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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.

    Anybody ever played in a band? (not a marching band)

    I play electric bass and over the years have played in a few bands here and there, and played with a few songwriters that didn't technically have a band.

    When I was in medical school myself and three classmates formed a band called Surgeon General. Because our drummer refused to play originals, the guitarist and I found a different drummer and had a band that played only originals. That band was called Garage Majal.

    During residency I played with a guy named Jon Glenn (no kidding) in a band called Five Guys Named Joe. I wanted to call the band Jon Glenn and the Orbiting Senators, but he refused.

    During fellowship training I played bass for a songwriter in Nashville named Tim Kurtzweil, who had his 15 minutes of fame long after I left Nashville when he wrote a song about some local restaurant-associated news story (can't remember the details, but I'm sure a Google search would turn it up).

    Finally, here in Norfolk, for a brief period of time (maybe 6 months or so) I had a steady Thursday night gig with an acoustic guitarist/songwriter/singer at a hip coffee shop called Borjo near the Old Dominion University campus. That gig dried up when the guitarist moved out of town.


    Anyway, I only bring this up because this past weekend was my 35th medical school reunion down in New Orleans. Every 5 years we get Surgeon General back together and gig the reunion. In 2018, the organizers had set up the gig at a New Orleans institution (a restaurant called Galatoire's on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter). I think they had told the restaurant that we were a "musical quartet," which, strictly speaking, isn't a lie; I'm pretty sure a rock cover band was not what came into their minds, though! I'll never forget pushing our amps and gear through the restaurant past waiters in tails and back almost through the kitchen to their service elevator. Hilarious. Anyway, suffice it to say that we were banned for life.

    This time around they booked us at a proper dive of a music venue called, believe it or not, the "Rock 'n' Bowl." A venerable place that has been there forever. Essentially, it's a true music venue with a proper stage, monitors, talented sound guys, etc., but it happens to have a bowling alley attached, off to the right as viewed from the stage. But it was a riot! The rehearsal the day before ended up lasting about 7.5-8 hours or so. It's not easy to put 21 songs back together and make it tight when you haven't played together in 5 years.

    But we did it, and we rocked, and everybody had a fantastic time. Near the end of the show, especially during Born to be Wild and All Right Now, I got pretty caught up in that ecstatic, almost dream-like feeling where amazing music is coming out but it almost seemed like I was just listening, rather than playing; it was just organically coming out of me. If you have never done it, I don't know that I'll be able to explain what it feels like. It's a culmination of thousands of hours of practice (amongst the four of us), but it feels like it's just spontaneously coming to life.


    Anyway, thanks for letting me tell a story that is meaningful (probably) only to me or to a very few of you.



    But I would like to know if anybody else has played in bands, or if anybody still plays in a band. What instrument do you play in your band? What is your band's name? What type of music do you play? How often do you gig? What are your thoughts about making music with your bandmates?
    "We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world." --M. Proust

  2. #2
    Why are we excluding marching bands? Seems rather elitist to me...

    - tenor saxophone

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Why are we excluding marching bands? Seems rather elitist to me...

    - tenor saxophone
    Sorry, not trying to be elitist. Trying to tap into a specific experience, playing with two or three or maybe four other people only. Most marching bands have a lot more people in them, so to me the experience is not the same. And yes, I have experience playing in a marching band, too.
    "We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world." --M. Proust

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by rsvman View Post
    Sorry, not trying to be elitist. Trying to tap into a specific experience, playing with two or three or maybe four other people only. Most marching bands have a lot more people in them, so to me the experience is not the same. And yes, I have experience playing in a marching band, too.
    Was mostly joking.

    I was in marching band and jazz band in highschool. Was in a indie rock quartet and was by far the least talented of the four of us. We had maybe two gigs?

  5. #5
    I don't play in a band... but I am a sound guy. Occasionally I'll work with random bands or run sound for one-off events. I primarily work with a what was a four piece (guitar, bass, keys/guitar, drums) classic rock cover band. We then added a female singer to expand the song catalog. A few years ago the band added a horn section (trumpet, trombone and tenor sax). So more songs along the lines of Kool & the Gang, Chicago, Average White Band, Blues Brothers have been added to the sets.

    We'll sometimes go a month or two without playing a gig, and then hit a stretch of playing one or two nights a week for a month straight. 95% of the venues we play don't have a house system, hence the need for the dedicated sound guy. As everyone has gotten older, we've made it as simple and easy as possible when it comes to hauling gear. Everyone except the horns run in-ear monitors with their own personal mix. Horns get a floor monitor. Drummer plays v-drums. Guitars and keys run through direct boxes, no amps. Makes it easy to control volume levels in the smaller venues.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Asheville, NC

    Saw this the other day and laughed


  7. #7
    In the late 70s, I replaced Bob Weir in The Grateful Dead. Bobby was learning how to play slide, during live shows, and it was hard to bear. Robert Hunter looked over and said to me, Now and again these things just got to be done. End of dream.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    I gig in a band around town with some friends, albeit very seldomly these days.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
    In the late 70s, I replaced Bob Weir in The Grateful Dead. Bobby was learning how to play slide, during live shows, and it was hard to bear. Robert Hunter looked over and said to me, Now and again these things just got to be done. End of dream.
    I bet you would give up half of a middle finger for that to be true!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    My career peaked playing in a band in Abercorn, Quebec one New Year's Eve when I was a student at Duke...tremendously rustic, alcohol in absurd abundance (these are Canadians after all)...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    I gig in a band around town with some friends, albeit very seldomly these days.
    What instrument? What type of music?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    Oh, I forgot to mention that while I was at Duke on the medical school faculty, I got a chance to gig some jazz with none other than Dr Sam Katz (co-inventor of the measles vaccine and past long-time chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Duke)! Me was actually quite good at jazz drumming. The gig was a one-off, but the it was really fun. Our pediatric HIV physician assistant did the vocals.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by rsvman View Post
    What instrument? What type of music?
    Acoustic guitar.

    Originals, old obscure blues and folk, John Prine, Americana, random snippets of popular music if twisted the right way (i.e. a slow blues version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” acoustic versions of “Why Does Love Got to be So Sad” and “Get Down Tonight,” or some standard tune in a sorta cattywampus way).

    None of us sing well, so I look to either play songs people likely don’t know or else do familiar things in a different way that allows for different vocalization.
    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNotCrazie View Post
    I bet you would give up half of a middle finger for that to be true!
    Definitely; it might even improve my playing!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by rsvman View Post
    Oh, I forgot to mention that while I was at Duke on the medical school faculty, I got a chance to gig some jazz with none other than Dr Sam Katz (co-inventor of the measles vaccine and past long-time chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Duke)! Me was actually quite good at jazz drumming. The gig was a one-off, but the it was really fun. Our pediatric HIV physician assistant did the vocals.
    Sam had a regular group for quite a long time. They used to rehearse in a back room in the Bryan Research Building, as I recall. I don't think they gigged much, but they got together quite a bit.

    BTW, that feeling you describe of music just coming out of you isn't limited to small ensemble playing. I've had that feeling several times playing in a concert band or orchestra. It may be more scripted than other musical forms, but if you get into a zone, the script just becomes part of you. That's a fun feeling that I wish I got a little more often, but I'm just not good enough to get that feeling more than rarely, honestly.

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