T'was the week before Pig Roast, meaning that it was the band's last practice before said pig roast. For reasons beyond me, we must practice constantly. I am not one to use age as a bashing point, so I categorically refuse to posit that if we don't play every week, the band is so old they forget all the songs. No, that cannot possibly be it.
So my wife dragged me to practice, which seemed rather more crowded than normal. I should explain at this point that, among the other interesting circumstances surrounding this outfit, the band tends to take on personnel somewhat more frequently than I would prefer. One day it's a neighbor, the next it's a wife, so one never knows how many people will actually be at practice, no less how many non-members will be playing with us that evening.
Two weeks back, they informed me we had to stop to pick up Bill, who was going to play percussion. I don't know any Bill, nor do I know many percussionists, especially of the variety that were going to perform with my band, so it came as a bit of a surprise. I kept my glee in check and managed not to ask if he was jamming that night, performing a song at the pig roast, or joining the band on a full-time basis. Since my input was not sought, I figured I'd sit back and pretend to enjoy the ride.
Bill, as it turned out, is a pretty nice dude, not to mention a kick-ass percussionist. I said it was nice to meet him and he told me he remembered me from last year's pig gig. Well, at least that made one of us. I'd have sworn I never saw him before in my life, but then again, I don't pay close attention to many things I should.
At this point, I still don't know how long Bill's with us, but it hasn't occurred to me to complain. Yet.
For some reason known only to the Flying Spaghetti Monster Himself, everyone who was supposed to show up to practice did. This in itself is a minor miracle. Trying to get a bunch of fifty-somethings with Real Jobs<tm> in one room is only slightly less difficult than balancing the national budget (but still more likely to happen).
Practice went mostly as practices go: we played, I bitched about having to practice and rolled my eyes when someone suggested repeating something. I have absolutely no tolerance for repetition and precious little for practicing. The band says it's because I'm a better musician. I think it's because they're too lazy to learn the songs right. I will not go much farther, as they recently discovered this blog's URL :)
When we were done, we started messing about with Led Zeppelin tunes, to the partial delight of all assembled. Our keyboardist lunged for the mic and let it be known that he wanted to sing some Zep so we told him to go for it.
If we weren't making enough noise to move the foundation of the house, you could have heard a pin drop. This guy absolutely nailed it. He nailed the tone, texture, and wailing of Robert Plant, in a way Robert Plant can't anymore.
The assembled masses and spouses were dumbfounded and, along with the musicians, were evenly divided between tears rolling down their faces and spasms of laughter (not to mention something else that looked a lot like gas).
What I have neglected to mention is that our keyboardist usually sits there behind his keyboards and manages to largely look hypnotized (which is a polite way of saying asleep). At this point, he was moving around like 70's era Percy Plant and singing. The other thing I haven't mentioned is that the fellow is a six foot tall (non-American) Indian.
How many six foot tall Indian dudes have you seen?
How many six foot tall Indian dudes have you seen playing keyboards?
How many six foot tall Indian dudes have you seen doing frightening impersonations of Robert Plant?
The bassist was the first to see the light, declaring that we needed to shift our focus and do a Bollywood Zeppelin show.
I suggested a blonde curly wig and half-shirt.
My wife is still shaking her head, speechless, but determined to keep calling him Robert.
And the pig roast (this Saturday) will have no idea what hit them.