Adventures of a Drummer Hanover Fist (December 2009)
Gary Davis enters as bass player for Hanover Fist. I have been drummer with this band for the past two seasons and took another drummer’s job when I started this band
The Last tour With Hanover Fist
By: Tommy O’Domirok
Introduction: Gary Davis enters as bass player for Hanover Fist. I have been with this band for the past two seasons and took another drummer’s job when I came into the band. I know what it’s like to learn a hundred songs. This story covers three winter months before the band starts the summer tour.
12-13-09 Chapter five is the start of a different music adventure with Hanover Fist. Ken Burchett is no longer in the band and the search for a replacement has settled with Gary Davis. Auditioning players is an adventure listening to the talk and then seeing the performance. Two guys didn’t make it past the interview. Gary Davis past the audition, then played the Christmas party in Atlanta for a U.S. Army, and now has the job.
The road trip to Atlanta was great, Roger pulled the trailer and William and Les rode with him, While I rode with Gary. They put me with the new guy! It was good. A fun time riding from Knoxville to Atlanta. We found the building, set up, and checked into the motel as schedule. The gig was fun, didn’t play much. Three songs, as there were announcements and a DJ to take up time. Kids love the band and wanted pictures on my drum kit. Not Santa! The motel stay was OK as I don’t sleep much on the road and Waffle House doesn’t like my digestive system. Gary was good to travel with. Better than cramming into Rogers truck with William and Les. William has picked Gary to play bass for Hanover Fist and rehearsal begins Tuesday as we have a gig at the Bobarosa Saloon Saturday.
2-12-2010 Time for me to be patient and prepare, because Hanover Fist is booked From April till October at Quaker Steak & Lube in Knoxville on Thursdays and Charlotte, NC on Wednesdays. Also, Knoxville Harley Davidson on Wednesdays every two weeks during the season and William is booking other gigs for the week ends. I could have plenty of playing time in the future so, I am conserving money and automobile for the tour in March. The drive to rehearsals are becoming expensive with no gigs, so I want Gary to have more songs ready for rehearsals and move quicker and we can both have gigs then.
It is a long cold winter with nothing to do. The band is trying to get Gary Davis ready but William has no patience and doesn’t want to work with Gary. He is to learn these songs on his own and come to practice prepared! Gary has to be told what cords to play and has a hard time remembering which song is which. We have to stop quiet a bit at practice and go over the same song two or three times. William Butler has little patience for this, and is talking about a different bass player. After two months of practice with Gary, William doesn’t feel like he band will have enough songs ready for Quaker Steak by March 25th.
Hanover Fist has a gig this Saturday, a little birthday party for Roger’s sister at a small club in Halls, TN. We will see how Gary Davis does on stage, but it will take several gigs before Gary is comfortable playing these songs. I feel left out of this band as well. William, Roger and Les are playing Thursdays at Quaker Steak with only guitars during the winter. I have played with two other bands just to pass time. Whisky Wagon for two gigs and didn’t commit. I audition for another band in Knoxville and won. Only to turn down the offer. I’ve kept a commitment to William Butler and the Hanover Fist band by turning down all offers. There is always a balance between commitment and personal talent. Time is the deciding factor. Cabin Fever !
2-15-2010 The gig in Halls went very well with a packed house for the little club. Hanover Fist rocked their socks off the first set. Gary did good all night, nothing noticeably wrong, he might have missed a few notes but no train wrecks. William Butler has given Gary more time to work on material and keeping him in the band for now. Another gig in two weeks and we are going back to this little bar next month. Couldn’t have been that bad!
3-8-2010 The next gig at Spicy’s was great with Gary doing a great job and the band working together to make a great show for the many fans that came to see the new band. Making a stage change was good by putting Gary on the same side as Les and watching me for kicks and breaks. Gary watching Les for cords gave Roger room to show boat and William time to capture the attention of the audience. Little attention to Gary. Gary Davis was excepted as a good change for the band by all the fans. After several performances Gary is learning theses songs and adding appeal to the show.
Now, the same old dance has begun. Hanover Fist is booked with Quaker Steak and Knoxville Harley Davidson, Wednesday and Thursdays March thru September with club dates on Friday and Saturdays. The calendar looks good for April. May gets better. Most of the gigs come in the last day during April and May due to weather so a spring calendar could fill up in two days.
This carries over to June when we pick up gigs from Municipal summer events, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and gig three nighs a week until Halloween.
This has been a long cold winter, the worst in fifty years, difficult to survive in a recession of economic times. This band is surviving on reputation of the hard work we put in the past years, new bands don’t last long and some of the old bands have regrouped to survive. Good to be working as a musician during this time, but it cost more to work and the pay is the same. Cost. Business wise playing for cost. I am surviving on the investment of equipment in early years and not buying new equipment to upgrade. It’s good to have gigs, hope I can make all of them and not go broke.