I know, my life is surrounded by music. I do radio in the morning and when I am doing things around the house I jam to Zac Brown Band or my favorite Reggae station on Pandora. But I really miss playing music. There was a time in my life when I went to band practice in a cool warehouse and we ran through our 45 minute set of originals 3 times, three times per week. We were tight. The guitars were heavy, the bass melodic, the percussion insane. We were a ‘musician’s band’. People used to come see us just to watch Denny Greco play the drums and to listen to all of our odd time signatures and changes. We dressed in bowling shirts, or all in red, or all in purple. We had super 8mm film projectors playing strange things, upside down lamps, a typing marionette that was beat to death with a golf club by Brian, the frontman. We were Phonetic Plumbing and it was 1994. Marilyn Manson was getting signed by Trent Reznor and Interscope/Nothing records and they had a signing show at the Plus Five Lounge in Davie, FL. The who’s who of the South Florida music scene was in attendance. I can’t remember who they were now, but back then I knew all of their faces, names and their music.
It was the height of the Seattle grunge scene and we were kind of on the outer fringe of that type of music – at first. Then we skewed even further out of that realm into something that was pretty crazy. My musical style was more blues and southern rock than the rest of the group, but I could chime in with a decent mix of the styles so it all worked out. We never did anything with our music. Honestly, there is so much I cannot remember from those days and it has nothing to do with drugs or drinking. We experimented with stuff, but we were serious about our goals and getting into real drugs was never on the menu. We did some cool stuff that, at the very least, was fun to listen to when we were all together – but nobody really cared when it came down to it. Our music had a niche audience that we never were able to reach. Common tale for many a band since bands were invented.
We got some music on the local radio – The Local Show – on 88.5 WKPX, which was Piper High School’s radio station. It was cool to hear our song on the radio. We’d try to request it as much as we could and make the list of most requested. In my previous band “Wood” we got to number one once, I think. I don’t remember that too much either. I do remember that we had to fire our bass player from that band. He was a good guy and was studying law. He was married with a young baby and of course the band was just a hobby, even if he shared our collective dream of getting signed. When we started to write more complicated music, he had a tough time keeping up. He was never a solid bass player when it came to keeping time, which is kind of important in the rhythm section. So I was elected to tell Mitch he was no longer in the band. I cried afterwards because that’s the kind of guy I am.
One day our frontman decided we should move to San Francisco. I wasn’t about to move to San Francisco. Such began a quick decline in the band’s future and overall relationships. Most of us have remained friends over the years and thanks to Facebook, still keep in relative touch. I miss playing music though. It was such a wonderful high and really got me through some tough times. I started playing A LOT of guitar when my life changed drastically when I was 18 and for years after, my guitar was an extension of myself. These days, that part of myself spends countless hours in my basement. That is a shame and I want to pick up the axe again and play. It has been so long that it is actually frustrating to play now.