Week Old Roadkill

August 7: We’re Going Back to Cappy’s

With Kevin in Pennsylvania, John makes the trip to Cappy’s. There is plenty of good news. In talking with John, Chuck (the bar owner) says “People are talking” about our appearance. Consequently, Chuck has asked us to return September 6 and 7 with a raise in pay of $300 ($700 total for the weekend). Cappy’s also wants to hold a dance for teens on a Sunday night sometime THIS MONTH (OH YEAH). This is for an undisclosed amount. Things are definitely looking up.

August 10: Dave Gets Boofed

Dave and Kevin decide to go to Cappy’s this weekend to see “Phoenix.’ Dave hits the “Red Pepper” in Barberton only to find that it’s closed. He then goes to the Shenandoah and drops off a tape. Pretty much the same tune as before at the Shenandoah (they want us to audition again). The Shenandoah is such a dive. There are never more than 20 people in there at a time. Dave then goes to the Tangled Spur only to find that the house band has pulled it together (thus no room for Six Shooter).
At Cappy’s Dave sees Phoenix drummer Jack Beam whom he knows from past experience (he originally talked to Jack about purchasing drums back when Six Shooter first formed). The band opens up with Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “House is a Rockin” and performs other country classics as the Georgia Satellite’s “Keep Your Hands to Yourself.” The band has a front man that sings and plays the harmonica. This means every song has a harmonica part. The band is running the sound via a snake from the front. While their song list may not be as good as Six Shooter’s, their sound is solid. Their in-between song banter is moot. They barely come up with anything to discuss except the bachelorette party going on in the back. They sounded good, but Dave is a little confused on their choice of country songs. Dave is a little pissed at the fact that Kevin and Maria are a no-show. Dave is curious as they decided not to meet at their house (minutes away), if this was preplanned. Dave’s feelings are hurt but will survive. The lack of communication via voice mail or answering machine was the exact thing the band was concerned with Lee last weekend. John was a “possibly maybe” due to relatives in from out of town. After watching the first song of the second set, Dave leaves. On his way to the parking lot, Dave hears the band launch into Sly and the Family Stone’s “Dance to the Music” in the middle of Watermelon Crawl. This song did start off with a drum solo that was impressive.
Upon returning to the Shenandoah, Dave listens to the “Country Jammers” do (you guessed it) “Keep your Hands To Yourself” by the Georgia Satellites. They also did some Merle Haggart song. It’s been a bad night, and Dave heads for home.
Later when talking to Kevin, Kevin explains that they just didn’t make it. As Kevin puts it, “you got boofed.”

August 17: Kevin Goes a Pimpin’

Kevin hits the Carriage House and the Elms club and admits that neither sound promising. Meanwhile ,Dave has tried to get the Shenandoah to relinquish their “Must Audition” policy, but they say we still have to audition. I think John summed it up best when he sarcastically said, “We’re not playing the Shenandoah- Boo-Hoo, Waaa.”

September 5: Repair Work

Well t,he band is rusty due to a cancellation of practice. It’s been a fun time. John and Kevin have been tearing apart the power amps. Two transistors are replaced. After much testing ,it appears that the amplifiers have simply lost their balls. There is no real punch. Then suddenly they came to life (it appears one of the outputs is funky). Unfortunately ,John and Kevin are up late most of the week. The sound check on Thursday night ended around midnight. Oh yes, work will be fun tomorrow.

September 6-7 Back at Cappy’s

The band takes the stage with the energy of a week old road kill. It’s a strange set. The crowd is kind of dead (the traditional juke box during the set gesture). The band is real rusty (due to the strange practice week). Mistakes are all over the place. Most were covered smoothly. Kevin drew a blank on the words to “She’s Got The Rhythm” and Dave and the boys made it an extended jam. We all drew blanks. At times it wasn’t pretty, but I’m a perfectionist.
Chuck and the sound board were out front. Chuck is learning the ropes on running sound. The power amps were working well. Dave went to the Musician’s Bargain basement and picked up an equalizer, and that has seemed to stop the feedback out front. However, once again, KEVIN AND DAVE CAN’T HEAR A NOTE THEIR SINGING ON STAGE. Bottom line we need an equalizer for the monitors.
During one of the breaks, John meets up with an elderly type woman who says that basically, any bar with the word MOOSE is looking for good bands. She says we’re a good band. This is good. Even when we suck, we’re good.
Ernie is the new DJ at Cappy’s. The bar has installed a new sound system that sounds O.K. (tweaking is needed). They also need to isolate the CD player as every time someone stomps their feet (which they do a lot in line dancing) the CD skips.
The night has a strange vibe to it. The excitement of playing out the first time as a group is wearing thin. The fact that we’re all zombies has a lot to do with it. Some sleep will put us back at the top of our game. Luckily the Sunday gig has been postponed. Dave does the traditional run through the bar only to be disappointed when everyone in the pool section of the bar informs him that they can’t hear him. Bummer.
Saturday’s performance was much livelier. Although we believe we blew up the monitor amplifier by adding a speaker for Lee, we some how tweaked it enough to where we could hear the vocals on stage. This made being on stage 100% more comfortable.
The band used a new format by playing 40 minutes and taking a 20 minute break (previously we played 60 minutes and were off for 30). This meant that we actually played less time. The band revamped the set list and took some songs that were not going over very well, or the band didn’t sound their best on. This also provided some flexibility as the crowd requested “Margarittaville” the band took it off the “Left over” list and threw it in the set. Along with the request came “Becky” on stage to sing with the band. Unfortunately, it turns out that Becky is a wench from Chuck’s past. The band hashed out some basic cords to Happy Birthday and countrified it. It turns out that there were two birthday girls in the audience (Tanya Beck and Kara) and this was repeated again.
The crowd by the end of the night is a decent size, but definitely at the bar to talk amongst themselves than to listen to a band. The band more or less entertained themselves. The mistakes were still present (better than the night before), but covered well.
We got paid $700 and an extra $100 for the cancellation of Sunday’s gig. We paid Chuck $40 for running sound. The band is approached to play next month, and Kevin decides to play “Hard to Get” and tell the owner that we need to check the schedule.
The weekend wasn’t bad. It’s hard physically to do, but its paying the bills. We now have around a month to get ready for the next appearance. I hope the band can focus on their vision, work on some new tunes, add some vocals, and become the band we are potentially able to be.

