Not the usual “Live From Studio 5!” blog but I was “on assignment” with Georgia Cady to recruit The Oddfathers for our show. I’ll relate in chronological order starting with a perfect evening. Headed out at 10:30, top down, 77 degrees, no traffic. Pulled in to a parking spot right across the street from The Cabooze. I entered during the last half of the performance by Platypus, really rockin’ it out, they sounded great! My first observation was, “I must be getting really old, these guys don’t look even old enough to play in a bar.” When I mentioned that to a bartender he said they were THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. They were playing like seasoned professionals, some originals, some covers, I was very impressed. Then they got out the acoustic guitars and continued to amaze me. They played ‘em HARD like they would electric guitars. The music was unbelievable! I saw a couple of friends there, yakked with Wain McFarlane and got a hug from Stella Blue.
OK, break time, time to go out to my car for some cannabis therapy. I have told all of my doctors about that and all but one agrees totally with me. For the last couple of years the depression has been relentless. Tried three different anti-depressants and nothing worked so I gave up on that approach. I told the doctor I’ve never been depressed a day in my life until recently, just get me well and I’ll be happy as a lark again. So now, maybe once a week I take five or so tiny hits off my pipe just before an event and that keeps me buzzing for four hours. The next day I’m happy and cheerful all day. When I was younger, it was a routine daily thing.
I had never heard The Oddfathers or even knew their style of music but if Georgia said they were great, that was good enough for me! I Googled them and it said their music was “new classic rock”. They write all their music to sound like the greatest classic rock.
The back of the stage was lined with classic floor model radios from the 40’s and 50’s which disguised modern speakers. The entire show was not just a band playing their music, but a PERFORMANCE that you’d expect from any arena show. Random rock music starts playing as the lights went down low and continued for some minutes. Then the music became static-y and fuzzy so a stage hand came out and adjusted the dial on one of the big radios to “tune it in better”. Then it played just fine for one more tune, I can’t remember if it was Elvis or Jerry Lee but some big classic two and a half minute hit and then The Oddfathers took the stage to quite an elaborate whiz-bang intro and from there it was non-stop for the rest of the evening.
The lead singer, Brynn Arens, who looked like one of the Three Stooges came across in kind of a Mick Jagger style, all over the stage, strutting, vamping, interacting with the other players non-stop.
The lead guitarist, Casey Gooby gave the greatest performance I had ever seen, and believe me I have seen them ALL starting with The Doors. When I go to a concert, I’m up against the stage the whole night, moving from musician to musician so I get the intense effect of a command performance. From three feet away Casey’s fingers were a blur. Take the fastest plucker you have ever heard and double or even triple the speed of the fingerwork and that was Casey.
The bass player, Krys Barrato, was also solid.
Tom Cook rounded out the foursome on the most basic drum set imaginable but it’s all he needed. The performance was a non-stop blast and I will say, for the record this was the greatest bar performance of a band I have ever experienced. I think these guys are on to something!
During the show Arens was well aware of my presence and played to it. At one point he pointed his finger directly at me and walked right up to me and unzipped his fly!
Here’s the final chapter of this blog: I’m heading home feeling on top of the world. I don’t like driving under those circumstances but all I have to do is CONCENTRATE on one thing: driving. Normally I’m kind of a lousy driver anyway but in these circumstances I’m like an airline pilot with total concentration and control. Set the cruise control and maintain all else. Last night with the top down it was a tiny bit chilly so I reached for my hoodie and slipped it on backwards just to cover my arms. I knew enough not to struggle with putting it on completely while driving. BUT in just doing that I must have drifted slightly over the lane once on one side and then the other. Certainly not crazy weaving but on a Sunday morning at 2am with cops on high alert I just happened to do it in front of a cop. As soon as the dreaded light show went off, I freaked out. Talk about a rude awakening! I immediately put on my right signal to tell the cop I was complying but I took my damn sweet time to pull over and come to a complete stop. Mind racing I came to the conclusion that I had no choice but to dig deep and find the OFF switch to end my trip. I took a deep breath RELAX and by the time he walked up to me I said “What’s the problem, officer?”
“Did you know you were weaving?”
“Oh, I guess I was trying to put on my sweater.”
“Have you been drinking tonight?”
“No sir, not a drop, I don’t drink.”
“What is that in your cup holder.”
“Just a coke, from the bar.”
“I’m gonna ask you to get out of your car and check some things out.”
(YIKES! This can’t end well.)
He explained to me about balancing on one foot and then walking a straight line heel to toe, heel to toe and I told him straight out, “Officer I can’t do this due to my condition” which was true, I have major balance problems which I don’t completely understand myself so rather than try to explain what I don’t understand I just said “I have early onset of Parkinsons disease.” It was a spontaneous Hail Mary pass, I don’t even know if there is such a thing but it worked! I said, "look, just get out your meter and I'll blow ya a triple zero." Sure enough, ZERO percent blood alcohol. WHEW! He sent me on my way with a warning ticket. Final parting words, “Here ya go, Doug drive carefully, do you have any questions for me?” “Yes, what’s the capitol of South Dakota?” It’s my response anytime anyone axts me that question.
He got it right!