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Whisky A Go-Goal

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Building a band is like building a tower. You need a strong foundation built by people who either can't wait to put their bricks in place, or who are fed up putting their bricks in the wrong foundation. It takes time and a lot of determination to get it right. The band, after all, isn't about a band at all. It's about making a statement.


For introverts like me, it makes sense. You have a few hours to express yourself, and then when the lights go down, you go back to your shell.

Johnny Rivers Opens at Whisky A Go Go 1964

But my friend, Dirk, gave me a solid piece of advice. He said I had to get out there and make friends. I never thought of it like that. Introverts need friends like extroverts need crickets. People are exhausting.


I always thought musicians weren't like normal people: they were sensitive, moody. But wait! I'm a musician, right? I remembered how much fun it was hearing Johnny Rivers play Maybelline when I was a kid. It was exciting. I wanted to dance in my jammies all night long. I wondered what it must have been him in the 1960's. I bet he made a lot of friends playing out, right? I bet he felt the same way.


So, I put out some feelers. At first Armando, Rudy, Marty and I were looking to break ground and start putting things together. But Armando and Rudy had to drop out for one reason or another. And that left Marty and me.


At first, as usual, I let my huge ego drive. I gave Marty some songs to check out. About a month later we got together and he gave me the bad news. My head voice sucked and I needed to stay in my chest voice. Wow! Heartbreak! And that meant like 50% of my stuff needed re-writing. And I needed to play bass because finding another Armando was impossible.


If you don't know, Armando and I worked together years ago and is a man I completely respect. So when he had to drop out, I knew finding someone else with his ability and personality would be hard to do. So, I picked up the bass. My approach to bass is kind of like Gene Simmons. I want the bass lines to move a lot. It took me a while to accept because I really enjoy rhythm guitar.


Rather than cry about it, Marty suggested we just start with a clean slate. It's not like we had a drummer, right? And yeah, bass guitar. So, I have to learn a whole new instrument. Wonderful.


That means we have to write a whole bunch of new stuff. It will be challenging. On the upshot, we both have room to grow and not be bothered by residual self images. On the down side, there's a lot to relearn and redo.


The first song we wrote is called, "Ball Of Twine". I shopped it around to a few friends and the feedback was positive. So we're working on another now.


What this all means is I have to finish Hook, Line and Sinker. So, getting that all together is going to take longer than I want. And I have to move on with Marty because it's a lot of fun. We are going to be a team, so that means no more working alone. And that means committing to something larger than myself.


We haven't talked about what we should call ourselves. And we're going to need a drummer and another guitar player.


So, why the title of this blog is Whisky A Go-Goal? I hope we can play Whisky A Go Go as a goal for us. It's an icon for musicians I respect, including Dirk, who's played there. I would love a chance to just look at the stage, let alone play there. But I want to set a goal to do that.


As we get going, I hope to give you some new songs to consider as we begin building our team. I'll send links to you as we get moving.


Love & Rockets,

Russ

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