Hello to anyone that cares to read this...
It's been a wild year, a wild past couple of months, a wild last few weeks, and a wild past couple of days. So much travel thus far that I'm not sure what day it is, or time it is. But I finally do know where I am...Austin, Texas! Yeah Baby!
I arrived yesterday, and went to pick up Alex and then to our new drummer's house. His name is Ezra Reynolds and although he deserves a much greater intro than this, suffice it to say, he is all that. A great drummer, musician and most of all, great person.
As we arrived at Ezra's home, we entered his studio where we will be practicing for the first week prior to moving to a larger practice studio. It was so great to see that place. Amps, guitars, drums, all set and ready to go. We have better equipment today, than we ever had back in the day. More on that in a moment. After so many miles on the road, my first inclination was to check my bass. I wanted to see how she fared from her miles in the hull of a commercial airliner. I opened the case and was able to verify that my black Rickenbacker 4001 had survived the journey unscathed. I then went to Alex's guitar. Same thing. His red Gibson Les Paul was smiling back at us as we opened the case. And now that the cases were open, well we had to see how they sounded.
Alex is playing his Les Paul through a Marshall JCM 900 that is nothing short of balls to the wall. What a great sound. I'm playing my Rickenbacker through a 100 Watt Ampeg head with 8 ten inch speakers. This amp and cabinet is a monster and delivers bass to the balls for days. With the guitars open and the amps plugged in, we tested and adjusted for sound. Now that we had come this far, why not try a few songs out?
Ezra got behind his kit (more on that in my next entry) and we began playing. About an 1 hour or so later, we had gone over "Break The Bank", "White Glove Test", "Twelve" and "They're Guilty", worked up the nuances and breaks, and it was sounding better than ever. Heavy, hard hitting, wild, spastic, tight, bright, boiling bottom, driving drums, smacking snare, and Alex's signature rhythmic style playing with tons of shank-a-shank, that put shivers down my spine. At least I say that speaking for myself.
One proof point for me of the time it has been, the years that have passed, the fun this is and will be, and the heavy of the hard, is that I now have a huge bruise across the inside of my forearm from where my arm rests on the edge of my Rickenbacker while I play standing up. I'm not used to playing a Rick in that position and for long lengths of time. I can only hope that by the day of show, it's an even bigger, ready to break, bloody mess of a wound! :)
So our first day in Austin resulted in actually playing together which was unexpected. We will now continue with scheduled practices daily through the 18th. We all can't wait for our beloved Steve Rigot (a.k.a. Chili, Shirls, ...) to get here. It won't be full, complete or quite the same until she does. And in the meantime, we are hitting it hard so that when she arrives, the band is solid like Gibralter.