#3 First Full Gig Back

by | May 3, 2023

The time had finally come.

The time had finally come. I woke up one day and looked at Julie and said, “I’m ready to boogie again.” 

She and I met in 2010, and I had been playing her some of my new songs and some old songs yet to be recorded, and telling her stories of the good ol’ “almost”-rock-star days. I think she had heard enough of my shit and was basically thinking “Either put up or shut your ass up.” She looked at me and said, “I would LOVE to finally hear you play on a stage of some sort.” With that it was time, in my opinion, to get my ass up, pull out my guitar, dust it off, and find a damn place that would let an old-ass, almost-want-to-be-a-rock-star boogie live. 

I called three places and let them know I was ready to get back out, but I was CLEAR that I no longer had the pull I once did. All of them said “Bring it,” so I guess I still had a bit of game left. I asked Jason Atkins, aka Greazy Keyz, to play a show with me. We chose Providence Road Sundries in Charlotte, North Carolina, because they didn’t usually host bands, and I thought it would be a cool place to come out of “retirement,” per se. This was my first real experience with the whole digital world and using social media as a promotional tool. More on that later. 

We packed the damn place and had over 100 people there! I couldn’t believe how far some of them had traveled to just see us play. My sister Heidi brought two of her friends, Michelle and Julie, from Indiana; my buddy came up from Atlanta; we had folks from the Winston/Greensboro area; and so on. It blew my mind, and I was literally on cloud nine. People were buying us shots, dancing, singing, and yelling for more. The bar owner actually had to call in another bartender because they simply couldn’t keep up with the demand. 

The coolest thing during the negotiations was the owner asking “So we are going to get you from 10 until 2?” I said, “Uh, NO, I am way too old for that shit, and besides, the 10-to-2 crowd are the dollar-beer drinkers. My people all have money now because we are old AF and have jobs.” I told them if they let me play from maybe 7:30 to 11, my people would all come and eat, and drink their top-shelf liquor, best wine, and most expensive draft. 

It ALL came to fruition, and of course, they wanted us back. My only regret was that my damn guitar had been out of service for so long that the intonation was out, and the damn thing sounded like shit—all out of tune the whole time. Despite that, we had a blast, and I knew then that it was time to get back out there again and find a way to get my ass back into some semblance of a band.