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No Shit... There I Was....

I am not sure why I have been in a reminiscing mood or why these memories are resurfacing but this one had my laughing out loud. This could fall into the realm of professionalism or just plain old rock and roll.

Once upon a time, back when I was doing a lot of keyboard session work in the '80s and early '90s, I was asked to play keyboards for a well-established rocker who was trying to make a comeback with a new album and a show case for the label back when they did those kinds of things.

In order to pull this off, the artist had assembled a band of session guys that included a drummer, bass player, a friend of mine on guitar, me on keys, and the artist who was mostly a singer. We would spend a couple of days rehearsing at a major rehearsal studio in NYC to dial in the music. Pretty straightforward. The music was uninspired and pretty simple.. at least from a keyboard standpoint. What keyboards did I use you ask? If memory serves I had a Yamaha DX7 II, Roland Jupiter 8, Roland D-50, and a B3 organ. Yeah...old school.

This Artist had taken a hiatus in his career due some habitual issues that he had not totally resolved, so much of the rehearsal was...interesting and semi-productive. By the 3rd day, we were locked in musically and killin it. The Artist was so fired up that he "celebrated" during our lunch break. When it came time to run through the set list again his manager and a rep from his label funding this adventure stopped by to check in, watch and listen. Our Artist was feeling pretty good.

We start the first song and it goes really well. The second song was a kicking-ass kind of rock song and started off really well. In fact, too well. We are not even into the second verse when the Artist starts swinging his mic around over his head in a lasso type of loop and then switches to the lasso in the front type of thing. The band is deep in its vibe and everyone is grooving and I am watching this situation unfold in slow motion.

The Artist's microphone circle starts to widen...and widen...and widen, the rest of the band is oblivious to the unfolding calamity except me who is watching the ever-widening microphone circle. I try to yell to my guitar player friend who was closest to the Artist but he is too busy being a guitar player. No sooner do I yell out a warning, the microphone of death hits the guitar player in the side of the head and takes him down. Bam! No one notices. Within seconds...thwack, the bass player gets it and down he goes. Now there is no rhythm guitar or bass in the music, but it doesn't stop the circus.

I have now shrunk down about a foot behind my rig and all you can see is the top of my head and hands on the keys while I am yelling to stop. Finally, everyone realizes there are no longer keys, bass, or guitar and the drummer stops and looks around and says...why did we stop? Only a drummer!

The manager and label guy survey the carnage and asks if everyone is ok. My friend the guitar player is not. He has a wicked raspberry on the side of his cheek and the bass player is rubbing his arm and I am still laying low. The singer finally looks around to see what happened. The manager tells us to take 5. 20 minutes later he comes buck, hands us a check, and says thanks for our time. Sorry about the situation but we will not be moving forward with the showcase. I literally burst out into laughter. WTF!

I don't think that Artist has ever done anything new after that time. But no shit, there I was in the middle of the massacre of the musicians. Got to love the music industry! Rock and Roll!



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