By Norm Richards
I like deadlines but this is crazy. My buddies and I are going to play a dance on August 4th. Now, to most of you, you might not think that's such a big deal. In preparation time it`s five months away. But, yes it is coming fast! This event has been known about and planned for for two years and longer. We will play to nearly 2,000 people, in our hometown, top 40 hits of the sixties rock and roll. It will be the largest dance we have ever played.
We all remained active and played over the decades but not together. Help! The keyboard player left a bit before me in the sixties. Within a year I was gone too, shockingly for the other guys, I left. I was no Mitch Mitchell but I was sure as hell a Ringo Starr to the band or more closely in style, Charlie Watts to the guys from The Pas. My personality was certainly the glue that held us together however brief it might have been.
The rest of us played with many different formations later. Groups of every kind. But we were onto something in 1968. Hard to pin it down but we were good and we played pretty well for the time. Technology may have helped and enhanced what we were doing. We could not afford big PA systems, We tried very hard to afford the instruments we did have. Serious recording wasn`t possible then. Who knows now how good we might have become if we stayed together. Other priorities took over our lives. We needed more education, we needed to live life, we needed experiences. Marriage would change our lives forever for each of us.
So today, forty plus years later, we reform to make something of what we are. Memories in baby boomer minds is what we are, for sure, but we think we will and can be more, on the August 4th long weekend. I think each of us has sheltered our bodies from abuse and age. Maybe not, depending on the first, but certainly the second and third rehearsals we`ll know how physically we are before concert time. We`ll see.
I`ve spent the winter before this gig protecting my health and limbs. A drummer has to do that. Yet, I`ve suffered breakdown in my knees. Also, I got a pulled legiment in the heal that takes months to heal. I`m still suffering with it as of today and it will go on. I`ve broken arms and my kick the bass drum leg got hit by a truck in 2005 and was shattered and rebuilt. The bass player had major surgery in 2011, to have his stomach stapled. He`s still recovering and losing weight. I pray he does not turn into the flat person on the floor you see in the tv commercials. I kid and I know he`s doing ok. He feels better everyday he tells me.
He and I have already got together to rehearse last May. We recorded basic tracks for the other guys to listen to and follow. Hope it helps. But I think we need to spark up our performance for the concert in August. Meanwhile, I`m praying it all works. Us getting together on time before hand will be critical and important. The band has to be tight. We have to know every lick and quick too. Let`s hope we are ready. So far, plans point to us being ready. I bought new drums for this event, so I think I`m ready. Still, time is catching up. Thank goodness the dance is sold out. Now, all we have to do is make sure we are ready and even more. Wish us the best. We need it.