Sunday is usually recovery day for me. I always liked that “Day of Rest” concept after a long weekend of remodeling my universe. I routinely review if I met my goals and either reshape them or rededicate myself to another kick ass week. Skipping over those details, I’ll share a question that keeps coming up lately:
Why not have a band instead of always solo?
Probably nothing is more fun in music than playing in a band that just works so well together that the sound is a pure beautiful organism. And if I left a couple of letters out of that last word, it still works because it feels that good. And I’ve had several brief flings with bands and I’m currently rehearsing with one for two special gigs. And it’s been very good. No regrets. I always look forward to these little side trips. My studio bands have been particularly amazing. Give a listen on the tune widget to the right of this page and you’ll quickly see what I mean.
But all of those band relationships, in and out of the studio, great as they were, I regard as kind of “friends with benefits.” Fantastic fun. Let’s do it again sometime. Go and have yourself a ball and tell me all about it. Our friendship is first. The majority of those I’ve played with, I’d happily play with again. In the meantime, I wish them well. One permanent, ironclad relationship in my life, is all I need. And it doesn’t involve music. I married her and write songs about her. Life is grand!
But musically, solo is just so much easier, less filled with angst and no overhead to pay. And I absolutely love my regular solo gig. Can’t dream of giving that up. Back Eddy Bistro is my weekend home. Playing music for friends and fans in the same spot, with rewards of amazing food. One load-in (and out) each weekend, close to home. Growing local celeb status. Frequent drop-in-jams by a few close musician friends. My life is perfect.
The band scene is a minefield of mental health hazards in my view. I have many close friends experiencing this on a daily basis. For many of these folks, the need is an incurable spreading virus. It is, by nature, their need to play with other people. In this day of tracks-for-sale, one man bands, canned music, I have actually seen a drummer playing and singing to tracks he bought or perhaps made himself. It’s not at all a stretch to think a bass player can do the same. There are of course countless guitarists and keyboardists who do this. But I can equate this to having phone sex, I think. And if you do that stuff for too long, you either reshape your reality to accept it or you long for the real thing. Not that I’ve had any actual experience with phone sex. But the analogy works here, don’t you think? It’s protected against the virus of needing a band that often becomes self destructive. So okay, go ahead and take it a step further and describe playing in a band like unprotected sex.
The Rolling Stones are about to consider if they should do one more tour to celebrate their 50th year as a band. At the same time REM has called it quits. These long term relationships have given the rest of us a great deal of pleasure. For the band members, it was more of a roller coaster ride to who knows where. Takes a certain kind of personality with particular needs to get on that ride and stay there. I prefer the kind of ride you get on and know where and when you can get off . You can always buy another ticket and jump on again for another go.
So I define myself as Bud Buckley, solo acoustic singer songwriter, not adverse to certain pleasurable musical flings but protected from Band Aids.