Saturday, June 14, 2003: Club Dada
Sometimes, it's good for a band to take a short break. When U2 seemed on the verge of breaking up after Rattle and Hum, they took a year off and emerged with the groundbreaking Achtung Baby. When the Beatles almost killed each during the Get Back sessions, they spent some time apart and then re-formed to make the classic Abbey Road LP. And when Lindsey Buckingham decided to go his own way from the other members of Fleetwood Mac in 1987, the band waited sixteen long years to re-unite and release the amazing Say You Will CD last month.(By the way, check out "Thrown Down" for one of the best songs you will ever hear in your life.)
Of course, "short breaks" sometimes really fuck things up. Ask The Police, who have still officially never broken up. Maybe you can check with the Talking Heads or The Smiths, who both took "breaks" and then never actually got back together. You're taking a chance when you take some time off, so I have to admit that I was a little worried when Diamondbag decided to take a short sanity break after almost two years of solid gigging. Sure, chances were that we would come back refreshed and ready to play-but there was always the chance that we'd <GASP> call it a sequined career.
Well, I'm happy to report that any doubts about our future were answered with authority last Saturday night at Club Dada. It had been almost two and a half months since the five of us had been in the same room together, so obviously I was a bit more tense than usual before the show. I suppose it didn't help that Jay was nowhere to be found when it was time for us to set up after the opening set from the Dead Thang. After a few frantic calls to Jay's house and cell phone, we still had no word from our humble guitarist-and it was time to start hauling our gear on stage. Uh oh.
As we were loading our stuff, Jon finally got in touch with Jay. It seems that our little Rip Van Winkle had fallen asleep, and had frantically awoken about 20 minutes before show time. You see what happens when your significant other (i.e., Angela) goes out of town for the weekend? I suppose it didn't help that poor Jay was in some significant pain after some mid-week oral surgery, and I'm sure the Vicodins had nothing to do with his pre-set coma either. But it all worked out, as Jay stumbled frantically into the club just in time to haul his guitar amp on stage and plug in for the set-opening "America."
And a fine set it was! We were only scheduled to play for an hour, so that means the audience was guaranteed to hear nothing but the hits. Sure, we love to throw curve balls in there every now and then, but you really have to give the people what they want when you only have an hour. After all, we're annoying enough on normal terms, but if we played a gig without "Sweet Caroline" or "Cherry Cherry".tell ya what, you'd probably find my bullet-filled body on the banks of the Trinity the next morning. Happily, we obliged and played all of the tunes everybody loves to sing along to. And sing along they did-the crowd really seemed to enjoy the show, and the show-closing "Sweet Caroline" practically put the place into a frenzy. Jon really cut loose on the guitar, especially during "Solitary Man" (with a bit of REM's "The One I Love" thrown if for good measure) and "Holly Holy." It felt really great to be on-stage again, even if our guitar player was stoned on painkillers and our drummer's new buzz cut makes him look exactly like G. Gordon Liddy. Our eleven-song set was seemingly over once it began, and I hope I speak for the other Diamondbaggers when I say that I can't wait until the next show at the Lakewood Bar and Grill on July 5th.
Special thanks go out to Sandy for spending her birthday with us, and to my Mom for putting up with the smoke, the booze, and her son in sequins. It was also great to have our dear friend Kim at one of our shows for the first time, and I get the impression she'll be back again real soon. And we hope you will too, now that Diamondbag has officially survived "The Break." As the thank-God-they're-still-on-a-break Starship once sang, "Nothing's gonna stop us now."
You have been warned.