Sunday, January 24, 2010

We'reThe Pace, baby, is that clear?

September, 1997. The phone rang one evening. It was Tom, a guy who had read one of the musicians-available flyers I had posted around town during the past couple of months. He said he worked at Guitar Maniacs downtown and also that he had a practice space with a lot of instruments to be played, and would I be interested in coming down for a jam the next evening? Sure. He told me it was in the basement at the Episcopal Christ Church, and to knock at one of the basement windows.

That's where I found myself the next evening, not far from my old stamping grounds, knocking on one of the basement windows. One of the guys came out to bring me in; his name was Winter and he was the guitarist in this gathering. The place they were at was the caretaker's quarters of the church, and that was apparently what Tom did during the daytime. We met, and then I was helping them lug a full-sized Thomas organ into a good-sized room, where the walls were covered in blue shag-carpet. Drumset, guitars, amps, PA. They had it all. And so we plugged in.

We began to play, mostly Yardbirds and Who tunes that they knew. Sounds like they had paid attention to the influences listed in my ad. Wow, I thought, These guys are on the same page as me. And not a bunch of 47-year old alkies, either! Their drummer, Josh, appeared at the last minute, and we played through the Yardbirds' "Evil Hearted You", which was interesting to hear.

They liked what I was doing, as they invited me to come back again for the next jam. I got to know these guys a little more over the next few jams that happened, as other guys came and in out of the picture. Seems Winter and Tom were figuring out who was the most workable and stable players. Josh was their drummer, but he didn't turn up much. Actually, the drumset belonged to one of the guys, named Brandon, but he would play Tom's bass while Tom and Winter were on guitars. The jams continued.

After about a month, Tom called me and said that we had an offer to play a Halloween show, and that he had a drummer who could sit in with us for a few practices leading up to the show. Great! It was going to be him, Winter, me and his old friend, Dan, from Olympia, with whom he'd played in an earlier project. I was in!

We would hang out before and after jamming, talking about what kind of music we were into, and about past band experiences. They told me about a show they had played in the summertime with their drummer, Josh. Seems they had played on the roof of the coffee place down on North Division and I Streets, Temple Of The Bean. I asked what they called themselves. "The Pace", Tom said. Very cool!

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