Thursday, January 06, 2011

Key Words

Throughout my performing “career” I’ve been really hard on myself for forgetting lyrics. With The Ass-Kickin’ Team being capable of spitting out 80 songs in a row there is NO room for my being a slacker in this regard. I’m not about to go the route of Lucinda Williams, with the music stand on stage and all that. Every time I’ve ever tried having a lyric sheet, it’s ALWAYS resulted in failure. Hell, my songs are usually so fast that there’s no time to read a piece of paper on the floor. So it’s taken this long, well…since just a few years ago, to figger out what works best for me. Number one was NOT drinking during the show. The one sure way to wash lyrics outta my head is a shot or two of tequila before going on. I need a clear mind to work with. You may see me with a beer or something late in the show but not outta the gate or throughout the bulk of our allotted time. Number two, instead of learning the whole song and stressing over it, I pick out key words that will spark motor memory for my mouth. Take for example the song, “Lost Your Number”. The first line in the first verse I need to know is “I wasn’t trying to ignore you”. So the ID word for the first verse is IGNORE. The second verse is “It wasn’t that I didn’t want it”. DIDN’T WANT are the key words. The third verse, “I hope you find it to forgive me”, so there it’s the word FORGIVE I need to remember. So at the beginning of the song, the words IGNORE, DIDN’T WANT and FORGIVE flash through my mind. I have no problem with the rest of the Iines in each verse once I get them started correctly. I have at times written these key words on my snare. I usually do this if we’re playing brand new songs with lyrics that have yet to sink in. There are times when we don’t play for months, which makes it hard to recall these key words, but once I get them in my head I usually score at least a 96 from the judge from Bunn. Here are a few of my other key words:

#3 (and an eagle tattoo)
FF (Freedom Fries)
TV (…in a shop out back)
Works (…hard, comes home tired)

INDY 500:
Love (the sound…)
Paid (for talking…)
Refrigerator (‘s full of food…)

Standing (at the plate…)
Whatever (it takes…)

Stumbling (words…)
No problem (with spitting it out…)
Too smart (I know you’re not that kind…)
(The second half of this verse for some reason escapes me at times so I include: )
A lot of LUCK (is what its gonna take…)


Anonymous said...

I always wondered what that shit was written on the snare head....AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

fun! here's one: