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Thursday, August 03, 2006



The two-word news flash is: We killed.

I can almost call it my favorite gig. Part of the reason was that I had a wireless microphone in a long ballroom with a roomy stage. Hot dog that I am, it gave me so much freedom to roam. I made frequent sojourns to the back of the room. I sang the second verse of "Hold Your Head Up" from atop a chair in the middle of a bunch of tables. Even at the end of the night, when the back of the room was emptying, I sat at a couple's table singing "Ice Cream Man."

The band was amazing -- really tight and ferocious. This was my first gig not playing guitar, which was very freeing. All the rehearsal paid off -- it really seemed like a revue. There was a flow. I'd rehearsed some comedy during the final practice, so the guys would know when they'd have a moment to fiddle with knobs, strings, cords, etc. The comedy was a bit dodgy, as is our wont, but without being over-the-top raunchy, in deference to the restaurant (although the later it got, the worse I got). Drummer Johnny and I worked out a signal whereby he would deliver a rim shot on demand. Here's a sample:

"Thank you, Moby Dick. It's great to be back in Lindenwold, home of the spotless, efficient Lindenwold Speedline Station (RIM SHOT). We are the Burners, five middle-aged guys whose big thrill of the year is our annual prostate exam (RIM SHOT). Every year, the five of us go together (RIM SHOT). My brother goes first, I go last, and oddly enough, our drummer John tries to cheat every year and get in line twice (RIM SHOT)."

While we were playing the Black Crowes song "Remedy," a stunning young lady -- she couldn't have been yet 25 -- began dancing with me, and non-verbally beckoned me to serenade her. I must admit, I couldn't have sung these lyrics to just any audience member ("If I come on like a dream/will you let me show you what I mean?/Will you let me come on inside?/Ooh, will you let it glide?"). She then joined me onstage. Two or three songs later, she was back onstage. The idea behind doing the gig was as a form of grief therapy -- with the knowledge and blessing of my counselor. While this girl was dancing with me, I was like, "Kathy who?"

One of my favorite moments of the evening came during "All the Young Dudes." There were a bunch of teenagers out front. They were really having a great time, dancing and laughing. They were busting my chops all night, mocking my stage moves. During "Dudes," a bunch of them opened their cell phones so that the phones' lights would come on, and then they swayed with their cell phones, a la the Stadium Ritual of the Swaying Cigarette Lighters -- remember, fellow '70s concertgoers?

After the gig, I met them and learned that some of them were musicians. I told them, "You (expletives) better not steal any of my stage moves."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome. I almost feel like I was there now.

Loved the moment with the kids and the cell phone lights - I remember those lighter moments fondly - got many a burnt finger from them.

9:13 PM, August 04, 2006  
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2:39 AM, February 05, 2007  
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