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Sabotage in Lousiville

August 3: Sabotage in Louisville

The band arrives in the afternoon and replaces the blown speaker in a manner of minutes. They decide to adjust the monitors so Dave and Kevin can hear what they’re singing on stage. Unfortunately, John’s snake is not fully functional and the band won’t be able to move the soundboard. Strangely enough, had they needed to, all the plugs out front are now taken up by Mike the DJ. It doesn’t matter, by the end of the last set last night, the sound was pretty much right on. Now with the monitors up, everything should be great.
John and Dave arrive early to play pool only to find the table out of service. A quick run to the air-conditioned Burger King takes place. Chuckie jokes that the cost of Burger King will come out of “Kris’ beer money” (Dave realizes that his performance last night may be the new running gag) An earlier call to Lee’s house finds that he has been working on things and is laying down (this ends the mystery). Hopefully, the Burger King trip will not be too big a mystery for Kevin when he arrives.

Mike the DJ plays from 9:30 -10:00. As the band gets ready to perform Kevin switches on the power amps only to have a loud FFFFRRRRRRRRRMMMMMM!!!! Come blaring out of the speakers. John and Kevin look at each other in horror. The question on everyone’s lips seems to be, “What the fuck?”

The song on the dance floor ends. Mike announces that Six Shooter will be on in about 5-10 minutes MAYBE. Upon reviewing a reference sheet on the knob settings of the board, it is determined that someone has messed with the knob settings. The band will be going on late as they scramble to figure out what is wrong. Mike the DJ comes up to see what is going on that caused the loud feedback. When we explain that someone has messed with our board, he announces that he was the only one in there today and he didn’t see anyone on the stage. Dave thinks if anyone would have a motive here, it would be Mike. The band puts a band-aid on the system and lets it rip. Unfortunately, the vocals are extremely low out front. Dave pulls a quick “Country Chicken Pickin’” guitar riff out of his ass to fill in the time as yet more tweaking is done to the system. He dubs this the “adjust the sound system song.” John and Chuck tweak and retweak the system trying to find out what got adjusted. John mouths “I don’t know what’s wrong” during a song to Dave. This is too bad as much of the band is really really tired from the previous night, and with a calmer demeanor, is playing much more solid. Except for switching set one and two, the band performs the songs the same.
Chuckie is dealing with Chuck the bar owner who is complaining about the sound. This is not looking good. The set ends, and John gets to work at troubleshooting the system.

The bar owner later says there were some past employees who were not thrilled about bands coming in to play, in the bar today. John discovers that the cross-over was turned off. This means that both types of sound (bass and treble) went to every type of speaker (usually bass notes go to the bass bins, vocals go through the smaller speakers etc.). This is a possibly damaging situation. We are relieved that we found the problem. Hopefully, nothing is damaged.

Meanwhile, it takes everything Maria has not to kick Mike the DJ’s ass. While we have a motive, we have no proof. The band launches into set two. Once again, set two seems to be the one where everyone hits their stride. Musically we’re back on track. John attempts to provide some monitors (which again are almost nonexistent). Mistakes again are covered up. Song beginnings seem to be our weakness. Dave notices that while walking by our stack of speakers Mike pays special attention to the high-end speakers (tweeters). Hmmmmm…John decides to announce that August 21 will be the beginning of the BATTLE OF THE BANDS competition, and thanks Cappy’s for bringing LIVE COUNTRY MUSIC BACK TO CANTON.

Chuck is still helping John do some minor tweaking. The Saturday night crowd is much more of dance crowd than Friday. Dave has a hard time keeping a straight face as a few drunken hags shake their groove thing on the dance floor. This makes the in-between song banter much easier. The bar owner thinks everything sounds better, he just wants us to be LOUDER. There was some crackling during the set, and John discovers that one of our tweeters is blown. This sucks. This gig is becoming more and more expensive. The bar owner stops Dave and then says he’ll talk to me after set three.

The band goes into set three with the advice of turning Dave up just a little. The vocals sound good, but we are now battling a high-end feedback that is trying to sneak in. The band performs “Keeper of the Stars” and Kevin’s vocals get a rousing applause. Kevin announces the last call and the band launches into “Born to Boogie “ and, “Fast as You.” Dave launches into the bar. He wonders all the way back to the pool tables only to find that there is no one back there. No knee slides tonight. With Dave back on stage, the final chord of Fast as You is played, and the two-day stint at Cappy’s is in the record books. A tired band rips down in record time, loads the truck and takes everything back to Kevin’s. Before leaving the band gets paid their $400 fee.

Proving what goes around comes around, Mike the DJ apparently did the following:
• Got Stoned
• Played Rock Music (Kiss Rock and Roll all Night, and Depeche Mode Personal Jesus)
• Took a swing at an undercover cop.
The band doesn’t expect Mike to be around if/when they play this bar again.

August 6th: Troubleshooting

The band assembles the system back in Kevin’s basement. It appears that the horns we not damaged, but that the crackling was caused by a bad cord. We also discovered that the new board needs a little more cleaning than expected. We lose a lot of our volume when we use that board.

Dave premieres a song he wrote called “Young at Heart ‘Till I’m too Old to Change.” While the vocals suck (Dave is doing the vocals on the tape), it seems to receive fair reviews. It’s a peppy little number, and not bad for a first attempt at a country song.

A band meeting is held during the rewiring of some of the speakers. Communication was discussed, and being late. The band also discussed the undercover cop (with Maria being underage), and Maria bugging Chuckie. There was also some concern about Maria LOUDLY voicing her opinion about a song that she feels “Fuckin Suck.” Kevin says they have already had a talk, and things should be fine. The band agrees that while we are out, as fun as it is, we are still acting as a business, and must promote a certain amount of professionalism. Obviously, we weren’t too bad, as Kevin will be returning Wednesday night to see about a future booking.

John and Dave feel strange about this whole situation as they were friends with Maria before she was a “band wife.” Under normal circumstances they would have spoken directly with Maria, now approaching it as a “Band Issue” almost leaves her out of the loop. Dave really struggled with this concept. John is hungry after practice and Dave tags along to McDonald’s. They both agree that they think there may have been a better way to handle bringing up the concerns. They are glad that it didn’t get ugly.

