Sunday Surf Party (1): The Nagging Voice Is Back!


Exhausted.  Exhilarated.  Excited.  Elated.  Enthused.  How’s that for some alliteration to describe how we felt after the Sunday Surf Party?

You now know the ending.  Nonetheless, please bear with us – and read on -- for how we got there.

When we walked into the Capitol Bowl, the prospects for the show looked bleak.  At 11:30, the staff outnumbered the customers.  Except for a couple of tables of young adult girls, not another patron was in sight.  The girls had binders open and papers spread on the tables like they were in a college study group.  But, once they moved down to the bowling lanes, the purpose of their Sunday morning meeting became clear:  They were from a bowling team or league.

No birthday parties were on the schedule.  The temperature was 100 plus degrees outside.  The State Fair was at full tilt.  Suddenly, the little nagging voice which had been so silent for the past few weeks started up, “What if nobody wants to brave the heat to come to the air-conditioned comfort of a bowling alley?  What if everybody who will go out ends up on the River or at the Fair?”

Set up.  As the scheduled start time approached, three things were missing:  an audience; ear plugs; and the Sneaky Tikis’ drummer.  As I drove back to the Doghouse to pick up ear plugs, that little nagging voice was getting louder, bitchier, and more annoying.  Even Little Steven’s Underground Garage could not drown it out!

Luke – drum prodigy – and his family followed me into the half-full parking lot at the Capitol Bowl upon my return from the Doghouse.  We now had a drummer and ear plugs.  Audience?

12:58.  Despite the increasingly irritating little nagging voice, the obvious approach was, “Hey, this is music.  We’re musicians and playing for tips only.  Nobody expects any rock show in a bowling alley, bar, etc. to start exactly on time.”

Luke settled onto the throne.  He is 12, and adjustments were in order.  Rotate the snare.  Change the angle of the crash cymbal.  He played around the kit.  The Sneaky Tikis then ran through a song.  Sound check!

People were coming in.  They were arriving to see our show.  In fact, the only folks in the bowling alley were there for us.  Friends who knew the routine were on their way to the lanes.  The lounge area was beginning to fill.  Friends and family of the Sneaky Tikis were in the restaurant area.

Suddenly, that annoying nagging voice was silent.  We were going to have 70 or more.

I went up to the mic and welcomed everybody to the Capitol Bowl.  “And, now, here is the future of surf music.  The Sneaky Tikis!”

From the opening of "Mike's Barracuda," high energy, fast, and loud surf music filled the bowling alley.  Some people went for the ear plugs that required a trip to the Doghouse.  Most, however, just rocked out. 

The friends and family of the Sneaky Tikis were snapping pictures, applauding, cheering, and taking video.

The fourth wave was taking off.  As they played, I thought about how far they had come in less than two months.  Even though not evident to the audience, less than two months ago, the band was created at Sierra Surf Music Camp and tutored by Dusty Watson.  Practice, enthusiasm, and talent were paying off!

Wow!  And the Sneaky Tikis knocked the socks off of the growing audience.

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