Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SXSW and the Beautiful Blouse

At SXSW we figured we’d have a lot of time to update the JMSMC page and we were very much wrong. We played to a packed house on a rooftop bar (umm, a big crowd on a roof), made a TV appearance, detoured to Taylor, Texas for free beer and a small show, played a coffee shop acoustic set and saw too many other shows in too little time. Also, the insomnia wave is best ridden drunk. To recap, free time was a no go.

And now that I’ve more or less caught up on sleep and/or substituted beers for energy drinks, I am ready to unveil the one most memorable event from the SXSW madness: a girl.

Now don’t take-off running because I promise it doesn’t get mushy here. Me rockstar. Me no cuddle. Me rockstar. Me rock. It just so happens that there was a brunette with the (second) most beautiful capo I’ve ever seen.

She was a brunette, the capo a blonde. She had long smooth legs and the capo shined in the stage lights during her solo acoustic set. She played in one of those basement bars where the inexplicable always seems to occur, and her voice was what first jolted me into sobriety. They say love is intoxicating, but if you’re already at the latter I suppose it works the other way, too.

As I was admiring her, er, blouse selection, I noticed her fancypants Takamine guitar and then this custom pearl white capo with a swirling extension that looked like her initials. I was now full-on sober, if you pick up what I’m putting down. I put myself down in a chair and did the whole elbows-to-table-and-chin-to-fists thing and was more than enthralled with her ability to move while seated, how her hair fell along the frets, how she picked with her eyes closed and sang so heartily it must’ve began in her toes.

I cannot specifically recall the melody to that song but I can remember every detail of every brick on the walls around her and every face staring as equally as intently as I had been. She strummed a last eerie minor chord and received a calm we’re-not-going-anywhere applause. She reached for the shiny white capo, soothingly slid it up three frets and said, “This song is a cover and it’s called Waiting on the World to Change. I hope you know it and sing along.”

My sober state vanished with the help of a Saint Patty’s Day car bomb and we left.

Friday, February 25, 2011

B is for Band

We were offered, one night in a small small town, a home in which to stay the night. This is always a generous offer and in this particular small small town, the offer was particularly sweet for multiple reasons.

One. All the obvious reasons: space, pillows, air conditioning.

Two. Good people. The Pettys were still awake and kickin when we finally showed up at four AM, post show, to their home. Amy and Tom. Yes, we stayed at [a] Tom Petty’s house.

Three. Bunk beds. Put a grown man on a top-bunk, equipped with electric guitar-themed bed sheets, a shaky ladder to climb up, and a fan spinning no less than 200 RPM no less than 2 feet above the bed, and you’re bound to awake with a story the next morning; if not a decapitated guitarist.

Lastly, we were fed. Probably overfed. Biscuits and gravy for breakfast, BBQ chicken and bake potato and homemade cake for lunch. … Then no room but for rock and roll for dinner.

The show the next day was in another small town. Turns out small town folk know how to party and the venue ‘Roots’ made us believe theirs were grown in alcohol. We introduced JMSMC to Roots and at this very moment there might be a lynch mob awaiting the Mayer tour bus to roll through. But since the newest verse has a (constantly changing) line praising the coolness of the peanut butter bruisers, we hope the inevitable encounter goes smoothly, at least for Bruiser One, Bruiser Two, and capo.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


In a strange twist of events, we ended up on a rather grimy--yet worn and comfortable--couch on the Mayers’ side of backstage with the bruisers. Mistah Mayaz not in attendance.

Nice guys actually. Well, fun guys. Never before has any one human ingested that much peanut butter and ecstasy in one sitting. Bruiser Number Two’s black-on-black attire now donned dandruff, sweat, and saliva from where he would drop peanut butter, swipe it up with a finger, lick clean that finger, and then swipe again. Impressive and scary and disgusting and “I think we’re gonna be goin’. Have a good one fellas.”

Full of peanut butter and short one magical capo, we were forced to hit the road to make our next show in Cincinnati. The whiteout blizzard was nearby, according to one of those genius meteorologist, so we double-timed it after one more desperate “idiot check” around the stage and backstage for the capo. Nope. Stolen. …prick.

