My mail inbox is full but at last finally a face to face meeting.
I have read enough of "you're not what we're looking for 'image wise'" or, "if you can't commit to touring 9 months a year from the start then you're out" to last a lifetime. Is it really this hard to meet people to just have fun playing with? Play some awesome shows but not have to sell you're life away?
But here I am, climbing the stairs of a dingy smelly practice space, I'm lugging my trusty Marshall Combo amp in one arm and guitar slung over the other.
"Singer-songwriter looking for musicians," it was an inconspicuous title, I remain only slightly put off by his claims of stardom on the horizon; I mean everyone and his mum on these websites seems to have label contacts, but at least this guy's YouTube account seemed to check out.
I reach the door; the smell of cigarette smoke ingrained into it makes me wonder if anything's been cleaned since the smoking ban came in a few years ago. OK, game face on. There's no door handle so I give it a big push, it's heavy but starts slowly to swing open and, there they were.
3 faces stare back at me; the room is lit by one dim bulb straining to cast its light on the proceedings in the room. Behind a battered looking drum kit and a pair of thick glasses the drummer is analyzing me; not much to see, I've gone for the ultimately un-offending combo of black t-shirt and jeans, I'm not putting anyone off at first glance today. On the other hand he has gone for a lurid yellow t-shirt that screams hipster at me; I smile back, trying my best not to judge, while quickly surveying the others in the room. To my left behind some blond shoulder length curtains the bassist stands what must be a full foot shorter then me, he's strapped on a Squire P-bass and seems to have bought along some kind of practice amp, on closer inspection he seems to be wearing a status quo t-shirt, already I doubt that he will last the distance here but for now I give him the benefit of the doubt.
In the center of the room stands Rick, tight jeans and shirt he looks serious, he's probably a hit with the ladies by the looks of him, and he's standing with his acoustic guitar over his shoulder like a sword. Stood in front of the mic stand it looks a little comical to me, but he's the guy I'm going to have to impress, I go over and shake his hand, too much? Maybe, it's not a job interview but it sure feels like one.
I lean down to start plugging in my gear, I go with my Marshall overdrive rather than my Digitech metal pedal, I doubt there'll be much shredding today. Standing up I scrape my pick over my faithful Ibanez getting the familiar sharp tone, it's probably not my most suitable guitar sound-wise but it's easy playing and it'll stay in tune.
"Ok, lets start, see what you guys can do with this," Rick jumps into a fast acoustic riff it's cool and understated, the drummer starts tapping along, my brain notes that I didn't get anyone else's name but I'm too busy watching Rick's fingers to care; it looks complicated but it appears to be just E major so I start some slow descending triplets; it seems to be a pretty cool counterpart to the riff and I smile, the bassist is staring at my fingerboard with a creased forehead and I see it coming even before he hits the F and C; the sound is grating an horrible, I despair a little bit but play the power chords for a couple of bars so he can get the notes right. The drummer seems to be glaring at me, I genuinely can't tell if he hates what I'm playing, thinks I'm the one who played the bum notes or he actually can't see me but I carry on regardless.
3 hours later...
I'm putting my guitar in my case, my sweaty t-shirt clinging to my back. I can't help but smile, I mean the bassist clearly had NO theory knowledge but it was fun to just be playing with people again. The drummer and bassist are outside packing their kit away and Rick comes up to me, "Hey man, that was pretty cool, honestly though I think I was looking for something a little more texture wise." I look up at him, I think I can see where this is going. "Tell you what, give me you're phone number and I'll have a think about it and get back to you."
Two days later I see an add appear on the internet "singer-songwriter looking for guitarist and bassist."