Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rio - Post Pecos: 1988 - 1991

After six years playing all over Hawaii, I finally convinced my wife at the time (Lynda) that it was time to get out of Hawaii.  I had bigger plans than to stay out there in the middle of the ocean, playing in dance halls and bars till I die.  Well, Lynda had a different plan.  Keep me in Hawaii, where there was no chance of ever getting anywhere.  I won't go into detail about her conniptions onstage, but whevever a nice looking girl smiled at me, boy, was in in trouble - six years of this; but going national, the possibility of getting to the next level, she wasn't going to have any of that.

The first stop was Washington state - where a couple of guys we'd worked with before asked if we wanted to do a tour of Canada with them.  We lasted two weeks, and that was all I could take of Allen and Buddy's obnoxious B.S.  Speaking of petty jealousy, Allen's head was full of that - in fact, it was head to toe with this guy, definitely the top of the pile.  So, off to central Oregon - Prineville - Lynda's hometown.  We played in a place called "Lakeside Inn", three of us, Lynda, me, and Lynda's brother on bass.  It was ok, played there Friday and Saturday nights, packed, fun times.  I also spent about three months playing banjo on a train.  Again, I had bigger plans, so next stop was Ft. Worth, Texas, I thought maybe we'd find a couple of good players, and head to Nashville.  Boy was that ever a mistake.  I'd never seen a bigger bunch of pathetic, egotistical dimwits in my life.  One guy heard me at a jam session, invited me to go to his jam session across town, so I went.  I lugged my Super Reverb amp, guitar, mic stand, and effects about a hundred yards from the parking lot into the club, where this guy's band was playing.  He gets me on the stage, he is the only singer in the band.  After he sang 4 or 5 songs, he asks me to sing one, so I do.  Nobody went nuts, nobody oohhed or aahhed, they just showed some appreciation, the polite thing to do for a guy sitting in.  This didn't go over so well with the band guy.  He sang most of the rest of the set, and even turned to his bass player and steel player and said, "Hey, why don't you sing one", to which both replied, "You know I don't sing" - neither one of them even having a mic in front of them.  As if that weren't enough, after my first lead ride, he made sure to avoid me playing anything, getting the steel guy to do all the solos for the rest of the set.  It was the same, I wasn't doing anything fantastic on guitar, but whatever I was doing offended him - I guess I was some kind of threat to his widdle manhood.  Maybe I should have slapped the guy's head, but I didn't, I just packed up my stuff and got out of there.  The guy did ask, "You leaving already?", to which I said, "Well, I'm not doing anything anyway".

Lynda and I got our hands on a drum machine, and we did a duo, her on bass, me on guitar & fiddle, and the drum machine doing what it does.  We did ok, made a few dollars.  Well, a guy we'd known in Hawaii called us from Virginia (his home state), asked if we wanted to move there and start a band with him.  It wasn't a hard decision, nothing exciting going on in Ft. Worth.  This was the Northern Virginia/Southern Maryland/DC area.  My first observation was that Mark (the ex-Marine who called us to move there) wanted to be the main singer and front guy, and, he didn't like moving the equipment in or out of the clubs, that was the job for me, Lynda, and the girl bass player we had working with us at the time - Mark always got there five minutes before starting time, and always had a hot date afterward.  He even had me tuning his guitar for him.  We put up with this for about three months - he had to go.  The girl bass player also had to go, so we hired a good steel player, and Mickey - our old drummer from Hawaii came to join us (Lynda had moved back over to bass).  We worked a few dance halls in the area, most were boring - people not even having fun, just doing their "advanced" dancing techniques, and that ever so horrid line dancing - no smiling, no laughing, no fun, just a bunch of robots trying to outdo each other.  This was only one of many less than pleasant occurences I encountered around that time.  At some point, I guess I'd had enough, and a lot of personal troubles started between Lynda and me, so I decided to move back to Hawaii, maybe regroup and try to figure out what the hell to do next.  Clint, our 7 year old son, moved to Hawaii with me, and a couple of weeks after we got there, Lynda called, Clint answered, mom says, "Where's dad?", Clint answers, "He's on a date", and presto, Lynda was back in Hawaii exactly two days later.

Those three years - first Prineville, then Ft. Worth, and ending up in the DC area, those weren't such good times.  I guess I'll say now, if you're looking for "positive", phony, or pretentious, you should probably go away, because you won't find that here.  I have this bad habit of telling things as they are, and not as I or anybody else would like them to be. I've had good times and bad, these three years just happened to be some of the bad - well, not exactly bad, but not so good.  My best years were at Pecos, nothing has lived up to those times.  As I said in some earlier posts, I'm looking in other areas of the music business.  I enjoy composing and recording, while not so much enjoying playing out live.  So, there ya have it, at least up until 1991.  More to come.

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