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Monday, April 10, 2006


The great thing about good friends is how you can pick up where you left off. It could be 10 years since you last saw each other, but for true friends, time doesn't mean a thing. In the case of my band, it had been four years since we last played together. So our kickoff practice over the weekend was the first time I'd seen the guys since I lost my beloved Kathy.

When I put out the call to reform the band, they all jumped on it. But I wanted to be certain they weren't inconveniencing themselves just because I needed to play again in my time of profound sadness. (My parents raised a martyr.) After all, everybody has families and careers and responsibilities. Or, as they're sometimes called, "lives." Karch and Fro assured me this was a perfect time for them. In fact, they said they had been waiting for this call for years, bless 'em. Karch especially went ape. He bought a new amplifier called -- get this -- a Splawn. (Never mind the alternate definition for "Splawn" that we came up with.) Karch also bought a new guitar with a whammy bar, his stock-in-trade as a guitarist. But he can only push DOWN on the bar, not pull UP. Not to worry; judging from our kickoff practice, Karch is already its master.

We sounded good but sluggish. We didn't walk into the practice with a plan; we just got together cold and played some stuff we've been playing for 30 years. (This band formed in 1976, so these will literally be our 30th-anniversary gigs.) There is a ton of work ahead. A big part of the job will be keeping Fro and Karch in the dark about two things: the set list and the band's name. (I'm not telling them about my Blog, so this is just between you and me, Dear Reader.) You see, my brother Voger, who runs the show, agreed to let me execute some long-held ideas for a set list, with the caveat that he has veto power over any song. Man, if we left the set list up to those OTHER two morons, we'd be doing -- no lie -- "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" and Huey Lewis and the News.

The other issue: For the moment, our band's name is up in the air. What happened was, when we formed in 1976, we named ourselves after a Black Sabbath song: The Back Street Kids. It had stupid lyrics like, "Nobody I know will ever take my rock 'n' roll away from me." When we reformed to play a couple of shows in 2002, we had to change our name because it had been "wussified" by The Back Street Boys. So we renamed ourselves The Burners. Karch, Fro and I eventually drifted out of the band, which my brother kept afloat with some OTHER morons. All of which has created a branding conflict. Karch, Fro, Voger and I -- the ORIGINAL Burners -- can no longer call ourselves the Burners!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who you callin' a MORON? Maybe Fro would want to do the Titanic theme song or something but never the amazing Karch!

11:08 AM, April 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought "Back Street Kids" was a Kossoff song?

8:06 PM, April 17, 2006  
Anonymous KOSS FREAK said...

"Back Street Crawler" was the one and only solo album by Paul Kossoff. There's a 17-minute instrumental titled "Tuesday Morning" that takes up an entire side. (That's how burnt Koss was.) I've listened to "Tuesday Morning" about 300 times in my life, and I'm not done yet. (That's how burnt I am.)

10:53 PM, April 17, 2006  

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