Chapter 30 - THE BAND WITH ONE BRAIN
the show we did at Humphrey's, I figured we were ready to
knock the socks off of the Fogelberg fans in L.A. And I was
right! We had now become "The Band With One Brain,"
a formidable musical monster. We had achieved that rare level
of polish and professionalism that we all strived for as a
musical ensemble. We were thinking and playing like one fluid,
intuitive musical entity. We were... a BAND!
the leader of the band had provided us with brilliantly written
songs in every style and genre, and these would become the
foundation of our musical flights. They are the kind of songs
that require the best from each of us as artists, collectively
and individually. This became our new syntax in the abstract
language we call music.
voice was stronger and more confident than ever, Jim Photoglo's
clear, pure tenor provided those beautiful high harmonies
and Robert McEntee added his voice as a perfect blending third
harmony to kind of glue it all together. And by this time
their phrasing was so close to perfect that they sounded like
one singer with three voices. Believe me, even Crosby, Stills
and Nash would have been green with envy.
about synergy, we were making some mighty sounds for a band
of just five musicians. Photoglo's bass playing was as solid
as a rock even though he had to devote the other half of his
brain to singing background parts at the same time. McEntee
also had to divide his brain cells but in addition to singing
and playing guitar, he also, at various times in the show,
had to do some keyboard work on the synth. His slide guitar
solos on "Crow" were particularly outstanding and
getting finer with every performance. Then there was the inimitable
Zoot, shades on, grinning from ear to ear and doing that "Zoot
dance" that he does while he's wailing away on all the
keyboard parts. He's as much fun to watch on stage as he is
to listen to. And of course "Dan the man" was up
front, burnin' on every instrument he could get his hands
on except for bass and drums. I expected him to play great
guitar and piano but I'm always blown away at how he can go
seamlessly from electric guitar to piano to acoustic guitar
and then back again. And while he's doing all that he's singing
his ass off as well.
imagine what a treat it is for me to sit up on that drum riser
and drive a band like that night after night. With such an
abundance of great Fogelberg songs as the foundation, coupled
with the outstanding musicianship of each member of the band,
my job was an absolute pleasure. Every performance was another
opportunity to get closer to perfection. You certainly don't
get bored in a situation like that; you get inspired to better
your performance with each show.
in L.A. was another one of those inspired nights with high
energy, intense focus and a damn near flawless performance
by Mr. Fogelberg and company. And the California crowd of
Dan fans were enthusiastically showing their approval and
appreciation. Of course, I was particularly pleased with our
performance since my wife, as well as quite a few friends
and relatives, were in attendance. After all, you don't want
to fumble the ball in front of the hometown fans.
the show, there was a huge meet and greet session backstage
that probably lasted for a little over an hour. Lots of fun,
food and chatter. It was great to see family and friends even
if we did have to cut it short. You see, we had another one
of those long, long, "mother of all drives" ahead
of us, from L.A. all the way to Denver! So once again, I was
reluctantly saying good-bye to my wife and then boarding the
land yacht again for our next musical mission of the tour....again!
adventure had been fun but now it was time for another post-show
departure and another midnight run. And as we rolled out of
the parking lot, I noticed Zoot was already breaking out his
big blue Martini glass and reminding us that it was time to
unwind from the evening's concert and prepare for the long
road ahead. Yes indeed, it was Happy Hour at the 'Land Yacht
Bar & Grill,' time for me to snuggle into The Chair
while enjoying a flat meat sandwich and a tall Gin & Tonic.