New Heathens
20Aug/07Off

Rock Bottom, PA


"That's Def Leppard talking right there."

It was bound to happen. With my Swiss-cheese brain and hyperactive booking phases there was some club I was bound to not ask these fateful six words: "Do you have a P.A.?"

So it was that we showed up at Pearly Baker's in Easton, PA (hmmm...no PA in PA?) to discover that the club had no sound system. Nor did we. Frantic phone calls to friends in the area revealed that they all had gigs too and didn't have a PA to loan us. I told the band I'd merely shout over the electric instruments, like Little Richard claimed he did back in the day. They told me I was nuts. Eric voted to go home. Domenick too. Dan said, "Can we at least all agree that this is rock bottom for us as a band?"

Fortunately, Eric had a microphone in his drum bag, plus an adapter to plug it into an amp. Butch's amp had two inputs, one for his guitar and one for...a microphone. We jerry-rigged the amp and lo and behold both guitar and vocals had amplification.

We ordered some food and some drinks and we played three sets. The bar was pretty full, some drunks whooped it up, others danced a little bit, all in all it was a pretty standard bar gig. The musical high point came when Domenick, wearing a Def Leppard shirt that he rescued from a bag of old clothes his mom was about to throw away, played a blistering solo during "For Cryin' Out Loud." "That's Def Leppard talking right there," Dan said into my ear.

In a scene similar to the Bob's Country Bunker scene in the Blues Brothers where Bob says to Jake, "That's two hundred dollars, and you boys drank three hundred dollars worth of beer," the bartender handed us $200, and a $100 bar tab. We were drinking $2 pints of local beer all night (could we have really drank 50?). Some of the band were miffed that the club coudn't give us a few bucks off the local lager, or let us drink free all night (like band-friendly clubs do). A vote was taken not to play there again. Words were exchanged. Tempers flared.

We're taking a month off.

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