Cheese Festival Blues
May 30: Prepping For the Cheese Festival
Well, it’s been a fun few weeks. Seth got married, Dave had to go to Columbus, John missed a practice also. The band reforms and starts to put the pieces together. Dale has done a good job of playing catch up. While there are still a few rough areas, none of them sound like mistakes. Basically, he is in the same boat as all of us.
The band pulls a Thursday practice trying to get it all together. Dale picks the tunes we do, and practices is over early at 8:30. There is some discussion about the hiring of one of Dale’s friends (Lou) who will be running a system that is partly his and part Dales. Originally we were going to pay him 50 bucks to run our sound, but that has changed to 100 bucks to run his system. The benefit (we were thinking) was that we wouldn’t have to haul anything to the gig but our bodies and amps. It turns out this is not the case. We need to bring mic stands, microphones, and cables. Everything but speakers and power amps. Since the sound guy is getting 220% more than I am, I am a little miffed. However, I choose to wait and see how we sound before I decide if I want to complain or not. The good news is that after the gig, I pack my amp and I am homeward bound. Kevin will still have some things to unpack at the house. So yes, there are some mixed feelings.
On the positive side, it will be so nice to get back on stage. One of the greatest things about this band is -well this band. It’s cool playing and getting off on everyone else’s talent. Dale blows Lee’s playing off of the planet. Some of the stuff we thought Dale was playing wrong, but it turns out that Lee was playing it wrong for months (And we thought it was right).
The awkwardness is gone, and we’re all pretty pumped to take the stage. With a veteran soundman and a working sound system, it will be nice to set up at the festival (some type of fireman’s cheese jubilee) in Brewster and just PLAY.
Rain Rain Go Away
The day of the festival arrives with a constant rain that lasts the entire day. Dave drives to the festival just in case the stage was under a tarp. Instead, he finds a hollowed out truck trailer under water. While a few dry spots were on the stage, there is no way we could set up and play. Dave, Seth, and Kevin (along with their significant others) go to the movie “Scream.”
The height of the excitement that the band felt had only lifted them further up for a fall. We’re all bummed out.
The Blur that was the Spring of 1997
As mentioned before, Dave had gone to Columbus, Seth had got married, we replaced Lee, Mary at the Tangled Spur died, John moved, John got ill (to the point of lung damage), and now Kevin is getting married and leaving the band. July 1rst the band meets with what will more than likely be the last practice at Kevin’s house. Seth serenades Kevin with different lyrics to songs begging him not to leave.
While it is great to finally all be together, it is a very gloomy practice. The band has a discussion on what direction to take next. We talk about hiring a female singer but decide to bypass that option. We need to run an ad for a singer and knock on some doors to try and get a gig. Through our trials of occasionally practicing, our chops have gotten rusty, and we’re sounding pretty awful. We all agree it’s time to bump up the priority of the band.
Dale mentions that he may be leaving for Tennessee in February. This is solidified in a few weeks when he begins selling furniture to his house.
The devastation of the festival getting rained out has multiplied and robbed a great live band of all its momentum. Kris asks Dave one night, “Why don't you guys just quit?” The thought is not foreign to Dave’s mind. We’re very close to being back to square one. The big difference is now I am at square one with some great musicians that aren’t assholes.
July 10: An Ad is Placed
With Kevin away doing wedding stuff, and John on vacation, practice is again canceled. Seth and Dave talk about how the “why not quit” issue is entering their mind. They both know that we have the right pieces of the puzzle, it’s just a matter of getting them to fit. Seth decides to place an advertisement for a singer as soon as he gets off the phone with Dave.
While the ad runs Tuesday-Thursday, we get three interested parties. Two are male and one is female. With this information, Dave calls John and Dale and gets them to commit to practice this week as we will be interviewing singers. Both Seth and Dave are excited as this feels like the first step to putting the band back together.
In talking with Dale on the phone, Dale states that if we want to start looking for a drummer, he is fine with that. He will stay with us until we find a new drummer. Dave feels that this is probably not a bad idea.
Dave informs Kevin of all the goings-on. It’s strange, but if we didn’t keep him “in the loop” it felt like we were doing it behind his back. The weird gloomy actions of replacing the K-Man. The band will be very different without him.