Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shayde, c. 1970s. Any band that plays Flomaton, Alabama one night and Louisville, Kentucky the next deserves medals. We traveled in a giant blue iron-clad bread van that would make a Hummer look effeminate. Being into a slightly mellower style of chord playing, I was a terrible fit for their repertoire: Hiwatt stack 70s all-dude heavyness. But hey, it was a gig, and a year of lounge boot camp I won't forget, try as I may. Not that I was lacking in the gear department: I had a 300w Ampeg SVT head after seeing the Stones use them at their '69 Auburn, Ala. concert, with two 4 x 12 cabinets, the whole rig being the size of an office building. I never turned this monstrosity all the way up - it could have caused mass extinctions. Funniest memory: we played a pool party in Athens, GA right as the B52's-Pylon-REM era was blossoming...I was aware of this new music and had friends from the same art school crowd in Athens, and as I struggled through our set of covers I remember being scared to death that somebody might recognize me in my classic rock bell bottoms and big hair. I've never felt happier to leave a town. Boys, wherever you are today, thanks for taking me on, and may your ships still be sailing somewhere out there.