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Weekend at Cappy’s

Weekend at Cappy's

August 2nd: Cappy’s Pub Night 1

August 2nd has finally arrived. To add to the excitement of the day, John rips off half his fingernail on his right-hand pointer finger when the handle of his tool case breaks. John says it should be O.K. because there is so much pain his finger is numb. Dave has a sore shoulder from setting up the night before. Kevin’s back is improving daily but will be wearing the brace on stage tonight. With this in mind, we think of changing our name to Sicks Shooter. The band is excited.
Dave has a big banner made in the Graphic Enterprises copy center and later adds foil to the letters. It looks pretty cool. The band tacks this to the stage.

Kevin is approached by “Mike the DJ” who asks when the band is starting tonight. He inquires to see if we’re going on 10:00 normal time or “bar time” (which is about 20 minutes fast). Mike DJ’s from 9:30 until 10:00. It’s time. The band takes the stage. Dave wonders into his corner and says a quick prayer. A calm mind will help focus on the task at hand (Kicking Ass). Kevin looks at the band and announces, “here we go” and the band launches into Honkey Tonk Attitude.

Much like the December 22 VFW appearance, the first set is used to get the sound set. Chuck is doing his best to feed John with information, and actually helping tune the knobs. While Chuck is not a musician, he listens to music most of the day. By the end of the first set, except for Dave’s guitar being too soft, the sound is set.
A large Graphic crowd has shown up including: Jeff Aul, Trisha Berger, Bob and Lori Corrigan, Karen Sarvis, April Long, Kim Allen, Jeff Johns, Kristy Yeager, and Jim Lowder. While this is great, it did add a certain amount of pressure to make a good first impression. With this in mind, Dave is glad his guitar wasn’t quite loud enough as he pulled off one of the worst performances to date. What guitar work he could remember his fingers wouldn’t play, and he seemed to being drawing a few too many blanks on stage. This is especially noticeable on Burn that Bridge. Luckily, the band seems to be developing a skill at covering up each other’s mistakes Set one consisted of:

Set one showed the rustiness of Six Shooter. The in-between song banter was rough around the edges. Dave (feeling silly) announces to the crowd “Everybody have fun tonight- Everybody WANG CHUNG TONIGHT.” While it got the laugh he was looking for, it also left many persons asking, “Whaaa???”.

Set two found a band whose nerves had settled, a guitar player pissed at his performance and determined to redeem himself (he had to play good now, we had turned up his guitar). The boys saddled up and launched into 3rd Rock from the Sun. The rest of the set included:

Again, the band’s beginning are a little shaky. However, Kevin has loosened up, and now is getting the crowd completely involved, as he elicits “YEE-HAWS” from the crowd. Except for a near fatal beginning of Bubba Hyde that was just pure ugly, the band is hitting their stride, and firing on all cylinders. The monitor mix is missing, but luckily everything out front sounds good (even if we can’t hear what’s going on on stage). Dave knocks a ceiling tile with his guitar as he struts out to the front of the stage during “Walk Softly.”

The usual “venturing into the crowd” takes place. Kevin sings the slow songs on the dance floor, and Dave runs clear into the pool room during “Bubba Hyde.” Things are going so good Dave forgets his age and decides to relive his high school years as he attempts his first “Knee Slide” in 13 years across the wide open dance floor. Upon hitting the floor Dave’s knees do anything but slide. Much like hitting a brick wall, Dave’s knees come to an absolute stop. Kevin blurts out an “ouch” over the P.A. The momentum from running is now throwing Dave forward. Dave takes a few steps “Walking on his knees” and manages to stand up and jump back on stage. While this was completely planned, it sure appeared as Dave almost fell on his face. Dave is just happy he can still walk (mental note: YOU’RE 31 YEARS OLD). Dave trying to cover his ass announces that some more wax is need on the dance floor. Dave later finds out that the bar uses sawdust to wax the floor. That must explain that lovely shine. At 12:30 the band takes another break and passes on performing “Aint Goin’ Down Till the Sun Comes Up.”
Again improvising comes into play as the band turns “Rock My World” into a sing-along. This turned out fairly well. For a small crowd, they made enough noise to be heard on the stage.

In between sets, it is becoming apparent to Dave and Kevin that the “better halves” may be hitting the sauce a little hard.

Set three finds much of the band ready for a nap. The excitement and the crowd provide the needed adrenaline to get back in the spirit. The band launches into Cowboy Love. The rest of set three went like this:

As the set winds on, the band is horrified to figure out that there are numerous slow paced songs in the 3rd set. The temptation to yawn is building. Set three finds the band’s mix still getting better (still no stage monitors to really shout about). The stage bantering is much better, and the night is flying by quickly. The band skips the song “Keeper of the Stars,” and finds that “Where am I gonna live” to be a crowd favorite. A group of young rednecks gathers at the front of the stage to sing along with the band. This song combined with Margaritaville (changed to here in Louisville) gets a good crowd reaction. The band ends with the traditional “no holds barred “ version of “Fast as You” as Dave takes another tour around the bar (as Kevin introduces the band). The band belts out the final notes, and the first appearances in the books.

The band reviews their performance and decides to move the soundboard out front so Chuck can adjust as needed. Depending on the song, vocals and guitars are always in need of adjustment. We also find out that we blew a speaker in one of the bass bins. It was determined that Mike the DJ will fill in the spots between sets. When announcing that Mike will be “performing” tomorrow night, a huge amount of applause is provided. This leaves the band thinking that Mike has brought his entire family tree into the bar to scream for him. Whatever, Mike is pretty much Baby Huey with a cowboy hat on. He seems like a nice enough guy.

As suspected, Dave and Kevin find out the “better halves” have been hitting the sauce pretty hard. Dave is pooped (a case of nervousness had him up late the night before), his feet are killing him, so he does his best “Ebeneezer Scrooge” routine and scolds his wife for drinking away most of what he had earned that night (a move he would later pay deeply for). Being this was in front of the band, this earns Dave the “Dick of the Night” award. Maria giggles and announces “We in fffffuckin’ trouble.”

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Christmas in July

Christmas in July

July 13: Dave is Beyond Excited

Dave sets up a system to listen to 3 radio stations at the same time. He is trying to catch songs that the band can add to their setlist(which is aging). Dave gets hosed as he calls in a request to a radio station. His voice gets played over the airwaves (but not his request). He ventures to Lentine’s music to buy a microphone stand so John can sing backups. Last week the band had Lee attempt to sing. With some work, the band could pull off some harmonies. He finds some really great music that is getting a lot of air-play and sends it via voice-mail to the John and Kevin. He ends the night by buying two CD with tunes that the band wants to do. He practices his guitar and breaks in the new (used) volume pedal.

