It’s been a couple of weeks since the subject of this post occurred, but it’s taken me that long to digest and make sense of it all. So, completely unfettered, here’s the basic story:
I received a Facebook message from a popular local Beatles tribute band, “Apple Core”. The gist of the message was that they were scheduled to play a private party in honor of a long-time fan of theirs, who was leaving for Germany to serve his final term in the armed forces before retirement; the band’s regular bassist was unavailable, so they contacted me. Apparently they selected me as we had a common musical “like” on our pages – namely, the amazing band, The Smithereens. The honored host of the party was a long time friend of that band, and I was informed that Pat DiNizio (lead vocals/guitar) and Jim Babjak (lead guitar/vocals) would be playing a set, for which we would open. So, of course I jumped at the chance to witness a private acoustic show with two of my musical heroes. This was to take place at a local American Legion hall, kindly donated for the occasion.
So, I get there, meet the rest of the band, set up, sound check; then I meet Pat, later Jim, and finally the guest of honor. Joined by the honoree, Apple Core and I bounce through about 8 or 10 Beatles tunes. Then, we break, while Pat and Jim take over with a set of their songs (handpicked by the guest of honor, of course). During a break, I have a really in-depth conversation with Jim (a real, down-to-Earth guy; what an unbelievable talent to watch up close). I learn about his (drool) 1972 Rickenbacker that he brought out only for this special occasion. I pose for a couple of pics, then he and Pat take up a second set with the honoree on vocals.
About 45 minutes later, Pat invites up Apple Core, me in tow, jaw dragging on the floor, to play some Beatles tunes (AWESOMENESS LEVEL ORANGE!)[*If you’re interested, I can send you links to some of the low quality videos from those performances.*]
Half a dozen songs or so into this set, Pat asks the band how we’d feel about playing some Smithereens songs. Not sure what overcame me at that moment, but I looked him square in the eyes and responded, “Absolutely,” to which Pat replied, “I like the cut of your jib.” (insert fan-boy squeal here). After a bit of banter, Pat motions to me, announcing, “Here’s Howard on bass…Blood and Roses.” (AWESOMENESS LEVEL BRAIN-FRY ACHIEVED!!!)
Though it’s low quality audio, I’ve posted the video proof. Finally, I have musical bragging rights! Enjoy the video, and thanks for reading my entire ramble.
And here it is…