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And, You Think Your Band is Broke?
You may not believe what you are about to read, it may seem like fiction. But I swear it’s totally true.
The next time you or your band feel bad about not having enough money, these truths about my first band in 1976 might help you realize just how financially solvent and wealthy you really are.
“LIGHT OF SOUL”
Although we were going through dark days, we had the courage to call our band The Lights Of Soul. We were so poor that we once seriously considered changing it to “Welfare Band” (which would have been more appropriate) in hopes that our community would take pity on us and put dollar bills in the jar instead of bills. just throwing us loose change. Honestly, we never had a teapot because we couldn’t afford it. If memory serves, our “tip bowl” was a bag of Lays potato chips attached to two ice cream sticks.
OUR MEMBERS & BEST EQUIPMENT
I started the band with a bunch of players…20+ members (we were doing Earth, Wind and Fire at the time and really wanted a Funk sound). Have you ever heard of former NFL Dallas Cowboy Eugene Lockhart? Well, I grew up with him and he started playing trombone in our band. Later, after breaking my manager’s couch, I chased him and another band member to wrestle.
My first band had two brothers…Larry Whiting (bass) and Doug Whiting (keyboards). Larry played a horrible looking hollowbox bass, and even though I wasn’t a bass player yet (I was playing trumpet in a high school band at the time) I had to show Larry every note of every song. Because not only was he completely ignorant of music, he was deaf (or was it the death of music?). Actually, both phrases apply to Larry.
After showing him the song 999 times, I got so frustrated that I decided to free Larry from playing bass and started playing bass myself. We couldn’t afford a professional bass, so my manager ordered one from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. These S&R catalogs were so large that some people told me they went hunting with them during deer season.
To use this book as a weapon, to save wear and tear on your rifle, and save ammunition, all you have to do is climb a tree with it, keep quiet, and wait for the unlucky deer to come under your tree. (((((BAM))))). You dropped him on his head and took him out. Best of all, there’s no bloody mess to clean up the cab of the truck.
I think the new bass probably broke our manager’s account that week at $49.95 (plus tax). Talk about continuity! Oh yeah…after breaking a few strings one night, we couldn’t afford to buy a full set, so I played the bass for a few weeks with only two strings. As you can imagine my hands/arms were doing double time and afterwards my forearms were so swollen that Popeye would be jealous.
If you’re a bass player, have you ever played 4-note music with just 2 strings all night? No, I didn’t think so, because you’re smarter than that.
But the positive side of the experience was when people saw me doing it and didn’t follow me home and wet my eyes, but I thought I suddenly became a very fast bass player in record time. then sore hands in a pot of Epsom salts.
“Wow! Kenny, you can play REALLY fast now! How did you learn so fast? Can you show me?”
Oh, let me think about that for a second… NO!
In fact, I get severe joint pain in both wrists because of it.
Now about Larry’s brother, Doug. Lord, have mercy. Doug’s hand can’t even be called a real hand. It felt like an accordion barred from a piano family reunion. It was so small that Doug would sit on his knees when he tried to play it. It was so small that one finger almost always and randomly played two notes at the same time.
It sounded worse than the cheap Casios from the 1980s…yeah, you know those little white ones…not only do you need to plug them into a PA system, you need a microphone to hear them. This way, the audience will hear your fingers snapping, confirming that you were actually playing and not pulling “Milli Vanilli.”
It soon became too much for our scene, and I asked Doug Larry to join the unemployment line, and because he never seemed to be able to get the difficult three-note major chords right. And I was afraid that asking him to try a dominant 7th chord, or worse, an inverted 9th or 11th, would be impossible and would end up sending him over the edge. We didn’t have a piano now, but it was better. Come to think of it, I don’t believe a small hand could even play a 7th chord.
Our drummer, Reginald Smith, is still one of my closest friends (I’ve known him since Kindergarten). But let me introduce you to his drum kit, or more specifically, his “partial” drum kit. In fact, Reg couldn’t afford to buy a whole kit, so he had drums (and sometimes sticks). The drums Reg was playing didn’t have cymbals to fall or hit. But worst of all, it had a kick pedal that only worked part of the time…ie the set screw wouldn’t come out, it would fly across the room and almost knock out one of the other band members. eye
In fact, the kick pedal was so bad to repair that Reg finally decided to throw it away entirely. But every time we had a good roll, he would, believe it or not, kick the drum with his toes. I remember doing a quick double tap once when the ghost pushed it during a double roll with a real drum set. Although he was a “charley horse” at times, his ability to quickly build up his hamstrings and calves was a plus.
