A Band Story (Pt. 1)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
What if you were in a band and were about to play your fist gig. This was the one that will make or break you....and you sucked. A funny and introspective story about a night of epic preportions! This is part one of two..

Submitted: March 17, 2011

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Submitted: March 17, 2011

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A Band Story
 
 
February 9th, 2008. This is the date in a day in my life that I can only describe as “movie-quality.” 
 
My band mates and I were about to play our first gig. This was by no means my first show, but it was my first show in a band in which I had a substantial amount of creative control, so this first show meant a lot to me. It was to be held at a fairly large, yet extremely dumpy bar on the East side of Indianapolis, Indiana, called “Zanies Two.” To my knowledge, there never existed a “Zanies One,” so the name always struck me as odd.
 
“Zanies” looked like any other dive bar you might see in the mid-west. Neon signs advertised beer they didn’t serve, greasy-haired cooks served food you didn’t want, and it even sported a jukebox that didn’t work. The lights were turned down just a little too low, which in retrospect was probably a good thing. The floor was sticky. I once saw a patron exit the bathroom and have to stop walking halfway to the bar because his shoe had stuck to the floor and he had literally walked out of his own footwear.
 
My fellow musicians and I had all arrived at the same time and thus began the ritual of unloading our instruments to be set up for sound check. I brought along my friend Corie (who later became known as the infamous “raging bull,” which is another story all together..) a goofy underage kid that wore thick, black-rimmed Buddy Holly glasses. I managed to get him safely into the bar, un-carded, on the pretext that he was a road crew member. This was as simple as handing him my guitar case and pushing him through the entrance door. 
 
Honestly, I never understood sound check. I understand the IDEA of sound check, however, this task rarely accomplishes what is intended. More often than not, you would be better off plugging in your instruments and then bellying up to the bar. 
 
“Heymanhowmanymikesyouguysneed?”
 
I was already through the first beer and eagerly anticipating the second, and hadn’t even noticed the soundman standing portside.  He looked like a homeless Serj Tankian, of the band “System of a Down,” Which is saying a lot because Serj already looks homeless. 
 
“Um…what?” I replied.
 
“Heymanhowmanymikesyouguysneed?”
 
“Oh.. two.”
 
This man was the worst kind of communicator. A combination fast-talker and, worst of all, close-talker. For those unaware, a close-talker is exactly what it sounds like. They are people that insist on speaking to you with their face only a couple inches away from your own. His teeth bore a striking resemblance to Indian corn and his breath smelled of cigarettes and sour milk. It’s hard to hold your breath and respond to questions at the same time…
 
Over an hour passes. I have already downed three Newcastle’s and two shots of tequila. Somehow I am still nervous, and I begin to worry just how much alcohol it will take to calm me nerves. My drummer informs me that that Tension Head, another band from Saginaw, Michigan, have just arrived and so I gulp down the last of my frosty beverage and make my way to the back exit.
 
One joint and many heartfelt greetings later, I check my watch and realize that we hit the stage exactly ½ hour from then. Finally buzzed and my nerves calmed, I mentally prepare for the set and make my way back into the bar.
 
My nerves immediately catapult through the roof. 
 
The bar is packed.
 
What was, only ten minutes ago, a handful of close friends and acquaintances have since ballooned into around 300 eager patrons. I’m suddenly feeling very inebriated. 
 
After a few respectable handshakes and friendly hugs to some old friends, our band, Compendium, shambles our way onto the stage…
 
 
Part 2 coming soon
 


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