October 26: Kevin Keeps his Foot in the Door
Dave goes over to Kevin’s to get his amp for the Southern Heart practice-steal your keyboard player session. In talking with Maria and Kevin, Dave and Kevin voice some items that have been brooding in their minds. Dave hasn’t always been 100% thrilled with the fact that John has never really learned what is on the record (in terms of bass parts). While he has learned enough to stumble through, he’s never learned that extra 15% that can make a difference. Other issues are discussed, and Dave explains how he’s not upset at Kevin, but more the situation. He’s kind of excited about looking at different options. The thought of singing with someone else is still a very foreign idea. Dave realizes that Kevin is part owner of the drum set. Yet another complication to work out. Kevin explains how Tuesday John, Dave and Lee can decide what direction they will take. With John moving, moving practice back to John’s may not be an option. Suddenly the Southern Heart audition takes on a different meaning. Dave is 100% positive John will jump back into bed with Dan and revive their band “The Bends.” “On to a new frontier,” Dave thinks as he walks across Kevin’s front lawn. He embraces the fear of the unknown and decides to make the most out of a depressing situation.
During their discussion, Maria explains that with her current work schedule and band practice, she only sees Kevin one night a week. “AHA!” Dave thinks – the missing objection. Dave pats himself on the back for using his “handling objection” skills.
Later that day…………………………………………
Kevin calls Dave to explain some things. After thinking a few things out, Kevin realizes that it’s not fair just to say “I quit” and bolt out the door. The band has never had a chance to change its ways. Consequently, Kevin wants to sit down with the band and discuss some of the issues that he and Dave had discussed previously in the day. While the band has got along great, played above average, Dave and Kevin realize that communication is really lacking. We need to put ALL of our concerns on the table. We need to polish up on being a band and strengthening the four-way-marriage that is the band.
In a sense, if we addressed all his concerns, Kevin feels the band would fun again. This pretty much shoots the shit out of Dave’s “Handling Objections” theories. Dave kicks himself in the balls and makes a mental note that most salesmen are full of shit.
Dave is relieved and looks forward to the communication challenge of the coming practice on Tuesday.
October 29: Kevin Goes Public
Kevin announces to the band that as of Friday he quit. He has since thought it over and thought it only fair to try to reconcile our differences first. The main problems are:
• Stage volume is too loud and the equipment being unreliable adds to frustrations.
• The amount of negativity that abounds at practice-usually brought about by bashing Graphic Enterprises for 30-40 minutes.
• The lack of practice by all members.
• In general -IT’S NOT FUN
The band admits that some of the song lists should be readjusted to play songs that people can dance to.
It decides that we need to fine-tune our sets, and have songs run into each other. This eliminates the need for “witty banter” in between songs. It also will keep people on the dance floor.
The band decides to set agendas for each practice. By having a set amount of items to practice we can focus on the tasks at hand. By eliminating the bitch session, we can focus on the music. The band also realizes that eventually there may not be a need to practice every week.
John has some ideas on how we can streamline the sound system to make it more portable, and sound better.
The band realizes we need to spend some time “surfing the scene” and see what people are dancing to -instead of what they’re listening to on the radio.
While Kevin and Dave bring all the topics of the previous discussion to the table, John and Dave both choked on bringing up the Kevin has to babysit at the end of the night issue. This while the band repeats how they need to be more honest with each other. Dave feels that Kevin has probably already addressed this issue. In discussing the issue earlier, John swears he heard Maria say “Pay up FUCKERS”… Dave does not remember the “f” word being used.
Basically, the band tries to hold it together to have fun. The band realizes that Kevin plans on leaving and moving to Montana in July/August.
When Dave asks if he should pursue Seth Jenkins (salesmen at work) everyone seems into the idea. Kevin needed some slight persuasion (timing issue). This demonstrates the obvious, with plans of weddings and moves to Montana, Kevin’s long-term commitment (understandably so) is pretty short term. The majority rules and Dave will try to catch Seth at work.
Seth Jams with the Band
IBS Salesman Seth Jenkins brings over his keyboard and plays with the band. Seth is able to handle Dave’s test of being able to “take it” when someone yells “TAKE IT SETH.” In short – SETH JAMS. He played everything from blues to jazz to honkey tonk. It was strange adapting to a keyboardist. John and Dave are used to filling in all the gaps. Seth even plays the guitar and sings. Again I say SETH JAMS. While it’s a depressing thought, Seth may be Kevin’s replacement as a vocalist when the time arises. We would then find a replacement rhythm guitarist.
Seth does a fine rendition of the Eagles ‘Desperado.” The band pulls the Garth Brooks song “The Dance” out of their ass. It comes together nicely. We launch into ‘Fast as You” and it sounds so cool to hear the actual keyboard part instead of Dave imitating a keyboard on his guitar. Dave knows he will cry his wanker off if this guy doesn’t join.
Upon completion of the practice, the band is worried. Seth gave off a very luke-warm reception to joining. Dave fears he stomped all over him musically (again not used to playing with a keyboardist).
At work, Seth says he needs to think about it and consult his fiancée. The band feels he’s probably just trying to let us down easy.
We are very amazed when Seth announces later in the week that he would love to join the band, but it has to be after the first of the year (he is very busy in December and such). Dave pops a boner at the very sound of the words. This is way to cool. We have a keyboard player.
December Becomes a Booking Frenzy
NOTE SOMEWHERE IN THE LAST QUARTER OF THIS YEAR THE CAT WITH REALLY BAD GAS WAS GIVEN TO SOMEONE.
Dave has to cover at work, and practiced is basically postponed for most of December. In this absence, bars start calling for bookings (go figure). The band ends up with a booking at the Tangled Spur on January 11th (for a measly 250 bucks). We’re not sure if Seth will make it for this show. We also have a date for the Red Dog on January 24th and 25th. This is cool. Unfortunately, the band is finding it hard to get excited about playing the Tangled Spur as this is a really small place. If Dave goes off into the audience he will get to take about 5 steps and have to come back.
Dave stops over at Kevin and Maria’s while Christmas shopping to pick up a microphone stand. Dave gets a chance to talk with Maria. Dave does a lot of listening. Maria explains how excited she is about the upcoming wedding and some of the joys of planning the whole thing. Dave talks to Maria about some of the presents he has purchased for his wife. Maria is now legal and the whole “getting the bar owner in trouble” problem is no longer an issue. This should make gigs a little less stressful. Dave and Maria talk about doing something cool for Kevin and Dave’s birthdays in February.
December 17: Like Riding a Bike
The band turned down offers to play in December due to a lack of practice time. Instead ,we have turned those dates into January dates. The band gets together for the first time in weeks to practice. The band is pleased to find that we have established a base of songs that are pretty much imbedded in our heads. Luckily we do not sound like a band that hasn’t played together for three weeks. Suddenly the January dates aren’t quite as scary.