Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Was A Singer In A Rock And Roll Band

When I was a pre-teen, nothing excited me more than the thought of forming my own band and ruling the world. As I got into my teenage years, that dream evolved and matured and immediate excitement came from putting together a band that was going to play the local clubs and if we were really great, we could make it to New York City.

Although I knew how to play drums and the saxophone, I always wanted to be the lead singer. Something about the showmanship of a front man (and the fact that they got most of the chicks) was what fueled my insatiable desire to be a singer.

In high school, along with my closest friends, I formed a couple of bands that went absolutely nowhere. The next band I formed was the start of my big vision of what I wanted in a rock band. It consisted of me (as the singer) with my great friend Jeff (as the other singer – that’s right 2 singers), my friend Joe on guitar, his roommate on bongos/drums, and Kevin as the 2nd guitarist. Yes, we were going places! 2 guitarists and 2 singers! This was happening.

We even had a name for ourselves. Angel’s Fire. It seems a little cheesy now, but back then (1991), it was rocking! We recorded one 40 minute demo “Live in the Basement” or something of that nature. This session was recorded during a night of drinking and goofing around. The other guys didn’t realize how serious I was about this, so that one tape is all that exists, as the band dissolved shortly thereafter.

During my first year of college I formed what had to be the most serious band I was involved with at that time. With my college mates Scott (on bass) and Mike (on keys and piano) we formed the band Bottled Insanity and took this one seriously. For two months we practiced three to four times a week. We wrote three original complete songs and laid out the framework for at least 7 more. I had lyrics upon lyrics and Scott had a lot of melodies and riffs. Combined with Mike’s ability on the piano, we could really write some songs. We even had an outside collaborator to write the lyrics on one of our songs. Bottled Insanity was going to be the big time!

Unfortunately, after three months of practice and some serious searching for a lead guitarist and drummer to complete our band, Mike decided he wanted to back out. I think he got cold feet when I told him that I was looking at lining up actual gigs at a local club. I also think that he didn’t like the fact that I was playing our home made demo for all of my friends. I played that thing constantly in my car and to anyone who would listen to it. I was PROUD of that tape. I’m not so sure that Mike was.

After Mike left the band, Scott said that without Mike and no other members, it was too hard to go on. It was like starting over. He got an offer to play with another band and he took it. I understood and I couldn’t blame him. I was left out in the cold, debating on what to do next.

I tried out for a few local bands and kept singing for another 2 years before I finally gave up and got involved in the world of stand up comedy as the resident poet, sidekick, commentator, and eventually soundman and house DJ.

I still have the Bottled Insanity demo tape and I still listen to it every once in a while for a great trip down memory lane. Other than getting over the fact of how young I sound, I still think there was some great music on that tape, and still think about what could have been with that band. Not often, mind you, but on certain nights when I’m watching a concert DVD, or listening to a new band that’s hitting their stride, I think about how that could have been us. If we had just stuck with it and pursued it with a little more passion, something big could have happened.

What about you? What garage band were you in back in the day? What band did you form that was going to rule the world? Drop a line, the Guru would love to hear all about it.

Comments are open. Feel free to post some.

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