Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Gig Leech

I don't have too much to say about this man I know named Billy, other than to describe what he does. He's a bongo player - who travels from band gig to band gig. The ony trouble is - he has no band. He's a gig leech.

I met him years ago at an open mic. He was the player who sat onstage as each and every performer took their turn. He played with the rockers, the punk kids, the folkies, the poetry-readers, the oldies, and the guy who plays for spare change at the local farmers' market. It's not that he's not polite - he always asks permission - but he's just there... I never thought too much about it till this weekend... When Billy showed up at my gig.

Now, understand, I already scheduled a guest performer (one of my clients - nice guy, pretty good guitar player - wanted to know if he could play when my band had a break... It was cool. He brought a lot of his friends, and everyone had a good time)

Billy also asked if he could play with us. "Um, Sure." I said. He proceeded to set up his bongo drums directly in front of where we were standing... "Um," I asked - "Could you move them back HERE?" I was dying. Scott and Dave looked at me as if I were crazy. "Kelly - you can't play bongo with Bluegrass..."

"What was I supposed to say?"

Scott attempted to comfort me, "I know it's hard, Kelly - but sometimes you just have to say no."

"Well, we'll see how it goes..."

Truth be told, it wasn't bad - he wasn't miked, he wasn't loud, and he didn't play every song. He was fine, actually... So no one got their feelings hurt.

Later Dave told me of another occasion where Billy asked to play with him and Fran (Before I joined the band) - "It was a nightmare, Kell" (Dave is sometimes dark, but I believe it could have easily been a nightmare. Playing with someone who doesn't know the arrangements is pretty tough, and my band's arrangements aren't really easy to do. It'd be like David Beckham asking Donovan McNabb if he could sit in for a few plays...)

The next night, Dave and I decided to stop for a drink. We didn't know it, but a popular (and really quite excellent) local band was playing that night. "Oh, good. I've been dying to hear these guys..." They started out playing Stevie Ray Vaughn stuff... and then.... something weird happened. Who walks 'round the corner but BILLY?

Dave looked at him, and to my amazement, said, "Wow. I just can't get rid of you!!! Do you play with this band?"

In true gig leech fashion, Billy said, "No, but I'm going to sit in at the end."

Maybe there's no harm in it... Truth be told, I didn't mind him being around - but maybe, just maybe - Billy should start his own band. And when he does, I'm crashing... "Hey, do you mind if I sing "She-Bop" with you and the bongo?

Hope you can make it to THAT gig.



Post a Comment

<< Home