Sunday, March 17, 2013

Well it worked the first time...

The other day while my daughter was at a vocal rehearsal I remembered many, many years ago when I was singing with a small group.  The leader had been part of a recording group that had a couple of hits on the radio and then just seemed to disappear into thin air.  This guy had such an incredible sense of self worth (perhaps too much) that when he asked me to join his group, I jumped on it.

One day while rehearsing a ballad, Mr. Important counted the song off and from the first note the whole thing seemed to go in the wrong direction.  The drummer was doing his thang, Mr. Important was on key board going south and the bass player seemed to be into a groove totally unrelated to the song we were playing.  The oddest thing was, no one stopped or even acted as if anything was wrong.  Everything screamed for me to stop but the guys who were showing signs of having gone temporarily tone deaf with absolutely no sense of musicality just kept going.  They looked so pleased with themselves...what was a girl to do but sing.

"What song was that anyway?"  

We finished the song, looked at each other and burst out laughing.  After nearly peeing our pants, we decided to play back the recording just for kicks.  To our surprise it sounded really cool.  We couldn't have charted it that way had we tried.  We found ourselves completely in love with us.  We didn't know how we did it but we loved it.  Well, someone had someplace to be so we ended the rehearsal; probably not a good idea as a few days later we had a gig at a local park and would not be able to fit a rehearsal in before then.  Mr. Important still radiant from our beautiful disaster added the song to the list without so much as consulting the rest of us.

At the time I was dating a guy who had his own band.  I'd gone to see them play on several occasion's and found them...well...amusing.  He could sing but wasn't the best.  Their sound was a bit old style to me but you know, he was cute and passionate about his music so I told him I liked the band.  It was the right thing to do.  He knew I was a vocalist/dancer/actress and had never seen me perform in any way except on a crowded dance floor having fun.  I felt really strongly that it was time for him to see me shine and persuaded him to come see my band.

The day of the gig was a little hectic.  As usual I had far too much on my plate; an early morning dance rehearsal and then a run home to shower and change before making it to the park an hour before our performance.  As soon as I saw the stage I was beside myself.  The stage was small...really small.  They had overbooked performers in case there were no shows but as it turned out EVERYONE and their mothers showed up.  Musicians were expected to use whatever drums were there and only a few minutes were allowed in between the switch of groups.

After waiting entirely too long in the hot sun for our shot to play we were told we would have less time than thought.  We jumped up on that stage and within five minutes were ready to go.  The first number could have been better but we wrote it off to having to wait so long in the heat, wiped the sweat from our brow and counted out the next tune after which we felt perty good.  Time only allowed for four numbers so after the third Mr. Important thought it was time we shared our beautiful mistake, called out the song and before anyone could suggest otherwise, boom....we were into the first couple of bars.  Difference was, we sucked this time through!  SU..UH..KED!!  The weird rhythms that sounded so cool the first time were just not working.  It was pure pandemonium.  Nothing we could have done would have made it good, or worse for that matter.  It was so bad I thought I would throw up.  I sang, I'm sure of it because I remember the sound of panic in my voice.  I considered fainting onto the grassy area just to get me off that stage and provide the perfect excuse for why we sounded so bad but because the space was so tight I would have just landed on the instrument in front of me leaving me with my panties out there for everyone to see.

Needless to say, compliments from my crush were few and forced and though we dated for a while, it didn't work out.  I was actually less crushed about having to break it off with my 'crush' than I was for the fact that he never really got to see me perform under 'normal' circumstances.  Ahhhh, his loss.  This story is my side, I've often wondered how his side would sound.  My guess is, better I never find out.    

1 comment:

A Magical Whimsy said...

Hi, Marie
I did make it to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, and I was so sorry to hear Anita was unable to make it out to So. Calif. I am thinking of you!
Oh, I remember when they used to have the 'battle of the bands' must have been one of those kind of days for you way back when. I'm sure you still shined!
Teresa in California