Debuted a new song at O'Donnell's on the 14th... I messed up. I usually do when we debut a new song.
Fortunately, the audience doesn't notice! That's the beauty of a new song. So I guess I shouldn't be
confessing this, because now, every time I say "This is a new song" anyone who has read this "DEAR SURFER"
will be watching very closely to see when I mess up. Oh well. Please DO watch closely! It keeps
me on my toes. Anyway, back to the 14th - it was a strangely warm and
humid night, and a particularly lively crowd. People were dancing and stuff, more than usual.
I guess it was the holiday spirit in action. Or perhaps the blatantly obvious climate changes have
people living day by day, so they're making the most of each moment now, each chance to dance, they
take it.... I don't know. It was loads of fun, as always. We love Jim O'Donnell. You would,
too, if you came out to his beautiful bar.
ACUI paid off to the tune of one gig so far, at Rutgers Newark. We'll be there on March 5th along with
2 of the 3 random horns. Looking forward to it. We also got booked to play the Hoboken Harriers Snowball
again. The Harriers are a running club and the Snowball is their annual bash. More info on that closer to
the date, but it's a great party, not to be missed, with good food and us playing all night. Joel's going to perform
with us that night and will be doing lead vocals on a couple of tunes. First time ever!
We also played at Tribeca Blues on the 18th. The club had been closed
for months due to 9-11. Fortunately, there was a decent turnout. Ginetta of
Ginetta's Vendetta sat in with us on one tune... she's a GREAT trumpet player.
And Pamela West hopped on stage and sang Jerking My Chains with us.
It was very fun. Thank you
to all of you who came! I love that place. It's got a very warm and cozy vibe.
I'd hate to see them
close their doors for good. Times are tough for everyone....
Speaking of tough times, had a major band meeting this month to discuss the elusive FUTURE.
I was 5 minutes from taking up a new hobby, like scuba diving. One that would provide me
with some comfort, an escape, some relaxation. Not that I consider bn9 a hobby. Far from it.
But if you look up "hobby" and "profession" in the dictionary, the thing that differentiates the two
is "income". And while on occasion, we do generate income playing music, most times, I spend
money to play. I've told you this before. It's been 6 years since I started the band and I had
hoped at some point, we'd at least break even, despite the fact that according to BILLBOARD
magazine, fewer than 10% of artists SIGNED to MAJOR labels EVER break even. That hasn't
happened. I haven't given up hope that it could happen, but I was feeling kind of cranky, I reached
my limit with Human Resources management, and the idea of spending my hard earned cash scuba
diving versus schlepping gear around in the rain was seeming pretty damn inviting.
So we had a meeting, and now we've got a participatory economics borderline
happening. Democracy is dead in bn9. Peer pressure is in. We'll see how it all plays out. If only I
had a crystal ball! One thing is certain: we need to pinch pennies if we're ever going to release
a second CD. We won't be sending out as many
postcards via US Mail. In fact PLEASE send us your email address if you're on our mailing list.
Let me know that you don't need postcards, that email reminders will suffice. This will help us
Last bit of news. The congas came. (See last month's "DEAR SURFER"). I guess Shawn couldn't
take the pressure. So the moral of this story? Well, I'm STILL not going to buy anything off eBay
again, but if you do and you suspect you're getting duped, take my advice: relentlessly file everything there is
to file in order to get your money back! I really didn't even WANT the stupid congas after all the
bullshit, but they did come and I'm trying to play them. It kinda hurts my hands, but it's fun!
Anyway, HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Have a great New Year's Eve... I'll be in Italy! See you in 2002.
Remarks? Comments? Please put 'em in our guestbook
Letters from the past:
August, 2000 (from Marco)