Our first gig was literally in a cow pasture, full of cows (only in Texas). We wrapped ourselves in chicken wire and decided to throw our beer bottles good and together so we wouldn’t litter the pasture, just in case the audience might boo our gig for some reason. And you can’t step on a valuable animal on glass, can you?
However, a box of chicken wire didn’t stop a toothless, snuff-drinking drunk woman when our frontman Cedric Reagans grabbed her by the shirt collar and tried to force his tongue out of her when she got too close to the fence. Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Baby,” dropped his voice. Oh… 32 years later, the sweet memories of that time still don’t get old.
Our “PA System” (yes, that’s right). We also couldn’t afford a real PA system, let alone a professional quality line. So, I think we’ve had a smart idea so far. I decided to take out the bedroom dresser and install the 15 inch speakers in the fixed mount.
Then our manager moved the power cord to one of the guitar amps. We finally got some black fabric and covered our entire closet, so we’re growing financially and can now afford some serious new hardware. My manager is the only person I’ve ever seen plug in a shiny electrical cord without getting shocked.
Once, our manager was late for practice and some idiot members tried to bravely plug in a bare electrical wire as they saw our manager, only to be electrocuted. No one tried it again. No one was the wiser for our homemade PA system, and several people said our sound improved. ;-(
Our lead singer sometimes forgets the lyrics. Then he looks around us, looking for either moral support, guidance, or telepathy (I never found out which one he was looking for). In any case, we were offered neither, nor could we find any comfort in his unexpected circumstances.
During these wonderful special occasions, I will take the liberty and opportunity to seek refuge in a convenient part of the curtain to hide behind, should I be lucky enough to grace the stage until Cedric’s Alzheimer’s subsides, returns to normal, and returns. lyrics. If we weren’t on stage like any smart, quick-thinking ostrich, I’d just hang my head and stare at the floor and pretend I was on a battlefield in the far reaches of Okinawa.
To be honest, I can’t talk about other members without revealing my own personal faults. One of our gigs was at a high school FFA (Future Farmers of America) meeting. Well, in my excitement and haste, I forgot to tune my bass, and when we started playing, it was obvious (to me) that my bass was tuned a whole step higher.
In denial, unable to face my mistake of not being pre-tuned, and being the only member of the band who actually read music (and had a lot of respect for it), I adamantly stated that I had never read music like this in my life. I’ve heard that the whole band, even the drummer, is not good at singing, and they should seriously consider getting some serious music training before it’s too late.
Amazingly, they believed my lies, and to this day, I can’t say that it was entirely my fault. In general, people today are very quick-tempered and quick-tempered when they get angry and upset for no reason, so I dare not tell them now.
Our manager, though kind and good-natured, was almost as poor as we were. Johnny had a Chevy that drove some of our band members home. In fact, the car was a smoking death trap, and luckily it wasn’t going to kill any of us, but it tried very hard to do so. However, we were sometimes whipped hard, and here…
As I said, after practice we had to drive some of the members home, and the guitarist lived about 15 miles away in the woods. There was a 45 degree curve there that no one cares about, and the car’s brakes needed a lot of work, so when you put them on, the car moves at a 45 degree angle to the right.
Of course, to prepare and adapt to this experience, you need to turn the steering wheel at an angle of 90 degrees to the left while pressing the brakes at the same time, so that the car is as friendly and safe as possible. , well-intentioned cops hell-bent on issuing traffic citations for moving violations.
However, sometimes we forget that the car is capable of rocking and we can feel the nice soothing pain that can only be caused by whiplash. After facing this problem several times, I was already well trained when I joined the army and drove a tank for the first time. Maneuvering the tank was a drag compared to the 4-wheel mobile death trap, and my fellow soldiers were amazed at how quickly I picked up on the throttle concept, and I thank the Death Machine for that.
HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW?
So, I bet your finances are starting to look a lot better for you right now, right?
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