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Faithful To The End (?)


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We just finished what will certainly be the last performance by my dippy little folk 'n' roll band, Spiny Norman.  Actually the Mighty Hedgehog retired, pretty emphatically, about five years ago.  But we were lured out of retirement to play a benefit for a dear friend whose cancer and its attendant bills have returned.  So we got back together, knocked a LOT of rust off and did the benefit and, all things considered did reasonably well.  At 70 years old, it's likely the last "band" gig I'll ever play.  I know, never say never, but...

Anyway almost from the time there was a need for me to use a "plugged in" guitar with the band, say for 25 years or so, there has been at least one Hamer on the stand, usually two or three.  The Wyldbil Special has made an appearance, the Aircraft Carrier came out once, a korina Standard, andonandon.  Today at the end, things were no different.  The very last song of the very last show featured my rutstycrustytrusty Eclipse 12.  It done good, we done good, our friend more than covered her bills.

Spiny Norman's last song, last gig 7-3-2021.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I'm glad you got to play out again!! I have always loved the entertaining part of gigging. I get a great deal of pleasure making people laugh, or notice they're just listening to the music. We may be a species that vanishes as it seems there are fewer large gatherings today. There used to be street dances in every small town,  now it's pushed off to a parking lot.  I can't remember how many actual on main street, street dances I've played thru the years but easy triple digit. Thousands of people would come to buy firedept beer and VFW BBQ and food snacks. It was great for the towns, like CPR to their budget... What happened to that Era??

Edited by Dutchman
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As long as it was fun, that's all that matters! Good to see you out there Tom, but it's a little sad, too...

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10 hours ago, Dutchman said:

I'm glad you got to play out again!! I have always loved the entertaining part of gigging. I get a great deal of pleasure making people laugh, or notice they're just listening to the music. We may be a species that vanishes as it seems there are fewer large gatherings today. There used to be street dances in every small town,  now it's pushed off to a parking lot.  I can't remember how many actual on main street, street dances I've played thru the years but easy triple digit. Thousands of people would come to buy firedept beer and VFW BBQ and food snacks. It was great for the towns, like CPR to their budget... What happened to that Era??

I used to love those, especially if the band was good or I was playing.  There's a small town not far from me that still does street fairs a couple of times a year and they're loads of fun.  Another is so famous that you almost have to park in the next town over and walk a few miles.  I usually take a miss on that one.

Due to a geological "oops" in the form of a sinkhole, my street is now a dead end.  The talk of a block party has become more intense the past few weeks and everybody knows that there are five musicians that all live within line of sight of each other on the street and several more within a couple of blocks.  The last time I checked, we're all resigned to our fate as long as we don't each have to do the whole thing.  Cuz, beer, brats and neighbors.  Yeah, it's a dying phenomenon, but My little street is going down swinging.

 

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9 minutes ago, JGale said:

Do I spy with my little eye a pair of super champs in stereo?

Jim, sadly, no.  I had to use the provided backline, which was two Orange Crush 15's that absolutely would not do clean, period, end quote.  And the dirty was pretty ugly. The stage manager was super inflexible (mostly because he was in over his head) so we and the audience were kind of stuck with it.  Objectively, the Eclipse sounded like a blizzard of nails.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but when you're trying to get Byrds-y widdit there's something wrong with that.

 

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8 hours ago, BoogieMKIIA said:

Keep playing out as long as you want to and are physically able. Les Paul kept going until he couldn’t. Feed your soul.

I'm 68-1/2 years old with two projects going on and sometimes I feel like I shouldn't be doing any of that. These are new projects and it's like herding kittens. I feel foolish sometimes but in retirement this, golf and grandkids are what I do. Please don't hang it up. I implore you. DO NOT STOP!! Folks like YOU keep ME going.

Peace, my brother.

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Posted (edited)

Congrats on the successful gig!  You can still play sitting down just as well without standing up, like Les and T-Model did:

John Lee did too, it's more about the music over appearances after a certain point/age anyway:

...and Jack Bruce wasn't in the best of health when he did the 2005 Cream reunion concerts at the RAH, he spent most of his time sitting/propped up:

 

Edited by crunchee
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Posted (edited)

I dunno.... maybe I didn't say it right?  Phrase it right?   Semaphore it right?  I'm not quitting, never have.  The band retired 5 years ago.  I didn't.  Two go-rounds with prostate cancer and two strokes since the band retired haven't kept me from it.  Was I sitting down in the picture at the top up there?  Nope.  That was the last song in a one hour set, standing all the way, spitting out a blizzard of nails 😅.  And I was up for a couple of hours more glad-handing and catching up with folks I hadn't seen in quite a while.  Since that initial retirement 5 years ago I've played several actual "people came specifically to see me" gigs, any number of sit-ins and I stink up a couple of local open mics pretty regularly.

In my further defense, on Christmas night, 2020, I was lying on a gurney in the emergency room, my left side pretty well paralyzed.  My thinking went: "welp, I'm not gonna be playing any time soon, I wonder if I can still sing?"  And I belted out the chorus of Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down".  Came out just fine without so much as a warmup. Half a year later, here I am.

I guess the thrust of all this is that I *much* prefer playing and singing with other people, especially when we're flying by the seat of our collective pants, which Spiny Norman did so well.  But just because they're retired doesn't mean that I am.  I just need a new set of co-conspirators.

 

BUT... Muchos thankyous for the encouragement, exhortations and well wishes 😉

 

Edited by tomteriffic
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