to The Joint’s journal (alliterative, no?). This is a series of occasional
entries in our collective diary, tracking all the latest and most notable events
to occur to us. It’s kept by me, Eric (email@example.com), the bass player and
token writer of the group, so any comments/criticisms/observations/fulsome words
of praise about it can be sent to the author via e-mail. Meanwhile, happy
July 10, 2003. Vysoãany,
is a historic day – our first show! If we ever become rich, famous, spoiled
rock stars we can look back on today as Where It All Started, at least as far as
playing in front of actual human beings is concerned. (In the early weeks of our
existence, we did play a birthday party for one of Barry’s key employees –
but it took place at our studio, and the crowd consisted solely of friends and
venue for the show is Motoraj (“Motorcycle Paradise”), a wanna-be biker bar
in Vysoãany, an unremarkable industrial district of Prague notable chiefly for
a big coffee factory. There are several “biker” bars in Prague which is
ironic since this country only seems to have about twelve bikers. This is
because big motorcycles like Harleys are prohibitively expensive to buy and
maintain in a poor part of the world like this one. I seriously doubt there’s
a Prague chapter of the Hell’s Angels. If so, they probably cheat and ride
around terrorizing the population on vintage Jawas.
the venue is better than any of us expected it to be. In the beer garden behind the bar proper is a high stage,
with enough room for all the equipment needed by, say, a three-man expatriate
rock band. Because Barry essentially moved all – and there is a lot of ALL –
of the equipment from the studio to this show, it took some time to set it all
up and get the levels right. The big mixing board, twin power amps, crossover,
four-cabinet mains, twin CD DJ station...not to mention the stuff that we play
on and through. Someone could probably write a small how-to pamphlet on how to
connect Barry’s guitar pedals and amp head alone.
music went well. Fast, as it always does when you’re onstage. We did the five
songs we so far had complete, starting with the drum intro to “I Don’t
Care” and ending with “Na Sracky” (literally, “Drunk”). It’s a good
song to finish with, as it’s our only Czech-language piece, it’s simple, and
it’s a fun sing-along. At least the crowd seemed to think so: I heard the
refrain in front of me as I played.
sang along! We must have been doing something right. Another encouraging sign
was that a few people who had been nursing beers at the outdoor tables drifted
to the front of the stage, and by “Na Sracky” were moving and head-bobbing
along with the others. One drunk gypsy I talked to after our set said he liked
our music because it was like heavy metal, his favorite. Well, it isn’t,
really, but if that’s what it takes for you, pal, so be it.
us was ProWizorium, a group of younger guys from, I think, Prague. Their drummer
is Honza, a friendly sort who also happens to be the organizer of Boodstock, the
first festival appearance we managed to score. They played jazzy sort of
un-distorted rock, not loud like us but a bit smoother and quieter. They
didn’t really have a choice, as they have three – count ‘em three –
guitar players. If they were to crank up the volume and distortion, they’d get
mush. The crowd liked these guys, too, which I’m glad to see, because it’s
obvious they worked pretty hard on their set. Ironically, they seemed to have
the same repertoire structure, i.e. less than half a dozen songs, that we did.
of the three guitar men had a birthday, which is why we were there, playing.
Thank you, Honza...anyway, the evening finished with tequila shots all around,
then a ride back to our studio in one of the ProWizorium member’s bread truck.
Seriously. He drives the truck for a job, which must have been difficult that
night, as he was due for work at six in the morning. Such are the hazards of
working for a living.
bread truck, with our equipment as cargo, made it to the studio just fine. We
unpacked the stuff and save for a slight injury (Brian cut on the chin, falling
down the stairs while delivering an amp), everything went as smoothly as you
could expect from a pack of drunk musicians. Everybody went home, leaving myself
and Barry, who capped off the night by climbing atop the neighboring warehouse
and finishing our last beers. At’ zije rock and roll.
©2003. All rights reserved.