Besame besame mucho, Each time I bring you a kiss I hear music divine. So besame besame mucho, I love you for ever, Say that you’ll always be mine. – dk Boom, cha, cha, cha!
It was probably a good thing we cut our teeth on The Beatles, Doors, Elvis and all those other icons of the babyboom generation. Otherwise we probably wouldn’t have got those early gigs. If you filled your sets with enough 60s pop and a few obscure tunes from the big acts everyone knew, you could usually get away with plugging in a few of your own tunes along the way. Oddly we seemed to do very little 80s music, (it was after all, “the 80s”.) other than an occasional kickin’ version of Elvis Costello’s, Watching the Detectives” and a slippery Boomtown Rats number.
One way to get in a lot of stage time early on was to play for drinks. Thing is, how do you go about doing that? Well, Pete (the guy on the right) was always game to just ring up local dives within a gas tanks radius and make an offer for weekend nights. We played a lot those days. All over the place. It meant a lot of nights going home broker than we came in, but too drunk to notice. (Sort of like kayak symposiums. . . ) We’d often drive for miles on cold snowy nights to these little towns with a population of less than 500 and set up in dives called things like, “The Catcher’s Mitt” or “Jakes”. We’d bring in all our gear and set up in places where the pool table had to become part of stage, or the dance floor. Our choice. We’d just rip into numbers we knew, then half knew, then had heard once. . . “Ahhhh Pete, that’s an A minor right?. . “. But by that time everything was sounding good anyway. . . At some point in the night you’d always end up getting requests. Usually such classics of the musical world as “Tear in my Beer” or “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” which of course. . . are obvious requests to make of a band that’s been playing rock music all night. But then, requests for country music let us know we had a more “classic” crowd. Even if you didn’t know country music (or want to. . .) you could compromise. Time to pull out those 60’s GEMs.
“This looks like a good spot for the Beatles wouldn’t you say? And a-one, and a-two, and a-
WHY DON’T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD?!!!! . . . .”
“This is going to be another great night! Yeah, all right, where’s my beer? . . “