Sunday, August 9, 2009
Well, I went out tonight. I know! Shocking! But I had a couple really good reasons. My buddy John's band was playing walking distance from the house. I've known John for a couple years now. He's the landlord of the rehearsal space SKFTB used for quite a while. (Reasonably priced rehearsal space in Jersey City! I can hook you up.)
I've never seen his band Wellbaby, so that was a pretty good reason. Plus they were going on at 10, according to the intranets. PLUS my Ibanez Digital Delay was in the space and I left a message he should bring it to the show. Cuz I'm gonna need it for the upcoming OB&C shows in Chicago and DeKalb August 22 & 23. You know all about those. Scroll down if you don't.
Sos anyways, stars in alignment and all. Zip in, zip out. See my buddy, grab a tap brew, get my delay, home before midnight. Right. No problem. Cept it was a rock show. So ... problems.
Soon as I arrive, I spy Hickman and his band out front. OK. Well, I knew the show wasn't gonna start at the scheduled 10 PM start time. Cuz it was a rock show. No duh, right? Plus, I got a text to voice message from him earlier saying they were starting at 11. (I don't have a cell phone. I hate em. I'm serial. Cereal? Hate em.)
So I showed up a little before 11. The intranets said they were the first of three bands. But now they were second. Awright. Buncha pals I haven't seen in a while, so I was OK hanging out. And the first band was OK. Reminded me of a lotta the bands I used to see in opening slots in the early 80's in Chicago. Kinda fun skronk garage ruckus.
And my old pal Billy Filo was there! Filo was the first guy to book SKFTB. Gave us a home at Uncle Joe's. We closed that place down. Literally. In the literal sense of the word. I'm serial.
OK. So first band played a fine 30 minute set. John and the boys started setting up to play. But the other band on the bill said they were next. I dunno where they came up with that. John's a nice guy. Way too nice. He demurred and let them go second. So now I'm cranky. Then they start playing. Now I'm REALLY cranky! Turns out they're a goddamn Weezer cover band. Christ.
So I head outside to bum some smokes and burn off the burn. But after 40 minutes, I have had enough. I ask the manager what the hell is going on. He shines me on. He's another old buddy, so I don't make a scene. But this is unacceptable. I gotta do something. So I walk through the crowd and stand in front of the band. No closer than the four people that are there to see them. For some reason, this is unacceptable to the band and the fans. Matter of fact, the bass player takes his bass off and walks over to me. Now I have two fans and the bass player yelling shit at me.
For the record, my hearing is shot. One on one, I'm fine. I'm not deaf, but in a crowd or a loud environment, I hear every third word under the best of circumstances. It was quite clear that I was being agrressed upon, but I honestly had no idea why these people were freaking out. I was not wearing a happy face, aggressively, but I had a beer in one hand and my digital delay in the other hand and I was not threating anyone physically. Just standing there looking pissed. Didn't say a word. (OK. Not entirely true. I yelled for Sweater Song once.)
Well, didn't take too long before some of my pals were pulling me away from the front. I had no idea why this escalated to such a hostile environment. Part of me wanted to stay up front just on principle. But I wasn't there to make a scene. I just wanted to see Wellbaby, get my delay and go home. So I let them pull me back. As I moved to the back, folks were smiling and giving me very happy looks of approval. I still had no idea why any of this was happening. Until the biggest grinner told me he had thrown an orange at the band while I was making my way to the front. The band and their roadies thought I had thrown the fruit. heh That splained a lot, Lucy.
So long/short, I was a hero for doing nuthin but walking to the front of the crowd for five minutes. And Wellbaby went on shortly after said incident. And I got my delay. Which I need for the shows in a couple weeks. You know about those? Anyways, Wellbaby was great. And I got some beer. And a couple smokes. And I went out. And my basil plants got watered with material that I understand is quite nutritious for planty material. (You might wanna wait until after a good couple rains before you accept my invitation for a homemade pesto dinner.)
And if you think that's a good story, you should really show up at Abbey Pub in Chicago Sat Aug 22 and Otto's in DeKalb Sun Aug 23. I'm cereal.