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****** Musician's Meanderings******
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Steve Hashimoto's Journey Journal – News From the Trenches – 10-05-2003:

Another tale from the crypt...

I think the year was 1983, maybe 1984. At the time my main jobbing situation
was with drummer and Percussion Shop owner Mike Gassman's band (the convoluted
history of that band and crew is a separate story, one that might take weeks
to tell). You older drummers will remember that Mike's shop was located in
Evanston, and that it was quite the place to hang. Anyway, Mike scored what he
thought was a street fair gig for the band, which at the time consisted of John
Vitale on guitar and vocals and the late Scott Nelson on keyboards, and me (I
inherited the gig, like most of my early bass gigs, from my friend and guru
Erwin Yasukawa).
    It turned out that it wasn't a street fair per se, but a day of music and
activities aimed at keeping the peace in the neighborhood called the Juneway
Jungle -- we were to play in the yard of the grammar school located at (I
think) Paulina and Juneway Terrace, just north of Howard street and just west of
Sheridan Road. This is STILL a heavy neighborhood, but for as long as I can
remember (and I grew up near there) it's ALWAYS been called The Jungle. I
remember being youthfully oblivious of the true danger until I  worked in an office
building at that corner in the mid '80's, and saw some really horrible things
happening from my cubicle window, late at night.
    Anyway, you have to get the overall cultural picture -- we were
essentially a jobbing band from Evanston trying to placate and entertain a huge crowd
of black street kids, ranging in age from 3 to 20. The most recent song in our
repertoire was probably "Let's Hear It For The Boy", and these kids were
already listening to Afrika Bambaata. I distinctly remember also that we were
situated deep in the yard, in front of a baseball backstop, and that we weren't
allowed to drive our vehicles close to the stage, so we all had to find parking
on the street (more on that later) and had to lug our gear across the dusty
infield.
    By the time we played (1:00, I believe) the crowd was already impatient,
hot and thirsty. There were teachers from the school and neighborhood activist
types circulating, trying to keep things cool, but when we were unable to
hold the crowd's attention (here's a jobbing hint: don't play "Shout" at, say,
your next prison gig), things rapidly spun out of control. An argument broke out
near the first base line, and EVERYONE ran over there to watch. The activists
cooled it out, but then a full-fledged fistfight broke out over on the third
base line, and EVERYONE ran over there. Soon there were fights all over the
yard, and people were yelling and screaming and throwing things and running
around. Miraculously, no one hassled us, and we quietly broke down and starting
getting out of there.
    On my way to my car (THROUGH the crowd and the dust) I saw something that
remains one of the most striking images I've ever seen: Mike Fiorino,
standing absolutely stock still in the middle of all this chaos, dressed in his
tuxedo and protectively hugging his bass. He was scheduled to play in the next
band, subbing for me (Andy Meacham's band; Andy had gotten the wrong address for
the gig and so we thought that Gassman's gig and Andy's gig were in different
and separate parks, otherwise, slut that I am, I'd have done double duty) and
was on his way in to set up when he found himself in the middle of World War
III. It was exactly like a special effects scene from "The Matrix" -- everything
else in violent kinetic motion except for Mike. I waved and yelled out that I
didn't think the gig was going to happen, he nodded, turned around and
disappeared.
    I made it to my car, but I couldn't go anywhere because by now the chaos
had spilled out of the schoolyard and into the street. I rolled up my windows
(at the time I had a beat-up old yellow Cadillac Fleetwood, perfect ghetto
camouflage) and hunkered down, keeping my eye on a crew of 16 or 17 year old
gangbangers who were involved in words with an older guy (in his 30's, and
extremely hard-looking). He wasn't backing down, even though he was outnumbered 7 or
8 to one, and some of the kids were much bigger than he was. Suddenly one of
the kids reached down and pulled a loose slat out from a low picket fence and
hit the older guy across the face with it. It broke in half, and not only did
the guy NOT go down, he laughed. That was my cue to burn rubber out of my
parking space and go on home.

    Several people have started calling me the Grim Reaper of the jobbing
scene. I'm sorry, but people keep dying, and if we don't remember them, who else
will? It's my sad duty to report that the vocalist Elaine Hamilton died last
week. She was a wonderful singer and a very nice lady, and it's really a shame.
I wasn't able to open the e-mail that had info about a memorial service for
her; sorry.

    On another front I've been told that first-call sax player about town
Steve Eisen turns 50 on October 10. If you'd like to wish him a happy birthday
you might stop by Quenchers, 2401 N. Western, on Thursday Oct. 9, when his band
Conjunto plays. I hear that Steve's not a big one for surprises, so you didn't
hear it from me...

    If you're reading this on Sunday there's still time for you to make the
benefit for Stan Staggs and Dave Ungerleder, at Martyrs, 3855 N. Lincoln.

My friend Pat Bizby, the drummer for the band Tautologic, recently
interviewed me for the jamband.com web page. You can read the first part of the
interview at <A HREF="http://www.jambands.com/Features/content_2003_09_29.03.phtml">
http://www.jambands.com/Features/content_2003_09_29.03.phtml</A>

This week Steven Hashimoto will savor the relative safety of his gigs at:

SUN. OCT. 5: at THE OAK PARK PUBLIC LIBRARY, 834 Lake St., Oak Park,
1:30-3:30pm, with Sueños Latin-Jazz Quartet (Mike Levin, sax; Bob Long, piano; Heath
Chappell, drums); then later on at THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 8-10pm,
with poet Marc Smith and The Pong Unit (Mike Smith, guitar; Dave Flippo,
keyboards; Ted Sirota, drums) for The Uptown Poetry Slam.

TUES. OCT. 7: at THE LEOPARD LOUNGE, 1645 W. Cortland, 9pm-midnight, with The
Steven Hashimoto Quartet (Dan Hesler, sax; Pat Fleming, guitar; Heath
Chappell, drums).

FRI. OCT 10: a jobbing date, then later on, as usual, at THE GREEN MILL, 4802
N. Broadway, 1:30-3:45am, with The Green Mill Quartet (Barely Winograd, bari
sax; Bob Long, piano; Rick Shandling, drums) for The After-Hours Jazz Jam
Session.

SAT. OCT. 11: a jobbing date, this time for sure with High Society (I thought
I was working with them tonight, when my employer was actually the esteemed
Jeff Brown of Valparaiso, Indiana).

SUN. OCT. 12: at INDIAN TRAILS LIBRARY, 355 S. Schoenbeck Rd., Wheeling,
2-3:30pm, with Sueños Latin-Jazz Quartet (Mike Levin, sax; Bob Long, piano; Heath
Chappell, drums).

Call me at 708-222-6520 to help me fill my pesky open dates! Visit my website
at <A HREF="http://www.stevehashimoto.com/">http://www