Joint Practice (Sort of) -- And We Got an Ending

A series of emails about logistics for the July Sunday Surf Party ended with, “How about a joint practice?”  Without consulting the other Pups, I responded, “Okay.”

The question of a joint practice was prompted by the idea of bringing the Sneaky Tikis up for an “encore” or a “jam” of sorts during the Pups’ set.  We had agreed on the songs and the arrangements.  “Let’s play those songs in a C blues progression.  We’ll segue from one to the other and introduce both bands over the course of the songs.”

A joint practice meant getting together at the Doghouse for brats, hot dogs, and music.  And beer for the adults.  Originally, I was going to go for a bunch of Der Weinerschnitzel 61-cent chili dogs and hot dogs.  But cleaning up the grill and barbequing seemed more hospitable and festive.

After all, summer is here.  The weather was wonderful.  Nobody should spend time on the road and then be fed Der Weinerschnitzel dogs.

The Sneaky Tikis were not at full strength.  Two guitars -- Rob and Lucas.  No drummer.  No bass player.  We were bassless too as Robert had other plans.  Clearly, Glenn was going to draw marathon drumming duties.




“Let’s go through part of your set.  We then will break to eat.  We’ll play a couple of our songs to warm up, and all of us can see how the joint thing goes.”  Everybody agreed to that plan.

Rob and Lucas plugged into our practice amps and talked Glenn through their arrangements.  I pulled the powder blue, cheap, made-in-China, No-Name bass from the closet and tested it.  The dreaded fret buzz on the C was gone.  Okay, let’s rock ‘n roll.

Rob and Lucas played most of the songs that the Sneaky Tikis were going to play at the Capitol Bowl.  Glenn gave them a solid drum beat.  I tried not to interfere too much with what they were doing while providing some low end.  Lucas would say, “A-minor.”  My response was “minor, schminor, I’m playing the root.”  Learned that at Sierra Surf Music Camp.

They closed with a rousing version of “Miserlou.”  The gathered parents and spouses applauded.  I thought, “Man, these kids can play!  They’re going to knock the socks off of the folks at the Capitol Bowl.”

Break for brats, beer, brownies, and banter.  Glenn got some rest.

Lava Pups time.  We warmed up with “Mr. Moto” and a couple of songs that we had not played yet as a full band.  Amazingly, they were pretty close to gig-ready.  I thought, “These will be really good once we practice them together.”



Through the PA, I announced, “Now, we would like to bring the Sneaky Tikis up again.  Give it up for the Sneaky Tikis!.”  Parents and spouses went along with my schtick and applauded.  We discussed the arrangement.  I semi-shrieked “Wipe Out!” into the mic, and Glenn took off on the drums.  A couple of times through ironed out a few rough spots.

“That’ll work.”

I put my chin on the mic and began.  “Wella.  Wella.  Everybody’s heard about the bird . . . .”  Jean was shaking her head and covering her face as if to say, “No.  No.  Don’t do that!”  Becky’s face was scrunched up in disapproval.  Lucas and Rob were not on board.  Knowing that she was out of my view, Sue was making faces.

“Okay, I can see that that was not quite right.  Let’s try it again.”  I did which elicited the same reactions.

Wella.  Wella. 
The Bird was not the word!  Back to the drawing board.  Becky shouted out, “Play Rumble.”  We did.  Three guitars sure make for a pretty ominous “Rumble.”  Parents and spouses applauded.

After an exchange of ideas, we came up with an entirely new approach to ending the show.  The scrunched up faces, frowns, and looks of disapproval disappeared.

It is going to be fun!  But to find out the ending, you will have to be at the Capitol Bowl on July 22nd.

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