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  Casual Band

Greg Vail

The Creation of the Casual Band...

...and God said to Noah

And so in the dark of night the Lord awoke Noah, and spoke to him. "Noah, awake and heed my words!" And Noah, being sore, afraid and disoriented, did cry out, "Who is it?" And the Lord did smite him upside the head, saying, "It is the Lord of all things, dummy!"

And Noah did tremble, saying, “Lord, why hath thou wakened me?" And the Lord said, "Noah, build me a Casual Band. For the earth will be visited by a plague of Brides, followed by forty days of Trade Shows and forty nights of Awards Banquets."

The Lord said "First, thou must find me a Leader." And Noah replied, "But Lord, will I not be thy Leader?" And the Lord did smite him again, saying, "Thou will be my Contractor!" And Noah did bow his head, saying, "Yes Lord.”

And what will this leader play? And the Lord said, "It matters little, whether he play or not, or whether he be proficient or not. For his job shall primarily be to talk to the Brides and their Mothers, deal with Clients, to count off Tempos wrong, get the band fed, to get the money at the end of the night, to inquire as to whether Overtime will happen, and to try to segue tunes that should not be segued.”

”If he playeth any instrument, thou must always have another player of that instrument on the band, just to be safe." And Noah did say, "And what else shall this Leader do?" And the Lord replied, "Further it shall be his job, until we can afford a Soundman, to create Feedback, and to make certain that the monitor mix is useless."

And Noah shook his head in wonder, saying, "Lord, thy ways are Strange and Mysterious. What more shall I do?"

And the Lord said, "Next, find me a Rhythm Section. First, find me a Drummer. And three things above all must this Drummer possess." And Noah did ask, "What are these Three Things? Double Bass Drums? An Electronic Kit? Congas?" And the Lord did smite Noah again, saying "Second-guess me not, my servant."

"First, this Drummer must have slightly imperfect time, so that whenever he playeth a Fill (and he shall play many), he always emergeth at a different place, sometimes early and sometimes late, but thou shall not ever be able to guess which."

"Second, he must be Supremely Discontent, always hoping for the Big Break which will lead to him playing with Chick Corea or Madonna, so that he despiseth Jobbing."

"And third, he must always be convinced of his Righteousness, in all things, including Time, Volume, Tempo and Feel, so that he argueth incessantly with the Bass Player." And Noah did say, "As you command, Lord." And the Lord said, "Thou art learning, Noah"

"Next shall be the Bass Player.... And he shall be Bored. That is all." And Noah did say, "Of course."

"Next shall be the Piano Player. And he shall play as if he has twenty fingers, and he shall play Substitute upon Substitute, until no man may name the Chord, and he will not be helpful."

"In the event there is no Bass Player, he must think he can play Bass from his keyboard much better than any Bass Player, with his left hand, and demand more money than all others while boasting his self presumed superiority to all. And Noah said, "Lord, Great is thy Wisdom!”

"Next shall be the Guitar Player. And he shall be a Rock Guitar Player. And he shall be very loud, and he shall sing 'Old Time Rock n Roll'. Also he shall know not “The Page”, and so shall rely upon his Ears, which have been damaged by exposure to High Sound Pressure Levels. For the Guitarists who can read “The Page” shall already be playing Shows, and will be making the Big Shekels. And of his garments, his tux shall be the Rattiest." And Noah did say, "It shall be done."

And the Lord said, "Next thou shall need Horns. First shall be the Saxophones. And they shall be Beboppers. And they shall play their Bird quotes in every song, yeah, even the Celine Dion ballad. They shall make the Long Faces all night long, but especially when 'In The Mood' is called. And after the gig they shall continue to play, but do not chide them, for they cannot help themselves."

"Next shall be the Trumpeters. And they shall every one attempt to take everything Up an Octave, including the Ballad. And they shall complain with great vigor to the Leader over the set list.

And finally shall be the Trombone Player. And many jokes will be made about him, for he will have a Beeper, as well as a Day Job, and he will be the first to be Cut from the Band. And Noah, taking many notes, did say, "Mighty is the Lord!"

Noah said "What else can be left, Lord?"

And the Lord said "Finally, find me the Singers. And they shall be Three, one a Male, and two Females. And the Male shall be a Strutting Peacock, with the Rock 'n Roll Hair, and he shall never have to wear The Tuxedo, and also shall he play The Harmonica.

“And the Females shall be called Chick Singers. They must be consumed with themselves, wearing costly garments of bead and gold, covering very little at first, garments growing to compliment the package as time and age progress. It matters little if they can sing, but matters greatly that they think they can sing and dance about for the pleasure of all that is male. The Chick Singers shall own percussion equipment that the musicians shall take, hide and break for the sake of the “groove.”

“Second only to the Trombone Player, the Chick Singers shall have many jokes made about them. They truly will become a necessary evil and unlike the Trombone Player, shall be the last to be cut from the band. Many a Chick Singer shall become involved with a musician in the band, ushering in great devastation to all, so thou must be prepared with many replacements Noah."

“The Singers shall arrive late, and leave every gig immediately, having never touched a piece of Equipment. And they shall be paid many more shekels than the Sidemen." And Noah did say, "As you wish."

And the Lord did command him, "Search high and low for these, as not every musician can fulfill these requirements. And while you're at it, start looking for Subs."

And Noah did say, "Lord, thy will be done."

And it was.

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