July 17: Kevin Closes the Deal

It seems like Christmas Eve at work. John, Kevin and Dave are wondering if Santa will put a paying gig in their stocking. Kevin makes numerous trips trying to catch Chuck. He finally does, and the band celebrates Christmas in July as Santa delivers a weekend gig at Cappy’s. Yes, Six Shooter will retake the stage at Cappy’s Pub in Louisville Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3. Dave is gone from excited to spastic. The band realizes they all need to move the “Six Shooter Project” up the priority scales in their lives. This date is much sooner than expected and the band has been caught with their pants drooping. The only way to catch up is to practice whenever possible. If we stick to Tuesday only practices, it means only practicing two times before playing out. We also need to produce some tapes of tunes to play between sets, and some lights. It’s a tall order to fill, and we need to keep productive.

July 20: July Practice

The band scrambles to put together a Saturday practice. John, Kevin, and Dave work together while waiting for Lee. They go over and over some rough spots.
With Lee on his drummer throne around 5:30, the band launches into sets three, and two. They make sure to correct any spots that need correcting. It’s one of the most productive practices we’ve had. The practicing that has been happening behind the scenes is starting to pay off. The band launches into set one. A few changes are made to the lineup.
Along the way a few songs get dusted off, and I feel we’re pretty focused on plowing through the songs. We will always dick off too much during practice. However, this was about as productive as Six Shooter gets. We make some good progress and lay the groundwork for Tuesday. Practice is ended so a slightly miffed Maria can go to a food festival.
John and Dave go to KFC for dinner only to find that IT NO LONGER EXISTS!! The two venture over to John’s and duplicate tapes.

July 25: Let there Be Light

After finding out that Cappy’s Pub has zero in terms of lighting, John and Dave decide they better act now to ensure that some type of lighting is present for the gig next week. They go to Stambaugh’s and Big Lots and purchase colored floodlights and sockets. They then return to John’s house to wire the lights together. The band gets a boost when Dave gets the light-board his old band “Assault” use to use over 15 years ago. Fourteen out of 16 switches work on the board. The band currently has 4 lights now. This may not be enough. Tuesday is the last practice before the gig. Pressure is mounting. Kevin has put a radio in his new (used ) car, and is practicing like a mad man. Dave has made some tapes to play in between sets. Meanwhile, everyone can hear the clock ticking away.

July 28: Kevin Throws Out His Back

After a night of dancing at Maria’s brother’s wedding, Kevin’s back is a mess. After going to a chiropractor, Kevin finds out he has an enlarged disk in his back. The bottom line is he can’t get out of bed. Bummer.

July 29: Dave Visit’s Cappy’s

With Kevin gimped out, Dave runs some posters announcing Six Shooter’s appearance to the bar. Dave sees the band’s name on the marquee. Thank God Chuck got it right (no Six ShooterS). He ventures up to the stage and sees that there are some normal lights on the front of the stage. Dave also finds out that the ceiling of the stage is about 2 inches higher than his head. Kevin is improving, but still very stiff.

July 30: One Last Practice

The boys get together to work out a few rough spots. We sound pretty good. Even songs like “Aint Goin Down Till the Sun Comes Up” sound good. We’re as ready as we’re going to be. John brings the lights and wedges them into the speaker cabinets. We fire them up, and find it doesn’t look too bad. One thing is obvious-these lights throw off enough heat to fry an egg. Dave will probably get a tan during the first set. Another good note is Kevin is able to stand now-hooray!!! He is still in quite a bit of pain. The band is crossing their fingers, toes, eyes, and anything else they can find in hopes that Kevin will heal up quickly.

July 31: Dave and John Take a long Lunch

John ventures into Dave’s office (climbing over mountains of paper). Dave talks John into going to the “Musician’s Bargain Basement” in Kenmore to look at a soundboard the band discussed last night. Dave is pretty sure that they can get back in an hour.

The duo flies through White Castle on the way and decides to try the new “Greasy Bastard” sandwich. This takes a little longer than planned.

Upon arriving at the basement, they check out the board. The duo is assisted by Fred. Fred has the worst toupee in the world, and Dave is slightly afraid of him. The board is a 12 channel mixer by Ross. It’s in fair shape (in need of a good cleaning-lots of static). John thinks it’s salvageable, and they pick it up for $299. This should make setting up and tearing down about 200% easier. John has a fun project tonight, and a date with some contact cleaner.
Unfortunately, they have about 7 minutes to get back to Canton, and Dave needs to stop for gas. Ooops. Being the swell employees they are, they figure on working a little over tonight.

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Pimping the Band Part 2

Tangled Spur


After waiting for John to show up, the band runs off a few copies of the new demo tape, pack into Kevin’s Volkswagen Rabbit and head off to promote the band. They stop at the Red Dog Saloon. We drop off a tape and a bio sheet. The owner says that business is bad. She will need a week to listen to the tape. She’s looking for a band that can pack the place. It was a quick call, and the boys are off to another sight.

We decided to stop into a bar called the “Tangled Spur” that Dave heard about from Karen the GEI receptionist. We talk to Mary who is the bartender/owner’s wife. For an older woman, she’s not bad looking. We get a few beers and settle in as Kevin ventures up to sing a Kareeokee tune. He was impressive. We find that the bar has a house band that is currently Bass playerless. This is a darn shame. We offer to fill in while they find a new bass player (cause we’re nice guys). Mary can’t make that decision. We decide to wait for Glen. Unfortunately, the band is subjected to “Mike J the DJ.” Who can’t sing, or run sound. Yes, it’s safe to say that he sucked. A guy named Vince ventures up to sing a song. He’s not bad but hits a few clinkers. Kevin ventures up and sings “Doomis Walker,” After some ribbing from John, Dave ventures up on stage and joins Kevin. Glenn still had not arrived, so Kevin an Lee decide to go to “Toots Pub” and drop off a tape. Meanwhile, Dave and John are tortured with another song by Mike the DJ and another fine tune from Vince.

During one of Mike the DJ’s screw-ups (his microphone exploded), John and Dave figure out that one of the members of the house band “Canyon Breeze” is in the bar. Kevin and Lee return and report they did get their foot in the door, as well as possibly find a source for more bars to investigate. The band explains how they could pack the bar with people from work to Mary. Kevin sings another tune, now Mike the DJ has the sound so messed up that Kevin can’t hear himself and hits a few sour notes. John can’t believe the level of “SUCK” that Mike possesses. When Glen finally arrives 90 minutes later, the band pitches the idea of taking over “temporarily” for the house band. Glenn is definitely frustrated with his current house band “Canyon Breeze.” Kevin ventures up to sing the Hank Williams Jr. tune “A Country Boy Can Survive.” Mike the DJ has the sound so muddy you can barely understand what Kevin is saying, however he is back on tune. Glen’s head turns towards Kevin as Kevin starts the song and starts to show off his voice. John and Dave smile. As the song continues, Kevin shines brighter and brighter (in spite of Mike the DJ). At the climax of the song Kevin (in true Travis Tritt form) absolutely NAILS THE ENDING! The people in the bar start applauding before he is even finished!. Dave and John are sporting wood, and so is Glenn. The band leaves the bar, and have provided Glenn with something to think about. The band ponders the thought of being the house band for the local bar. This would be very convenient. The bar is small, but nice.

The foursome continues on to “Little Rock.” This is a bar that is right down the street from Kevin’s house. The name of the bar is actually “Cappy’s.” This bar is huge compared to the previous bar. It’s very nice. Dave is sporting a woody. The foursome descend upon Chuck the new owner. Chuck has just bought out his brothers, and is putting a lot of money into the bar. He is holding a “Battle of the bands” in September. He is a little frustrated with his DJ. He has an opening the first Week of August. He says he will listen to our tape. Kevin will return to try and close the deal Wednesday. We also get our foot in the door for becoming the “House Band” as Chuck will be looking for one after the battle of the bands is over. Chuck is very impressed that we could be our own DJ during the time when the band would take a break between sets. The “Battle of the Bands” contest will be heavily advertised on a local radio station. The winner gets a recording contract. The band needs to write a tune to enter. This is something to think about. Things go very well at this bar and unless Chuck hates our tape, we should be booked for some type of gig. Dave is very, very happy (as is everyone in the band). The band calls it a night about 1:30 (Lee had left earlier as he was working in the morning).

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The Demo Tape

Six Shooter Band Demo

Feb 16: The Guy We’ve Been Looking For

Our first drummer to contact us from the add is 45 years old, has experience, a drum set, and according to his own testimony is, “the guy we’ve been looking for.” He sounds very impressive. John is optimistic from the phone call. Kevin calls and informs Dave that there is hope.

Feb 20: Enter Lee

Well, Lee shows up with his wife. We’re all excited about playing, however, Kevin is really tired as he only got two hours sleep. Dave is feeling kind of dull. Lee shows up and really steps in. He’s been playing country for years. His last few bands always seem to disintegrate after 9-12 months. He’s really looking for some dedicated people for the long haul. He’s got really quick wrists and can really tap on the snare (this is more of a country style drumming than mammoth rolls on the toms). The songs he knew (and he knew quite a few) he played very well. His only possible downer is that he works midnight hours. When asked if there was a conflict he simply stated: “fuck work.” If it was up to Lee he’d play music for a living. John says he’s the easiest to play along with out of all we’ve been playing with lately. The band hands him a tape and asks him to learn the first five songs.
Due to the past month’s letdowns, Dave feels bad that he’s not more optimistic about Lee’s performance. Dave is waiting “for the other shoe to drop.” It’s a strange kind of prejudice, and Dave agrees he needs to get ready for (what appears to be) a bright future. Dave can’t help thinking, “Bob gave us a good first impression too.”

Feb. 28: Lee Delivers the Goods

Well, another “moment of truth.” Lee came in and disappointed no one. He actually said he would practice, and -gasp- HE DID. He nailed Third rock from the sun. Every break and stop of that song was “right on the nuts.” He nailed every song he was supposed to learn, as well as many songs he was not slated to know. Consequently, the band now has to get their act together as we are close to knowing 30 songs already (with a little polishing), Many of the songs were ready to be heard. The band is on equal terms now. Lee is new, and the rest of us “fuzzy” on many of the tunes after not playing them for so long. It’s time to step it up. This is cool.

March 5: Lee’s 2nd Practice

Lees goes with some new songs with the band. He’s not as prepared as last week (he actually did 3rd rock better the first week). However, he is still learning quickly. The band decides to wait until next week to give him the official “go” sign.

May 1: Dave Gets Promoted

At work, Dave is promoted to “Corporate Coordinator of Training.” He will be developing “Graphic University.” Dave is a little worried as this may require “Some travel.” This would suck if it takes him away from gigs. Dave would have to quit. At this point, it’s a wait and see situation.

May 21: The Final Set is Put Together

Over the past couple of weeks, the band has designed and been practicing three sets of songs. This week marks the practice of the last set (set 3). At this point, the band knows what songs still need polishing, but are one small step away from being ready to play out. They decide to record the demo tape that Dave did the preliminary work on January 20 this Saturday at 9:00 am.

May 25: Six Shooter Turns the Basement into a Studio

While tearing down his equipment at his apartment Dave accidentally damages the head phone jack of his 8-track cassette recorder. Upon arriving at Kevin’s at 9:00 am, Dave puts John to work to repairing it. The repair is done around 10 and the band gets to work. The original intent is to record the basic rhythm parts. Kevin is going through some tough times with his voice.
The band uses a Tascam 488 8-track cassette deck, and a Yamaha SPX-90 effects unit. To produce their demo. Dave borrows a bunch of sound equipment from his church to add to the equipment.
The band’s first song is “Fast as You.” First, they must decided how they’re exactly going to record the drums. Setting up microphones, taping drum heads, adjusting guitar tones, recording and rerecording lead tracks takes the band approximately 3 hours.
The second song is “Pick up Man”. Luckily Dave had put down a basic guitar part for this song. The band follows along and puts down their parts in a much quicker fashion.
The third song is “Anymore”. The band once again follows a guitar track already put down by Dave. Kevin (burdened with some personal problems) lays down an awesome vocal line. For the third time, Lee nails his part on the first take. The band dubs him “one take Lee.”
The band goes upstairs to mix a rough draft of the tape. To their surprise, the songs are definitely steps above the usual “basement tape.”
Dave will get to work on getting the business cards ready as well as upgrading the bio sheet.
On the bio sheet Dave removes all the lines about Jesse and puts this words about Lee in their place:

Lee’s drum playing is summed up in one word: solid. During the making of the Six Shooter demo tape, Lee was known as “one take Lee.”

Dave’s not sure if he likes the new words, but will run it by the guys (a little corn ball). Dave also designs a label to placed on the demo tapes (when made). This will feature the six shooter logo.

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Who Didn’t See That Coming


Jan 17: John’s Opinion Regarding Beth and Dan

John remains level-headed, while Dave and Kevin are ready to jump in head first. John did have a good time. However, John also points out the true test will be next Tuesday when the duo has had a chance to learn some of the material. The band agrees.

Jan 20 Dave Does Preliminary Work On The Demo Tape.

Dave uses the “magic drummer” to match the tempo of, Pickup Man, Anymore, and Fast as You. These “click tracks” will later have each person’s part added to them. Eventually, the drum part will be erased by whoever is playing drums.

Jan 25: Beth has an Anxiety attack

Convinced that she has to know every one of the first five songs note for note, Beth is close to having a heart attack. She announces at the beginning of the practice that she didn’t have much time practice, and not to expect too much. After playing one song she announces that “She’s not ready for this, and she thinks she’s over her head.”
Somewhere in there she almost quit. Somewhere in there, she ended up in limbo. Dan did not have the tape during the week, so he did not improve much. John was sure to point out any variance in the meter. The practice was taped. It sounds horrible due to the tape deck it is recorded on. Listening to the tape there were some meter problems, but we should wait till Dan has a chance to actually learn the tunes.
Dave premiere’s a new effects set up. It’s all his effects in one box. Dave spends much of the practice trying to tweak his tone. He needs to sell his old effects to justify buying this new set up.
The band will continue on trying to learn a few tunes a week. This practice was missing a tape to reference to (which will be remedied next week). We need to make the practices very productive. I’m not sure anyone is sure exactly what Beth’s status is, there is quite an amount of things that are “up in the air.”

Jan 30: Dan Improves while Beth?????

The group meets again. They go through the usual set. Dan’s meter has improved drastically. It’s obvious he has had a chance to listen to the songs. He even picks up the intro. to Mercury Blues very quickly. As obvious as it is that Dan is into it, Beth seems bored. This is not such a negative thing, it is just that she has a LOT of things going on with the wedding coming up. She again announces that she is not “committed” to the project. She also states that if we want to bring in another keyboardist she would not be offended. The band leaves it at that. The plan is to see if her decision changes Dan’s position, and hopefully get his full commitment next week. It was a very positive practice even though we did do a lot of “screwing around” with tunes. The practice was actually over by 9:00.

February 5th: And then There Were Three-Again

Beth calls Kevin and lets him know she needs to talk to him, “Before the next practice.” This added with last weeks comment of, “We need to talk a few things over,” leads Dave to think that they were both leaving the group. Later that day when Dave sat down to talk to Beth, she informed him that he was right. Between getting married, working long hours, and an hour drive home after practice leads to Beth and Dan deciding to bow out of the project. Beth apologized, and then she apologized again. When she was finished with that, she apologized. Dave explained that there were no hard feelings-honesty is always appreciated. She did say that Dan was disappointed since her bluegrass music was not as challenging as our style of country. At any rate, there was no use crying over spilled milk, and it was time to come up with a plan.

February 6th: Coming up with a Plan

The band puts down there instruments for a practice and focuses on how we are going to select our next drummer. After hours of brainstorming, an idea of having all prospects come the same evening (a “cattle call”) and judge them accordingly. It’s more of a business approach, but it may create a clearer picture of what we want. We decide to use the “mini-merchant” instead of the Repository. Dave will also make some flyers to place in local music stores.

Feb 9: Mark Expresses an Interest.

A guy from the warehouse happens to stop Dave in the hall and says, “I hear you have a studio.” Dave explains that yes he does. Mark PLAYS DRUMS! He says he listens to all types of music. He didn’t seem too thrilled with the idea of playing country but did say he’d like to come over and hear us. At this point, what the fuck.

Feb. 15: Mark’s ‘A’ for Attitude Performance

Mark comes over for a special Thursday practice. Mark’s attitude is awesome. He’s very eager to learn, really, really, REALLY, wants to play out. He has listened to country music for years (a few years ago), and thinks he could give it a try. His meter is rock solid. He’s been playing for about a year and a half. His philosophy is “less is more.” This is great as Jesse’s philosophy was always “more is not enough.” Unfortunately, the band feels after hearing Mark play that he needs a little more time on the vine. He’s a good drummer, but he needs a little more confidence in his playing to add that certain polish. The whole process has left the band a little bummed. We were all hoping that he would be what we’re looking for.
Now we are looking at a future filled with zero prospects. The only bite we received from the add placed in the Canton Repository was from a guitar player. HELLO? Did the add say guitar player?. The whole depressing saga has Dave secretly wondering if we may live to regret firing Jesse.

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Next Time Lock the Door

Lock the Door

Jan 15: Kevin Lowers the Boom

Dave’s pager goes off at 1:40 p.m. He gets into voice mail to hear that Kevin has finally been able to reach Jesse and let him go (He was at the hospital for a false alarm baby delivery the night before). Kevin tells Jesse that the band has come to an agreement together and that they feel he is moving in a different direction than the rest of the band. He does not share the vision, and that the band is looking for a new drummer. Jesse’s first reply is, “Good.” When Kevin explains how he didn’t expect that response, Jesse asks why he is let go. Kevin explains how it’s not due to a lack of talent, but just a difference of opinion in how the band should sound. Jesse responds with, “Whatever, do what you want.” Kevin tries to keep the bridge from burning and to stop from causing hard feelings. At this point, Jesse simply wants off the phone and cuts the conversation short. The conversation and Jesse’s 18-week career ends. We are without a drummer-again.
I think its safe to say that the band has mixed emotions. The uncertainty of not having a drummer (Michael Gorfido is growing colder as a lead), the loss of our friend Jesse, and the task of rebuilding can appear large. The other side of the coin is that Beth is coming over with her fiancé tomorrow to practice. This could be interesting as the now-trio has not played together for quite some time now. We could appear very awful.

