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.