Gigging With Strange Bands

Of all the strange turns in my career – earning a degree in archaeology only to discover I hate digs, taking up fencing for fun only to end up working as a fight choreographer, becoming one of the world’s truly terrible actors yet getting some fun parts, falling into becoming a product strategist . . . etc – the one thing I’ve kept doing since the age of nineteen is performing as a musician. Sometimes I’m hired to play guitar, other times keyboards or bass, often I do a lot of the singing  (See? Even in music I’m the prototypical jack-of-all-trades, master of none.) Sometimes I’m playing very straight, formal shows, sometimes . . . well, here are a few of my recent gigs.

Bring back the eighties . . . and nineties?

A good friend of mine swears that the nineties were the end of rock & roll because almost nothing from that era has really stood the test of time (even Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hardly gets any radio play anymore compared to, say, A-Ha’s “Take on Me”). Still, it’s not for lack of trying. I recently got to play songs like Edwyn Collins “Never Met A Girl Like You Before” and Smash Mouth’s “All Star”. Classics? I don’t know, but people seemed to dig them.

Where’s my damned yellow submarine?

One of my favourite gigs is playing John Lennon in a groovy Beatles show called the Mop Tops. I’ve done a few of those gigs recently. There’s something truly fun about just playing the music of a single band – especially one as sonically compelling and diverse as the Beatles.

Wait . . . you want me to wear a what?

So apparently this was the fortieth anniversary of Animal House. Yes, that’s me wearing a toga. Yes, that look on my face perfectly expresses how weird I felt dressed like that while rocking out to tunes like Shout by Otis Day and the Knights and Twistin’ The Night Away by Sam Cooke.

I’ve since demanded that this become my official author photo for all my books. A good look, don’t you think?

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