212. Men at Work

After all that, Ziggy had to miss our first meeting with the light tech. He had to do some movie-related press junket in New York, and he called Carynne and told her instead of calling me. Which I suppose was okay. She was in charge of arrangements, after all, and I was fine with that. She called to ask if we should reschedule.

“Well, the thing is,” I said, “we’re supposed to start rehearsals, too. When’s he back?”

“Not until Monday. Want to push it off?”

“No. Let’s meet Thursday anyway, and just start without him. He’s not the one who needs to get his fingers in shape anyway.”

Not that I felt me, Bart, and Chris needed to be “in shape” exactly. But you’re sharper when you’ve been playing together, and my impression is it takes instrumentalists longer to get tight than vocalists.

So on a Thursday night we took over a community theater in the suburbs where Kev had connections. It’d be ours for a couple of weeks. They could use the rent money and we needed somewhere with a bigger stage than our basement.

I was surprised when we walked in to find the place had no chairs, just a wide open floor, with folding chairs stacked off to one side. It reminded me uncomfortably of my elementary school for some reason, but the moment passed. The stage was fairly low as these things go; I was able to jump right up. The boards were black and scuffed, with rectangular glue marks left by pieces of tape.

The door at the back of the place opened and a nondescript guy with brown hair and a wool “jock” jacket came in. When he got closer I could see the name of a lighting company embroidered on the chest of the jacket. He had glasses on, regular ones, not sunglasses.

I also recognized him, finally. This was Louis, the light tech, and when we shook hands I realized when I did it, I did it Remo-style, shaking with one hand and patting the guy on the shoulder with the other. “Good to see you again.” “Yeah, you too.”

Like a lot of the people Remo has worked with over and over, he seemed like a straightforward no-nonsense type. He shook hands with Chris and Bart, too, and Carynne hung back, watching us talk. We pulled out a few folding chairs and sat down to talk. Since Zig wasn’t there, I sketched him out what a likely set list was going to be–that is, at least a few groups of songs that were likely to go together.

“Yeah, a lot of it will really depend on what your front man does,” Louis said.


We went up on the stage and told him a little about where we typically stood, and about how we were making the transition to larger stages, larger venues. He made a couple of points about MIDI controllers, effects, and then said, “I’ll come back in like a week?”

“He’s supposed to be back by Monday, I think,” I said.

“Monday’s good. I’ll hang around town.”

“Okay, you’re sure? Do you need a place to stay?” I asked.

“Nah. My ex-wife lives in Newton and so I’ll spend the weekend visiting my kids.”

I must have looked skeptical because he laughed. “No, really, it’s cool. She’s awesome now that we’re not married.”

And so he left with Carynne and me and Bart and Chris spent the rest of the evening working up a sweat.


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