Well, the time is upon us. The big anniversary show is tomorrow and we’re anxiously preparing for what is sure to be a night of old friends, new friends, singalongs, tears, beers and more beers.
For the past couple weeks, I have been digging through old boxes of photos, scanning some of my favorite shots of the band and sharing them on our Facebook page. It’s been a great way for me to actually start tracking the dates of gigs that I was too drunk to remember. Took some research, some Google searching of old Stranger calendars, trying to read faded dates on the backs of old drugstore-developed photographs.
The thing that struck me the most was that we never were stagnant. In our minds, or my mind anyway, I always thought we weren’t changing enough but looking back on these pictures and organizing them by year, I realized that, actually, we’ve been in constant flux.
There was the first year when it was just me, Austin and Beau, then the next year we added McBee and Holli and the scrap-metal, pots and pans contraption that she played.
Then the DiTolvo years, her theremin, Carnival Reverie, Cabaret Macabre, our first tours, our first record and of course the addition of our hype man/MC/concertinist/resident poet/ dear friend Danny Dead.
Then Funi joined and things settled for a few years. Danny Dead left. We fine tuned our sound, played Bumbershoot and Cafe UnAmerican, did The Breaking and watched our fan base grow significantly.
Eventually, Funi left, I had a kid, we started hanging out with Mr. Danbert Nobacon, a hero of mine, working on his record Woebegone and seriously tinkering with our sound.
And now, we have The Bad Things, Version 6.7 with the addition of Brendan Patrick Hogan and his trumpet and keys and the subtraction of female vocals. Just the guys, writing songs and complaining about our aches and pains and wives.
That said, listening to the new recordings we’ve been working on, all the age and experience has paid off. I joke to myself and say “Wow, we sound like a real band now!” It’s been a long, hard and drunk road but I think we’ve become the band we were always meant to be. For better or for worse. I love these guys like my family and I love the community of fans and fellow performers that has grown around us, strengthened by last year’s heartache; moving forward – stronger, impassioned and optimistic.
Never saw that coming.
Thanks for the past 11 years and here’s to 11 million more!
Jimmy the Pickpocket
P.S. If you want to read a more in-depth piece on the band and our past, present and future, read this interview posted in the Wonder and Risk arts blog yesterday. See you all tomorrow night!