Well awesome. Texted Brad Davis of Fu Manchu and asked about the guestlist for that night and he put me down +1. Nice! Invited Triniti out since she is taking care of my diabetic Siamese cat right now, figure any way I can repay her and she was down to see Fu Manchu for free.
Got the Rangemaster clone boxed up and ready to rock. I am not happy with the enclosure, as I ordered a RED powder-coated box and the color is this weird pastel rose Easter egg color. Hmmm.... But will test it one final time when I get home and contact West to arrange for a pickup.
Fu Manchu/Lions last night at Red 7 was awesome, although parking was of course a nightmare. Bumped into Jim Ortiz (Amplified Heat) at the Hotdog King truck outside Red Eyed Fly, and damn forgot to use the "Yeah, I always knew I'd find you out behind Red Eyed Fly with a weiner in your mouth!" line. Damn, swing and a miss heh! Caught up with him, been awhile, he was going to Fu as well. Bid him adieu and headed to the club. Driving around I saw Tessmer's old ass 40's green Ford truck and thought about hoofing it to wherever he was playing (Friends, I think) but first band (Scorpion Child) already on by the time I got to Red 7. They were OK, 70's rock with a touch of sass. Local cats, thought they looked familiar.
Lions went on next and handed everyone their ass on a plate. Best I've ever heard them sound. You can just TELL when a band plays all the time and is not weekend warriors. Taking pics up front movement caught my eye and suddenly Matt Drenik's boot was inches from my face. My head snapped back like cat, and he immediately ran over and gesticulated "I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY!!!!" I laughed and gestured that all was OK. Just wish I'd have gotten a shot of it, heh. Got some good pics of them which I will post here someday. Gian Ortiz (Amp Heat) got up to play bass for the last song, as Lions bassist switched to Matt's guitar. Goddam he kicked it's ass. Hopefully got some great pics. Afterwards told Gian, "Man, I think you got their bassplayer fired..." "What do you mean...?" "You sounded awesome!!!!" "Oh, OH! HA! Thanks man." Always humble, that Gian. An admirable trait. Catching up with Matt after their set, he again apologized profusely for almost kicking me in the face, but it was an accident and we had another laugh about it. Also told him that if they ever need a bassist give me a call. I am really digging their new stuff, lots of energy but also lots of atmosphere and dynamics. Really maturing into a great band.
With Gian Ortiz sitting in:
Fu Manchu then closed the set with one of the louder concerts I've been to in awhile. And it was the outdoor stage which made the volume that much more impressive. Tried to start up close on Brad Davis' side (stage L) but being that close to the mains made me step a few paces back. Then a few more, then a few more. Jesus Christ the low-mid bass freq's were starting to get to me. Had to chill and go get some water as I was feeling a little nauseous and out of sorts.
Bassist/Creepy Fingers Effects builder Brad Davis
Played mostly newer stuff for first half of the set, but when they launched into the old standard "Saturn III" the place went apeshit and I pushed my way back up front to get some awesome pit shots. THAT was the 'sweet spot' frequency-wise, and suddenly I was back in my element and back in the game, risking life/limb/camera to get some 'from the egde of the pit' shots. People were going absolutely insane, stage diving and falling down. A few meatheads were taking it too seriously and getting pissed that people kept running into them. Easy solution, genius: MOVE THE FUCK BACK. People that get easily bent out of shape about things they can easily remedy themselves deserve to get punched in the face. But usually they punch others and ruin everyone's evening. For my own safety (or maybe HIS) backed away to get away from one such meathead who was about to blow.
On stage R bumped into some of the old Rank And Revue mag crowd: Corri Mava, the tall photographer that I feel like an asshole cause for some reason I cannot remember his Goddam name, and one time Queen of the Red River Scene miss Wendy WWAD. Haven't seen her for a year + easily. Not that we were ever super tight, but as often as not we'd end up rockin out elbow to elbow front and center at whatever show we were at. Many of my early pics have her fists and devil horns in them. She's living in Houston now, hence her absence.
Corri and Wendy
After the show got to BS with Brad Davis for a bit, thanked him for the guestlist slots and talked pedals with him. Hasn't used the pedalboard I built him much "As soon as I make 'em they are out the door into the mail!". Mentioned the Rangemaster clone I'm building, his reply "The one that crackles?" HA! Nice. Yes, that one evidently. Talked some gear nerdity then bid him adieu, again thanking him for saving me some money and a great show.
Walking with the Ortiz brothers and Triniti back to her car, I always notice that Amp Heat gets recognized all over Red River. People I don't know always coming up and shaking their hands. Respect. Hell, the last time I was at Red 7 with Jim he had a dozen + people come up to him all night, and nobody even looked at me. Ah well. In my absence from Red River doing other things (touring, teching, playing other venues), I haven't been playing on RR as much. I get the same amount of respect but in different circles, so it's still all good. Makes me miss being a more prominent player on RR tho, changing as much as it is it's still my musical "neighborhood" and I'd like to stay visible. Either way, I know a lot of good people and some top notch players that I'm on a handshake/hug/"I love you man" basis with. And that is good enough for me.
Yesterday talked to Mark Monaco about him looking for players. Texas Country, not really my cup of tea but good stuff for what it is. I need a steady gig cause I have bills to pay, and the kind of music I WANT to be playing ain't paying the bills. Won't stop me from pursuing it in my free time tho, I'd rather have a touring band be my day job and do my own shit on my own time, then work a day job and do my own shit in a weekend-warrior capacity. Playing full time vs working full time is a no-brainer for me.