It was a somewhat “surreal” weekend, as I played drums at two separate rehearsals, both of them including members of a dance band called Pleazure, which was one of those pivotal bands in my career as a drummer, that made a significant impact on how I would continue on from high school into adulthood.
In my 30 plus years as a musician, I have had periods where I simply dropped out. In college when I had problems with one of the unversity directors, and during one 4 year period when I didn’t play any drums or piano at all, I had sort of turned my back to music… influenced by my parents to just give it up and study a more solid career like Computer Science.
But, in these last several years, from around 1994 to the present, I have been performing pretty much “full-time”, meaning… only performing music as a living. The road has been a tough one, but I have been the happiest with myself because I have maintained a reasonably high-level of musicianship that I’ve been satisfied with. Well, a true musician and artist is always striving to become the best. It’s an ongoing endeavor that lasts a lifetime if one is committed to an area of music like jazz or classical. Actually, any style of music can strive to attain a high level of proficiency and artistry.
Anyway, getting back to this past weekend’s rehearsals… I am amazed at the songs that I haven’t played in 30+ years. For some odd reason, all the other top40 and dance bands I’ve played with over the years hadn’t included a lot of songs from my dance band experiences during high school.
Nowadays, all or most of the Top40/Dance Bands out there (the ones who do all the corporate and private gigs) play all the same songs. Which a fellow colleague of mine says are the “money tunes”… like Play That Funky Music, or Brown Eyed Girl, or I Will Survive… these are the songs that everyone expects you to play at these types of gigs.
So, it’s refreshing to be playing a somewhat obscure song such as “Fencewalk” by the band “Mandrill”. Or songs from the Earth, Wind and Fire songbook that I never hear any other band play, like “Reasons”, “Happy Feeling” or “Devotion”!
What’s nice is that, for the most part, us Pleazure musicians haven’t forgotten those songs, really. It’s like they had always been in the back of our minds, like the whole idea about riding a bike… once you learn, you can always get back on at any time in your life… well, that has happened to me too… and for the longest time I had never been on a bike. But I was confident I could get back on at any time and just ride off into the sunset…
…and that is how I have been feeling about the Pleazure band. We are like long lost brothers re-uniting for the first time in more than 30 years.