SOMETHING HAPPENED THE other day that has never happened before in my many years of playing music.
We got asked to turn it up.
Pepper Spray played Sunday at the Tangerine Bowl in Quincy for the Pins For Patriots event. You really haven't lived unless you've played a bowling alley gig, and we are not talking about some side room or in the basement. We took up the front of lanes eight through 12. To the left and the right were strikes and spares and splits.
Anyway, we were jamming away and everybody seems to be having fun when the event organizer came up to Pepper Spray sound guy and ringleader Adam Yates. Uh oh. Here it comes. We are being too loud. We have to turn it down.
"Nope," Adam said. "He wants us to turn it up."
I'm sorry. I couldn't hear you. He wants us to do what?
I have been told to "turn it down" all my life. And really, I don't play in loud bands. But when you have a band, particularly with percussion and plugged in instruments, you have volume. You know it's going to be an interesting show when you get told to turn it down, and you haven't even started. Happens all the time - it's a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll, you know.
The best story about volume was the night The Funions played at a local bar. Pat Cornwell was on drums and manning the small PA. Halfway through the show a Quincy Police officer came in and told us neighbors were complaining, and to turn down the volume.
Pat just glared at him. I assured the officer we'd lower the volume. Pat leaned over the mixer and made twisting motions with his hands. The officer left.
"Did you turn it down?" I asked.
"Nope," Pat said, that evil gleam in his eye glittering like a disco ball. "I turned it up. Let's play!"
And we had no more issues that night.
So thank you, bowlers and Pins For Patriots organizers. We had a blast and I think we were loud enough. Hopefully we get to do it again next year. But if we do, could you turn down the bowling a bit?
Nah. Turn it up. We'll all feel better about it.