Bar Band Blues

I spent more than a decade playing in a bar band. We had the chance to play regionally and a few neighboring states. No fame or fortune. Just doing our own thing.

But one thing that came of this was a connection with a local club that allowed us to run a showcase for original bands. Usually it’s cover bands or bands working with promoters that get gigs. This was open to anyone. Even people’s side projects. I had a two piece band with a friend for over 15 years at that point that was never anything but basement jam sessions. No writing songs, just jamming on what we knew and twisting it into something new.

Most of our music was instrumental. Just drums and guitar. We played primal blues, punk, surf rock, and reggae. Quite a mix.

The third year we hosted the festival there was 10 bands playing. My 2 piece band asked to open the show. It was our first public performance. I can say I’ve never played with a better combination of intensity and precision ever. It was 20 straight minutes of magic. I’m not exaggerating. At first there was a couple people standing near the stage. But every minute that passed more people came up. Until it was packed. And we just steamrolled them. Every jaw was on the floor. We stopped playing and the first five people to greet us all wanted to join the band. But we told them no thanks. We’re good.

The club owner asked us how many songs we could play. We said we usually play for 2-3 hours in the basement, depending on the weed and beer situation. He asked us to be the house band. One Saturday every month, any weekday, quick sets between others. We did it all. We even developed a cool gimmick. Our band name was The Hijackers, so a few times when a band we knew played, we would come out in masks with pistols and “hijack” their gear. Play a 15 minute set and run off. Fun way to give a band a break. People loved it. Beer!

Anyway, one evening we were nearing the end of a three hour set. We had a friend sit in during the first hour and play ZZ Top and Allman Brothers songs. We usually opened and closed out the night playing some bottleneck slide on a cigar box guitar. We just started playing when a party bus full of people showed up. They walk in to two hillbilly punks playing homemade blues. Some people liked it. Others looked scared. The club owner signals for us to keep going. We played everything left we could think of. Probably another 10 songs. We say, ok that’s all we got. But one lady had another thing in mind. She stumbled up and said because we had a microphone set up she wanted to sing a song. She didn’t ask. She demanded. I’m sorry, I don’t take orders. Without saying anything, my guitarist and I looked at each other, he smirked and said OK, Follow me!

Here is video of the greatest cover version of Back In Black ever!

My buddy told her karaoke night was Wednesday. Come back then. She was not amused, but we died laughing. Fuck you bitch!