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.