This is another song from our first gig. It’s a cover of You Don’t Know How It Feels by Tom Petty. This one was a great lesson for me in things going wrong and how to recover from it. An explanation is below the video for anyone who is interested.
Our trouble starts right at the beginning (at 0:09) when Bassman Jerry plays the first notes on the harmonica. Obviously, something was wrong, because it sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard! Just check out the look on my face at 0:14. He’s supposed to play it twice, but I didn’t even give him a chance on the second one. It was a snap decision, and I started singing early (at 0:22) after I had glanced over and saw the troubled look on his face. At this point, we all knew that our song was injured, but we didn’t know what exactly was wrong or how to fix it. So, while we continued to play, Jerry and I each began a “system check” to see if we could ferret out the problem. On my side, I checked my set list notes (on the ground below my music stand) to see if my guitar was the correct one (yup), tuned correctly (yup - standard), and then I checked the music to see if I was playing in the correct key (yup). Everything looked good on my side, so I figured something was wrong with the harmonica.
As it turned out, the wind blew Bassman Jerry’s music notes around when he wasn’t looking, and when he checked it for the harmonica key, he grabbed the harp for a different song in a different key. Oh, well……this stuff happens, but what was really cool was the way we caught it, adjusted, and didn’t panic.
I think Jerry gets it figured out at about 0:45. He’s reaching to turn the page at 1:04. At 1:15, he gets the page flipped and, by 1:20, he’s starting to work on changing out the offending harp. If you watch carefully, you’ll notice that he keeps playing (hammer-ons and pull-offs) while he switches the harps. By 1:40, he’s ready to clip the correct harp into the holder and is waiting for just the right moment to do it. At 2:00, I add some extra unexpected lyrics (my bad – a little anxious waiting to see how this potential train wreck would play out) and confuse things a bit. At 2:14, I blow the beginning of a riff while Jerry starts changing out the harp. He has to stop playing for a couple of seconds and it startles me. Normally, he mirrors me on the bass for a little extra power, and I’m not used to him not playing at that point. It’s total inexperience on my part. At 2:32, I look back at Drummer Kim to give him his queue that a stop is coming up. At the same time, I check to see that Jerry has the harp reloaded, and the disaster has been mostly averted. I think he was a bit gun-shy of playing it again, because he didn’t start blowing on it until 3:56. Usually, he throws a few fills in there. Finally, we have a good laugh at 4:36 when Jerry lets us in on what happened.
Watching this makes me see that it wasn’t the complete meltdown that I thought it was while we were performing it. And I’m a bit proud of the way that each one of us handled it. No big deal ……… and then moved onto the next song.
Holy cow! Looks like I’ve neglected this thread again. So, here we go……..
Responses to the Eagles Doolin Dalton posting:
Dermot – The gear is mostly from a soundman that set up for the headline band, Serious Trouble. Even the drum set is theirs. The guitars and pedals are ours and the green amp to the left of me is mine, but it has a line out that is plugged into the soundboard so it runs through the PA. Most of our equipment didn’t even get used on this gig even though it is just 30 feet behind us in the garage. Thanks for watching.
Tom – Glad you tuned in.
Mike – Thanks for watching and for the good luck wishes.
Craig – Glad to hear from you. I’m still trying to get the okay to post some of the songs he did with us. I keep missing the opportunity to ask him whenever he stops by, but my timing has been really bad in that department lately. He ads a lot of power to songs when he improvises over them. All we have to do is back off a bit, play more in the background, and he fills the space with tasty solos. What could be better.
Dermot wrote in the Busking Tom Petty thread:
thereshopeyet wrote: Hydro
Cool to hear some Tom Petty.
Dermot – Wow, you are the fastest response on the planet. I just posted it, and, whoosh, there’s your comment. Hey, thanks for watching again.
NOTE: I thought I’d get this in while most of the guitar players are camping out at the IGC on the west coast. It may be a quiet weekend around here while everyone is occupied there. May need a bunch of filler material like this to fill the void.
You guys look really professional no panic during the troubled time. It looks great through out. I envy your opportunity to play together, but obviously not a luck but hard work paying off going from the room to the street