Apr 8, 2009

Word Box Wednesday or Whiny Wednesday?

I'm feeling a bit under the weather today so I'm saying the heck with Word Box Wednesday this week. (Plus, I didn't really come up with anything else for the word "human". My bad.) So instead, this Wednesday is going to become Whiny Wednesday, minus the whining because I don't like to whine or complain. Instead I'm going to write about one of the rare times I got sick and it actually ended up being a deal, music wise that is.

Overall, I hate being sick. Especially the tiredness and the sore throat stuff because it impairs my ability to sing. I do a pretty good job at staying healthy but when I do get all phlegmy and sore, I get outright pissy. I can't help it. When you sing most everyday and you're not able to do it for a couple of days, or even as long as a week, it definitely sucks.

It was definitely a big deal in my Now Transmission days. As I was the lead singer it was important to keep my golden pipes in the best condition possible. I only remember canceling one show because of an illness and it had more to do with my muscle in my neck tweaking out and nothing to do with my vocal chords. I wanted to keep the streak alive when we headed to Boston for a Battle of the Bands. (Don't ask me the date or year, I'm blanking on that right now.)

It was a rare occasion that we headed to Boston for a gig but when we did it felt like the big time. Not that the shows really had that much more of a crowd than we were used to, it was just that big city feeling when you go from playing in East Nowhere, Maine to the hopping Boston metro.

This Boston gig was going to be spread over two nights. If we made it past the first round at a club called T.T. the Bears, we'd play the next night at the Middle East, a popular Cambridge club, for the finals. A couple of days before our trip I started to get a tickle in the back of my throat. This lead to plenty of coughing and eventually a good case of laryngitis, where I almost completely lost my voice. It was a similar feeling to one I had back on our very first show where I blew my voice in the middle of a set, but we don't need to talk about that.

This Battle of the Bands was a big deal for us so we decided to play the show, even though I wouldn't be singing. What we did was spontaneously switch the lineup a bit. Our bass player Jason moved to lead vocals, I went to lead guitar, and Ray, the lead guitarist went to bass. Obviously, Andy our drummer stayed behind his kit. Instead of playing our allotted two songs we rocked an unrehearsed version of our current "single" She's Not There by it's lonesome. (You can check out She's Not There on Now Transmission's Myspace.)

Jason was a great singer, I wasn't worried about this ability to rock it at the front of the stage, nor was I worried about Ray's bass skills. I was a little concerned with my skills on lead guitar. I wrote the song, so I knew how to play it, but these were the days before I strapped on a guitar to play rhythm so my on stage guitar chops were slim to none. We made it through just fine and caught a lucky break when not all the bands showed up and we got a free ride to the final round at the Middle East.

We rocked with the same configuration that night as well. We didn't win but I thought we definitely did the song justice especially considering the situation. It turned out to be a pretty fun change of pace with all of us (well, most of us) moving into another role we weren't used to but I can't even explain how frustrating it was not being able to do my true part, or even hold a conversation for that matter. I also always kind of wondered what would have happened had we been able to play two songs at full strength. I guess we'll never know.

Here's to never getting that sick again! It's the middle of the day but I think I'll down some NyQuil and hit this crap before it gets me down good so I can get some energy and get singing again. The sooner the better. Keep rockin'!

Update: I did some research to help out my terrible memory and discovered that this trip to Boston took place September 26th and 28th of 2005! Holy crap, that seems like ages ago!

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