Honey Coloured Time
Well, this one's worth of posting for sure...
It all began one afternoon around 22 years ago, with me and my friend RomiBoy hanging out as usual outside his apartment. A neighbor and another dude, Erick, whom we both knew as well, came looking for my friend to ask him if he would be interested in playing the guitar in their band. RomiBoy liked the idea and started talking about the band and so on. I got myself involved in the conversation as I had also things to mention regarding rock and groups - my elder brother recently became the drummer for a band- and also because I really wanted to get my hands on whatever kind of shennanigan that could happen out of this. So they set up a date for the next day and this and that and then appeared the moment to jump into the wagon: "Hey, can I come?" -Sure dude! Awesome! All of a sudden I was presented with the opportunity of being in a room with an electric guitar, amps, speakers and a drumkit... neat!
I called another friend, Eduardo, whom I knew would be also interested in attending the occasion and then there we were, the next day on our way to a rock practice -or a jam, which is how 'hard rockers' call these sessions. So by the time we got there, these guys put their guitars and stuff in the room and we would go grab some beers as we needed to wait a bit for the drummer to get home - it was his house. So just before going for those beers, I couldn't resist the temptation and sat in the drummers chair with a pair of drumsticks in my hands. "May I?" I asked politely and they all went 'Yah, of course, sure, go crazy!' Wohoo! The first thing that came to my mind was the beginning of Zeppelin's 'Rock 'n Roll', with the hi-hats and such and such, so I played it the way I thought it was supposed to be played. I guess it wasn't that bad because a little bit later that same evening Erick gave the finger to the other dudes and asked me and Eduardo if we would like to play with him and form a new band. Awesome! RomiBoy became our first fan/roadie/groupie/guest member.
We began to hang out often after the deal got sealed, and began to talk about the newly born band. For such sessions, which happened mostly in a VW where we drank vastly amounts of good beer while driving all around the neighborhood while listening music and chatting, I prepared a tape with all these new bands that my brother had brought home recently. This tape, had 'Pesadez' (Heaviness) written on one side and 'Espesez' (Thickness) on the other as a way to describe what kind of songs I have chosen to feature in the cassette. One side began with Blue Cheer's 'Summertime Blues' and that was followed by Budgie's 'Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman', the Masters Apprentices' 'Lesson So Listen', Night Sun's 'Got a Bone of my Own', Damnation's 'No Way', etc., all of them from the era in which hard rock was created, pure and original, loud, heavy and really thick. This tape played over and over in the car's stereo during every moment we were driving around. Not so long after, we all had these songs as part of our perpetual inner soundtrack molding our perspective towards rock music. We were very proud of this and we all felt this strange rejoice of letting the world know that. By that time, we all had made our homework on the bands playing in 'Espesez/ Pesadez' and were quite confident about them, even though it was a total mystery who they were or where they were from, or such; most of them came to us as that: a couple of songs in a tape. No more information. But still, we could identify the differences, how many musicians were in each group, the arrangements, odd time signatures, instruments, etc., and we all loved them.
By the time in which we needed to choose a name for our band, I suggested the name 'Squeet', like the 1st song on side 'Espesez' by a band called May Blitz. We all three liked the idea because it was a great unique type song, with a great bass groove and amazing fuzz guitar and impossible beatings on the drums, also because it was a made-up word that only the band would know its meaning, and also because we all thought that May Blitz was one of the greatest rock trio who unbeatable portrayed what hard rock music was for us. And we, being a trio as well, simply thought of it as a great omen. And I think we did quite well.
What are the chances to hear about any of those bands again, now that more and more years have passed by? All those bands had at least 15 years old when I first heard of them, and now adding some 22 years more? The chances are very few I'd say, specially because most of them were underground bands that only few people would know about them, and probably they only released a couple of albums, or simply disappeared after their first. And those would be the chances of hearing about them in these days, imagine the chances of watching them in a performance or anything. I guess even fewer.
Last Saturday, after verifying some incredible information received from my friend Alejandro, my Gaby and yours truly headed on to Neptoon Records, where the Independent Record Store Day was celebrated. Bands playing, beers and lots of people everywhere in the store. I had my albums under my arm and a pen in my pocket ready for whatever thing that could happen there. Couple of guys stopped me to inquire about them or simply to mention they love them. The drummer of one of the bands recognized me from my phone call the day before and was hopeful in 'them' coming to the event. The bands kept on playing and Gaby and I kept on looking around, standing in the stairs with the main entrance right in front of us, hoping to see what we were there for.
The day before, when 'verifying' that info, I found this guy's myspace page with current information and photos, one of them showing how he looks like these days. Well, that is how I could recognize they had entered the room, watching that same face there walking towards me, behind 2 other guys who looked his age. He was actually the first to notice the albums under my arm and began looking at me, and then to the records, and then me, then the records, up and down with a strange smile on his face. They all walk right in front of us and when the 3rd guy was just there, I greeted him and presented the albums and the felt pen. He gladly accepted, asked my name and proceeded to give me his autograph. He thanked me, I thanked him and kept on his way to the back of the shop where his fellows were waiting for him. An older lady behind us asked me how he was 'cause she couldn't recognize him, so I showed her the photo in the inner spread of one of my albums when 'he' came back to me, almost grabbed me taking me with him to meet his mates. The other 2 guys shook hands with me, asked on how I knew and this and that. They signed my albums, chatted with me, took photographs with me, inquired on how and since when I knew them, etc. On my side, I was astonished, really impressed and thrilled. According to Gaby, when I was writing my email to them my hands were shaking. I tried to explain the best i could on the impact they have had in my musical life -which is a BIG part of the whole thing- and answered any questions they had about me. That is when I remembered, when I realized the deepness of their influence and inspiration to me, and I said: 'As a matter of fact, my first band ever was called 'Squeet'' - No way! Really? - they replied, - your band was called after one of our songs?
Meeting May Blitz was something unreal for me, one of the 'top shelf' experiences without any doubt. During the rest of the weekend, and even on Monday I felt dizzy and my mind kept on going back to those moments. Prior to this, chatting with Carl Palmer was my highest point, but having met and talked and the signatures and such with a band whom I have worshiped ever since the first time I listened to them is simply incredible for me. Its hard to express how this experience has affected me in a good way, that is why I've written the longest of my posts so far. And there's a big chance of meeting them again!