I’m extremely saddened to hear of the passing of my friend Jason Lamb, one of the most unique, talented, and crazy musicians I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Jason was a legend in the music equipment industry, having designed many stellar products. Just three nights ago Jason was at our gig with me and John Lundeen. It was great to catch up with him, and to have him jump up on stage and sing a couple of songs like he did so many times over the years, Wooly Bully and Muleskinner Blues.
After the show we shot the shit until we were kicked out by the management somewhere around 2 a.m. It was fun to talk shop with Jason, as we go way back in the music biz. Jason was just forming a new guitar pedal company called EvilTone. I especially loved to hear Jason telling how young musicians were coming up to him at the NAMM show and asking for his autograph. Instead, he poured them a beer. I’m glad to have shared so many great moments with Jason, and especially to have caught up with him a few nights ago.
Last night I played a gig with the old band. First one I’ve done since 2009. I haven’t played any drums since one fusion gig in 2010 and a jazz gig I did in about 2012.
I had some worries about the gig of course, like whether or not I would be able to play. This is a high energy band with lots of fast, loud, punk songs. Would my chops be close to good enough? Fortunately over the years I developed some techniques for bashing and creating a lot of sound and volume without expending tons of energy. It was the only way to last hours and hours with a high intensity. Only on a couple of tunes did I find my left hand lead on the HH (I play left handed HH on a right handed kit) on a couple of fast songs wasn’t up to par. I was certainly not at full chops but was able to do the gig with no issues and the audience didn’t know the difference. I knew it on a few fills that I used to be able to pull off but couldn’t last night. Still, not a beat was dropped. The band rocked. I lasted until the 3rd set before I dropped a stick.
It was a blast to rock again with my old pals. In many ways it was like I never left. After one song the bass player turned to me and said, “that was the tightest that song has ever been!” Well, I’m not so sure about that but I was focusing on nailing the parts more than I might normally.
After all these DECADES some things remain the same with my old band. The guitar player is as funny as ever, works a crowd like no other, and he’s a hell of a player. In true fashion his cables were a rats nest and he didn’t bother tuning until the 3rd set. “I might as well tune this fucker once tonight…” Naturally a couple of tunes later he broke a string. LOL.
The bass player was solid as always. We’ve always locked in.
The bar was nice and one of the best parts was the relatively new no-smoking law. I finished the gig without smelling like an ashtray. There was a good crowd, but they just watched the band, sort of like deer in the headlights. No dancing. I understand that’s how shows are now. The millennials apparently like to just watch the band and shoot video on their smartphones.
Some funny parts about my kit: I remember now why I put the snare strainer lever on the side, away from my hands. I whacked it with my hand and simultaneously hurt myself while turning the snares off. I also laughed at my rig to get this funky pedal setup. I have a wood shim in there to simulate the rim if a drum (picture below). Yeah, it’s 12 ply maple.