April/May 2002 (5/7/02)

Yet again I am dilatory in shouting out to my peeps. Feel free to indulge your righteous wrath as I cringe and grovel. OK, here's the latest. On Saturday 13 April we played the NEMO Showcase at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA. I'm not sure what NEMO stands for; Naughty Enabling Miffed Orcas, maybe. Anyway, it was spose to be this big deal. Industry bigshots from around the country descend on Boston to listen to and rate or at least form opinions of 250 bands that play in 20 clubs over two nights, all singing the same song: Please Like Us. On the day of the gig David and I had to go to the Swissotel in Boston to pick up our stinking badges. The traffic was bad because of preparation for the Boston Marathon. We drove through the Combat Zone where memories of psychotic, kleptomaniacal hookers danced, or something, in my head, until we arrived at the NEMO Conference.

Hipsters galore! We screamed and fled.

Back in Cambridge, walking down the sidewalk to the club, I had to elbow my way through a group of slouching hooligans who, I suddenly realized, were a band waiting to load in the side door to the downstairs stage. For a moment I expected them to rasp "Brains!" and start chewing on my head. The guitar player, whom I took to be the guitar player because he had one strapped over his shoulder, glared balefully as I paused to let the others make a path. He had this gray-pink pancake makeup on his face, purple lips, and spiked red and black hair. He looked like the love child of Liberace and Herman Munster. I mean this was a puss that would make children cry, dogs bark, and squirrels shoot pellets.

"Happy Halloween, guys!" I cheerfully offered.

Being a music lover, I know how to talk to these people.

There were some kinks to overcome that night. For instance, the sound system didn't work. But fortunately, I had hired a sound man for just this show. Roger Merritt was a man with a plan. He had things up and running in no time. Later, two bars into the first song, David's amp quit. Roger Merritt zipped to the stage and restored order in short order. Roger Merritt, he's our man, if Rog can't do it, no one can.

So thank you, Roger.

We played in The Corner, which is a 60 seater with tables & chairs. There were eaters there so the staff kept telling us to turn down which was interesting because, between songs, the band next door was coming through the wall loud and clear. It sounded sorta like someone had just pulled the chain on God's crapper. Maybe that was the name of the band.

God's Crapper. There's no denying it was powerful.

Well, there was a booth with six hipsters in it whom I knew we were meant to impress. They seemed mightily so. They were clearly grooving. We made it though our 10 song set without any more mishaps and finished to enthusiastic applause, hootin' & hollerin'.

Hey, wanna know what songs we did? OK!

Don't Know What You're Doing
You're A Dog
Find Someone
Bar Talk
Shanty
Hollywood Hunter
Meter Maid
Ain't No Fun
When You Go
Seafood

All of them are on our CD except When You Go and Shanty. If you're interested you can order the CD here.

Thanks again to those of you who came. Those of you who couldn't make it will be happy to know that we will be playing at:



The Dolphin Striker
15 Bow Street
Portsmouth NH
Thursday 9 May
www.dolphinstriker.com


The Rhumbline
Gloucester MA
Thursday 16 May



The SitnBull Pub
163 Main Street
Maynard MA
Friday 17 May
www.sitnbull.com




RALPH
circa 1992-2002

My good buddy Ralphie, a lab mix I purchased at a shelter in 1995 for $35, is now at play in the fields of the Lord. He had heart disease. I had to put him down 25 March. He was the best dog I ever knew. I loved him. I miss him.

After what some might think of as an inappropriately short time I got another dog. The truth is I couldn't stand not having a dog around. Four days after Ralph died I started talking to him; to Ralph. Out loud. I started opening the tailgate for him. It was scary. That's why I named my new dog Harvey, after the movie of the same name starring James Stewart, about a man whose companion is an invisible 7-foot rabbit. Harvey, too, is a lab mix, although he has a different look. Ralph was part Rottweiler, maybe, while Harvey is part German Shepherd, maybe. Harvey's personality is nothing like Ralph's, but he's a great consolation and a very good dog. I think he'll work his way into my heart, too.





We're thinking of throwing a CD release party 29 June at the Chit Chat Lounge in Haverhill. There'll be food! Food, booze, and music! If it's something you think you'd come to, write and let me know.

OK. Forward this newsletter to a friend, visit our website, order the CD, come see us play, and let's have some fun! As usual, I will respond to all emails.

Thanks!
KadoomdoomRACKAdoomdoomBAKBAK
John





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