UPDATE: Unfortunately, this band is no more. Back in December 2006, at Jillian's insistence, they fired the guitar player and drummer (both long-time members). Then Jillian insisted that they fire me! To Don and the founder's credit, they chose me and fired Jillian, which left Jon, Scott and Me (not much of a band). Early in 2007, they added a very capable drummer/singer/musician name Jeff Owens, a very nice guy too. But I just could never click with him musically. Shortly after Don found a wonderful singer, a 21-year old young lady named Sarah Peterson. Then Sarah and Jeff began to move the band into a "pop" rather than rock/R&B style and were also interested in performing a high percentage of cover songs in the set. It wasn't the band I joined, and it wasn't the music I wanted to play. Try as hard as I could, I was no longer enjoying the project so I tendered my resignation. Good luck to the band going forward.
All I need... is therapy... em-pa-thy... is the key... (c) Cohen/Saxon 2004
L to R: John (guitar, vocals), Dave (e. guitar), Kerry (drums, vocals), Jillian (vocals),
George (me - bass), Scott (keys, vocals),
Sometime in December 2004, I found a message on my answering machine from a person named Donald Cohen. The message was he was looking for a bass player for his band. Honestly, thoughts abut joining a band or being offered a position in a band are pretty low in my priority list. After a fantastic ride with The Nails, I couldn't see starting over with the songwriting, the personalities , the endless rehearsals with no gigs or worse, a cover band, as an enticing option. So I simply ignored the message despite the fact that Donald did mention that he was referred by a very close and dear friend of mine. A week or so later there was another message from Donald. I don't know what was different. Maybe it was that my good friend's name as a referral or my desire to show courtesy to the caller, but I called Donald back. That phone call was the start of an interesting, inspiring and ongoing ride.
Donald (Don) explained that he is a professional therapist (a psychologist, I think) who is an amateur poet. He collaborates with a musician, John Saxon and that Don and John had started a band (although Don is not in the band, he's not a musician) to play their original collaborations. Don explained that he writes song lyrics and John sets them to music. I thought this was a novel approached and interesting in itself. Don explained that he had met my friend at the home of someone he knew, mentioned that the band's bass player had quit and was looking for a replacement. My friend (who respects my musicianship and experience, probably more than I respect my own) suggested me. (I'm thinking "six degrees of separation" here). Maybe it was time for something new in my life, maybe it was my friend's respect, but I took Don's offer to call John and chat. Although skeptical about the music, I was immediately struck by John's demeanor on the phone as that of a nice guy who sounded like he knew what he was doing. I don't remember much about the call. I was sort of interested in hearing the "story" but it would come down to hearing his music. I asked John to classify the band's sound and his first reaction was that people say the band doesn't sound like any particular group. When pushed, though, he volunteered that the band might be compared to "The Jefferson Airplane" or "Fleetwood Mac." My reply was "I could live with that." John offered to send me a CD. The proof would be in the CD.
The CD arrived a few days. During those few days I had been thinking mostly about how I would graciously decline the offer to join (figuring the usual run-of-the-mill, try to be songwriters and rock musicians stuff I've heard in the past) without insulting John and Don. But when I played the music things took a big big change in my mind. (Of course they did or you wouldn't be reading this story.) First, the songs were wonderful and the singing (the band is vocal heavy a welcome change from endless riffing) is excellent. To my surprise, the band is fronted by a female vocalist. (I've always liked women in rock music, the Nails had women singers in our early days and female backup vocals or musicians on our RCA albums). On the strength of the 5 songs John sent me, I decided to attend a rehearsal. This rehearsal held in the basement of Kerry's (the drummer) dry cleaning establishment presented me with a wonderful assortment of personnel and personalities. In their young 30's, Jillian (a stunningly beautiful young lady), John and Kerry are handsome and youthful. Dave and Scott, while decided middle-aged are both handsome and youthful for their age and the four guys had great heads of hair (important for show biz, in my opinion). That just left one bald, old guy - me. I had done my homework music-wise so when we ran down the 5 tunes I was there, the music cooked and I had a great feeling to be playing with a rock band again and with these very talented musicians and singers.
So we started working together although in fits and starts. There were serious health problems with a spouse and two babies born (Jillian's and John's), business trips, scheduling conflicts, job upheaval and booked family vacations (everyone in the band have families, jobs/business and the obligations that go with busy lives. Somehow we got to the Spring and we've had two performances. One a little two song "shake-down" (sans Dave and Scott) and a full blown club date.
I feel like I now belong to new musical family and I have expectations of great and wonderful things ahead.
Westport Arts Center, Westport, Connecticut, April 3, 2005
Acoustic Cafe, Bridgeport, Connecticut, June 4, 2005 (includes 3 minute video sampler)
Bobby Qs, Westport, Connecticut, July 15, 2005
Bobby Qs "On the Roof," Westport, Connecticut, October 1, 2005
RETURN TO MUSIC PERFORMANCE