Nic’s blog  
 
Nic's Blog #2
 
White Collar Conservative Don't Point Your Plastic Finger At Me
9/12/08

   A student of mine, Javi Cruz was back from Berklee this summer and I asked my friend Phil Brown if he wanted to jam with Javi a little bit. Phil has been asked to do some clinics at Berklee and thought it would be good for them to meet. We did some playing in my studio and Phil mentioned a gig he was booked for that the band he was supposed to play with was no longer playing together. If we called the promoter we might be able to get on the billing. (So I did and we played.)

   When I got to the gig the people were so very nice calm, cordial and helpful. The promoter pretty much carried my whole drumset in for me. I couldn't get over how calm, respective of me and helpful everyone involved was. I knew in my heart I was most definitely on the wrong side of town although the vibe was a pleasant surprise.

   Very reminiscent of an audition I went to in the seventies in Watts, I was taking my rig out of the car while this girl ( The wife of the keyboard player in the band I was about to audition for.)stared and squinted at me. It was pretty obvious I was getting a drumset out of my car and she finally said, "What you gonna do?"

   As the band before us began to play and as I watched I mentally began adding up the equipment on the stage and was very surprised to guess at over $25,000.00 not including the house PA sitting up there. The music began and I was in shock, my first thoughts How can any one sit here and listen to this. I thought I was about to vomit so I went out the back door into the alley it seemed it was just as loud and punishing in the alley. The singer couldn't possibly be able to go on like that much longer... I thought to myself, surely he's going to give himself a hernia.

   I looked up the alley and a person of less than ample means was walking towards me he was dancing to the music and I was laughing at him. He approached me and said, "he had just got out of prison for a crime he did not commit". He than started hanging on me and I'm a germafobic. He asked if I had a few bucks he could borrow and I knew deep inside that getting my money back from him wasn't something I wouldn't need to worry about, I felt compelled to go back inside and continue with the assault.

   Needless to say by the time we were to hit the stage my ass was ready to bleed. Our set consisted of playing jimi hendrix songs and I was restricted to playing grooves without any embellishment or drum fills. Since Phil was singing and playing he needed grooves only to carry both jobs... "keep it simple". I would have been more ok with that if we weren't in this place that every possible nook and cranny, every nano second of space was filled with bass drum notes. Walking up on stage I was about as excited as a death row inmate on his way to the chair. Strangely enough they sat and listened and actually asked Phil about how he was "getting that stuff out of his guitar". They asked us back, I said you've got to be shitting," I'd much sooner have you stick a knife in my heart than ever go back or listen to that music again".

   In hind sight, hind sight is always better... I've got to say this, the people playing that music couldn't have hit the mark any better. They have eloquently stated what they set out to say. They have completely alienated someone like me ( I think that was the mission) They have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt how pissed off they are. They have totally immersed themselves in there music and when the day is finished they are calm and friendly. They have channeled all this energy into this music and it does everything we wanted to do when we were the prime time players. Insult and alienate all adults beyond our age group. Pour our emotions into our music. Create our own subculture. Hurray for you heavy death metal heads you've done it better than we ever did.

   I'm wanting to think I'm still cutting edge, that I'm still a democrat and I'm the anti-establishment... Here's my wake up call...I've found out I am the freaking dinosaur.

Send your drum questions to nic