Friday, May 29, 2009

You Just Can't Stay There

"Maybe you can go home again, but you just can't stay there."

Maybe I just over analyze things. Or I just make a big deal when there isn't.

(LEFT> Yes, we actually used that machine on one recording which remains a favorite. The bossa nova beat is hilarious. I love this piece of crap.)

When the Velvets recently united for an hour's set at Live Mix studios, days afterwards, I kept waiting for the insight, the revelation, the kernel of thought that would summarize the experience. Some golden nugget would drop out of the sky and grant the expected perspective.

Nothing came.

It's nearly a week later and I'm still nonplussed. I had to call Dave. Dave and I always do the post-gig analysis. I trust his opinion because he's not going to blow smoke.

I told him I kept thinking that some revelation was going to drop and a blog entry would follow. He was busy with his other passion, fixing bikes, and our conversation was short. He thought the gig went well and there were moments when it felt like the old band again.

I agreed and told him there were many moments when I recognized that sound, that feel that was the V Bros. It's hard to describe, but it's the gestalt: the sum being greater than the individual parts.

Though you can't keep history out of these proceedings, I didn't want the gig to be just a friendly walk down memory lane. Nostalgia doesn't work in front of a live audience and, although the audience was small and largely connected to family, they still can recognize shit when they hear it. These are true friends: friends who will say when the music's not happening. We passed that test.

So, what's the prob, Bob?
Though I think the band played very well and I had a blast going on the Rum Tour, lead by rum master Craig, I still recognize that our time has passed. Everyone is just so busy and involved with other projects that this is just a side project. It has to be. Practicalities are overwhelming. Still, the very fact that we came together and plan another one for August (Greg's 50th birthday) speaks volumes.

"It's like you said, everyone is involved in so many things that this is just a side project."

I am proud of this band. Without hyperbole, it was one of the most original and fun bands to ever come out of the Kanawha Valley. It was one of the best as well. At one time, we were on top and no one can deny that. The mere fact that Latinos and gringos banded together to make a unique sound is something that is very rare even today in any city.

But, I'm not that guy anymore. It was apparent when singing old songs and the lyrics felt a bit stupid. That was another time when every song seemed to be about a guy in a bar...etc.

So, here's a toast (10 year old rum, of course) to the Veebs: to once was and to future fun together. To paraphrase the Bard:

We few
We Velvet few
We band of brothers

For he who wears polyester today
is my brother
However tipsy his condition

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