Jan 16-Beth and Dan Audition with a Surprise Guest

Beth and her fiancé Dan show up to audition. Kevin is slightly late due to being in the field with a technician. Dave gets to talk with the duo. Beth admits she is very nervous. Dave is also nervous (after all they’re auditioning us as much as we are them). The night is filled with tunes from every type of music. Kiss, Linda Ronstadt, The Knack, Eric Clapton, Ozzy, Bluegrass, Lynard Skynard, Funk, and Iron Butterfly. The last one had Dan launch into an impromptu drum solo. It was impressive, and his meter was tight. His meter varied a little during the night, but not enough to really alarm anyone (after all he’s never attempted the songs on a set). It takes John and a voltmeter to get Beth’s keyboard operational. While Beth’s confidence in her playing was a little low, by the end of the night she seemed to lighten up enough, and start playing some nice filler piano parts. She was able to harmonize very nicely. The band even pulled off some nice three-part harmony on Linda Ronstadt’s “When will I be loved.” The music portion of the evening seemed to do exactly what it was supposed to do: provide a chance to show off enough to impress everyone. Dan asks the question, “Hey are we gonna do this again?” Everyone agrees it was a lot of fun.

During the practice, we had a surprise visit from none other than JESSE GIBBENS. Beth (not knowing this was the ex-drummer) gives him a friendly wave. John quits playing and escorts Jesse upstairs. Kevin follows shortly thereafter. John re-explains how Jesse doesn’t share the vision of the band. Dave eventually joins the trio upstairs. By this time John is somehow throwing in a new excuse that Jesse has “too much going on.” Jesse is almost in tears. It’s a very bad situation. A situation that was hard, has become unbearable. Dave wants to cut the bull and explain that time and time again he played songs the way we had stated we did not want them played. On the other hand, he wants this whole situation to be over. He’s having a hard time seeing Jesse hurt. He decides to say nothing (and regrets this later). Jesse wants his sticks back. Jesse explains how he has his schedule in place, he admits HE DOESN’T LIKE COUNTRY MUSIC but is having fun playing it. His last words were, “Whatever, have a nice practice.” I think he was pretty blown away to show up (probably expecting us to be playing along with the magic drummer) and find a drummer and keyboard player. Kevin makes a mental note, “Next practice- lock door.”

The group later retires to the living room to rap about each other’s expectations. Dan and Beth seem like very nice people. There are no foreseeable problems in this department. A general “chit chat-swap band stories” session takes place. The band’s vision is discussed, as well as the history of the band (what you are reading right now). The group calls it a night around 11:30.

Dave sticks around and chats with Kevin. They’re both impressed with Dan. He hasn’t played drums in a while and could sing backup if necessary. Both agree Beth did a nice job of “filling in,” but would have like to seen her “cut loose” a little more. Both agree that if she can play what is on the record, she’s fine. Dave hopes for more improvisation in the future. In general, the feeling is very good.

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Ho Ho No!

December 30, 1995 -HO HO NO! (YOKO’S COMING!)
The band battles sickness (John has Walking Pneumonia). After sitting on their frustrations for a week, John and Kevin announce to Dave their frustration with Jesse. His speeding up of songs, his lack of initiative to learn the songs as they are on the record, his purposeful neglect of the recorded version, and his negative attitude are really pissing John and Kevin off. A new problem is looming on the horizon. Yoko received a keyboard for Christmas. SHE IS ALREADY LEARNING OUR MATERIAL. Hello?!?!?! I don’t remember an audition? I don’t remember anyone asking for an audition?
For Yoko to be in the band she would have to meet the same criteria. She would have to have musical talent, the same taste in music, the same vision as the bands, and a GOOD ATTITUDE. With this in mind, it is feasible to say it is impossible for Yoko to be in the band. This is without asking the obvious question: “Who watches the kidS in about two months. What a nightmare. The band has taken two weeks off for the holidays.
Dave was originally not for firing Jesse, but this new development poses a new threat. Getting a new drummer would also open the door for possibly hiring a keyboardist which Dave still feels we need. After reaching new heights with the first gig, the band is set to derail in 1996.

January 3rd, 1996 Talking to Michael
With the band not certain about Jesse’s future, Dave talks to Michael Gorfido about the possibility of joining the band in the event that an opening should appear. Michael seems pretty interested. The fact that the band owns a drum set seems very attractive. Dave gives the general sales pitch (Sounding like the record, having fun, while being serious, etc.). Oddly enough it seems the gossip lines have been lighting up about the band. Michael already knew the band owns a drum set. Another coincidence is that Beth Daugherty (Keyboardist/Singer/Steel Player) stops into to talk to Kevin to see how things are going with the band. Dave and Kevin talk on the phone and decide the gossip line at GEI is fiber optic.

January 6th Scouting Patrol
John, Kevin, and Dave go out to see some of the local talent. They go into the now famous “Kicking Country.” There were no bands, but the owner “Shorty” has heard of the band “Six Shooter,” He would like a tape. Dave attempts to shit one on the spot but fails.
The band ventures into the “Red Dog Saloon” and sees the band “Naked Spur.” They are a six-piece band that is very good. The band’s set leaves Dave wanting a keyboardist so bad his nuts hurt. Someday we will sound this good. If you were to take away the 2 members they have, it would be a much more even battle.
The band stumbles into the “Silver Dollar.” A bar where the bar owner has the house band. This is done in an effort to hear a band that sucks. It’s true; we could blow these guys away. Their guitarist is very good, and Dave realizes he needs to work some more on picking up some pure country licks.
The band goes to breakfast and realizes that they really need to make some type of demo tape. They ponder the thought of using “Conjunction Junction (what’s your function?)” as a sound check. By using Dave’s 8-track deck, the band could substitute a different drummer if needed by rerecording the drum tracks only. Upon leaving the restaurant, the band finds themselves in a blizzard. Poor Dave doesn’t get home until 5:00 a.m.

Jan 9th Time to Move on
Jesse again misses practice. Consequently, the band takes some time to ponder the decision of booting him out of the band. The decision is made to pursue another drummer and severe our ties to Jesse. The band will also pursue Beth the keyboard player (that was put on hold partially by Yoko). It is a hard decision, but in the long run, it will be for the best. On a lighter note, Dave plans to sneak the band’s logo into a nationwide newsletter that he publishes at work.

