Thursday, 8 December 2011

A Day In The Life

it starts like this
we get up in the morning and get into a van or a plane
we arrive at the venue and immediately walk onto the stage
greet the local crew
and go over our set up
there is always something missing
a mandolin
or a funny drum
or maybe something to do with the keyboard memory
but we solve it with phone calls and conversations
then we tune the guitars

then we head to catering
and have lunch
it's always sandwiches
once we've had lunch it's back to the stage
and we begin the long process of sound checking
we rehearse different parts of songs
sometimes only seconds of songs
we break at 5:30 providing there are no issues
then we tune the guitars

then we have dinner
it's always chicken with either rice or mashed
maybe a nice soup
and dessert
some of us have a beer
or wine
then we go back to the stage and tune the guitars some more
then the doors open at 7:30
by this time we're all in our rooms backstage
we're dress in our black and hang out in the dressing room hallway

this is a weird time
we can hear the audience in the distance
i sometimes sneak out to the lobby pre show
and have a look at everybody
3 generations at the shows
that's heavy

finally we make our way to the wings of the stage
and we can see everyone in their seats
there's always a lot of people
someone does some announcements
then the lights go out
and the house music goes off
and everyone cheers
we're really feeling the vibe now
we walk out onto stage
and tune the guitars

because we demand that our instruments be perfect
this is what classical orchestras do
for new comers this is the definition of being anti climatic
for the fans this is exciting
because they know that in any second
we're going to start the opening bars of hotel california
or whole lotta love
or come together
and we're going to play them perfectly
with the right tempo
the right sound
and most importantly - the right feel

there are people in audience who don't get it
at least not at first
they see a bunch of musicians just standing there
no costumes
no flash
no talking
and they feel uneasy
'i paid good money for this?'
but slowly they forget about the visual
and take the music in
and find excitement in a perfectly executed guitar solo
or vocal throw
and that's it
they're fans for life
and we love that they're sharing this music with us
the greatest music in the history of the world
performed by the greatest musicians in the world

after the show
we tear down our own gear
we're a tightly run organization
i keep expenses down so i can pay the musicians top dollar
we load our own gear
drive our own vans
make our own plans
and we look out for each other

once the van is loaded - it's back to the hotel
or a bar
we review the show
and have insane conversations about crazy things
rob can imitate anyone
clifton has a uniquely weird sense of humour
alex snorts when she laughs

we all hang out
that's a big part of the CAL vibe
the musicians hanging out
few of them met before CAL
you take one of the older cats like marty
and there he is hanging out and laughing with shain who's barely 21
i love that
i call it the cross pollination

i like the hotel rooms
i lock myself in
or internet for show reviews and emails
i venture down to troy's room
he's playing prog music for everyone
i take a drink of whatever is around
and smile and feel good

lobby call at 7:00am for a flight back to toronto
we gotta get some sleep

dec. 8, 2011
coffee and sliced apple


  1. Wish I could be a part of it, maybe someday...Like if you decide to do "Southern Harmony and Musical Companion" or something.

  2. It sounds to me like you need some variation in the menu. :)

    The audience loves what you do, because you do it so well!