I was enjoying a lazy summer day when I noticed a buddy had posted on his Facebook that a band had pulled out of his bands show at Ozzy’s, and they needed a band last minute to fill the gap. I immediately thought of our teacher band the ‘No Principals’. We had come together a couple of times to play sets full of rock classics. Unfortunately Mike and I were the only ones available to play the gig.
I thought that was the end of it, but then I remembered that Mike had played in several other bands over the years. I later found out that Mike had well over 200 songs ready to go!
I enlisted my buddy Scott McNabb (who I had played with in the University of Winnipeg Downtown Jazz Band) to play drums, but was unsuccessful in finding a bass player (so says many other bands!). After telling Mike about not having a bass player, he was unfazed:
“We don’t need a bass player, we’ll play as a 3 piece, no one else is doing that!!)
So Mike gave me some recordings and swung by place one evening to navigate me through 12 of his songs. This was my first introduction to ‘webster-isms’
Web*ster *ism – An odd change in rhythm or time in a song that initially frustrates musicians, but in
the end makes the song better.
We then had one rehearsal with Scott and were ‘ready’ to play the show.
For me our first gig as a band was awkward. I had several cards taped to my homemade pedal board (still using this awesome contraption!) with chord changes written on them. The 40 minute set involved many glances at Mike's fretboard to see what chords he was playing, or looks back at Scott to see if the current song was in fact about to end. After much eye contact and head nods we got through it.
For Mike on the other hand, I could see a fire in his eye that only a return to performing could ignite. I knew this was going to be the beginning of something much bigger and better.
Upon the last chord of our last song (actually broke my E string on that very last strum) Mike turns to me and says ‘hey let’s play that little thing we did last week at your place’. What he was referring to was a little 3 chord jam we did for probably 2 minutes. ‘Naw I think we’re done for today man’ was my response.
That gig will be 2 years ago this August. Since then we have played close to 30 shows and grown to have 3 different band configurations that include a trombone, a Chinese bamboo flute, and tablas.
Indeed Mike, no one else is doing this!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!