Wedding Band Blues

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I’ve never played in a wedding band before but I have DJ’ed at them and I’ve known quite a few bands that played weddings and, I gotta say, this is scarily true…

And so in the dark of night the Lord summoned Noah, and spoke to him.”Noah, awake and heed my words!”

And Noah, did cry out, “Who goeth there?”

“It is the Lord of All Things.” And the Lord did say, “Noah, build me A Band. For the earth will be visited by a plague, and it will be called club dates. And it will be preceded by forty days of Bridal Expos and forty nights of Showcasing.”

And Noah did say, “Command me, Lord.”

And the Lord did say, “First, thou must find me a Leader.”

And Noah did bow his head, saying, “Yes, my Lord. And what will this Leader play?”

And the Lord said, “It mattereth little, whether he play or not, or whether he be proficient or not. For his Job shall primarily be to talk to the Brides and their Mothers, and to count off Tempos wrong, and to inquire as to whether Overtime will happen, and to try to segue tunes that can not be segued and delay payment to the musicians as long as possible. If he playeth any instrument, thou must always have another player of that instrument on the
bandstand, just to be safe. The leader shall also remain forever befuddled by the P.A. system so it may produce horrendous feedback forever onto the end.”

And Noah did shake his head in wonder, saying, “Lord, thy ways are Strange and Mysterious. What more shall I do?”

And the Lord said, “Next, find me a Drummer. This Drummer must have
imperfect time, so that whenever he playeth a Fill –and he shall play many–, he must always emerge at a different place, sometimes early and sometimes late, but thou may not guess which. He must also be Supremely Discontent, always hoping for the Big Break so that he despiseth Jobbing. Most importantly, he must always be convinced of his Righteousness, in all things, including Time, Volume, Tempo and Feel, so that he argueth always with the Bass Player.”

“And shall the drummer sing?” asked Noah.

“NO!” declared the Lord. “He shall remain silent even if he sings better than the others. Unless no one else knows “Hot Hot Hot” may he then utter a word.”

And Noah did say, “As you command, Lord.”

“Next shall be the Bass Player, but only if the job already has seven musicians booked before him. And he shall be Bored, for the limitations of his instrument and the music he must play will decree it.”

And Noah did say, “Of course. And next, my Lord?”

“Next shall be the Keyboardist and he shall play as if he has twenty fingers, and he shall play Substitute upon Substitute, until no man may recognize the tonic. He must also play bass with his left hand at all times and it shall be muddy and indescript.”

And Noah asked,”What if there are more than seven and a bassist playeth?”

And the Lord cried out: “Then he of the keyboards must play louder and busier so that no man shall hear the real bassist.”

And Noah did wonder aloud, “Lord, Great is thy Wisdom!”

“Next shall be the Guitar Player and he shall be Loudest of all. And he and only he shall sing ‘Old Time Rock n’ Roll’ and “Johnny B Goode.” Also his instrument will be designed so that he shall not know The Page, and so must rely upon his Ears, which have been damaged by exposure to High Sound Pressure Levels.”

And Noah did say, “It shall be done.”

And the Lord did say, “Next thou shall call upon the Saxophones. And they shall play Bop licks, often and many, yea, even on the Celine Dion ballads. And they will not need to understand rhythm, yet will read well therefore causing dissention between them and the guitarist.”

“I understand,” said Noah.

“Next shall be the Trumpeters. And of Changes they shall know nothing.”

“Shall there be others, my Lord?” asked Noah.

And the Lord said; “There shall be the Trombone Players. On second thought, they aren’t really necessary.”

And Noah did say, “Mighty is the Lord!”

Then the Lord commanded; “Finally, find me the Singers. And they shall be Three, one a Male, and two Females. And the Male shall be filled with pride and swagger and know of little. “And of the Females, one shall be Black and one shall be White. And the Black one shall always sing the R&B and the White one shall always sing the Pop, and Country Songs. And both shall be Late, and know not of Keys or Form. And they shall leave every gig having never touched a piece of Equipment. And they shall be paid much more than the Sidemen. Ask not why.”

And Noah did say, “Lord, Thy will be done.”

And so it was…

And it’s been hell on earth ever since.

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