Gut Rumbles

September 30, 2003

i really don't want to

How many times have I said that to people who want me to play guitar on stage again? I don't know, but it's been a lot since I quit for good in 1990. Okay, I didn't quit in 1990. I got lured into the Company Band in 1999 and played with them for a while. But that was work-related and the fucking PLANT MANAGER "suggested" that I participate, because I was a known guitar player, so I had very little choice in the matter. I played.

I didn't like it. I wasn't particularly fond of the people I was playing with, I didn't want to do it in the first place, and the music just didn't thrill me anymore. But I did it, and we actually became a pretty damned good band.

One thing I like about music is the fact that you can take five people who have never played together before and make a GOOD band out of them in two weeks, if they've played in bands before.

That wasn't the case with The Company Band. We had two people who had never played before in a group. They set the rest of the band back a long way. The problem wasn't that they couldn't play... they just didn't know how to play as part of a group. If you've never played in a band before, you may not know what I'm talking about, but TOTAL SOUND is what you're looking for, not individual musicianship. Our drummer and one guitar player just never really wrapped that idea around their heads.

The drummer wanted to be Ginger Baker on every song, without Ginger's ability, and the guitar player always thought he needed to be louder than anyone else. That doesn't make for building a good band. I did not tackle that situation and try to fix it. I just promised myself that if I ever got OUT OF IT, I would never put my Cracker ass back in it again.

And I haven't since then. I'm being recruited again for the same type of thing, but I am flat saying "NO" this time. I don't want to play with those people and I don't want to play at work. If I ever make music on stage again, it'll be bluegrass or acoustic, not rock-and-roll. I don't mind playing electric with my friends, but fuck if it's ever going to be a job for me again. Don't ask me to do that.

I really don't want to.


You are so right.

I'll take four guys who have experience playing in bands over four solo superstars any day. My favorite compliments were not the ones that came from boozed up people in the audience, but rather being referred to by other musicians as a "player."

Posted by: Parkway Rest Stop on September 30, 2003 11:17 PM

I sure would like to know who you played with and/or admired in Savannah during your playing days. I know a few of those guys, none I would probably rank with you on the Stage Presence/hipness scale.

Posted by: Velociman on September 30, 2003 11:53 PM

I love this post!!! And you're absolutely right - Of Course!!!

Posted by: Indigo on October 1, 2003 12:00 AM

My Son and his cousins are setting up a band and I'm going to pass on your wisdom if you don't mind. Total sound seems like good advice. I know how competitive each of them of them are and they could get in trouble trying to one up each other instead of getting in sync. I'll be of no help myself...can't play a thing. You're so blessed you can.

Posted by: Trease on October 1, 2003 12:58 AM

If you were on Hee-Haw, would you be the one a'picking, or the one a'grinnin?

Posted by: GORDON on October 1, 2003 02:21 AM

Great. We used to have our own group too. But social conditions and terms didn't let us to continue. May be in futer when we'll be grown up we can do what we're going too!

Posted by: Natalia on October 1, 2003 05:00 AM

Great. We used to have our own group too. But social conditions and terms didn't let us to continue. May be in futer when we'll be grown up we can do what we're going too!

Posted by: Natalia on October 1, 2003 05:01 AM

I wish you good luck and all the best with what you are doing!

Posted by: Natalia on October 1, 2003 05:02 AM

I hate guitar players who think they're playing Shea Stadium during an indoor bar gig. I have some friends who play in about four different bands, and they're all great musicians. But one guitar knows how to fill a room, and the other wants to take the plaster off the walls. And he's the guy tweaking the board, so he's forever fucking with it and turning it up. I have a set of (very fine quality) earplugs that I keep in my car for such events.

Posted by: Patrick on October 1, 2003 08:07 AM

The loud thing reminds me of the story that Keith Richards tells about Chuck Barry. For the movie "Hail Hail Rock 'n Roll", Chuck kept turning himself up so he could be louder than everybody else. So they had to slave off his amp to a sub-sub-sub basement to another amp, so they could get a decent recording that they could mix into the movie soundtrack.

Posted by: Patrick on October 1, 2003 08:09 AM

GMTA, Acid.

I just walked down Memory Lane, myself.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on October 1, 2003 09:26 AM

Hi...I´m just surfed in and want to say hello!
Regards George

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The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

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