Remember when I posted about this last time??? Well, silly me decided to e-mail John about giving it another shot and seeing if we could make it work. John was open to me jumping back in, and I went ahead and started working on the old material to give it another shot. We started playing again a couple of weeks ago, and from what I thoguth at first things were going well. But during that practice, I had a feeling that things were not all well with the band. There were several comments about how the band didn’t sound right with three guitarists and I knew that I didn’t help things by being a bit rusty (hey, I hadn’t played with a band in several months, so I was a bit nervous/out of practice in playing with a band).

But I guess that along with numerous other issues had pretty much settled things. Last week I was in Chicago all week and couldn’t practice. Hey, it was work, that happens. But, while I was gone in Chicago, I decided to take a step and significantly upgrade my sound with a new Line6 Flextone III amp since the guys had trouble hearing me last time. Hey, it’s a nice toy and I really have been wanting one for a long time.
So this week I call John and find out we’re practicing Saturday night. Grab my gear, pack up, head out the door and get to practice on time. Through some weird communications/misunderstandings, the guys thought I was skipping out of practice “again” (which again is humorous since I’ve only ever forgot about one practice in the entire time I knew these guys). So after a series of goofy stares from the guys, I grab my gear and load in. Take about five minutes to setup and everything is good to go. Eventually Jamie, the drummer walks in and looks at me like I had a dead raccoon on my head. OK, the message got out that I wasn’t going to be there again, but hey, John heard it wrong so lets play. I get out my keys and start playing some backup behind John’s acoustic stuff.
But the entertainment starts when I bring up that some of the stuff sounds weird with three guitars playing the same thing.
Here’s an aside for those of you wondering why three guitars sound strange in a band. It doesn’t sounds any “different” from two guitars, but it’s more of a waste of musical space where you could have someone playing acoustic or at least doing something different to expand the music. It also tends to drown out some other people in the band with the “Wall O’Guitar”. It’s not impossible to deal with, and actually when you pick the right music and write the right parts, it’s an awesome combination.
OK, at that point Jamie chimes in that three guitars do sound like overkill and that he thought I came back to only play keyboards. Well, even though I’ve played piano since I was six, guitar will always be my first love and I thought I was brought in as a guitarist who plays keys instead of a keyboardist.
At this point, the conversation descends into a full-fledged bitch session about my commitment to the band and that I was very rusty on guitar last time we played (which again, I admit to freely since I hadn’t played with this band in a few months) but was even more funny since no one had actually played a note together that evening “as a band”. Jamie at this point says I’m not practicing enough (to which I retorted that I didn’t know I needed to bring in a timesheet to practice) and he finally throws down the gauntlet that “He didn’t want to play with me”.
At this point I thought about going into full eight-year-old mode in mocking his ass, but I figured honor was the better part of valor and started packing up my stuff. John starts giving me a hand and we get the stuff out the door with little fanfare.
I don’t know what to think about the whole mess. I was mostly laughing about it in the van on the way home since all the objections to my performance were, well, completely unproven and ridiculous. The awkwardness of the situation was interesting to watch and honestly I was a bit hurt by being rejected. But that’s just how things happen in music. My theory that really good musicians are usually head-cases does still stand. Since I’m pretty sure I’ve got my head screwed on straight, maybe they are right about my performance. 🙂
Well, I’ve thrown another ad up on the Fort Wayne Bands website tonight and tomorrow I’ll start the process again by digging around for “Open Mic” nights in the area. It’s frustrating, but it’s part of the process. Something that I hope never gets old for me.
BTW John if you read this, take my advice. This music isn’t your forte. There are tons of places that would love to book a Allman Brothers/Skynerd/Doobies cover band. Do it before you regret NOT doing it.