Sunday Surf Party: "We Are the Lava Pups"

Editor’s Note:  We had hoped for photos but do not have them yet.  Patience is a virtue at which I am deficient.  So you get some of our artwork instead.

We were plugged in.  We had gotten thumbs up indicating that our volumes were good.  Our merch table was set up.  Ear plugs in, and we were ready to rock ‘n roll.

“Hi.  We are the Lava Pups.  Take it away, Glenn!”  Drum intro.  Then Don and Paul.  My turn.  Wow, where were the usual jitters?  Of course, not worrying about freezing up meant that my mind was free to roam all over.  Thinking can be a person’s worst enemy.  Actually, thinking about thinking is!

For some reason -- maybe thinking -- our corner of the restaurant felt smaller than before.  The Pyronauts’ mic and stand really were not being very friendly.  First, I forgot to put lips to mic.  How was that the mic’s fault?  But it was cured when the audience shouted out in what seemed to be unison, “We can’t hear you.”  Fortunately, that was early in the set and allowed me to use my radio voice.  Next, my guitar cord ended up wrapped around the mic stand.  As I looked down at the rat’s nest of cords, I thought, “This is a disaster in the making.  Fix it now or suffer indignity later!”  That meant unwinding the mess while trying to make some joke.

Immediately after wondering how I could forget parts of “Into the Flow” -- which we wrote -- we coincidentally got the set flowing.  We were having fun.  One guest was snapping photos through a camera with a huge, professional-looking lens.  Always ready for a photo op, Paul smiled and posed.  I tried.  But, as readers of this blog know, multi-tasking is not my strong suit.

As we played, I realized that we are getting better at this band stuff.  “Here’s one you can sing along with,” and we went into “Runaway.”  People sang along as they always seem to do.  Paul’s dad even looked up the lyrics on his iPhone.  We ripped through “Squad Car.”  The guests at the bar and sitting at the tables were rocking along with us.  Some guy actually was singing out the chords that I played when Paul took the lead.

As we wrapped up "Squad Car," a thought hit, "Do they have air conditioning in this building?"  Hot day.  Air not working.  I ran my forearm across my wet forehead and announced, “I’m sweating like a pig!”  As Paul started into the introduction to “Pacifica Blue,” the madras shirt came off.

After introducing the band and pimping the Pyronauts, their new CD, our merch, the Capitol Bowl, and Cap’s Grill, we lit off on the build up to the end of the set.  No rest for anybody.  Just pure energetic rock ‘n rock and more sweat.  “Sea Witch.”  “Surf Party.”  “Lava Tube.”  “Raw Hide/Jack the Ripper.”  Faster.  Faster.  Glenn lost a drum stick, and our set was over!

“Thank you.  We are the Lava Pups.  The fabulous Pyronauts are next.  Eat, drink, bowl.  Please tip Chicago style:  early and often.”

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