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Entry date: 12-17-2023 – There is No Early on the Weekends – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

Sleeping in is getting a little easier with the shorter days. Funny how you forget about things like this over the course of the year. At least I sort of do. Life is full of little surprises that tend to keep surprising you even when you should know better.

 

We are not smart all the time. Don’t listen to your own hype.

 

As I was getting myself ready to begin my day today, I thought about all the places I have played music in over the years. I don’t think I could remember them all if I tried. There were so many one-time places, especially out of town. It boggles the mind (the not-so-smart mind that should have kept better track).

 

The first place I ever performed in was in a living room not too far from where I live now with the band that eventually became Religious Skid. That was on the last day of 1987. There were a few more backyards after that and then eventually, in 1989, a club called Time Out of Mind.

 

We did a local show there and also opened for Fugazi which I have chronicled before. Before Religious Skid was done, we played multiple backyards and, in addition to Time Out of Mind, we played at a VFW Hall in Tempe with Dr. Know and Soothsayer (with Bam Bam on drums).

 

With Hillbilly Devilspeak, we played in front of people for the first time at the Atomic Café (RIP). They had an open mic night and our friends, Funnelneck, encouraged us to go and play it with them, so we did. After that, it was a long string of Mason Jar shows (RIP) before we added Boston’s (RIP) and The Nile to the mix. By the end of 1995, we had also played at Hollywood Alley (RIP) and a few other places, too, that were one-off shows we got on here and there. We also played at Rancho De Los Muertos with Doo Rag and Crash Worship. That was pretty epic.

 

Son of Crackpipe also played our one and only live show at Rancho De Los Muertos (RIP). I remember setting up the old tuck and roll Kustom PA that we ran our drum machine through. We set it between Alex and I and managed to make a little ruckus for the people.

 

That was 28 years ago, and I was already beginning to get a little bit jaded with playing clubs here in Phoenix. What a dummy I was. I took places and people for granted.

 

The biggest blow of all, over the years, was the closing of Hollywood Alley for me. I loved playing the Mason Jar, of course. That was home turf for a long time, but it still kind of exists in a way thanks to Rebel Lounge being there. The Alley is just gone. I bet I played there over 100 times over the years, maybe more. Who knows, really?

 

The thing I miss about these memories is the feeling of rolling up to a club, especially one you have never been to before and going in and seeing it for the first time thinking about how you were going to rock the hell out of it at some point that day/night. I’ve been lucky enough to be in situations and bands where I had no doubt about what we were going to do when we got up on stage.

 

People might not have always liked it as much as I hoped they would, but it was always going to be loud and in your face, and, at least for me, fun. I was there to have fun. I was there to experience what it was like to have fun playing music in a new place.

 

I realize how lucky I am, too. Sure, I made a lot of those things happen by working hard and all the stuff that goes along with booking shows and getting to them and being at very least, semi-professional about it. I am proud of that, too, but there is something very lucky and fortunate about getting to have the kind of life experience where you get to interact with people in this very unique way.

 

Even without thinking about the crowd, you got to meet the people who worked in the clubs and the other bands, too. These folks were your allies if you would let them be. In some cases, you had to earn their affection, too, but it could be done.

 

The life of a minor league musician was never dull.

 

See you tomorrow.



How fun was this? It was a lot of fun.

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