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Rick's Rap   - February 2003


      The American Legion Job Friday Night went pretty well. Although my lead playing still rises to heights of pedestrian, Bob and I are starting to work together quite well. It's really enjoyable when unexpected bits of musical interaction just seem to happen spontaneously, and I'm looking forward to it happening more often. Also I'm looking forward to playing better guitar. Sigh. Doc and Eric remain the heart and soul of the Legion shows, while Bob and I are doing a superb job of perfecting our whining act about the material.

      The taping at rehearsal this time was more productive that last time. Doc is really hooking into a Dead feel on the drums, Justin has hit the ground running and fits in seamlessly, and the rest of us seem to be hooking in to what the two of them are doing. I think the breakneck speed at which we are trying to cover material is adversly affecting the quality of our performances, but learning to work under pressure is probably good for us.

      02/08/03 Rehearsal 12

      Barb brought her new digital camera to practice and snapped a few candid shots while we rehearsed. I had (thankfully) forgotten just how old, fat, ugly and bald I am.

      We didn't tape anything, but we spent a fair amount of time working on a medley of Not Fade Away/I Know You Rider/Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad. This is the kind of thing we used to do on the fly during a performance, and I think we expected it to come back to us a little easier than it actually did. By the time we knocked off it was starting to take shape.

      02/14/03 American Legion - Lounge Lizard Gig

      Our performances are definitly getting better, and we're working in as much Dead material as we can. Oddly enough the dead stuff we tried this time didn't work as well as the lounge lizard material. I think maybe we kicked it off with an expectation of what it was going to sound like, and when the sound coming out of the speakers didn't match what we were expecting it to, instead of hooking into a flow and going with it, we tried to force it. Or, then again, maybe not.

      02/15/03 - Rehearsal 12

      Before we started playing, Eric initiated an organizational discussion:

1. Booking

2. Web Site

      After the discussion, which was actually pretty brief, we recorded our medley. There was quite a bit of aimless noodling during the transitions, but every now and again there was some really nice stuff. Doc and Justin are just doing a super job.

      We finished up with a recording of The Race is On. Time was pretty short by then, so we raced through Big River and Fennerio, just for fun. We didn't think we were recording them, but Barb had the tape going.


      Just posted the tapes from last Saturday. We seem to be steadily improving (which would be a good thing). Fennario and Big River were just things we were screwing around with. Barb was stealthily recording them whilst we were under the impression that the tape was off. The lesson I've picked up from listening to Fennario is that I've GOT to stop playing so many notes when I don't have a clue how the song goes.

      I'm running out of server space for the web site, so I've got to start dumping a bunch of files. I'm going to start with the Lounge Lizard material. If there's anything there that anybody wants a personal copy of, I'll give you another week to download it before I unceremoniously delete it.

      02/21/03 - College Park Legion

      Justin showed up, set up his bass and amp, we played the first 3 sets as the Lounge Lizards, and then brought Justin up for the 4th set. Among other things we did the Not Fade Away/Know You Rider/Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad medley. It was a bit rough, but fun and exciting too. The crowd wasn't sure what to make of it, but with a little encouragement from Barb, some of them actually got up and line danced. We got a few scattered compliments from the bar maid and some of the audience.

      I got to the place early and I was the first one set up and ready to play. While the rest of the band was getting set up, I sat in the bar area and sucked on a brew. While I was sitting there and Bob was noodling around on the stage area with his SG (which he hardly ever uses these days), some lady said to me "Excuse me sir, what's that he's playing?". I said "That's a song called Big Boss Man". She said "I don't like it!"

      The day after the gig, Eric conveyed to us via e-mail and phone calls, that when he tried to get more bookings for his regular band, the guy he was dealing with said he'd had some complaints about the band and didn't want to book them any more. Erics protestations that he was talking about a completely different band was apparently too complicated of a concept for the guy to get a solid mental grip on. As a consequence of this, Eric preferred to have his regular band play the next scheduled gig (March 14)at the College Park AL, instead of Rock Creek, in the hopes of repairing the damage we've done to his reputation.

      Justin dropped us a quick e-mail saying that he had been given a free ticket to a sports event on Sunday and was going to skip practice. We rehearsed without him. The next week he sent us an e-mail saying that he had relocated to Pennsylvania, but he saw no reason he couldn't keep playing and rehearsing with the band. Just before the next rehearsal he sent us an e-mail saying he wouldn't be able to make that rehearsal either. We sent him an e-mail asking for a clarification of his intentions toward the band, and received a response wherein he wished us luck and hoped that perhaps he could catch our act someday. Bummer, dudes and dudettes.


      Stay tuned,


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