Friday, December 24, 2004

The Show Went On!

Last night the house was full and I was sick as a dog. No...I couldn't come up with anything better than that analogy.
I came THIS CLOSE to calling Paul to say I was breaking out from a soap suds reaction along with suffering aches and pains, runny nose and ringing ears from a cold my little grandaughter Jenna appears to have passed on to me for these Christmas holidays and I wouldn't be able to perform.
Well...I thought about that and I only "hit it" last week. So I figured I HAD TO GO!
Great thing that I did. I had a stroke of luck and a bit of creativity hit me about four days ago and I wrote a pretty damn good "hammering string"-moderate type blues song. A factual song about me. And I shocked the hell outta myself coming up with this great music too. I caught myself humming it in the shower and I really, really, really, really think that's a good thing. Anyway; I told everyone to give me a "heads up" on how they liked it and I actually played it. words for the feeling that went through me when they responded. And a young gal outside actually said, as I was leaving, "That song rocks!" Well what more good news than a younger generation thinking a song I wrote "rocked?" None, really. Except for the fact I ended my set with John Denver's Country Roads having to sing acapella, (whatever it means to sing without music) bringing my hands together above my head to drag everyone's "hidden fun" out where everyone could clap, sing and enjoy!
It went over great and I dropped back for one last chorus playing and singing and everyone enjoying a bit of "abandon" and hit the last chord and WISHED ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Result #2 - 2nd Venue Played

Well OK now! I was asked to play for an extended period tonight and when I finished? Steady gig each Thursday at this bar/restaurant! Again, a great audience. Although a few were a bit lit, approaching my area while I was in mid-song carrying on showing me how they could guzzle the beers from their mugs (2 good guys) while I was doing Up On Cripple Creek. To make it a bit clearer the last line of the chorus is "a drunkard's dream if I ever did see one". So the lads were having some fun with that.
Managment and hosts and the rest of the crowd were, like Tuesday night, FANTASTIC!
A venue more suited to my style. Although, if they call, I'll surely play the other club too. But this isn't a POWER CLUB, RATTLE YER BONES type club.
Tonight, I know, was the right kind of place. And I wasn't too freakin' thrilled when the owner said "see ya next Thursday!" He requested a song and I just happened to mumble I had planned on closing with something more upbeat when he said "OK...Go ahead and play what you had set and you can play it for me next week." SUUURE...I'm not gonna play it. It happened to be one of the "nearest" tunes to me and I told him I'de go ahead and play it now. Everyone was pleased. me too. (The tune was "Operator" by Jim Croce) I was surprised, earlier, at the response I got for Jerry Jeff Walker's "Mr. Bojangles." There had been a smattering of applause after a couple of the upbeat tunes I played but when I lightly strummed the last chord of Mr. Bojangles it was like every person in the house got touched. Something like that will put a solid brick in your building. After 30+ years of not performing it seems I'm embracing it better, with more professionalism and confidence than years ago. I wouldn't say much back then. I would just play and sing with an occassional intro as to the song title... hell now I'm telling stories about occasional songs I'm doing and bantering with the folks.
I have no bloody idea what has come over me but man is it good!

Goodnight and Goodday

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Result #1 - A Week Late!

Sorry there was a slight delay in my nerve racking "Do-Or-Bust", getting back on the stage but it started tonight. Just got back, as a matter of fact.
Here's how it went. Almost blow by blow accounting:
I pull up to the club and immediately felt the throbbing pulse of drum beats and base lines vibrating my car. Not to forget hearing the vocals too. So I be thinking to meself, "self?...Start'er back up and go. Ya never played this type of venue with POWER SOUND," but no, my other self says..."Keep moving. Unlock the doors and by the time ya get to the other side of the car to pull your guitar out of the passenger seat decide then. Ya still have time."
So that's what I did. All the while this High Power Rock is pulstating through my bones and soul. But I kept moving. Didn't stop. Slung my guitar over my shoulder and headed for the front door. I could feel my "soul-self" take over my mind and body. This is a good thing by the way.
I went in and walked over to where a security guy was sitting my the entrance to the central area of the club and I stood by him and watched this band, who was rockin' and-a rollin' the crowd with abandon. They were Good!
After about 2 or 3 minutes I lean over and ask the guy if I have to sign up or what as far as playing this night. Very politely, he directed me to where the sound man and manager, (I really forgot her name) Tracy were standing.
So with the confidence my "soul-self" is supplying I walk across the floor, through the crowd and tell "Tracy' why I'm here. She asked what I do. I told her I play acoustic with a pick-up and sing. She asked what are some examples of the music I do. I said "Jim Croce, The Band, stuff like that."
She told me the band playing was going to play through because they're actually finishing up a full set.
They finish, and they WERE good, but my "soul-self" kept me calm and focused. "Tracy" took the stage and introduced me and up I went. Everyone was extremely helpful, kind and polite. This really, really helped me in preparing and it was just, in general, very, very pleasant working with folks like this. It's been a long time. I forgot about how it was.
It was like 20 degrees outside so when I took my guitar from its case it was terribly out of tune. Music was blaring through the sound system as the sound man was aiding me in set-up. I was having a hell of a time tuning up. I had to lay my ear right on the arc of the guitar to tune. I think the sound man or "Tracy" had someone lower the music temporarily because it was in that 20 or 40 seconds I was able to tune my instrument.
"Tracy" told me that the routine is a 2 song set. So that set me focusing intently and lightening-like on my playlist.
I chose two I felt really good about. Alas...On the second one I missed the syncopation a couple times due to failing to recall the words but not too bad. I have to say here, too, that the people in the audience were FANTASTIC! Very supportive applauding when the spot came on me and I was hearing positive comments. They want anyone who goes up there to to good too. A great bunch of people.
Well I finished my two numbers and was thanking everyone, beginning to pull the guitar strap from around my neck, when "Tracy" appeared side stage and asked if I wanted to do another. Did I say no? Sure I did. That just took me off to another place! Of course I did another one and here I really flubbed. I sang one line into the song and blanked. Best I could, I made some comments and started the song again. Thankfully I wasn't, like on the second verse or the end of the first verse or somethin', ya know? Sheeesh. But this was all totally new as far as the power I was using. I wasn't always sure what I was sounding like. But at the end I thanked the audience, the sound man (he also obtained a stool I asked for) as he came up to pack up the equipment, then I thanked "Tracy" as I passed her to pack up and she thanked me in return and I sensed I didn't do terrible.
I was in a good place driving home and I couldn't believe it when I was tooling down the highway a shooting star made a long arc across the sky right in front of me. A sign, I thought?
Well that's phase one. I go to the second, smaller club Thursday.
They took my e-mail address at the club. So now (and I hate it when I do this) I'm conjuring up thoughts of an e-mail coming in asking me back, as a regular. Be it there or another or all different venues.
That's all folks!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Tuesday 12.07.04 - Do Or Flop!

