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