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Dear Surfer:

I was selected to come audition for the Broadway musical RENT this month. Kristy Cates, a year ago, suggested I send the casting agency my head shot, and I did. They called a year later. So I went and auditioned and I was a little nervous, but only because I only had 16 bars of music (about one verse and one chorus) to prove myself, sung without accompaniment (accapella) to one young woman behind a table in a flourescently lit room at 12:00 noon. Not used to such things. It was an experience. Not really a fun experience! But whatever, it's over. It flipped me out when I finished my 16 bars and she asked me to do an original song.... I have newfound respect for actors!

Now on to bn9 news - first off, I wrote another new song this month and I totally dig it! I have decided that since I've been having a hard time getting everyone together to rehearse consistently, that I will put up MP3's of new stuff for you to listen to and comment on at my business website. Go to and see what's there! I hope you like the new stuff. We performed the new one ("Turnpikes and Parkways") live twice this month. Rob Susman came up with the coolest horn arrangment.

I was surfing around the internet and found a website that explains all the mystic significance of the number 9. Check it out: Who knew our band name was so profound? Not me. I just named the band after my soccer jersey.

On the 12th, we returned to Borders Bridgewater. A really good time this time around. They had us set up in the middle of the store and they put chairs out for people, most of which were full for both sets. We sold a bunch of CDs and made a ton of new fans. Of course, like most bn9 gigs, there was a snafu early on..... To get to Bridgewater from Jersey City, it takes about 45 minutes, a fairly straight shot on 78 West to 287. About 15 minutes into the drive there, I realized why my bag felt lighter than usual.... I FORGOT MY FLUTE! I had been feeling ill all day, battling a nasty stomach flu, so I was a little out of it, but I FORGOT MY FLUTE!! Can you imagine if Jack forgot his drums or something?! So we did a Chinese firedrill - I got out of the van and hopped into Sheila's car (she & Camari were following me and the guys in the van.) Sheila and I raced back to Concussion Studios - got there around 7, and made it to Borders in half an hour. GO SHEILA! We had 30 minutes to spare. Whew!

On the 25th, we played at the Grand Summit Hotel. I completely forgot the words to "Safe to Fight". Like an entire verse and a half. Major brain fart. I just looked at Sheila and sang "Yea" into the mic. She and Camari were cracking up. Camari finally sang the lyrics for me and then I remembered, but they didn't realize I was having this brain fart. It was pretty surreal! Anyway, the event was for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - a fund raiser. We played it last year, too, but this year, the turn out was incredible. It's fabulous to be able to support this cause. Cheryl Washington of Good Day NY came; so eloquent and quite beautiful. Everyone was happy and the food was incredible! I think my brain malfunctioned because I was thinking about the yummy food. And also, Joel sang lead on a song at this gig for the first time. It was really fun.

Next night, we played at Conduit in Trenton, NJ. At the Borders gig on the 12th, a reporter from the HOME NEWS TRIBUNE approaced us. The next Tuesday, she and a photographer came to our rehearsal studio and intereviewed us and took pictures. The pictures didn't make the website, and I haven't seen the actual paper yet, but it was a great review and is on our PRESS page. Do check it out. She plugged our gig at Conduit. But, man, the place was DEAD. We went all the way to Trenton from NYC and we had more people in the audience than the other local bands! Considering we only had 2 weeks to promote it, I think we did OK. Special thanks to Amanda Chiorello (it was so great to see her), Bill & Peggy Strecker, Jon Filo (my co-worker!), Rich Marsdale and Sheri Sumner for coming out and bringing friends, and especially to Sheri for letting us hang out at her place after sound check! And thanks to everyone who signed our mailing list and stayed until the very end. We also had Lauren Sevian of Elephunk perform with us on baritone sax. An all time first! It was loads of fun, especially when she and Ada joined Camari, Sheila and I in our "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" dance. And I had the joy and priviledge of playing alto with them on one song. It's so fun to be in a horn section! I only wish more people than our friends had been there. But we sold CD's nonetheless, the sound was great, and the room was awesome!


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March, 2002
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