Jim wouldn’t sing because of his preoccupation with his new girl friend. That and the fact he wouldn’t sing in any band Roger was in unless Rogers head was on a spike out the front.
I made the mention of James and how we’d been jamming together with his dog, and I could see Rogers brain ticking over.
All right I’ll ask him I said.
James had a good voice and could play a little guitar so he was interested; he even contributed a couple of songs. Jessy was more than happy to join in there was only one catch, he couldn’t use his Mega kit, amazingly enough he agreed and used a standard Bass, snare, tom and high hat ensemble.
We put together a basic collection of Stones and Kashmir standards. Roger who had been learning guitar and stockpiling songs, played half the set and I played bass on those numbers. We went over well and had a good night. Of course any chance of starting something with James got squashed when I had found out that during our practises Roger had been working on James to join Kashmir.
Roger told him that he had just got another guitarist- Singer to play along side Russell and they were going to start lining up work. The new member was a guy called Chris who was the bigger brother of Rogers best mate at school. He was a nice enough guy but most importantly he was a Roger clone.
I was getting used to being Rogers band pimp by now, every time he run out of singers or players I’d get him a new one.
It was my own dumb fault really they were still mates.
Then it happened again soon after.
Jessy’s big brother had gone to Sri Lanka and came back with a wife, Jessy said the band would play at the wedding celebration.
Chris wasn’t ready and Russell had only just got back so I played the first set instead of Chris.

It really wasn’t the sort of gig the band were suited to and no one danced until the band stopped and they started playing records.
That’s where me and Kashmir parted ways, with most of our friends turning 18 or 21 there seemed to be plenty of work for the band and they were actually getting better.
Roger was no doubt in control and Chris was his right hand man, both non smokers and not much for the drink. James and Russell were as thick as thieves and were huge fans
of getting totally wasted at every single opportunity.
Jessy didn’t socialise with the band and only saw them at practise when necessary or at a gig.
During this time I was a regular at their gigs, lets face it most gigs were at a party. Jim had come back on the scene after breaking up with his girlfriend on the other side of town and would often be out with James and Russell and others getting bent. Things were going along quite well for the band who were now even getting paid for their efforts.

Then Jessy dropped a big bomb on Roger.
Jessy was a talented drummer actually a few members of his family were talented musicians including his younger brother who was becoming an excellent bass player. The Sri Lankan community in Melbourne has always been quite large and close-knit so when Jessy and his brother were approached to join a professional Ceylonese cover band they didn’t need to be asked twice. Jessy really only joined the band because he was my next door neighbour and a friend he didn’t even like the music. Most of the songs he didn’t even know the names to. So the band often practised in set list order to avoid trying to tell him what song was next.
Roger no longer had a drummer,
The band couldn’t work.

1 comment:

Ange said...

Great blog Danny:)