We had a band but nowhere to play. If we were going to unveil our new group we would have to take it into our own hands and create a place to play.
One of my high school classmates was hurt in an accident and Dean suggested we put on a benefit concert for him. And we would be the headlining act!!
So the first time I ever play out in public was gong to be in my High School auditorium in front of 500 people. I did not have a great history in this auditorium. I had tried out for every play and talent show my high school ever put on and never got selected for ANY of them. The only time I had been on the auditorium stage was a concert we put on for our parents where I played “God Bless America” on a baritone horn.
Now I was backstage peeking thru the curtains to see if anybody actually came. I knew my Mom and Dad were out there. I knew my brother Randy and his wife Pat was out there. I told myself it didn’t matter if we had a crowd or not. But I couldn’t resist. I peeked out and saw the auditorium was full. I pooped my pants. Just a little. In show business it’s considered good luck. Some say “Break a leg!” Some say “Stain the Trou!”
Dean was in charge so he herded everyone out to their positions.
I went out, put my guitar over my shoulder and stood nervously behind the curtain. We were starting with “Mare Take Me Home”, a Wildweeds song written and sung by Connecticut legend Al Anderson.
The curtain rose, Dean counted off…and I started my music career. I thought we sounded great. I have a cassette of the show…whoever recorded it missed the opening numbers. It only captured a sampling of the middle of the concert…but the vocals sound great. The only instrument you hear is my cheap acoustic guitar with the pickup in the hole. This is what the show was:
“Kind Woman”…a Poco song that I sang. Funny how it’s a song that is very much dominated by steel guitar but Eddy wasn’t playing steel yet. In a year he would switch.
“Down By The River” by Neil Young. This began my lifelong obsession with imitating Neil.
Rocky Racoon (Beatles) sung by our bass player Dennis O’Neal
The JONI MITCHELL version of Woodstock!!! How cool were WE?
Then we brought out Paul Kroll and he sang with us…this was considered quite a coup. It validated us to have the BIG folk singer in town deign to perform with us.
With Paul we did:
“For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield
It took a while for this song to get going because you can hear Eddy replacing a string that broke during Woodstock. Between songs was always dead silence only slightly interrupted by us tuning…always tuning. My Dad drove me back up to WPI the next weekend and his only criticism of the show was “Don’t tune so much. It makes you sound amerish.” To this day I use that phrase and it makes me smile. “Let’s not play that…it makes us sound amerish.”
“Bluebird” by Buffalo Springfield…a train wreck. A very ambitious train wreck…but a train wreck. The end of this record has a banjo in it. John, our sound guy, made me a little stomp pedal to make my acoustic guitar sound like a banjo. I stepped on it and the guitar just sounded like….the same guitar… only cheaper and thinner.
“Handsome Johnny”….this was a song Richie Havens sang at Woodstock…I knew this one…I heard it at Woodstock and so did Paul. I can slightly hear the band playing behind him but it’s mostly just Paul.
“Coming Into Los Angeles”…Arlo Guthrie. I fell in love with it at Woodstock so I made sure our band learned it. Paul knew it so we let HIM sing it here. I was generous in the years before I became bitter.
The last song on the tape is “Helpless” by CSN&Y. Not a bad version. Once again it’s me doing Neil.
That’s all that’s on the tape. I kind of remember that we took a little break and came back with Paul and me singing Mr. Bojangles.
I’m not sure if we sang anything else together. We ended the show with “I’m a Man” by Chicago and had everybody that wanted to jump up on stage with us. Dean’s girlfriend Cindy grabbed him around the neck as he played and screamed about how great the show was. Our friend Chris Lippit grabbed percussion and played along.
The audience went crazy and the curtain came down. I excused myself and went and changed my pants.
“He’s no fun…he fell right over.”
When we heard that their Australian fans were waking up at 5 a.m. to catch our Middleman Burr U.S. online show…we thought “Can we at least do one show JUST FOR THEM at a decent hour?” So that’s why this show is happening! 8:00 p.m. CT Friday night, May 22nd. It says 6:00 p.m. on the link but that’s Pacific time in the U.S. and in Australia, depending on which city you live in, this show will actually be on May 23rd around 11:00 p.m.. 😉 People in U.S. are also invited to come watch!
For tickets, please click HERE
To view the show, you must set up an account with Stageit.com in advance. You can do that HERE
For time zone converter, click HERE
Since the quarantine began, we’ve been going online every Wednesday night to share music and stories. Please come join us!
The show will be at 8:30 p.m. CT Wednesday night, Sept. 30, 2020. It says 6:30 p.m. on the link but that’s Pacific time 😉
For tickets, please click HERE
Please join Gary and Georgia this coming Sunday, Oct. 4th at 2:00 p.m. CT as they share stories and songs on their Middleman Burr Facebook Page HERE. They will be playing songs requested by you during the week…to make a request, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Admission is FREE but if you feel inclined to tip:
See you there!
Do you have a favorite song that you’ve heard Gary or Georgia play at one of their shows? Would you like to own a handwritten copy of those lyrics and hang them on your wall? Georgia or Gary (depending on who wrote it) would be happy to write it out for you; sign it and send it your way. For price and payment information, please send them an email at email@example.com
Music has a magical way of taking us back to a time or moment that was life-changing in our world. When you hear a certain song, you can remember where you were when you first heard it…whom you were with at the time…whom you lost…what you were doing…what you were feeling. It’s a shortcut to a memory that few other mechanisms can bring back to life so quickly.
Have you ever thought of having a one-of-a-kind touchstone for a very special event in your life? A song written specifically for a wedding… birthday… graduation… funeral… celebration?
Maybe you have a company that is looking to put its mission statement to words and music…your own company song that can be played at annual events to really zero in on your message and what your business stands for?
If a custom song sounds like something you might want, this is your chance to have two award-winning songwriters create that song and deliver it to you with a professional recording sung by either Gary or Georgia.
For more information, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your FREE CONSULTATION.