Saturday, October 8, 2011

Battle of the Dads Bands - Everybody Wins

Today, my band, Red Paint, competed against five other bands in the Battle of the Dad Bands. It all happened on a tennis court of a local athletic club on a beautiful 70-degree day. We didn't win but it sure didn't feel like a losing proposition.

What is a musical competition, really? Sure, there was a prize, but how to compare a band that plays faithful covers of famous bands' songs with Red Paint, whose 7 songs included one cover, which we "painted red?" What makes punk rock better or worse than blues? It's all good.

It came down to votes, and we didn't have as many as at least one of the other bands--the winner. I heard them--and they were plenty good--playing blues. The bottom line was that the event raised nearly $1,000 for the Susan G. Komen foundation to find a cure for breast cancer.

We had a fine time, enjoyed our two free beers (no free food tickets though) and I got a kick out of talking with some of the other musicians. If they'd been giving away, say, a car or a contract for 12 paid gigs, that might have gotten the musicians into more of a fighting spirit. But part of being a "dad band" in the first place is in realizing that we have full lives to live, which include music. We're not on the road as professionals. "Real Musicians Have Day Jobs," says the famous bumper sticker (and T-shirt).

Two treats--I got to see my old friend Clyde after many years. He and I were in high school together and both picked up the bass at same time--our 50th birthdays. I also had a high quality Beatles-centered conversation with Drew Harrison of the Sun Kings. They bring the Fab Four to life with their note-for-note recreation of this "classical" music.

Music brings people together, even if it's a battle, and everybody wins.

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