Tonight at 8PM I will be at one of the largest clubs in the city for "Open Mic Night." My PA system arrived today courtesy of Musicians Friend and I just finished aquainting myself with it and it's GREAT! Gives me a big boost, hearing what I souund like through a professional sound system. I had doubts about showing up but now I'm full-tilt, all out ready to show up and play from the stage! it's been a long, blank, soundless, unfullfilling road until now.
I wont be using my PA system. This club has one of the best. I don't need mine tonight. Hoping this opens channels into being hired for gigs all about.
Matter of fact I'm giving my return a name...Bill Dyckns
The 30 Years 2 L8 Tour.

I've accumulated a concerts worth (90 minutes) of material and am happy to play any one of the songs on my playlist. (Sometimes ya have a song ya do but ya don't feel comfortable with it and don't fully enjoy performing it).
Wednesday I have another date at a smaller, more intimate venue.
Here's to the unknown! I'll report back witchever way it turns out.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Careful Where You Put That Extra Dirt!

I heard news today, the wireless-over-the-air-thru-the ether kind, that a proper home owner had removed some dirt and sod and paved his driveway. Not interesting yet huh?
After paving the driveway there was a fair amount of dirt left just sitting there. So this industrious homeowner decided to load it in his pick up and truck it on over to a nearby forest for disposal.
Now this was fine dirt, mind you. Not contaminated in any way. Not even "chunky dirt." You know, with Fido's feces, stones and pebbles, acorns and such. Pure, plant-your-lips-on-the-food-that-grows-from-it-dirt!
So he gets a friend, loads some rakes and shovels onto the truck and heads for the great outdoors to, more or less, aid Mother Nature with a gift of extra dirt for Her forest.
The good fellow and his mate dumped the dirt in the local forest area. Going so far as to rake the gifted dirt smoothly throughout the area so to blend in with the natural landscape of the wonderful forest they were vitalising. Not just leaving a huge pile of dirt there protruding from the forest floor making the forest look ungainly in that particular area.
I tell ya these gents were mindful of what they were about. and God bless 'em!
They didn't get outta there safe though. Oh?...They're alright, physically and all. It's just that the FED'S somehow got wind of the good act they were performing and swooped in and arrested 'em! Yup. Arrested 'em.
A note to all who dare attempt any serendipitous act in the forest;
Alas, first the poor owners of NUTKIN arrested for having NUTKIN while a bullet ridden dear lie at their feet and now two gent's arrested for dumping dirt (and spreading it nicely about) in the forest.
Is it me or am I still crazy?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

This Ain't No Nutkin

No sooner I relate a story involving a Poacher who shot a deer on someone's private property and the Game Officer brain numbingly foregoes the evidence (bullet ridden, dead, furry deer) and prosecutes the property owners for having a squirrel (Nutkin) as a pet that a beautiful, young woman is shot and killed getting into her car in her own driveway in a seperate incident only a week later.. And yes...Pennsylvania. Same state.
Yeah...Run-on sentence. I'm bummed.

C'mon Elton!

It's official, I'm afraid. Elton John is needy! After piping his latest opinion on some minutiae going on with the Beckham's,, Who, by the way, complain about being in the tabloids but are constantly groping one another in public under the sun in front of God and everybody (also always an eye in the direction of the photographer) would make me believe Beckham actually craves the attention. But John feels compelled to say Victoria is to blame for some problem or other. Why does Elton John feel HE has to voice his opinion on this bewilders me. On one note, though RE: The Beckham's I'm sick of seeing them in every issue of Hello Magazine. But what got me here writing this is the fact I see John has Totally Sold Out! In a newpapaper, today, a major retail outlet, Best Buy, has a full page ad for televisions and electronic notebooks and I was knocked out of me plimsoles to see his face in his rebellious pose of the 70s adorning each and every product which had a screen, monitor or flat panel available for purchase. 44" Wide Screen LCD? He's there. 15.4" screen on the hottest notebook? There he is. 27" Stereo television? His fist, with finger pointing, is stabbing out of the frame looking angry, anti-establishment as ever.
I'm too lazy to scan this page and post it. But...If ya don't believe me just say the word. I'm holding on to this for awhile.
Bernie Taupin... I wish you had the talent to play and sing all those great songs yourself. I know it's you. No Knighthood or OBE for you though huh?