March Newsletter (3/19/02)

First of all I'd like to point out Steve Morse's review of our CD in The Boston Globe.

It's easy to order the CD online. Just go to the music page of our website. What a snap.

The gig with John Hall at the SitnBull went well. The house was pretty much full, and a fun time was had by all. There was one incident that marred the evening, however. John, as it turns out, loves my CD, and wanted me to sing three songs from it: You're A Dog, Find Someone, and Seafood. All went swimmingly until, midway through Seafood, I heard a thud and the guitar stopped. I was in the middle of singing a verse so I couldn't turn my head to see what was wrong. I finished the chorus and was finally able to see John down on one knee with his hand pressed to his head. There was a young woman kneeling on the dance floor in front of him (the stage at the SitnBull is only about 18 inches high), attempting to minister to him, with a look of horror and embarrassment on her face. Her dance partner was leaning over this tableau with a mien of sorrow and pity. John's hand came away, he raised his face, and there was a shiner, a mouse, coming up on his right eye like the opening sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey. In that instant I knew exactly what had happened: either the man or the woman had, while dancing to my admittedly groovy tune but suffering from the incredible whiteness of being, crashed into the microphone stand which propelled the microphone into John Hall's face. This is not an uncommon occurrence in the wonderful world of rocknroll. What made it noteworthy is that they were the only couple on the dance floor. With all that space available they still managed to fall into the mic stand. My hat's off.

NEMO is coming to town next month. It's a music conference and showcase deal. The website is here if you're interested. Anyway, David and I applied and were accepted to perform. They gave us The Corner at The Middle East in Cambridge Saturday 13 April 2002 from 9:00 to 9:45. We want to get our fans in there so there are friendly faces in the crowd. It really makes a difference in the show. There will be some industry bigshots sprinkled around so we need to make a good impression. Although I cut my teeth playing clubs around Cambridge (Jack's, Zircon, Orson Welles, Jonathan Swift's, etc., ...they're all gone), I've never been to the Middle East. Our soundman reconnoitered and told me the stage was teeny and that he wasn't sure about musicians of our "stature" playing such a dinky room. I had a momentary qualm but then considered it a challenge. Plus, if we were to sit on our stature and not play, what would we get out of it? Even more besides, what stature? Sure, we've done a few things but who's heard of Troy & Brown? A lot of Patriots fans, that's who.

I decided to go see the room for myself. As I drove into Central Square I noticed again how familiar the streets of Cambridge are and how at home I feel when I'm there. I parked on Main Street in front of what used to be Nightstage (another joint I played many times: gone), told Ralph to eat anyone who broke into my car, and walked to the club. The Corner was closed at that time of day so I went in the only available entrance, walked down a long room between booths and a bar, and stopped to read the notices for the Upstairs and Downstairs stages. Lockjaw Dorkthwacker was SOLD OUT, as was Picklehead Buttpuncher. The kindly club owner (ha!) saw my look of uncomprehending, weary despair and asked if he could be of assistance. Feeling older and creakier by the second, I told him that we would be playing in The Corner and could I take a look at it. He pointed me down a hall and through a door beyond which I found not a bad room at all. It seats 60 people, has booths along one wall, tables & chairs, and a long bar. The stage isn't nearly as small as I feared. I mean when the sound man said teeny I pictured something the size of a play pen. I've seen 'em all. But this stage will accommodate us nicely. We'll be right in the corner, in the window. It looks like a fun room so please come. There is no cover charge. There is food. We're the first band. We hit at 9:00.

Playing drums with us that night and also 17 May at the Sitnbull will be Dave Mattacks. He's played with Paul McCartney, Mary Harry Chapin Karen Carpenter, Jimmy Page, Elton John, and a buncha other bigshots. You can learn more about him at his website. With Mr. Mattacks behind David and me there ought to be some pretty nice noise coming off the stage. Put it in your calendar.

I left the Middle East with a little spring in my step. My car was where I parked it. I drove up Mass Ave toward Harvard Square and reminisced about some of the other clubs I used to play around there: The Oxford Ale House (gone), The Spaghetti Emporium (gone), The Performance Center (gone), The Idler (gone), The Inn Square Men's Bar (gone). I felt that I'd better hurry up and play some more music before I, too, am...(gone).

TiddlelyBOPboomboomboomWHACK,
John


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