Wednesday, December 31, 2008 

No Gig This NYE - Good Or Bad?

Well, here I am, the last day of this year, thinking about how out-of-place I seem to be on Chicago's south side (I'm not from Chicago OR its southside - it's a long story how & why I got here). I really don't think I fit the culture down here - or, to be more accurate, it's kind of hard to FIND much culture down here besides lots of bars, and I really don't think I"m being a snob by saying that.

I'm also thinking about how, for the first time in 3 years, I'm off for NYE. I'm also thinking about all the NY events that I've worked over the years, so I guess I'm ambivalent about not working (or having any plans) for tonight.
I'd have to put a some thought into it, but I'm not sure what I've done more for NYE gigs - food/catering or music?

MUSIC. Although it's been pretty thin this year, I sometimes play with a fun, excellent CCR tribute band (Creedence Again). Last NYE, we were at an Indian casino in the U.P., with a Johnny Cash tribute band playing first. FYI, for the unfamiliar, the UP is the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, a stone's throw from the Canadian border, about a 7 hour drive from Chicago. The year before that, it was a REALLY fun event at a newly-restored 500 seat theatre in Ft. Scott, Kansas. That was one of the better New Year's events - they flew us in, put us up at a B & B, nothing but big fun in a small town.

Although the $ was good, one of the worst NY events I can recall was being a fill-in bartender at an all-gay party in Chicago. I remember the clock hitting midnight, and I escaped to the outside balcony to avoid all the dudes making out with each other. I remember thinking: Do I really need the money this bad? Whatever they wanted to do with each other was fine by me, but I didn't need to see that up close & personal - is that bad to say? Is it also bad to say I would have hung around inside if it were a bunch of hot girls doing the same thing? Discuss...

Finally, if there's anything I can say about sitting here on this computer right now, it's that I am feeling pretty optimistic - against all reasons to believe otherwise with current events & the economy - that 2009 will be really something special for me & my pals. I just really have WAY too many irons in the fire for something groovy not to happen, just not sure which one will pop first & biggest. Is that optimism, blind faith or just stacking the deck, and making a subjective observation? Beyond all that...




Wednesday, December 10, 2008 

The Mighty Tower Of Power Horns

Anybody out there (under 40) heard of the Tower Of Power Horns? Although there's certainly lots of younger fans who may really appreciate a great horn section, or don't buy into all the corporate radio crapola (there IS hope for music!), I think it's fair to say TOP had their heyday well before the 1990's. So why am I writing about them? Well, their horn section played on a song of mine once, called "Let's Turn Up The Fire."
The Tower of Power
That, plus I just got an email from someone saying they're working on updating the TOP discography for their website, and he's interested in getting a VHS or DVD of their performance of my song on camera. I'm honestly a little tickled - I get inclusion on their vast, legendary list of tracks? Sweet...

Truth is, they played on more than just my song; they also backed up Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys on a song called "The Spirit Of Rock & Roll," plus some other cover tunes. Well, I guess that makes sense, as they were part of the house band for my Rock & Roll Kitchen TV pilot, and they played whatever was asked of them. One hell of a cover band, eh?

Unfortunately, there's a little more to this story regarding the video masters, which I'll get into later. For now, I'll just enjoy the little glow of being included with some truly great artists (does that make me one, too? Pretty please?!?!?!)