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So now I've played with 2 of the Big 3 of GNV's punk rock icons
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Thread: So now I've played with 2 of the Big 3 of GNV's punk rock icons

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up So now I've played with 2 of the Big 3 of GNV's punk rock icons

    Living in a virtual punk rock mecca like Gainesville FL (google "The Fest Gainesville FL," for example), even just playing in little crap pissant bands like the ones I'm in, one just naturally crosses paths, eventually, anyhow, with punk rock royalty.

    I consider the Big 3 of GNV's extant punk rock bands to be Less Than Jake, probably the best known to mainstream audiences (since their ska-punk sound is very pop-oriented), the current hottest punk rock band in the country Against Me! (hard to deny being on the cover of Rolling Stone), and the slightly more genre-specific cult-oriented Hot Water Music. If you want to add a couple more for historical significance that are legendary within punk-rock circles but never made any money or (much) international fame, you can add Roach Motel ('80's), and Radon ('90's heyday, but still live in GNV and play here several times a year).

    Those last two are both personal faves of mine, particularly RM, with whom my very first band played a few shows in the early '80's (our bassist was also the RM drummer), and then my current main band Crash Pad played on their two reunion tours five or six years back. I had never been on a bill with Radon until last Fall, when we played middle of the bill at an all-day unofficial The Fest gig (i.e., during The Fest but not a part of its actual ticketing/PR/bill) that Radon headlined.

    Of the Big 3, by weird coincidence Against Me! has actually opened for Crash Pad. Of course, that was like 14 years ago when the band was just a duo and virtually know one had heard of them. So, that's one down.

    As for Less Than Jake, they used to play the same venues Crash Pad did in the '90's, but we were never paired up. Their guitarist Chris and bassist Roger came to one or two Crash Pad shows a decade or so ago (they can't come to local shows in the audience without everyone going "the guys from LTJ are here!"), because we used to gig with some friends of theirs from Ocala (just 30 minutes south of GNV) called Vangard. And then more recently Crash Pad did play with a LTJ side band, Roger's Rehasher, a few years ago.

    But last night I finally crossed LTJ of the list.

    Over the last year or so I've been playing guitar in a side band called the Bill Perry Orchestra. It's sort of a performance art/experimental collective, led by an unrepentant hippie and painter. It's been around for literally 30 years, with probably dozens of local musos, artists, and other scenesters and characters of ill repute drifting in and out. Bill is sort of a Gainesville institution, and worked at our longest-standing indie record store (which closed last year when its owner unexpectedly died of a heart attack). So basically anyone and everyone in the GNV indie/punk/art community knows Bill.

    And that includes Chris DeMakes of LTJ. For the past couple years, LTJ has done a 2-day "homecoming" stand at a local venue to sort of say thanks to all their homeboys, usually over Labor Day weekend. Last night the Bill Perry Orchestra opened the first of the two shows.

    It was fun. Here's some pics.

    My artiste ID:



    Our lap steel player Lisa. It's good to be in a band where I'm not the oldest for a change.



    Our drummer Blue's kit:



    My rig. The Laney was just a backup. I used it to sit on, and the Fender Super-Champ XD as my actual amp.



    View from the stage, just before our closer:



    So now, I guess I have to set my sights on Hot Water Music.

  2. #2
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    That's pretty cool, Brian! I think that if I had to perform with/around some of my heroes, by hands would be shaking to the point that I couldn't function.
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  3. #3
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by marnold View Post
    That's pretty cool, Brian! I think that if I had to perform with/around some of my heroes, by hands would be shaking to the point that I couldn't function.
    Thanks.

    Chris from LTJ came out and visited with us for a few minutes before our set, which was sweet of him. I was fine until just before we fired up, then all of a sudden the same gear I soundchecked with wouldn't seemingly work properly. I switched cables but that didn't help, and THAT kinda freaked me out. Fortunately just turning up the amp did the trick, but I still don't know what the problem was. Once we actually started I was OK.

    This was maybe my third or fourth show with BPO, and was played on one single practice. The great thing about performance art/experimental music is that whatever happens, happens as it was supposed to.

    It's like the Calvinism of rock and roll.

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    Heh. A friend of mine got to be on a bill with Exodus last year. Kinda the same thing, only metal. He was very proud of the fact that the sound man asked him to turn down. :-)
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by marnold View Post
    Heh. A friend of mine got to be on a bill with Exodus last year. Kinda the same thing, only metal. He was very proud of the fact that the sound man asked him to turn down. :-)
    Very unlike Crash Pad, BPO is quite quiet. We all play through little practice amps and frequently are told to turn up, even mic'd. I think that's probably what the "problem" with my amp was. We soundchecked in a dead quiet room before the drummer's adrenaline had kicked in. Once the club was filled with people and the drummer was hitting harder, I just needed more oomph.

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    Nice Brian! That must have been a great night!
    The Law of Gravity is nonsense. No such law exists. If I think I float, and you think I float, then it happens.
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Nice Brian! That must have been a great night!
    Ta Robert, yes it was great fun. We got a good response from the crowd despite playing some decidedly weird music that was quite different from the ska-oriented other acts on the bill.

    And despite the fact that we did this show on exactly one practice, there were no train wrecks or even particularly noticeable gaffes. There is one song which only consists of two chords, completely instrumental, called "Mothra Explains the Blues." During a large portion of it Bill plays some little electronic device that makes bleeps and bloops, which had been the whole content of the song originally. During the rehearsal for the show he cued me to solo during the latter portion of the song, which was a new addition to the arrangement, but I was not sure if he was going to want me to do that at the actual show, or was just mucking about. Anyhow, at the show he did, and I did, and I was very happy with the result, and we got a lot good audience response with it, so maybe that'll be the arrangement from now on, since it seemed to work.

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    Very cool!
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