Some things I learned about myself on Saturday, while performing my first gig as substitute-bassist with E’s band Filmstar.
- I am not actually a bass player.
- I am way hotter playing bass than I am playing guitar.
- No matter how much I beat myself up about #1, I can’t even pick out most of my flubs on rewatch unless I was making a nasty face while flubbing.
- I’m not actually conflicted about Filmstar.
That last one is the big news and the big surprise. When I last wrote last Friday I was wistful, thinking ahead to my imminent replacement in the band.
Before more blather, please witness our first public performance of my current favorite Filmstar tune, “Fall From the Sky.”
(I know, I’m using my first finger for everything. One step at a time, folks.)
Shortly after that performance I neatly resolved my conflicting emotions over a pint of Abita Purple Haze, a rare beer I will stop my life to drink.
Basically, I realized that – though I love both Filmstar’s songs and sound – what I really love is playing in a full, happy, committed band, with a chance to be significant without always doing the heaviest lifting in the band.
I’m incredibly happy to continue to do that with Filmstar as a bassist or in some other capacity, and I let the band know that in no uncertain terms. I do love their songs and their sound, and if I can push that further I’m all for it!
At the same time, I have to find a way to make my own music into something where I don’t have to be the heaviest lifter all of the time. Am I ever going to cede lead vocals? No – dueting with Gina is the closest I’ll come. But having a drummer, or other instrumentalists? Yes, that would take the pressure off of me – the constant beating myself up and assuming I’m not yet ready for primetime.
That’s what I love about Filmstar – that on Saturday I was not sure I was ready for primetime, but they were sure for me, and it turned out I was.
On the way home I asked E if I could be vain for a few minutes, and I put on the recordings of Gina and I playing Arcati Crisis tunes with Chaz on drums last fall. I’m still in love with them – in love with a recording of me almost a year later! That nearly never happens.
That’s what I want. I’ve got it with Filmstar for the moment, and that’s awesome. But this year I’m going to find it for myself as well.