10. the group -
i know it says in no particular order, but i've been saving the best for last.
this one is all about the boys...
i had a vision when i started this project years back.
there were two types of music that most inspired me: singer songwriting, and live rock bands.
i wanted both.
was already doing the acoustic songwriter thing.
but wanted something more.
i wanted a band that was more than just a nameless group backing me up.
it had to be a collaborative effort in the true sense of the word, both when it came to performing on stage and arranging and creating our sound.
not the easiest path to walk.
inviting people in to collaborate on the stuff that is most sacred to me was a hard thing to do. (still is)
over the years,
i have found an incredible team to make music with.
turtle, josh, and rob are not only incredible musicians, but they are incredible partners as well...always sharing the burdens as well as the glory of the road.
as many of you know, turtle's been with me the longest. we started playing as an acoustic duo about 10 years ago.
he is my partner on the stage, giving off an energy and vibe that is simply put, outrageously contagious to anyone that happens to be within eye/ear shot.
he also happens to be a bad ass player too, by the way.
"you know you carry this band," a fan came up to him and said just the other night.
not the first time we've heard this.
i love that.
i'll be your wing man anytime, turtle.
josh came on board about 5 or so years ago. he's my second cousin! (i think...maybe first cousin once removed...whatever)
when he started playing with us years ago, the band was in a VERY different place.
he, more so than any other member of the group, has really shaped our sound, both on stage and in the studio.
he's easy to overlook sometimes from the crowd.
not his style to bounce around and sweat all over everyone...
but when he solos there are moments, more and more often these days, that inspire all of us.
even when he's not soloing, his thoughtful keyboard lines subtly make the songs what they are.
...and to all of our surprise this year, his video editing skills on the vlogs have been hilarious and amazing. often times i'll send him some footage i took and say something like, "this kinda sucks, but there are some good opportunities for heckling in there." he always hits the mark...
this was a big year for rob and aeg.
first and foremost he somehow acquired an infamous and formidable new nickname. (we have footage)
aside from that i think our producers in LA said it best, after he laid down his bass tracks one day. "this guy is a totally new player since the last recording we did with you a year ago"
more than any of us, rob is constantly working on his game.
we scooped him up right outa berklee.
he was not a rock bassist.
he was also not very cool.
kidding aside, rob holds me up in every sense of the word...always supporting what i'm doing with his bass playing...always ready to catch any curve ball i throw his way on stage...working his ass of on and off the stage...helping us all keep the train on the tracks.
and look what we did to him, btw:
i am so lucky to have the guys at my side...
and as brothers.
yes we all drive each other crazy at times...but who wouldn't after essentially living in a n over-packed van together, right?
i can't wait to see what kind of trouble we can get into in 2011!
lastly, if you've been to a show in the last couple years, you have no doubt seen chappy playin drums with us.
he is bad ass.
we love him.
being a rock n' roller was never his dream, and sadly, there is a good chance that sometime within 2011 he and aeg may part ways.
he's got other things he wants to do in life, and being a part of aeg is a ridiculously fulltime commitment. one's heart has to be completely filled by what we do, because it's simply too hard a lifestyle to maintain otherwise...
he will be incredibly missed.
he will always be a friend.
hopefully, down the road we will have more chances to play together.
it's been a good run.
it's been an honor.
and for those of you out there with the stamina to read this far into the blog, make sure to enjoy the shit out of chappy over the next 6 months or so. soak up the moments with our afro-headed friend. we sure as hell will be...
10 worst moments of 2010, (also not in any particular order), continued...
10. turtle's broken digits -
as we near the end of our 2010 highlights and lowlights, and as i am thinking about all that the group has been through this year, i think it's important to touch upon some of the adversity we've overcome.
none best illustrates how die hard the boys are than turtle's fall the other night.
it was october.
we had just finished up a showcase in nyc and we were loading gear off the stage.
just a few odds and ends left.
turtle hopped up on stage to grab is beer and last bit of gear.
as he came off the stage he hit a wet patch.
the gear went flying.
turtle went flying.
and in a feat, the likes of which i have never seen, he not only went into a sweet commando roll, but also somehow managed not to spill one drop of his beer.
when the dust settled, turtle was on one side of the room, his gear was on the other, and neatly waiting for him in the middle of the dance floor was his full, undisturbed beer.
now i never pegged turtle for an athlete, but that was some espn highlights reel kinda shit.
it did however come at a cost. turtle broke is finger.
fractured it in 5 places.
not good for a hand percussionist.
he was back on the road with us, bangin away, two days later.
the funny thing is, it didn't surprise any of us.
that's just what we do.
in 2010 all of us have played through sickness, extreme exhaustion, family tragedy, injuries...
no one complains.
no one feels sorry for themselves.
it's just what we do.
i can't think of a better bunch of guys to have my back...
who knew a bunch of sissy artists could be so tough?!!
tomorrow we'll send out the last of this epic blog series, so tune in for the nail-biting conclusion!!