Saturday, February 06, 2010

A Hangover from Memory Lane.

I used to be in a band. A few actually. And they were good, actually.

It's strange and surreal and somewhat painful to look back into those memories. I've kind of locked them away and given the keys to 4 other guys. And only on rare occasions, inebriated by nostalgia, do we open the locked cabinets and drink from them.

By the time I'd graduated high-school we had 3 recordings out under three different band names. We'd changed members only once, for the most part, the core of us remained forged. By my first year of college, we had been in talks with a few record labels, and I had all but dropped out of my second semester - missing so many classes to record our first (what would be our only) full-length record. That summer, we set out on tour.

MTV feeds our fantasies with visions of two-story busses that pick band members up from their Gatsby-esque mansions, our reality picked us up from our parents' houses in a 1986 conversion van clocking around 218,000 miles on the odometer. One troubled tour began with us breaking down 1/2 mile from setting off from my house. Literally, five minutes after hugging my parents and loosely promising to send postcards, I was calling them to come to the rescue of our sorry situation. I'd never once doubted that we'd be fine. And so, we were.

I have a lot of memories of these summers, the best probably coming from the first stop on our first tour ever. We'd been booked in Yuma, Arizona. Aside from one (still) deeply depressing turnaround trip to Fresno, the band had never been on any adventure with more than one destination. We'd reached Yuma in a few hours. The van was smoking a little from inappropriate (see: not engine) places, and seemed to handle her maiden voyage with the effort of a moderately healthy octogenarian. The city is dusty, or at least I remember it being dusty. Plenty of wind and Mexicans; we were absolutely alive. As we stopped and began to unload the only guitars we had, and the equipment we'd be sharing with another band for the next two months, a kid about my age approached me.

He was wearing one of our shirts.

The thing is, we didn't have shirts. We had arranged some last-minute screen printing and were due to pick them up in a city or two down the schedule. He had made his own Falling Cycle shirt. In Arizona. Hundreds of miles from the suburban bedroom where I'd sit for hours in my underwear creating parts to his "favorite songs." To this day, the reality of this does not make any sense to me.

He thanked us for coming to Arizona, and I thanked him too, for coming. We played that night to probably 30 people; it is still one of the proudest moments of my life.

This is a (horrible) video from our last show ever, almost exactly 6 years ago. Another one of the proudest moments of my life.

EDIT: Someone at about 3:22 yells "What the hell is going on?" - a great question my anonymous friend. After 6 years, I still don't know, either.


Rissa said...

I couldn't contain my laughter when I heard that guy yell that. Nice write up Sean. Looking back on memories is a strange bittersweet thing, isn't it?

Tyler Bianco said...

Well written, as always Sean. I definitely enjoy reading your blog and I miss you man. Hope you're doing well...

Your Student
Tyler Bianco

...yes, I called myself your student just to sarcastically remind you of your stint as a teacher at Woodcrest Christian High School ;) you made it in my top 3 teachers of all time and at that school.

Anonymous said...

Nice article as for me. It would be great to read a bit more about that matter. Thnx for sharing this material.

Let Freedom Ring said...

While I wish only I could have such memories, I find myself quite connected. I have always said you need to get back into this scene. Call me if you want to. My guitar is waiting.

Peter Dixon said...

The good old Falling Cycle days. I miss sweating my @ss off in the pit and going home with bruises. Those were the days. Careless freedom.