Saturday, June 28, 2008

A crazy day

The month of June has been very busy and very good music-wise, culminating with the IJO playing a fab show at the Jazz Festival on Monday night, and a double-bill with the quartet for Canada Day. In fact, life has been more or less non-stop since re-Cycles moved into its new shop back in early April, as it seems there's always something that needs doing there, and now the shop is way too close to my place (3.5 blocks). But last Thursday was a special nutso day...

I have my regular gig with Steve and Tom at the restaurant each Thursday from 5-8, but Tom called me for another gig that was scheduled from 2-5. Now, we take these gigs because the restaurant one is not guaranteed - if the gig is called off due to the weather we do not get paid, so obviously one takes the gig with guaranteed money. But in the interest of not wanting to strand Steve by subbing out 2/3s of his trio, and also because we're mercenary bastards that want to make as much money as we can (wink), we came up with a plan.

We said we could do the restaurant gig if it was bumped to 5:30, because the 2pm gig was about ten blocks away in the downtown core. Steve said OK, but we made a hassle for ourselves, because there's no way to tear down from one gig, travel during rush hour, and set up for the next in that space of time! So we had to take gear for the later gig and stash it at the restaurant ahead of time, so Steve could pull the stuff out and have it waiting for us.

The 2pm gig was a quiet one in an office, so Tom had minimal gear and I just used two drums and cymbals, and then that stuff could be combined into the other gear for the second gig. But since we'd be moving it all during rush hour we knew we'd just be sitting in traffic forever, whether in Tom's van or with my cargo trike. So... we were going to move it on foot, using a dolly and a handcart. Why not, as it's certainly faster than driving at that time of day!

Here's how it went:

Noon: Tom and his partner pick me up and we proceeded to the restaurant to stash the gear.

12:20: Drove to the office building for the 1pm set-up.

1:30: Our sax player shows up and we do the gig from 2-5, and then the day turned rainy so we figured the 5-8 gig was off.

5:00: Packing up we had not yet heard from Steve via Tom's cell phone canceling the gig, but presumed it to be off since it was still spitting. So Tom calls his wife and she will pick us up and we'll just take our time through traffic to get back to the restaurant to collect the gear we didn't end up needing.

Or not...

5:30: Inching our way along Wellington St. and passing the restaurant (have to approach it from behind) and we see Steve standing on the opposite sidewalk obviously looking for Tom and I, since we're supposedly walking our gear down that sidewalk.

5:33: Make it to the back of the space and I run and tell Steve we're here and why we took so long. No worries, as the patio was just starting to fill up and we couldn't have started earlier anyway, but now that we're here let's go!

Turns out the restaurant had said to Steve that might as well wait on the weather until we showed up to decide if the gig was on, since they all knew we had to return. But Steve forgot Tom's cell number and so could not tell us this. So we were off the hook in terms of being behind schedule, we got the gig started at 6:00, and were able to play two sets until the rain started up again at 8:00.

So it was nice to finish early, because THEN Steve and I had an orchestra rehearsal from 9:00 til 11:30, and it allowed us time to grab some food along the way (oh, and also stop at our individual residences to pick up the sheet music we had both forgotten in all the hectic-ness), and then out to St. Laurent and Smythe.

So that was three music events pressed into just over eleven hours. I was very happy to finally fall into bed that night...

Oh, and today's Canada Day gigs? The first one was for the Mayor's Breakfast with a 7:15am load-in, so I was up at 6:00am. We did that gig, I came home and had a nap, then off to the second one at External Affairs because it had a 2:30 load-in. Then went and had dinner, then back to play from 6:00 till the fireworks.

And with that, it'll be a 19-hour day by the time I get to bed...

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