Gut Rumbles

November 16, 2009

Playing in a band

Originally published August 22, 2004

I once played in a band called "Snake and the Reptiles." I was 17 years old at the time. I realize now that we weren't very good, but I thought we rocked at the time. Hell, we had a steady job and actually GOT PAID for playing music.

I went on to play in a lot of other bands and spent five years or so as a solo "artist." I grew my hair long, saw some places I never would have seen otherwise and I bedded a lot of wimmen. But I still don't like the term "artist" applied to a musician. A real artist writes poetry, sculpts from rock or paints beautiful pictures. I just played guitar. I wasn't no got-dam artist.

If you are a musician, you know what it's like to start a new band. Everybody can play, but it takes a while to get tight. You can HEAR IT when the music comes around just right, and that's a feeling I wouldn't trade for a winning lottery ticket. Money can't buy me that kind of feeling.

I'm soliciting comments here from musicians: Have you every played in a band with someone you just COULD NOT get along with? You know, the good guitar player or the drummer that simply believed that they were "special" instead of wanting a solid sound. I have, and I've never been able to stand that kind of shit for very long.

A band is a lot like a family. Either everybody pulls together and agrees on what they want to do, or the damn thing is going to fall apart. I ask you musicians--- am I WRONG about that observation?

I don't think so. I've seen it too many times.

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