When It Rains, It Pours…

At the risk of sounding gloomy, I have been rained upon lately, both literally and figuratively.

I performed as part of Lord Russ & Friends at this year’s Transperformance, in which we “transperformed” as The Cure. Our rehearsals were great fun, and I was very proud to be a part of this great annual tradition in my area. Finally, the sun set, the crowd had expanded to fill the park, and it was time for us to go on. We got out there, and… Luke’s amplifier didn’t work.  A few crazy minutes of Dan and the crew running around, and then it was ready. I cued the producer we were ready, we were introduced, Brian counted us in, and Greg and I rang the opening chords of “Boys Don’t Cry.” Now, short sets like this go so quickly, you’re just getting warmed up as they end. So first songs in particular are a blur. Plus I was distracted by the mix on stage, where I could hear too much of myself and not enough of some of the others. But we comported ourselves well, and I mostly shrugged off the few rain drops I felt during the song. After all, rain was not in the forecast.

And then it was time for the second song. Brian counted us in, and we began “Inbetween Days,” which was sounding really nice. And then the skies opened up, and the rain began to POUR down on us in unbelievable torrents! The crew began running on stage and covering equipment. We all looked at each other. We could see it in each other’s eyes: “We’re not going to stop unless someone tells us to.” So we kept playing in the rain, and the crowd began to go wild as both they and us began to get drenched. Other than the mild hiccup of being distracted by the rain and momentarily forgetting the lyrics, Russ embraced the moment and danced wildly around the stage as we vamped until we all came together and finished strongly…

And then Brian counted us right in to “Just Like Heaven.”  We were fully committed now.  We were soaked.  Water was running down our instruments.  The crowd was going wild, and at this point we were able to just perform and play, having already shrugged our shoulders and deciding to soldier on. Brian’s makeup and hair gel was running into his eyes, partially blinding him. Russ tore off his shirt and mounted the monitors at the front of the stage, much to the delight of the crowd. Greg slashed at his guitar and stomped into the puddle that was his pedal board. Luke and I were rooted to our spot, the water dripping off our faces and running down our fretboards. We finished, and just like that it was over. I ran to the rig to unplug my bass and get out of there before I could get electrocuted, but then I realized, “Take in the moment before you go.” So I stopped and looked out at the crowd. Drenched. Soaked. And all smiles.

So I was rained on. Literally. But it was not only OK, it was great.

And the figurative rain? Well, that one is occurring during the recording of the new album. During my July and August sessions for the album, an odd thing began to occur when loading Pro Tools: it just wouldn’t load correctly. But other times it worked fine, and for the most part, recording continued unabated. Unfortunately, this was not to last. Pro Tools finally stopped working altogether, and I have spent the last six weeks or so just troubleshooting, researching, and working to get my studio back up and running so that I can continue recording the album. Mixing dates have had to be cancelled for now. It’s been a low point. My emotional reaction has startled even me–it turns out, I can become deeply unhappy when my creative drive is thwarted.

Anyway, to make a long story short, after weeks of working through the problems, it looks like maybe–just maybe–and cross your fingers for me here, but I think I may be able to resume recording the album this week. And I’m hoping that I will be able to salvage all of the work I have done so far. But most of all, I’m trying to incorporate what I learned when I was literally rained upon a few weeks ago… I’m trying to believe that not only will this be OK, it will be great. Because whatever happens, I do know this: I will put out this album. It will happen. Even if it doesn’t happen according to plan.