I Break My Leg

Posted 6/10/08

Saturday:  Sears Days minus one week…

We had convened at Havert’s house in the morning for an intense rehearsal of the six songs we had chosen to perform at the battle of the bands competition…  We had mikes…  We had drums…  We had new large amplifiers…  We had new guitars…  We were working hard…  We were getting it right…  We were hitting the vocals…  We were being a band…

But mostly we were being loud…  

Havert’s parents and sister had begun to make it a practice to leave home while we were rehearsing.  Not that they didn’t enjoy having us there, sharing their home, eating their food, drinking their soda-pop and, generally, contributing to the cultural expansion of their minds.  They just had something to do somewhere else when we showed up.  Amazing…

We decided that Havert was not going to play the tambourine this time (there is not much worse that can happen to a guitar player than to be shown up by a tambourine player). 

Thankfully, his dad found a friend who was willing to loan him a truck, and we would be transporting the organ to the show.  This was a very good thing because one of the songs we had mastered was “Green Onions”, with a large organ part to be performed, and it just wouldn’t have sounded right played on a tambourine.

For the Battle of the Bands, we decided that we would skip “And I Love Her” and we replaced it with the equally romantic and beautiful love ballad, “Hanky Panky”, by Tommy James And The Shondells. (In fact, we completely dropped “And I Love Her” from our play list, making “Hanky Panky” – if you don’t count “Louie Louie” – our only bona fide love song for the next month or so.)

As the days running up to the “event” went by, we practiced our chosen selections on a few more occasions, but didn’t want to over-do it… 

Friday:  Sears Days minus one day…

We all got together one more time at Havert’s house for a short run-through of all of our songs.  We were ready this time…. Really, we were

We decided to leave all of our equipment at Havert’s house overnight and pack it all in the truck with the organ in the morning…

We all went home…

I remember talking with my mom that night.  There are only two things I remember from that conversation.  One was my mom saying,  “Well kid, you’re -“…

That’s as far as I let her get… “Well kid, you’re – “. 

I had done everything I could think of to make this go well…

  • Changed some songs
  • Practiced everything over and over – including what goes where and when
  • Got a new guitar and amplifier

…And I wasn’t going to let her jinx it by telling me that I’m “on my way” again…

So she just said, “Break a leg!”  That’s the other thing I remember…  “Break a leg.”

Saturday morning:  Sears Days minus a few hours…

My dad dropped me off at Havert’s house on his way to work.  Everybody got there within about 15 minutes of each other.

We started loading up.  We got the organ into the truck and tied it down.  Then the amplifiers.  Then we made a discovery concerning the drums.  The drums wouldn’t fit into the truck with all of the other stuff in there.  OK… Well, we could just load them into Scott’s dad’s car with the rest of us and our guitars (Havert was riding in the truck with his dad)  and get them there that way.  There were only three problems with that:

1.     If we put the drums and the guitars in the car, we couldn’t put the band in the car. 

2.   If we put the band and the guitars in the car, we couldn’t put the drums in the car.

3.   If we put the band and the guitars and the drums in the car, we couldn’t have a driver (Scott’s dad) and somebody would have to ride a bike. *

* In this case, only the guy on the bike would get to the event and only he and Havert could perform.  This was not part of the plan…

We all wanted to get there at the same time and unload and get ready to set up together. 

This wasn’t a transportation problem… This was a Brain Teaser… 

Here’s what we ended up doing.  It was pretty simple, but it seemed inconvenient at the time… 

Fortunately, we were the third or fourth band scheduled so we didn’t actually HAVE to show up at the same time.  One of us could fit into the car with all of the guitars, drums and driver.  That person would go with the stuff and, with the help of Havert, his dad and Scott’s dad, would unload the equipment. Then that person, Havert and Havert’s dad would stand watch over the gear while Scott’s dad came back and picked the rest of us and taxied us to the stage.

That worked fine.  And it had the added bonus of motivating Scott’s dad to encourage Scott to get his driver’s license as soon as it was legally possible.  And that later spilled over onto Mike’s parents…. 

After watching – with a critical eye – the first two or three bands perform, it was our turn. The bands that went ahead of us were really pretty good, we thought.  But we really thought we could out-do them…

They gave us about 15 minutes to set up. 

We set up our gear – the organ wasn’t that bad – we just had to maneuver it into place and plug it in.  Got the mikes, and amps into place.  Tuned our guitars again just to make sure they were right.  Quick Sound Check.  

We were ready…  The introduction…  The first song…

“One-two-three-four!”  The music starts…

On the fifth count, Scott, Mike, Tim and Havert started playing Walk Don’t Run in the key of “A”, and I started playing Walk Don’t Run in the key of “A”.

That’s right, we all started playing the same song at the same time in the same key at the same speed and in the same time signature! 

We were rolling… We were rockin’ and rolliin’…  we started out well and we didn’t screw it up the entire first song!  When we were done with the first one, people actually applauded! Somebody liked us!  Wow!! 

Then we went on to the next song – Same thing!!  We didn’t blow that one up, either!

Hanky Panky…  We nailed it… 

It’s All Over Now…  No it wasn’t!  We hit that one right on, too…

When we were done, some people actually cheered!  And it wasn’t just our family members, either…

There were also a couple of people there who had witnessed our first foray into the world of Rock and Roll at the apartment building.  They sought us out to say that we had substantially improved from the last time they had seen us “perform”.  (Actually, what they said was that we were “not nearly as bad as we were last time”. In fact, we were “pretty good”.)

When the votes were tallied, we actually came in third out of seven…  We were jazzed! 

My new guitar and amp were vindicated. 

We were a band.

I still possessed my Beach Boys albums…

And I had broken my leg…

________________________________________________

To go to Chapter 16, click on this link:

https://billkammerer.wordpress.com/16-bio-chapter-16/

To hear actual non-church related songs by Bill Kammerer, Click on this link

https://billkammerer.wordpress.com/some-non-church-related-songs-by-bill-kammerer/

To hear actual songs by Bill Kammerer with a spiritual emphasis, click on this link

https://billkammerer.wordpress.com/my-catholicchristian-songs-in-mp3-format/

If you’d like to see some of my favorite Youtube music videos, follow this link:

https://billkammerer.wordpress.com/some-of-my-favorite-music-videos-from-youtube/

If you would like to contact me directly, just click on the email address below, or send me an email from your own email account. my email address is: 

billk@sti.net

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