We allotted two and a half hours for our drive through the whiteout. Instead we made it in just over an hour. Now, pissed at Mayer and the Dayton local weather team, the guitars came out and the JMSMC song began. It has since received many edits, additions, and “fuck you”’s, but that first sugar- and anger-infested jam led to a loud bar-chords concoction …

May your nights be short/ May your day be dull / You claim naive/ May your presence lull
Coming to tear down/ Don’t go up a step/ May your run end with me/ Every step to get you back
Your chords are mine/ licks for sure/ Fuck you (fuck you) (fuck you) John Mayer

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dana Versus The Bruiser

The aforementioned bruisers were of no further help later that evening.

"Hey, have you seen John?"
"Mistah Mayers inniz quarters."
"Quarters? Really?"
"Alright. Thanks."
My second step led me into a shoulder-to-shoulder collision, which may have done some permanent damage.
"Mayerz ain't available."
"Just goin’ to ask him about my capo."
Bruiser looked confused.
"I left a thing on the mic stand and he might have it."
"Mayer aint no theif."
"Right. Right. I'm sure he's not. It still might be in a case or--"
"Nice chatting with you."

Deviousness came next. Dana, our road manager at the time, had beautiful eyes, hands, legs, uh, everything she had two of were rather fantastic. Dana went to make friends with Bruiser.

Her approach, as seen from behind, was dramatic in itself. Her hips shifted like liquid. She walked a line, dead straight, ending where her nose about touched Bruiser’s chest, and then she put three fingers on his man mammary.

I could tell she was playing the sex card. Her fingers were drawing squiggles on his black shirt and her hips never had stopped that back-and-forth. Dana was and is a true fan of what we do musically. Clearly. We didn't pay her enough for this.

Perhaps if we had, she'd have broken through the Bruiser Wall. No such luck. Turns out Bruiser One and Two were paid better than Dana.

I could imagine my capo, clutched tightly to the neck of a Gibson, brand new strings cutting at its belly. Poor little guy. Stay strong. I'm coming for you.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kickoff the Capo Campaign

Date: May, 1999.
Location: Oxford, Ohio
My band had just finished warming up the stage for the soon-to-be uber-popular John Mayer and his band of brown-nosers. I was enjoying the trappings of the post-show green room when it dawned on me. Shit. My capo is still on the mic stand.
To the average musician, a capo is a replaceable object - A piece of reinforced plastic that can be purchased for about the price of a dozen sliders at White Castle. But this was no ordinary capo. To me it was special, it was different, it was... talented. 
I tossed aside the bowl of all blue M&M’s and scurried up the staircase leading to the stage. But alas, the route to my capo was blocked by two very beastly members of John's entourage - "No one on da stage whilst Mista Mayahh is in his performannst". I could hear the opening sounds of John Mayer serenading his hoard of teeny-bopping soon-to-be-unsatisfied daddy’s girls, but struggled to see past the brutish blockade. Before being removed from my post via unnecessary force, I managed to sneak a peak, and to my horror, I saw that the mic stand which had previously been the resting place for my lucky capo was now vacant.
Flash forward to the end of Mayer’s 45 minute set - bodies were wonderlands and fathers were good to their daughters. As John was whisked off the stage to avoid temptation (ie: contact with his horde of adoring adolescents), I slipped back onto the empty stage. My heart sank as my darkest fear was confirmed - my capo was gone.
To be fair, I never saw Mr. Mayer take my capo. But certain facts are indisputable - First, my capo was on the mic stand when I exited the stage. Second - John Mayer uses a capo on at least a handful of his songs. Third - John Mayer skyrocketed to fame shortly after my capo magically disappeared, while I have been relegated to the pool of talented yet unrecognized aspiring musicians.
In conclusion - Both the capo and John Mayer's success should be mine. This story marks the start of my campaign to have the capo returned to its rightful owner, and this here blog will - among other things - chronicle my endeavors to get it back.