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Rick's Rap   - January 2004

      01/02/04

      Barb and I took a drive up to Golden's Sports Bar to put up some posters. Nice Place. Easy parking, easy access, although if you aren't looking for it you'd probably never stumble across it. I'd like to get on the regular rotation there. The guy's looking for 15 regular bands, each playing once a week, so it would be about once every three months. I noticed the Nighthawks are playing there this month, so it's probably a pretty popular place. The first time we'll need to bring in a fairly good contingent of our own crowd, so I'm hoping everyone in the band puts the bite on their friends. I'll post detailed directions on the schedule page sometime soon.


      01/03/04 - Dead Gig #8

      Buffalo Billiards - Gaithersburg, MD

Set 1         Set 2         Set 3         Set 4
Alabama Getaway
Bad Moon Risin'
Mama Tried
Honky Tonk
Beat It On Down The Line
Stormy Monday
One More Saturday Night
Tequila Sunrise
        Big Boss Man
Promised Land
Already Gone
It Hurt's Me Too
Good Lovin'
Third Rate Romance
Not Fade Away
  / I Know You Rider
  / GDTRFB
        Suzie Q
Friend of the Devil
Big Railroad Blues
Franklins Tower
Peaceful Easy Feelin'
Eyes Of The World
Jack Straw
        Johnny B. Goode
U.S. Blues
Ship Of Fools
Next Time You See Me
The Way You Do The Things You Do
Evangeline
Must Have Been The Roses
It's All Over Now

      I pulled into the parking lot at about 7:15. I parked and figured before I went to all the work of unloading, I'd just drift inside and verify that they're actually expecting us to play. So just as I'm getting out of my van, this guy, young fella coming from the direction of the bar, says "Hey, are you in the band?" I say "Yeah." He says "What era Dead you guys play?" I say "Right now mostly late 60's, early to mid 70's." He says "Great! I'll be back later. I'm on my to get a Steal Your Face tatoo." I say "Cool", and I'm thinkin' to myself, "Now thats a deadhead!"

      The band area was right in front of a big window, and the management told us to hold off setting up until they could put a baffle in front of it, because they've had some complaints about the noise. While they were rigging the baffle, a train went by. I mean a big train. The tracks were about 20 feet away, and you could feel the bar room floor vibrate as the train passed by. This happened regularly throughout the night. You know, I gotta wonder who's complaining about the noise from a band, when they're already putting up with that.

      There was a reasonably good sized crowd, they were definitely in the mood to party, and they liked the band. Somebody was selling pins and jewelry festooned with flashing lights, and by the end of the night a number of people were walking around looking like mobile Christmas trees. At one point somebody came up to me and asked if we had any cd's for sale, and I was tempted to say "by who?", but I stiffled the impulse and politely just told him that no, we don't have any cd's.

      We got a lot of complements, handed out a bunch of cards, and schedules, and Barb took some pics. They've been posted. All in all, a fun gig. I hope we get back.


      01/18-04

      Combined a rehearsal with a band meeting. Went over a few tunes that needed a little work. Worked on adding a couple more tunes, but didn't get them quite ready to add to the set list.

      Eric and Bob would like a better demo. After discussing various options, we decided to use Erics 8 track, and record them in his basement in 2 passes, one to get the instruments and lead vocals, and one to add harmony vocals. Lucas picked the tunes (the theory being he's the only one who doesn't sing, so he doesn't have any particular personal bias, and besides, it let's the rest of us off the hook). The tunes are posted in the current reheasal schedule.


      01/24/04 - Dead Gig #9

      Brady's Irish Pub - Manassas, VA

Set 1         Set 2         Set 3         Set 4
You Win Again
The Race Is On
Around and Around
  / BIODTL
Take It Easy
Iko Iko
Good Lovin'
U.S. Blues
Tequila Sunrise
        Suzie Q
Already Gone
Stormy Monday
Not Fade Away
  / I Know You Rider
  / GDTRFB
Big River
  / Jack Straw
        Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Trashy Women
Promised Land
Honky Tonk
The Way You Do The Things You Do
Tribute To Elmore (Dust My Broom)
Eyes Of The World
        Big Boss Man
One More Saturday Night
Don't Ease Me In
Must Have Been The Roses
Evangeline
Franklin's Tower
Ripple

      Rough night.

      I started off playing my new double cut-a-way Les Paul knock-off, and after 30 years of playing just Strat's, nothing was where my muscle memory said it was supposed to be. I spent a fair amount of time with my right hand just waving around in the air while I was trying to find a volume knob, tone knob, or selector switch. Whenever I would jump around on the finger board by more than a few frets, as often as not I would miss by one fret (usually long), and play some god awful clam, and then correct myself and try to work my way back to something that didn't clash with what everybody else was playing. About half way through the 2nd set I was starting to get the hang of it, and then right in the middle of a lead on GDTRFB I busted my B string. Damn. I switched to my Strat and my playing improved noticeably. I stuck with the Strat for the rest of the night.

      We did a pretty good job with mix, flow, and dynamics, but we weren't able to pull off even one smooth medley transition. Individually we were each playing well enough, but without any apparent inspiration. An exception to that would be Lukas' bass lead on "Eyes Of The World", it just seemed to explode out of nowhere, and galvanized the song. I guess it was just one of those nights where we couldn't seem to read each others minds.

      My personal favorite moment of the evening was the part of "Must Have Been The Roses", when Bob closed his eyes and spaced out into the fringes of some kind of trance-like state during his vocals. Lukas and I looked at each other and we each said "I don't know what the hell he's doing", so I walked over to him and said, "Bob! Wake Up!" He opened his eyes, jumped up to his mike, and started singing the chorus right on the down beat, just like that's what he'd been planning to do all along.

      We got requests for "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and "Ripple", and although we've never rehearsed them, not everybody knew the chords, and we didn't have a clue about the arrangements, we did them anyway. They came out well enough that I've added them to our playlist.

      Quite a few of the crowd stuck around for the entire evening, and when we tearing down and loading out, three different people made a point of coming up to me and telling me how much they enjoyed the show. I guess it just goes to show, you don't ever know, indeed.

      Barb took some photo's and they are posted.


      01/31/04 - Dead Gig #10

      JV's Restaurant Falls Church VA

Set 1         Set 2         Set 3         Set 4
Must Have Been The Roses
Around & Around
Beat It On Down The Line
Bring It On Home
Alabama Getaway
Take It Easy
Fennario
Truckin'
U.S. Blues
Big River
        Big Railroad Blues
Candyman
Tribute To Elmore (Dust My Broom)
Dark Hollow
Witchy Woman
Peaceful Easy Feelin'
Eyes Of The World
Jack Straw
        Honky Tonk
Brown Eyed Girl
Friend Of The Devil
Next Time You See Me
Ship Of Fools
Iko Iko
Franklin's Tower
Don't Ease Me In
        Johnny B. Goode
Deal
U.S. Blues (by request)
Evangeline
Ripple
Big Boss Man
Tequila Sunrise
It's All Over Now

Encore:
One More Saturday Night

      Small place. The first hurdle was how to fit everything in.

      What we came up with:

      Pro's:

      Con's: