Saturday, February 14, 2004: The Barley House
Where DOES the time go, anyways? It seems like just yesterday that we were destroying (and I mean that literally) "Song Sung Blue" as our final song during our last show at Barley House, and that was over a year ago. Time sure does fly when you're having fun, I guess. And we have had a lot of fun the past year, but I must admit that I was really happy to be playing at the Barley again after all this time. All of our shows there in the past have been drunken free-for-alls, and I mean that in the best possible way.
When I booked this show, I intentionally asked for the Valentines Day slot. My logic was simple: if you have that special someone to spend the day with, great. If you don't, then you still have a place to go hang with your friends, hear some decent music, and drink your sorry loveless troubles away. I think I may have upset a few band members' wives though, and for that I humbly apologize to Katie and Angela and Carissa. But all in all, playing on Valentines Day turned out to be a great idea. We had a big crowd, we played some fun songs that fit the theme of the night, and I even got to sign my first autograph.
What, you say? Someone actually asked me for an autograph? Yes, it really did happen. I even have the carbon copy to prove it, as it was signed on a piece of register tape and the yellow copy sat on the table the rest of the evening. Of course, I thought the lovely young lady requesting my valuable signature was simply pulling a prank, but she was quite insistent about really wanting it. If you ever needed proof that the crowd at Barley is crazy drunk, this is it. But thank you, Jessica, for blowing my mind.
Our original plan for the evening was to play the second set in our jammies. Luckily for all of you, we came to our senses and decided to keep our clothes on for the second half of the evening. The rumors of Jay's hearts-covered boxers were indeed true, and he did plan on letting his pants down at some point during the evening. However, in typical drunken Jay fashion, he forgot. Sorry girls. I would have dropped my pants for ya, but the blinding sight of my skinny white-ass legs would have instantly ended the amorous plans of the many drunken couples in attendance. I may hate Valentines Day, but I, not that evil.
Even though we failed to follow up on the jammies idea, we did still come through with some special Valentine's Day moments. We offered up the rarely-performed "Play Me" in the first set, truly one of Neil's prettiest love songs (great solo by Jon, by the way). For someone who is known as a schmaltz-meister, most of Neil's love songs are actually not happy ones. Ever listen to the lyrics of "Love On the Rocks" or "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" or "I Got the Feeling?" Not exactly happy stuff, my friends. We played all of these tunes anyways, and special thanks are due to Tiffiny for once again gracing the stage to sing "Flowers" with me. Right after we finished "Flowers," it seemed appropriate to unleash a song that we learned just for the occasion: of course, I am referring to the J. Geils Band's classic anthem of lovelorn animosity, "Love Stinks."
Love stinks. Have truer words ever been spoken? I think not. We blasted through the song with Jon and Jay turned up to 11, I somehow remembered all the words, and Eric kept up even though he wasn't there when we rehearsed it. Speaking of Eric.well, more about that in a bit.
After "Love Stinks," we brought Matt up to the stage and he and Jay and Mike ripped through the Femmes classic "Blister In the Sun." You may wonder what that song has to do with Valentine's Day, but I suggest that any tune about self-gratification is particularly appropriate on this day. Just be glad we didn't choose to play "She Bop" or "I Touch Myself," although I suppose "Pictures of Lily" would have worked nicely too. Also, one thousand thanks are due to Matt for running the sound board for us. By all accounts, everyone said it was the best we have ever sounded at Barley, and most of the credit goes to him for interrupting his valuable drinking time in order to tweak the board. Thanks Matt, you rock!
By the time 1:30 came around, it was time for one more song and I wanted it to be a special one. We thought about doing "All You Need Is Love," but since I think that's a pile of donkey droppings (the motto, not the song), we settled for another guest appearance from the wonderful Mike Napodano on a blistering version of "Purple Rain." I sang the first verse, Mike finished it off, and Eric turned in a solo that had the audience roaring. You know your band rocks when your BASS player turns in guitar solo that even Prince himself would have been proud of! It was a great way to end the night-so great, in fact, that my original plan of closing with the cheesy Neil classic "Heartlight" was instantly abandoned. We weren't going to top Eric's amazing solo even if Neil himself happened to pop in the Barley door, so we called it a night and continued drinking. By the way, thanks to Tiffiny and Becca for supplying us with shots all evening, and I would also like to thank my Dinks girls-Nicole and the Christinas-for supplying me with some Tuaca on the side. Nothing beats cute girls buying you shots, I must say!
After the lengthy tear-down, it was back to "The House" for yet another after-party. We savor each and every one of these, as we never know which one will turn out to be the last one due to Matt and Sarah's imminent move. We ate the food, we drank the wine, everybody had a good time-except you. You were waiting for the end of the world. Or at least, the end of "The House."
I really want to sincerely thank each and every one of you who came to the gig. In fact, I appreciate it so much that I am going to list every single person I can think of here. If I left off your name, please don't hate me OK? The crowd was big, and me very drunky!
Special thanks-in no particular order—to:
And as always, I bow down to the band. It's an honor to play with these guys, and it's a privilege to get drunk and play for you. We'll see you all at the next show at the LBG in March, and look for upcoming dates at Club Dada, Django, and maybe even the Cavern.
And always remember: