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Sunday, October 01, 2006


I just returned from South Joisey, where we had back-to-back rehearsals with Mad Jack (Friday) and The Burners (Saturday).

Mad Jack turned a corner. Drummer Fro played like an animal on Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" and the Led Zeppelin medley. Cream's "Badge" finally came together -- we built in some needed contrast and got comfortable with it. In his soloing, guitarist Karch is actually conjuring Eric Clapton. And if you've ever heard Karch, you know he USUALLY conjures Jimmy Page. The originals, one of which dates back to 1977, came back intact. We've worked up a kind of metal-ish version of The Beatles' "Please Please Me," if you can imagine such a thing. My favorite of our new covers is The Yardbirds' "For Your Love."

Mad Jack sounds like a band again, but we'll still take every minute of rehearsal we've got budgeted for the next month and two days.

I left my Mockingbird at Brinie's. Karch, bless him, is actually going there one night this week to scrub rust off my pickups and clean my "pots" (whatever THEY are). And I'm springing for a little midlife crisis toy: a wireless for my guitar. Burners guitarist Bad Bobby is getting me a deal on something called a Guitarbug. Brinie is going to research it first, to make certain it is "Elder friendly" (Elder being my band nickname). Not many technical gadgets are.

Y'see, I had so dang much fun at the last Burners gig with that wireless mike -- going wherever I please, whenever I please -- that I crave that same rush with my guitar. (Actually, in 1992, Kathy bought me a guitar wireless for my birthday. I had a lot of fun with it, but it's not compatible with our current equipment, so I'll give it to Nephew Headbanger, a fledgling rocker.)

The Burners are on fire again. We could almost play the gig now, but the Maestro is still tweaking the set list and discussion is still needed on Kansas' "Belexes." It's so great playing again with Johnny (my drummer since sophomore year in high school). We've been in a lot of bands: The Sponge Reunion, Scream, The Creeps, Squadron, The Back Street Kids and now The Burners. After practice, we all took a sip or two from that stainless steel flask of Jim Beam. I'd forgotten that feeling of warmth spreading across your lungs.


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