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Sunday, September 02, 2007


I just returned from South Jersey, where we had the first rehearsals for our planned Nov. 2 double-bill of Mad Jack and Scream.

To review: Mad Jack is my guitar quartet founded in 1976 that plays Foghat, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and originals written in the '80s. Scream is my band of high school outcasts founded in 1973 that played David Bowie, Roxy Music, '50s oldies and weird, primitive originals with titles like "The Crimson Cult" and "I Walked With a Humanoid." (One Scream member is flying in from California just for the gig. THAT'S friendship.)

The Mad Jack rehearsal was our first with newest member The Kid, who, come to think of it, is turning us into a guitar QUINtet. The Kid is quick on the uptake, and seems to be having a good time with us old men. (I've got 30 years on this punk.)

Mad Jack will again be playing "Wicked Ways," a Purple-esque original that the Burners took over and transformed via the Maestro's Purple-esque keyboards. I think the last time "Wicked Ways" was played live without the Maestro was in 1990, at a gig we call "Bepstock." I remember the year because I wore a "Dick Tracy" (the movie) T-shirt. Mad Jack is now reclaiming "Wicked Ways" as a guitar song. We're "fierce-ing" it up a bit. I was a little nervous about how it would sound (spoiled as we were by the Maestro's lush Hammond stylings). But once I heard the boys kick in, I was amazed and happy.

Mad Jack is working hard on the Outlaws' stoner epic "Green Grass and High Tides." All the ingredients are there; we just have to tighten up some transitions and sift in some dynamics. Sadly, though, I don't know if I'm "butch" enough to pull off the cowboy hat.

The Scream practice the next morning was strange but fun. It's just me (vocals and guitar), Brinie (bass) and Jazzy (drums). Vo (the dude in California) will get a "dirty" CD of our next rehearsal, and practice along with that. But in the meantime, we're laboring under the theory that if Brinie, Jazzy and I had a gun to our heads, we could do the show as a mere trio. When Vo comes in and adds his magic, it'll be (much needed) icing on the cake.

Much of the practice was devoted to the 11-minute "Scream Medley," which strings together 12 Scream originals. It sounds like a grand waste of time -- who in the world will care? -- but I know it's going to be my favorite moment of the night.

The funny thing about the Scream reunion is that we're exclusively doing songs we used to do from sophomore year on. Like, we decided not to challenge ourselves and suddenly start playing "Belexis" by Kansas. Of course, we're all better musicians than we were back when we tramped through the hallowed halls of Cherry Hill High School East. Hopefully.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Nice !

5:46 AM, January 07, 2008  

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