When some folks get to talking about gettin’ old, as in being retired and not having much ‘regular’ stuff to do, they might say it‘s a good time to tap into some dreams of their youth. To revisit their childhood, to get down to some fun stuff, to go and play.
Of course it is important to find a good yard to play in, where you can find some good playmates.
Such a place is our winter home here in Paamul.
I wrote in this blog last winter about the joy of rekindling my old folk singing roots. We had a “guitar /song group” that met once a week. Our group, Joe, Mike R., Jim and I have been joined by a couple of others, Kahish and sometimes Richard and others.
There are a couple of others in PM who are working on their music : Mike M. and Carlos. Mike, who with his wife Veronique, have a boutique vineyard and winery in Quebec, has taken up the Fender electric guitar, and Carlos, a massage therapist, who comes to Paamul from Spain is a drummer.
You know when you throw a pebble in a pond and it makes ripples? Well, if you want to make some bigger ripples, you got to get some rock!
Jim, who started in our guitar group a couple of years ago, decided to take up the bass. He has always wanted to be in a rock band, so this year, asked me to join him, Mike and Carlos and see what we could put together. We only had Carlos for a month, so we had to work quickly. We had access to a couple of amps and one mic and began to make some noise.
Once we started, we seemed to click. First we thought we might only work on a few tunes, but it seemed to be going well and we added a few more.
We rehearsed a few different places in the park and attracted a few listeners. Then we were invited to play at a party at Lester’s house. Our debut went pretty well, with our 10 song repertoire and we thought we should do it again. So I came up with the idea of an all music evening in our back yard -- Saturday Night Live!
I set up a lighted stage area on our patio and put out the word. It was a great evening as about 40 people brought their chairs and drinks. This time we had our guitar/ song group join in with a few tunes each, ending with “the band” .
We have been throwing around a few names for our group but nothing has stuck.
One more time!
There is a popular bar in Playa del Carmen called Bad Boys. It is right on the beach, and two nights a week, it has a live rock ‘n’ roll house band, “The Nasty Bastards” The “Bastards” are a 6 man group who do straight ahead rock cover tunes. It‘s their tradition to finish the evening with guest appearances, usually vocalists who join the band to sing a number from the band’s playbook. We thought we might show up as a group and give it our shot.
What a blast! The place was packed - drinking, dancing and enjoying the big sound system. As I was listening to the “Bastards” performing, I feared we were way out-classed. However, we were on the list and couldn’t stop now. Besides, a couple dozen of our Paamulians had come along to see us.
After the band’s break, we were called up and shown where to plug in, and before we could take a breath, we were off. When the MC asked us our name, we jokingly said it was “To Be Determined” He added a “Yet”, then shortened it to “YTBD”
We knew we could only play a few tunes, so we started of with Dion’s “The Wanderer”, then “Love Potion #9”, and “Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be The Day”. When the guy in charge gave us the nod for one more, we jumped to Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode” Mike was shredding on the lead guitar, Carlos was hopping on the drums, Jim was driving a wonderful big bass sound, and yours truly thrashed out the rythm guitar and vocal.
Yes, it seemed that we did okay. I thought it was our best. Several strangers in the audience give us props and our friends were most complimentary. I just wished I could have been out front to hear it too.
As our group sauntered along 5th Avenue back to the parking lot, I will admit to feeling a little high. No doubt this was helped by the triple chocolate Blizzard I was eating from the local DQ!