Into the Abyss
Greetings and Salutations! The year 2012 is over, we survived, we're still here, and for a lot of us; "same ol' stuff, just another day". So let's move forward into time and space. In the meantime, I would like to share my year end with Y'ALL.
I took a gig (drummer), for New Years Eve, at an old and funky casino on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. No big deal? This was the second music job I played since June of 2012 and of the whole year. Because of the disease itself, condition, and collateral damage caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), my playing days are (I thought) pretty much over. The pain, limited motion of my hands and feet, the strength and endurance and even anxiety about the whole situation is impacted by RA. In short, a very big deal. My commitment to my self, not to "kill" myself, my great musician/friend/Bro, who offered me the opportunity, the other people in the band and the music itself. For the past few months, I have been feeling better (a relative term), and the job starts at 5 PM, over at 9 PM, meaning I could be home well before midnight. Plus, it was this kind of gig that I've played OH so many hundreds of times: "Hi, we are here, tucked and out of the way in a tiny little space by the slots, playing music VERY quietly and non-intrusive, in this shitty old and smokey smelling casino, just in case you might happen to walk by and exclaim "Hey there's a band!" on your way to play the nickel slots - gig. You know the job, so, I said yes!
Because it was New Years Eve in Tahoe and even though I allowed myself plenty of time, what was a 45 minute drive took me an hour and a half, putting me a half an hour away from start time and I still had to unload and set up my drums, sigh. Oh yeah, I was stressed and anxious. First thought were about WHY am I doing this, is it WORTH it? Oh, shut up and get to work! Whoops, I forgot my bass drum pegs, those little straight spiked thingy - dingeys that prop up and anchor the bass drum. Without them, the bass drum could slide ahead or even roll over, or both, NICE! Sigh. Well, somehow, I was ready to go at 5 PM, with drum cases propped up on both sides of the bass drum to keep it from moving. Good ol' muscle memory kicked in and took over. I relaxed, my technique was there, my volume was just right, no over-playing and I knew all the songs being called. I DID it! And it was just like I never left. For that I'm very grateful. For the little bit of extra money I was able to contribute, I am grateful. For a few laughs in a shitty and smelly old casino with three friends, while people totally ignored us, I am grateful. And yes, even though it took me three days to recover, I'm grateful. All in all, a good ending and great beginning to a new year and obviously, opportunities. I certainly can't say that I will be able to play the next gig, but, HEY! I'm going to get the call.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!