Sex, Beer and Rock ‘n Roll
It was one of those nights where the ghosts of my youth screamed for release. They grow quieter and quieter as I get older and more mellow (not that I’m fading away yet…just…having less need to rebel 🙂 ), but every so once in a while they bust out for a turn at bat. I went out to a housewarming party with Greg and Kat for Annie and Carl, a couple of people I worked with for a short time a couple years ago. It was way the hell out in Maple Ridge, but I figured OK I’m newly single, a bit bummed by it all, and I should get out and do…something. Plus there was the promise of single girls hehe. Greg was adamant that I should bring my guitar and amp; the original plan was the band was gonna play out there but Darren’s a bit under water with school and Mark had some family things so that got kakked and it was just Greg and I.
First off…the single women story was a myth…there was one or two but they were older and soooo not twitch-able. Nice enough, but just…different worlds you know? Maybe I’m just not ready to bust a nut yet…who knows. But we were having a good time. There was a house across the street with some young kids playing in their band so we figured let’s invite them over to jam later. Had a couple drinks and some good conversation and food and was quite enjoying myself. Greg and I decided to set up our gear and do a little jamming; we played a couple of songs that I know the words to well enough to sing and everyone was grooving on it. Kat went over and rousted the kids in the band across the street and they came over.
Man, I felt old…heh they were all like 17, but really good musicians. After we chatted for a bit and they set up it took about 3 bars into a song to realize these kids had absolutely NO point of reference with Greg and me. Which is odd, cuz I’m very much into new music. But these guys were like crazy Euro prog rock stuff…all kinds of wierd time changes and super technical music that was pretty much jazz. So, I backed out and said go nuts…play us some of your songs. I knew there wasn’t gonna be any jamming going on and that was cool. The kids were all incredible musicians, technically speaking. I’ve been playing rock guitar for 25 years and learned off the super technical 80’s wankers, and couldn’t do half the shit this kid was pulling off. The bass player too…just monster chops. The drummer was not as good as the other two guys, but he could play well enough.
The only issue was that they were very schooled musicians; they were all doing their own parts, which is correct, but not listening to each other, which is not correct. It made me realize how good of a “band” we are in Yardbin. We may not be changing the way people look at music or making all the other players in the crowd go “holy shit…how’d they do that”, but we play together incredibly well and people can dance to it. Which really are the keys to good rock and roll. If you can have girls shake their booties on the dance floor, you’re doing it right, musician critics be damned! Motley Crue got it; Jet gets it; Nirvana got it. Anyways back to the kids. They blew off a couple of intense progressive jazz rock fusion tunes and I think I was the only one that dug it. The little crowd of people standing around all left (hehe) but I stuck it out. I asked em if they ever do any straight ahead rock and roll tunes for fun and they ripped into a pretty kick ass version of Another Brick in the Wall Pt. III. Greg’s 12 year old son sang it, which was pretty groovy in it’s own right.
The music geeks got bored after a bit and decided to head off, but the two buddies they brought with them hung around and then we had some fun. We ripped off a rocking version of Molly’s Lips by Nirvana and the Vaselines, and then just jammed out some old punk shit. Finally a reference point; these two kids half my age and me were having a grand old time talking about punk rock and for Greg it’s pretty easy to play punk drums…4/4 time, cut time usually, and 3 minutes long. We did a couple songs together then I let them go; man the one kid could sing punk well. I told him he should do something with it cuz he had the voice and (more importantly) he had great presence when he sang. He figured he didn’t have the writing chops, so I told him “dude that’s a craft…you don’t just have writing chops, you gotta do it for years to get good…now go get yerself a band and scream out some sounds and get yourself laid.” We chatted for a bit and I finally said “it’s all fear isn’t it?” he goes “yeah…”. Hehe. I suggested that the first time he stood on the stage at the cobalt and belted out some crappy lyrics with a tight band behind him and people dug it, that fear, that block would be gone for good. Stage fright may stick around, but the fear of action would be gone. Hopefully he took that to heart.
So all in all it was a great time…got to play with some other musicians, had a little fan adoration for the 2 or three songs we did of our own, and most importantly, got out into the world beyond my little bubble. My inner kid got out for a couple hours and jumped around and acted silly, and everyone had some fun. Now if those kids from the other band only get their shit together and grow out of their own shells into full musicians, I will be able to say I was there when these famous guys got started.