Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

New Year's Eve, 1997. We were ready to play our first real show, at the Central Tavern at 6th and Proctor. This time, I managed to get myself a black suit jacket from the local thrift shop. Tom lent me an old pair of black sunglasses that had actual dark glass in the lenses (shades of That Thing You Do!). Lincoln was lent some money so he could get his SG Junior in time to play the show. The lugging of gear up the stairs and into Winter's and Lincoln's cars weren't so bad, as we had no organ to take with us this time.

We got there, and began a soundcheck. I'd never been on a music stage before, and it was exciting, setting up the drums under the orange and green lights. Winter, meanwhile, was writing down copies of the setlist on the big paper placemats that normally have plates of food set on them. Tom had managed to borrow the hi-hat from Bon Von Wheelie's drumset, as Girl Trouble were going to play after us, so I was relieved at not having to play that ratty homemade thing, or just my cymbal.

Tom and I brought his tape deck to plug into the mixing board to get a recording of the show, but we didn't have the right type of plug-in, so that wasn't an option. I'd remembered to bring my Realistic microcassette recorder with me, and so it was set atop the PA speaker next to the drums.

It was showtime! Winter said, "Hi, everybody! We're The Pace!". And off we went:

1) I Just Wanna Make Love To You
2) I'm Not Talking

Tom wanted to take the time to ask if the band has any New Year's resolutions, and I recognized this bit from the Yardbirds' BBC disc; Winter said he was going to continue the way he was going, Lincoln said he was going to play the guitar, and I said "Try[ing] not to smoke and drink so much!".

3) I Ain't Got You
4) Beautiful Delilah
5) I'm Talking About You
6) Heart Full Of Soul

So far, so good. The crowd was getting off on what we were playing to them. Tom quipped, "You can never have too much Chuck Berry!".

7) Let It Roll On
8) Too Much Monkey Business
9) Love Me Like I Love You
10) I Ain't Done Wrong
11) Evil Hearted You

Damn, we were on fire! Winter asked if anyone had anything to drink, and I gave him a swig from my bottle of Diet Pepsi. I changed the tape over just at Winter was introducing Lincoln and him singing the next song.

12) The Nazz Are Blue
13) Baby, Scratch My Back
14) Smokestack Lightning

We were on top of the world! "You guys are hot!", someone shouted to us. But we were nearing the end of the set, and Nick (the soundman) said over the PA, "One more song!", but Tom pleaded for two.

15) I'm A Man

We had planned to have Winter kick it off on the harmonica, Tom follow, Lincoln join in, and then me kick it into gear. But,we felt rushed, so I joined Winter after two harmonica riffs, and off we went.

16) The Train Kept A-Rollin'

I yanked off the sunglasses, and we proceeded to rip the place apart with this one. At the end, we went head-first into a cacophony of feedback, and me hammering hell out of the drums. Bang! All over and done!

Wow, what a show! After we broke everything down and stuck it way behind the stage (we could get it later), someone asked me for my autograph on the little flyers we had made on a Xerox. Very cool! We took the guitars to Winter's place, where he took a quick joint break, and then the rest of them were off to see the new year in. I went home to listen to the tape. It was a little drum-heavy for being next to the kit, but it all came out good, and the guys were happy with it when I played it for them at my place the next day.

Oh yeah, there was a $20 waiting for me at our next practice, my cut for the night. Not bad for a first paid gig!!!

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