March 1: Back at the Spur
The band begins their four-week stint at the Tangled Spur. This has been advertised on a local radio station K105. It’s kind of cool hearing your name mentioned on the radio. This gig the band is “Sethless” due to a prior commitment. While he has only been with the band for a short period, it seems weird playing without him. Also, there are many songs we have not practiced, that are now added to the setlist. Dave adds a few extended solos to the evening and we make our way through the night.
Dave tries to talk to Kevin and John about the severity of booting Lee, and how we really haven’t heard his side of the story. They seem to think his calling John was “his side” of the story. They are set on firing him. Dave feels we will live to regret not thinking this through. It will put us back a few weeks at a minimum. However, in the long run, it may be for the best.
Using some of the new toys, the band’s sound is coming along nicely. For the first time in a while, Dave can REALLY hear his vocals on stage which lets him concentrate on his playing. The crowd is pretty decent size, but not much in the way of getting rowdy. In the case of Dave, he seems to be going through the motions despite a full night sleep. He needs to add a few new licks to his arsenal. He is boring himself on stage. In his opinion, while he is not playing bad, there doesn’t seem to be much feel in his playing. The usual “screw ups” happen, but at a minimum. The band was pretty on, but for the Tangled Spur, they were pretty calm.
The night comes off pretty well (except for John pressing the wrong button in the middle of a song unleashing an unbelievably loud feedback signal). Dave and Kris get detained on their way back to Kevin’s as they take a detour to avoid the usual riots on Cleveland avenue only to have their path blocked by traffic as a policeman pulls over a car in the middle an intersection. The band is really tired by the end of the night. While the spur will always be a nice place to fall back on, I believe we will be ready to move on to another spot by the end of the month. This will be a learning experience, and I think we will know why we originally decided to only play a maximum of three weeks a month.
March 8: Round Two at the Spur
The band is back with Seth intact. It’s Chad “the stomping machine’s” birthday. We announce that it is his 22nd birthday when in reality it is his 21rst (thus he’s been illegal all these months -which makes the shit we gave Maria completely unfair). Musically the night is OK. Our tempo is all over the place. Dave has moved over to John’s side, and has a hard time hearing his guitar. It will be nice when we play places big enough to afford a sound guy. It has turned very cold and it has effects on numerous people. Both Maria and Kevin aren’t feeling good to the point where Maria leaves in the middle of the night. Dave and Seth take over on stage as Kevin takes a break to make sure Maria gets home all right. By the end of the night we’re all just glad to have made it through the night.
Lee shows the tact of Jimmy Swaggart and announces that the “Perky” party (who usually have a tabled reserved for them) party isn’t there this week. Lee loudly states, “Maybe they’re down at the Red Dog cause they’re sick of hearing Six Shooter.” How stupid can you get.
March 10: Ron the Super Drummer
Seth knows a drummer with a superb sound system. That aside when the guy comes over and plays a drum set he’s never seen, without adjusting it, songs he hasn’t played in a while, he TOTAL KICKS LEE’S ASS. Not only did we finally get to hear “Grundy County Auction” the way it was supposed to sound, but he SANG THE SONG while he played this impressive drum part. As the song says: SOLD. Unfortunately, Ron is currently filling in for TWO bands, and if he did want to join (he seems to really like being in a fill in drummer) he couldn’t join until JUNE. Bummer. Now the hardest part, playing with LEE again after hearing Ron.
March 11: Jack Beam is in Retirement
Dave calls an acquaintance of his that was previously in the band Phoenix. His band has broken up. Unfortunately, when Dave gets a hold of him on the phone, Jack informs Dave that he is “Out of the business.” This is too bad as Dave heard Jack play briefly and knows Jack is very talented. Jack is interested in coming down and “jamming” but admits that he does NOT want to join a band. This is depressing.
March 15 Round Three at the Spur
The band is musically having a good night. Dave has his guitar up in volume on stage and everyone seems to appreciate being able to hear him. Dave is excited that his brother is coming to tonight’s show. The band is getting pretty good at setting up as a good team effort is put forward to get everything up and running. Lee is 30 minutes late without a phone call. It turns out he was buying Kerosene. We are all kind of wondering why he waited until it was time to go load up to buy the kerosene. The band butchers “Happy Birthday” as they play it for Mary, Connie, and Caroline. The band is beginning to reap the benefits of the radio play as it is pretty full early in the evening. At the bar Lee remarks since “He is not getting first rate pay, he doesn’t do first-rate work.” The meter and overall quality of his playing is awful. Granted we had our usual missed chords and flubbed lyrics, but Lee stopped when wasn’t supposed to, and speed up a slow song so much Seth finally turned around and said, “Slow it down.”
The crowning touch to Lee’s escapades was at the end of the night when a bar patron asked us if we knew the Garth Brooks song, “Shameless” (a song we have already spoken of learning). When we explained that we didn’t know it, but plan on learning it in the future she seemed slightly bummed that we wouldn’t know it by next week. Lee then added TO THE CUSTOMER, “You better get on your knees and pray for a fucking miracle if you want the band to learn new songs.” This man has the tact of OJ Simpson. Upon hearing this later the band wanted to fire him on the spot. As a joke, Dave starts his stopwatch as the money gets into Lee’s hands. It takes Lee four minutes and nine seconds to get out the door. There was no “I’ve got to get up early…. see you later…” he just bolted.
Dave mentions the rough road we have ahead. Soon we will be working around two marriage ceremonies, a drummer change, and a lead singer moving to North Carolina at some point. Dave wants to make sure we’re all on the same page and that we’re going to stick it out and fill these positions as needed. He brings up the idea of having Jack Beam fill in as a temporary. He will fly this idea by Jack tomorrow. We need to get Lee out before he does more damage. Seth notes as a last resort he could learn the drum parts and go “keyboardless” for a while until a drummer is found. What a guy. We all realize while that is an option, we would like to use it as a last resort.
March 16: Dave Begs Jack To Become A Temp
Dave calls Jack Beam again. This time he gives Jack a new pitch of filling in until we find a permanent replacement. When Dave explains how we could document it that we all know up front and agree that Jack is not here to stay, and he would leave when the permanent replacement was found, Jack is now interested. He is not saying “yes”, but he is not saying “no.” He wants to talk to the band and see the situation.
Dave calls Kevin and ttheyare both disgusted by Lee’s remarks last night. It was very strange in between each set Lee sat alone at a table and talked to no one. One might think there is an opportunity for Mr. Fowler at the post office.