Paul Heinz

Original Fiction, Music and Essays

Spicy: 8 Band in 4 Weeks

If variety is the spice of life the last month was particularly spicy for me. 

A few years ago I played with a drummer who performed very similar setlists between two different bands, adding the difficulty of having to recall the slight variations between the two, be it tempos, endings, extended solos, etc. In the past four weeks I’ve played with eight different bands, but I had the luxury (and also the curse) of having virtually no crossover between the various acts. That didn’t keep me from making countless mistakes, but at least the endings were unique!

August 19: my regular gig with Second Time Around.

August 19: a 50 minute setlist of a makeshift funk band playing tunes from The Commodores, Stevie Wonder, Patti Labelle, KC and the Sunshine Band, Kool and the Gang, etc.

August 20: a two hour rehearsal of Genesis tribute music that didn’t lead to a live performance but did require something close to twenty hours of preparation. I can tell you that Tony Banks continues to be my musical hero, as not only do his composition skills never fair to impress, but the keyboard part to “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” kicked me in the ass.

August 25: a gig with The Ripleys, a classic rock band that usually plays as a power trio but added keyboards for this particular performance.  Great time, and it forced me to learn how to play “Tempted” by Squeeze, a pop song with surprisingly complex chord changes.

August 27: my regular church gig at Elmhust Prebyterian.

Sept 1: my regular gig with Block 37.

Sept 2: a duo performance with Ken Slauf playing mostly light rock such as Van Morison, Elton John, Marc Cohn, The Beatles, etc.

September 16: for the third year in a row, a reunion gig with my old high school band, I ON U, playing mostly 80s rock tunes.

During these four weeks I performed something close to 150 distinct songs. In a few months I'll probably be hard-pressed to remember how to play any of them, but for a brief month I had a monster repertoire! It was great fun.

Now it’s back to normal during the non-summer months as my various acts struggle to find a gig here and there, but given my recent schedule I think I’m okay with that.  Sometimes after a run of spicy meals, a bland one isn’t so bad.

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