Monday, August 20, 2007

Adrian Belew Power Trio on Tour - Asheville, N.C. - Part I

Eric Slick, sitting behind his new gift from Adrian Belew, a silver sparkle Yamaha drum kit, at Stella Blue in Asheville, N.C. August 19, 2007 -- and thank you to Andre Cholmondeley for emailing me that pic in the early AM hours last night.

And I'm laughing at what Eric is wearing -- an old WMMR t-shirt which has to be 25 years old. His dad won it from the radio station back in 1982, before Eric was even a consideration to his zero population we-are-never-having-kids hippie parents...har har...anyway, WMMR at one time was the premier underground FM radio station in Philadelphia. (God knows what they play now...classic crap rock mixed with new crap rock, tons of commercials including ones to join the military, and way too much completely unrelated to music disc jockey banter. Bleh). Anyway, it took real skill and music knowledge to win that t-shirt, combined with old fashioned technology...i.e., there was no such thing as speed dialing back then and much slower telephones.

The contest was called the daily DMO, or "dreaded morning oldie". The dj would literally play one note from a classic rock song, and the first caller to get through and guess the name of the song and band would win a bunch of stuff, including that coveted t-shirt. Gary holds the world record for wins...I think he managed like 50 of them because he's such a freaking musicologist with a perfect ear, but here's the crazy thing in this serendipitous world of ours...he had one competitor, a guy named Lee Truscan. I am telling you this for a reason.

So this competition was every single morning for at least five years, maybe more, at 7:10 a.m. Every single day, give or take a few exceptions each week, the winner would either be Gary or Lee. But for some reason, even though our last name is "Slick" and you would think the the DJ would have remembered Gary since he won so many times, he instead focused on that guy Lee, and invoked "The Lee Truscan Rule", which meant that if you'd won the DMO within the last thirty days, you were disqualified and could not win again until the following month.

I casually remarked to Gary: "That damn Lee Truscan. I was looking forward to a whole collection of those t-shirts. But you know what? I have the weirdest feeling that you and Lee are going to meet some day."

Yeah, because there are only three million people living in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs, but it was something I just knew.

Even though I also knew from radio chat back and forth that Mr. Truscan did in fact live in the far suburbs, where Gary and I never venture, because frankly, the suburbs give us both the hives.

Time went on, much to our shock we decided to have kids after all, Julie arrived in 1986, Eric in 1987...and because I was working full-time back then, both kids were enrolled in a daycare center in downtown Philadelphia.

One day I am filling Julie's bin at the center with her diapers and toys and I notice that the bin next to her is labeled "Jeffrey Truscan".

Could it be possible?

Even crazier, Julie was born January 30, 1986; Jeffrey was born January 31, 1986.

So one night at 5:00 p.m. pick-up time, Gary and I arrived at the daycare center simultaneously to gather our babies and finally, lo and behold, Mr. and Mrs. Truscan were there as well, picking up their Jeffrey. We got to talking, and I couldn't help it, I had to ask.

"You aren't by any chance Lee Truscan?" I asked, expecting him to look at me like I had lost my mind.

"Yeah, that's me. Have we met?"

Gary and I looked at each other, eyes bulging out of our heads.

"I'm Gary Slick," Gary grinned.

"OH MY GOD!" all four of us exclaimed at once.

I couldn't get over it. I still can't get over it.

"I knew we were going to meet him some day! This is so crazy!" I blabbered the whole way home in the car.

And that it got even more nuts, because when Julie and Jeffrey turned four a few years later, they were still both in the same daycare center and the Truscans and Slicks decided to throw a joint birthday party for our darlings, complete with clowns, alcohol for the parents, and $400 worth of finger food -- we had no idea what we were getting into. We booked the old Houlihan's Restaurant because they had a kid friendly menu, never dreaming how much this whole extravaganza would end up costing...back then $400.00 was more like $4,000.00 and I'm giggling because these days that party is "nothing"; I know people who throw their kids birthday parties at the Ritz Carlton and/or hire ponies and professional singer/songwriters.

Okay, so I know a lot of yuppie idiots.

Anyway, the Truscans did indeed live in the far suburbs and ended up moving even further away; Julie went to kindergarten in downtown Philly (as did Eric); and we never saw or heard from them again.

The DMO was discontinued around the same time -- the dj left the radio station after being dethroned as top jock in Philly when Howard Stern came to town in the late eighties, early nineties...and the only surprise is that Jeffrey Truscan didn't end up graduating Drexel University with Julie, too, though for all I know, that's where he is.

Life is like that. At least in our world.

So I woke up this morning trolling for reviews of the Adrian Belew Power Trio's show last night at Stella Blue in Asheville, N.C. -- nothing yet, though two very cool things did happen -- Andre Cholmondeley, who is not only founder of Project Object but is on the Belew tour this week as techie, roadie, all around savior, not only forwarded me the above pic of Eric, he sent me a text message right in the middle of the concert: "They are kicking ass!" (and if I knew how to text message, I would have sent him a return note but it was a miracle I even figured out how to retrieve what he sent me)...and my email inbox contained the following:

I just saw Adrian, Julie, and Eric perform in Asheville tonight, and I must say you've done something very, very right. What amazing children you have!!!

Congratulations, and thank you for raising them right.
Brad Brock in Asheville, NC"

Thanks, Brad!

And speaking of Project Object, on the band's MySpace site there are four new songs uploaded which cover four separate periods/incarnations of the band.

Anyway, to hear Eric Slick's contribution, follow that link and click on Big Swifty.

Here's the specifics from the gig:
28 December 2006
The 8x10 Club
Baltimore, Maryland
crew: André Cholmondeley, Dave Johnsen, Eric Slick, Eric "Sluggo" Svalgård, Robbie "Seahag" Mangano, Jordan "J-Ro" Shapiro, Ike Willis

Getting back to the Belew Trio, just so you know, the reason this post is called "Part I" is that I'm sure I am going to get some reviews and more emails coming out of last night's show as I know a bunch of people who were in the audience, and as soon as they wake up and write about their experience, I will be back with that as well as (hopefully) some more pictures of the band.

And now I'm off to get ready for two weeks in hell. As I mentioned here last week, I promised probably the only person in the world I would do this for a huge favor -- I am filling in for her this week and next full-time in a law office so that she can go on her first two week vacation ever -- and she's worked in that office for 27 years. She's such a kind, generous sweetheart I didn't have the heart to turn her down when she asked me. But oh oh oh, I woke up with the most horrible sinking stomach, how the fuck am I going to manage this...but yeah, yeah, it could be worse, i.e., what if I had to do this every week?

I would have to kill myself.

Just kidding. I did it for most of my adult life and may end up doing it again at some point...but dear God please don't let it be in a law office.

But oh crap, other than writing and music, it's the only thing I know.

Ha ha - too bad Gary and I don't get a paycheck for parenting the Slick Wonder Kids.