East-coast dispatch: Just got back from the Murphy's Law Tour --
if anything could have gone wrong, it did.
First gig at The Bowery Poetry Club in NYC. Club supposed to provide complete
drum set, keyboard amd back-line amplifiers. We show up and no one knows
nuttin' -- there's a set of almost-cardboard drums with no cymbals, a
keyboard but no amps. It's an hour to hit-time and the cel phones are
humming. Somehow one amp materializes, but we're told we can't use it. More
phone calls -- I call a friend of a friend and line up a bass amp, then
miraculously a bass amp materializes onstage. I call my friend back to tell
him thanks, but I think I'm covered, and as soon as I hang up I'm told I
can't use the amp.
At hit time a guitar amp materializes and Mike's able to start the set,
accompanying Marc as a duo. The sound man says there's a direct box that I
can plug into, although there aren't really any stage monitors. Well, what
the hell, y'know? The show must stagger on.
Ted had decided to just go and get something to eat since there really
weren't enough drums to play, but somehow during the first set a crash cymbal
and a hi-hat appear. Ted gets set up in time for the last downbeat of the
last tune of the first set.
The interim set was a Poetry Slam run by a female MC whose harpie voice will
haunt my nightmares for years to come. But somehow, during her set, a bass
amp appears on stage (I swear to God I don't know how or where any of this
stuff came from). We play our final set, everything's almost ok, and my New
York nightclub debut is nothing more than acid reflux.
My old neighborhood pal Fred Knapp put most of the band up in rare style --
ribs, beer, air matresses, wet smelly dogs and neurotic cats. Thanks, Fred,
you saved our sanity.
A 2-hour ride in a cramped Chevy Malibu (5 of us) to Germantown, PA. We get
to the college and lo and behold, there's equipment, and it's GOOD! The best
amp I've played yet on the road (they even had a bass and a guitar, just in
case). A good, pro rock sound crew (their t-shirts said "LOUD LOUDER
LOUDEST") who had to be talked down a bit, but they were cool. But the
college had been advertising the wrong date for the show -- subsequentally,
only about 30 people showed up for the gig. We actually ran into people at a
restaurant after the gig who recognized Marc and told him they were looking
forward to his show tomorrow night and that they were bringing all their
friends. Just think, the person responsible for not proofreading the
advertising, press-release and poster copy will probably be in charge of your
health-care policy in 10 years.
All in all, though, I had fun, seeing Fred, being in Manhattan, seeing the
sights on the Pennsylvania turnpike (my Dad would have loved it). And we
survived. Let me emphasize that none of the screw-ups were Marc's fault; it
wass all out of his hands. But my new rule of the road gig: expect nothing.
Depend on no one. Just because it's in writing doesn't mean a thing. Carry a
cell phone. This week Steven Hashimoto will carry all his own gear to
locations in Chicagoland - czech out the schedule