Adventures of Drummer ( The Last Dance with Hanover Fist)
With new member in the band with the same old song and dance, I have found another outlet with Santelli that sparks my interest and leads to my departure from Hanover Fist.
I Need A Change.
The Duo gets Stronger.
11-21-10 Hanover Fist has found a new bass player in one week. Gary Davis was replaced by Mike Davis. Stranger than the name, he can play bass and knows the songs. Now, it seems that Mike has the job and will play his first gig on December third. Steve Collins has the gig for November twenty-sixth, then Mike will take over after that.
Santelli has come up with another gig on Saturday Dec. eighteenth that pays me fifty dollars. I don’t know how much the Irish Times gig will pay, but Santelli will make the most he can and give me a little. Thirty dollars makes a difference in expenses for a gig.
11-29-10 Played Friday with Hanover Fist at the famous Smokey’s for the last time as they are moving, but a great crowd all night. William had Steve Collins play bass which is fun to watch the guitar boys stretch and show off. I had fun with a chance to have other musicians in the audience to see me. Some of Steve’s band was bragged about the drummer to William. The old guy.
Saturday night I played for Tommy Santelli at the Irish Times in Turkey Creek. There was a great crowd all night and they love the band. Tommy plays solo on Wednesdays and this was the first time for “The Band” on a week end. Jamie and I did a great job with Santelli and the music is still hot. Those old song are still alive in the band, and no one else can make those songs feel the way this band makes them feel. I was getting so much energy from the audience it was easy to concentrate on the music. The look of the band had the audience believing we were original artist of some of those songs. The band is sharp and so spontaneous the audience is very impressed.
I have one more gig with Santelli in December, nothing for next year. Hanover Fist has gigs for next three weeks. I will play those gigs and make the money. Santelli doesn’t pay that well in comparison. Hanover Fist is a five way, even cut, band. Santelli pays as little as he can, but I have a contract and standard pay scale.
Hanover Fist has a new bass player to break in and my goal back in two thousand two was to meet as many musicians in the Knoxville area. Once again a new musician to gig with and jam on songs we already know.
Then again I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to play drums. The physical problems with my hand and neck is getting worse, it feels. I have problems setting up equipment, but I can play with very little problems. Being consistent with how hard I hit the snare drum is one problem. I am doing the gig and not complaining. The band doesn’t know anything about this. I haven’t had to rely on an excuse for my actions. I haven’t messed up yet to use my hand as an excuse. I will play Friday and Saturday with Hanover Fist and rehearse tomorrow. Let you know.
12-2-10 I Did Good. Santelli called to tell me we have one Saturday booked at Irish Times each month for the entire year of 2011. This was good news that the owner like the band and he really like my drums and style of playing. Santelli is booked on Wednesday as solo act and the band once a month. Santelli was not impressed with Jamie’s playing last gig, as his gear is not up to date with a dull tone on low volume. Has to play loud to get good tone and drowns out Santellis guitar and my drums. We play at a low volumn and use dynamics to draw to parts of the song not volumn. Santelli has a Bose pa system with great tone and enough power for my drums. That is why I am wanting to work with the dynamics from the drum tones. Only two instruments and I need to get the most sound dynamically. It has been working great, now I need to perfect that sound and invent my show. Winter is a slow season for music, but anything can change.
12-5-10 Hanover Fist did very well at Spicy’s Friday. New bass player Mike Davis did a great job playing songs he had just learned. The band went over some other songs with Mike in the last set. Not as many fans as we normally have in the past, but a good night to break in a new player. Saturday at the Crows Nest was better as I had a better sound than at Spicy's. Mike remembered the songs from last night and we worked in some new ones on stage. Hanover Fist is progressing as the rhythm section is now tight and the lead guitars have to keep up. Tempos are great and Mike plays the right parts, but he is too loud. When stage volume gets loud and I can’t hear to sing. I got a good work out playing two nights in a row, but my wrists are hurting and my hand will not type easily.I am forcing my fingers to spread the keyboard. It was hard to hold my drum sticks last night and I recall concentrated on my posture when playing.
Santelli wants me to play Wednesday and Thursday with him next week. We picked up a year of gigs with Irish Times and we are trying to get more. I have Hanover Fist to play on Friday at Rookies. Finishing gigs with old contract while working on new contract. I have not practice with Hanover Fist on Tuesday with the new bass player, but played with Santelli Wednesday and Thursday, and “The Fist” Friday. My schedule hasn’t slowed much, I’m having fun with the new atmosphere of Santelli and “in the face of” the red neck rocker. Showing William that a professional musician has more clout with the club owners than he thinks. Treat to black ball me from Quaker Steak if I leave the band. The manager likes me and he knows the talent of Santelli and that I drummed for him in the past. Santelli could be playing there New Year's Eve on a Friday which is his regular night. He might want “The Band” to play. Hanover Fist is not booked on New Year's Eve.
12-12-10 I finished a night with Hanover Fist at Rookies after two nights with Santelli. Rookies had a dead crowd and William was sick that makes a boring night, and late night. Mike played great and learning more songs that any bass player in the past. It was fun playing with a tasteful player, combined with Roger’s guitar and Williams cat sound guitar. That’s Rock n Roll.
