“Love Is Like A Flower”
Sometime around the turn of the century (damn… that makes me sound old) I began playing open mic nights. I made a lot of great friends doing this and discovered many amazing local bands along the way. Before FaceBook (and even MySpace) it was common for band members to play open mic nights in order to promote their upcoming shows. In the beginning, I didn’t have a band or any upcoming shows. I was just having fun, playing my songs and listening to other people’s songs. After awhile, bands started asking me to be their opening acts. It can be tough playing to a crowd of people just waiting for you to finish so they can see the band they came to see. So, I started incorporating cover songs written by the bands I was opening for into my performances – sometimes on guitar and sometimes on keyboards – sometimes a faithful recreation and sometimes a heavy metal power ballad version. Because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (and because I already knew a couple of their songs) sometimes I would be invited to join a band as their keyboard player. (Throw a rock in a St. Louis music club and you’ll hit a half dozen guitarists, but keyboard players are harder to find.) It’s hard for me to remember my tenure with Tripstar, but (because I held on to the backstage pass) I know that I played a Led Zeppelin tribute show with them at The Pageant on October 26, 2001. (They wanted to perform Kashmir, and finding a string section was much more difficult than finding a keyboard player.) Tripstar is no more, but all of the band members are still writing and performing original music on the St. Louis scene. At The Instar Motel is an excellent album that (15 years after its release) I still listen to frequently.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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