As you know, I am musically inclined. I’ve been playing guitar for a very long time in several different iterations of bands – some quite good and some that never made it out of the practice room.
I’ve had a break from it for a little while. Too many other factors in my life and some changing circumstances that ensured that my dear Fender Tele stayed tucked away in its hard case.
I got a text from a friend I used to jam with in another band a few years ago. They have a spot for a lead guitarist and they asked me to learn some songs to see how it goes. I’m excited, it feels a bit like the musical shot in the arm I needed to get off my arse as far as guitar playing goes…
So, there you have it, I guess I will be rocking the suburbs all over again!!
Hey Bloggers, I’m back. I had a quick trip to Iowa this week. I am super excited to share some awesome pics that I took, but, fek! I left my camera in J’s handbag. Damn.
Not to worry, she’s gonna send the pics to me and I will download them for you all to see.
Meanwhile, I went and played the jam at Drift – in my man tights. Ok, why is that important? Well:
I really like wearing them. They are comfy, athletic, allow freedom of movement, and are, well sexy as fk!
I like to jam, but, well, I don’t normally combine the man tights thing with jamming or whatever – its normally a jeans affair. I did rock the knee length bike shorts for one outdoor gig, but that was a ‘one-off’.
So how did this come about? Well, T has always encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and wear tights, or what I like, and this time around J encouraged/dared/empowered me to give it a go. Maybe not a big deal to all of you, but for me a significant step in my uber-liberation movement for men-who-think-its-ok-to-wear-Lycra. I’m probably now in a very small sub-set of a society who actually perform music, in such apparel, and of course its not 1986 and I’m not in Motley Crue or whatever, so that makes it somewhat unique, and honestly, fun as fuck! If there are any others out there, please, give me a high five, but somehow I think maybe there’s more chance one of those radio antennae’s beaming beeps into space and listening for ET’s reply will get a better shot at a response than my call out.
For a while, T and I were getting singing lessons, and I often wore a pair of long black man tights over to our tutor’s place. Our tutor saw me in them and said, ‘hey do you perform in those? You probably should’. Actually, I have worn the long tights for a couple of band performances but I don’t do it a lot because honestly, its a bit of a freak out, but fun.
But I don’t want you to be distracted by this diversion, this visual teaser on your collective imaginations, I’m a sort of serious singer/musician type. But I’m so enthusiastic about wearing my man tights, I didn’t know whether to be happier about that, or singing and playing the guitar, so I guess for me, I had reached a new level of self-realisation. I was just enjoying the moment!
So again, something wonderful happens when you take a chance, get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, and say ‘fuck it I’m going in’. And that is, nothing. What? No, I mean it, like what ever your fears may be – getting heckled, weird looks, disapproving tsk tsk’s, whatever, it just doesn’t happen. People either don’t care or they are just respectful enough to not really bother with nonsense.
So in this instance, I was out of the comfort zone for more than one reason, I fucking forgot my song book. So I pulled up at the venue, got out of the car, grabbed guitar, and oh-fuck, the song book is not here. What to do? Here I am – at the outer limit of my comfort zone in man tights about to go in and perform a few new songs that I didn’t even remember all the words to. I almost got back in the car to return home.
Normally, I don’t use a lyric sheet when I perform, because, well, I left all that behind when I was a total fucking amateur. But times have changed, and now I don’t normally read from a lyric and chord sheet – except when I take on new songs, knowing that I don’t know them that well, and need a little prompter for when I get that blank mind thing when you cant remember how the next verse starts…
But as the pictures serve as testament to my commitment to get out of the comfort zone, I got up, and played and sang my little heart out, after making an impromptu set list from some stuff I know well and some I don’t know so well. How did it go? Well, I think it went well. I met some new people and watched some fun performances. I had a coffee and a beer. All around, it was WAY better than hanging out on the couch watching TV!
Hi Bloggers. So here I was last night. I wasn’t bullshitting. That’s a guy we’ll call ‘shady’ banging away on the drum. This was fun. Simple, pure performance fun. No pressure. Dropping the odd word, mumbling through, having so much fun I’m breaking into laughter, and (trying) to get the audience to sing along. A regular musical bull in a china shop!
So I gave the café my name and contact details, I told them that I would do a set ‘for tips’. They have a downstairs coffee area, and an upstairs bar area. Very nice venue, I guess we’ll see what happens. This is all part of my (evil?) self-realization plan.
Bloggers, go out there and have a really nice Friday. Hugs.
Following my earlier commitment to get off my arse and get out there, tonight I did just that. I took my acoustic guitar, and a hastily written set list and I played a coffee shop. There’s an open mic every Thursday night and its a very chill scene. I like the fact that its intimate, cosy, and not full of drunks.
I caught up with a few people I know from the scene around town. I used to jam with a guy who played bass, maybe three years ago now. His wife, Q (now ex wife) saw me there and started chatting. I didn’t know this, but they have since split. I played guitar and sang with her and we did a cover of ‘stuck in the middle with you’, you might know it. Also, I saw my friends S and N. I was jamming with these guys in my basement, with me on drums, S on guitar, and N singing. She has the loveliest voice, and he can really sing too. It was nice to watch them play and sing songs that I saw the ‘birth of’ in my basement some months prior. It was a special moment, kind of poetic how things come around again.
So I played a set, and here’s my songlist:
You’re beautiful (my original)
Let her go (Passenger)
Maggie May (Rod Stewart)
All for you (Sister Hazel)
No woman no cry (Bob Marley)
I even played guitar for T bird who sang and played the keyboard. It was fun. As we were putting our stuff in our car, T jumped in with Q in her car, and fucked off into the night. I have no idea what shes doing. I hope she’s having fun. I told Q to have her back to me by the end of the week.
So T fucked off in a car. It didn’t look exactly like this one below, but in my mind I can imaging something like this. Last seen with Q, and it was night time, and Canada, and the car was a bit more modern that this old beetle, but whatever.
Hi Bloggers. I’ve been off the computer for a couple of days. Partly because when I have come home, someone else has had the computer to watch Netflix, or do homework, or some other pointless bullshit that doesn’t involve blogging and writing, but that’s ok.
What have I been up to? Well I performed at two jams in the last week. Actually three if you include the one my band hosted last Tuesday. I caught up with some friends at a jam last night, although I didn’t actually jam. I left the house in socks and flops so I wasn’t even planning to jam. Sunday night’s jam was a bit of a mess – we invited a bass player up to jam, and, well, she didn’t know our stuff so it was a bit of a disaster in parts, but, we did it, it was another musical experience in the bag.
Sometimes the band thing, and relying on others is complicating things a bit much. I just need to take a fucking song sheet like the one below, and strum chords and sing it. Simple.
Meanwhile, I got so much out of the jam experience myself that I have decided to get back into it. By it I mean the art of simple performance. Jams are social, they are fun, normally low pressure and most times supportive. I am going to keep it simple. Me, acoustic guitar, and I’m going to sing my little heart out, which is what I really enjoy doing. Forget about the full scale band productions, coordinating musical parts, guitar solos etc. Wait, did I say forget that? No I mean park that for a bit and just fucking get up and strum some chords and sing. Picture below is John Lennon. The astute (undead) blog reader will appreciate without me pointing it out, that it is not Don McLean, who wrote American Pie, featured left.
I’m going to create a song list of maybe 20 numbers and get off my arse and get them performed. I’m excited.