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No matter how well prepared, how rehearsed, how ready for the stage you are, some nights stuff happens and your show is FUBAR and you don’t even know how or where you got derailed.

Case in point: Saturday night, new venue, bad lighting, bad camera angle, two band mates who are not gelling and missing their marks, a drummer who’s playing the fool on stage with a train whistle and trying out new gear, a bass player who obviously would rather be washing his car than practicing your material or playing your gig, and to top it all off it’s the last night of a free international  fireworks competition (the Celebration of Light) in one of the major parks downtown.

An interview with Michael Phelps ‘s coach last night made that abundantly clear that one must prepare for the “lightning,” that thing that comes out of nowhere and hits you square in the face and you have to deal with it or perish.  There were occasions when the coach would intentionally make Phelps late for swim meets, step on his goggles to make them not seal so that Phelps would have water in his eyes all night, or the time where Phelps misplaced his goggles and the coach hid them in his pocket so that he had to swim without them.

Some might consider the actions of Phelps coach as intentional sabotage, a nasty dirty trick, or just plain mean; but what it really was intended to do was to teach a young swimmer to cope with life’s little surprises and to carry on with business as usual.

What I discovered from Saturday nights gig was that no matter what the show must go on, even when you’re playing to a “crowd “of less than 20 people. Another thing is that “energy is contagious”, and that one lead guitarist can put in a phenomenal performance despite being struck by lightning and bad camera angles and make the audience’s experience wonderful in spite of all the challenges. Perhaps that’s part of being a pro player, but I think it’s more of a desire to put on a good show and play your heart out.

Wanted: experienced bass player and drummer for kick ass blues/rock band to play in the US and Canada. Must be skilled,energetic and lightning tested.

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