The two nights with Tommy Santelli was full house at Mulligan’s and Irish Times. We played well and the crowd loved the duo. Something different each gig and one song after another. I follow. I have to rest very tired and my hand is hurting, but finishing out the year.
12-18-10 New Years Eve 2010. This year is different that last New Years, I have more offers this year. I just got a call from Kenny Smallen wanting me to play drums for them at a bed and breakfast in Polk Co. and pay me a hundred dollars. I have an invitation to play with Tommy Santelli at Quaker Steak but only for tips. Decision, To play for money or enjoyment. I enjoy playing with Santelli better than Smallen’s band but they pay more. After rehearsing with Smallen is when I get scared. Feels good on the phone. They are not tight on songs they have been playing for years. I am use to playing on the fly with no rehearsal and making songs sound good, this band gets louder to cover up what they can’t play. Now, I don’t want to play the gig, but I committed on the phone to Smallen. He is like a girl friend and wants a commitment. Santelli will say “ Go make that money and I will make it just fine by myself... I would rather play with Santelli and tell Smallen to find another drummer, my wife thinks I should go for the money then drop Smallen. Tommy Santelli will be playing somewhere and I can sit in any time. But I don’t want to start a habit.
12-25-10 The last Christmas of the first decade in the twenty first century. I made the decision to drop Kenny Smallen’s band while talking to him on the phone early one Sunday morning. He calls early and talked till the battery in my phone went dead, but I said I was going to continue with Hanover Fist and Santelli and not commit to Whiskey Wagon. Last week I played with Santelli on Wednesday and Thursday before Christmas and I will play next week on Wednesday and Thursday rehearsing for New Years on Friday at Quaker Steak & Lube. I will practice with Hanover Fist on Tuesday and play the Crows Nest on Saturday New Year's Day. No conflicts yet. Santelli has expressed his desire to continue playing together and he will get money for me down the road. With the absence of a bass player I will make one hundred dollars on the Saturday gigs at Irish Times. I play there on Wednesdays for tips. If Santelli books new gigs he can ask for enough money to pay me. Can’t go back on the present gigs and ask for more money. That price is set. I am patient and willing to wait and build my show with Santelli and take what I get. I am up front again and have to learn Santelli music and build my act with his. I am getting to know the fans and becoming a part of Santelli’s act. After a while fans expect to see me each week like Santelli and we become a team. I have to perfect my act, only six weeks since I started back. Takes time to become comfortable in that position, being a side man to the star of the show and playing drums. Tommy plays guitar and sings and I play drums and back ground vocals. It mixes well and people like the act and the music.
1-1-11 Playing tonight with Hanover Fist in Oak Ridge, I finished three nights with Santelli on New Year's Eve. We had a great time put on a great show. The manager of Quaker Steak was impressed with the duo act, It was a quiet party as planned that ended at midnight. Santelli is wanting me full time as a duo and pick up another player for a band this summer. We are working together very well and the show is liked by all.
My decision is with Hanover Fist to continue with that tour next spring, or try this new venture with Santelli and see where it goes. Irish Times has booked us for the year 2011. One Saturday each month, and Tommy is booking the marinas at watts bar for the spring and summer. I can play full time with either band I choose that is an unusual situation. Money was the motivation with Hanover Fist, but travel cost has changed my motivation. My motivation with Santelli is creativity, money will come later. Putting together an act with Santelli is a challenge that is not stressful. No big equipment to set up and tear down, and we have a clean sound that is powerful. Makes it easier to sing. Tonight might be the night.
1-4-11 Saturday was my last gig with Hanover Fist. The Crows Nest was dead on New Year's Day, and the band played good for not playing in three weeks. A long night for all the band members, but just another night of playing music for the band. William calls me before leaving the parking lot. Talking about how he hated to play tonight, knowing no one was going to come. After listening to that all the way home and sleeping on it. The next morning I decided to quit the band. I am getting stale in this band. The band is getting stale and they need energy from a new member to carry on the band. I called William Sunday evening with my decision and he understood my physical condition, and not wanting to commit to eight months of shows. I didn’t want to commit to the Hanover Fist band way of operating, after I knew Santelli had me in his band. He also knows I am going to play with Tommy Santelli by the spring time. Playing drums for Santelli is like being a part of the show in the show, not just a drummer in the back. I can play with Santelli with no rehearsals and most of the gigs are close to home, half the distance as Hanover Fist. The cost effectiveness makes up the difference in income and I come out ahead in the long run.
I will end chapter five with my departure from the Hanover Fist band. Chapter five ended as it started with the search of a new bass player, as Gary Davis quit unexpected, and now replaced with Mike Davis. I’m going to leave this soap opera to the Hanover Fist band for which I fulfilled my two goals. Quit being a band leader and concentrate on playing drums again, and keep a long, hard tour schedule to prove it can be done. My last year ended with one hundred and twelve gigs, and covered ten thousand miles of road from Charlotte to Atlanta, mainly staying eighty miles from Knoxville. The year end statistic were not good for business and I lost money on paper, but I always had cash during the summer. I met each goal and improved my skills by learning three hundred or more songs with one hundred rehearsals and over three hundred gigs in three years. My endurance has improved with concentration on the live performance, and my ability to pick up on new rhythms. Now the “Hired Gun” rides off into the sunset only to return one day and make music again.