Hazel was (in retrospect) one of those perfect old kinds of bands -- built in a garage, then wheeled out to the schoolyard where it actually flew once we got the motor started and figured out how the controls kind of worked. It brought us many experiences and allowed us to live a little bit. Our heroes were the Minutemen, Husker Du and the Wipers.
During the intervening years kids were born, some of us got married, friends passed away and we all eventually found ourselves finding a sort of perspective on what we'd lived through, just like anybody who's getting older gets to. Sometimes all you can do is just shake your head, get your story straight-ish and launch that boat of personal mythology for all the new people in your life.
So anyways, our friends in A Simple Colony asked me to play a solo show at Al's Bar downtown. My gut said to call Jody and see if she'd play it with me, and once she said 'yes' it was an easy decision to call Fred and get a rehearsal on the books. Brady is in the Middle East, so we were really lucky to convince our old friend Donna Dresch to join us on bass.
There's nothing like trying to remember songs you wrote a dozen years ago. I found that, back then, I played the guitar much differntly than I do now and it was difficult for me to remember how and why I put things together the way I did. The chord progressions didn't make sense anymore, the song forms were angular and weird and the chords I was playing sounded all wrong. The guitar solos were what really vexed me. Back then it was more about a simple electric shock blast of sound. In years since I'd been playing a lot of old jazz and country music, so I had to go back through the card catalog and remember how to get back there again. Which I did, surrounded at first with cheat sheets and cryptic notes like 'C# Pent middle 3 OK'.
But it came together at that last practice before running out to the car (Volvo not Econo) and heading downtown to play our 9 songs. I didn't forget a thing. It all came back to me in a rush of memory and speed like a visit to an old hometown at 80 miles per on the Interstate, and just like that it was over.
I hope we get a chance to do it again. Jody and I have been talking about writing some songs together and starting a new band with Donna, maybe for Music Fest NW or just to play a few basements and speak this old language we know so well.