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Kevin Books a Paying Gig

December 12 Jesse Gets A New Job
At the end of a not so productive (boo-koo rock-n-roll tunes to due to some spectators) practice, Jesse announces that he has a new job at Western Auto. This is good as his second child should be born in a few months. He will be making more money. Unfortunately, he will also be working nights. He addressed this very lightly, but the band seemed to become very anxious about this latest turn of events. How can you play out at night, and work at the auto store? The other thing bothering some of the band was Jesse’s attitude about the songs. It appears that he hates playing anything that is slower than a heart attack. Dave and Kevin elect John to find out the scoop and make sure Jesse is in for the long haul. Some announcements were made: Kevin announces that he has decided to take a break from his current girlfriend (Kim), and Jesse announces the Kickin’ Country is booking for July. We need to work on a demo tape as soon as this gig is behind us.

December 15 Kevin books a PAYING Gig
Kevin gets our first paying job by singing “Anymore” completely by himself in a bar to a bar owner. It’s at the Louisville VFW It’s in a week (Friday 12/22/95). We are not ready, but decide to do it anyway (it’s only the Louisville VFW). We should get paid around 200-250. The band must squeeze in a Saturday practice. We also decide to throw in a few Christmas tunes to fill in the time.
After talking with Jesse, John concludes that Jesse is fine. Everything will work out fine. This practice marks the first successful attempt of John singing backup on the song “Good-Bye Says It All.” The band actually produces three-part harmony for the first time (successfully).

December 19 – The Blizzard
In Ohio parts of the state receive 14 inches of snow. It snows and rains ice all day. This also happens to be the only day all band members could get together to practice before the VFW gig. Bummer. Practice is canceled due to the weather. John, Dave, and Kevin will try to hook up later in the month. Many of the roadways are averaging around 15-20 mph. It’s very bad. By the mid-evening, it is illegal to drive in Medina unless it is an emergency.

December 22 -The Louisville V.F.W.
Well, John, Kevin, and Dave tried to practice the day before the gig, but it wasn’t very productive. The band is kind of pushed for time to be ready to play by 8:00. Bernie the owner lets us know we can start at 8:30. It’s still snowing, but the roads are clear. The band is greeted by a Christmas decoration on the door that plays (and sings) “We wish you a Merry Christmas”. It’s cute. Also on the door is a sign that reads:

December 22
Six Shooters

Our first gig, and already the band’s name has been hacked.

The band sets a record-setting up their stuff. The bar is small, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Many trips are made to unload two pick-up trucks and a car full of equipment. The patrons get nervous as the group drags in two eight foot tall stacks of P.A. speakers. Each time hearing the door decoration sing “We wish you a Merry Christmas.” It’s getting a little annoying. The group is warned to keep the volume low.

After setting things up, the band opens the set without an official sound check. Dave starts the set with “The star spangled banner” that leads into God Bless Texas. Due to the size and layout of the bar, it takes the majority of the first set to get the sound right. The set included Dave going into the audience to play an extended solo. This seemed to thrill the crowd as they probably had not seen a wireless system before. The set ended with some not very planned improvisation of “Born to Boogie” where Dave explained how all of us were born (Kevin began singing, Jesse was pounding in his mother to get out, John’s fingers were going, and Dave was born with a guitar in his hand -a very painful labor). This is the bands first use of dynamics in a song. It turns out to be pretty good. The band followed Kevin back into the last verse and ended the song.

The band starts the second set with Christmas Carols (an idea that was put in place the night before). Dave and Kevin do this “unplugged” with two acoustic guitars. In between five Christmas songs, Dave and Kevin ask trivia questions such as “What is the name of the horse in the song Jingle Bells (bobtail). The person with the correct answer got to reach in a bag of “gifts” that the band brought. The gifts included a 10 pack of pens, an ice scraper, a box of crunch and munch, and a box of candy canes. While the Christmas song idea sounded great, it took an immediate nosedive when Dave opened the set with an instrumental version of “What Child is This.” It seemed Jingle bells was the only song the group was familiar with. Even Kevin and Dave imitating characters from the holiday classic “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” dropped like a lead balloon. The band had their first “guest appearance” by Opel the drunken wench. She insisted that we sing Blue Christmas again (We had just finished singing it). We let her take on the lead vocals. Opel heard her own music as she basically ignored Kevin and Dave’s strumming. Kevin passed her a lyric sheet, but apparently, Opel couldn’t read. We cut her off after the first verse (NEXT!). The duo decided to cut Silent Night from the set and move on to brighter pastures.. In the process of moving the microphones around to do the unplugged set, the band had slightly damaged the sound they perfected during the first set. It was about this time a drunk shouted out “QUIT STALLING!!” (now there’s the Christmas spirit!)

The second set had the band slowing things down as they went into “Anymore, What Might’ve Been, And If Tomorrow Never Comes.” We did find out the vocals were a little muddy, and Dave’s guitar needed to be louder. Jesse had not been feeling well before we even started, at this point, he’s starting to cough, and not looking too well. The band takes a quick 10-minute break and gets ready for the third set.

The third set had Jesse ready to pass out at any minute. By this time many of the people we thought were into us had left. Just losers trying to pump enough booze into women to get some Christmas nooky. The third set had Jim Ries (a buddy from work, and part of the reason we got the gig) and his ex-girlfriend’s Aunt (Fay) high steppin’ on the dance floor. It also had John drawing blanks in the middle of “Good-Bye Says It All.” This was added to nights previous mistakes like Dave cutting “Mercury Blues” in half by going to the ending two solos too soon, and Kevin flubbing a lyric here and there, as well as Jesse, providing some interesting drum parts to “Lifestyles Of The Not So Rich And Famous.” Luckily, all flubs are covered pretty smoothly (technical difficulties left Dave singing back-up alone on Bubba Hyde was pretty noticeable). Kevin goes mobile as he takes the mic on the dance floor and sings “So help me girl.” The band does the mosh version of “Sticks and Stones.” The band closes the night by repeating Watermelon Crawl, and Fast as You. The last song had all members on the dance floor along with the crowd. Another extended solo from Dave helps the band fill the time to 12:00. The band loads up the equipment and takes it back to Kevin’s basement, it was all done at 1:00. We made $200. (of which we all got $50). We decided to let Jesse keep his $50 instead of putting it towards the drum set since it was Christmas and all.

All in all a much better gig than expected. The band learns that we need to get rid of all the songs that weren’t quite ready (Nothing Wrong With The Radio)by LEARNING THEM. This would eliminate last second set changes. It was much better than the biker benefit, but we now a good idea of what needs ffine-tuning

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