My old bass player called me last night. He finally got his doctorate in political science. He’s an adjunct professor in Vermont. I should have asked where he was teaching in Vermont. He’s married with two kids and he and his wife, Tina, are buying their first home. He invited Tina as a friend to one of our band practices years ago. I was there at the very beginning of their relationship. I was the lead singer. The band did original rock and had a real future. But we were the classic Pittsburgh basement band: always practising but never playing out. Well, Dave found a wife and I got a short story out of it. The title of the story was “Underbelly.” I explained to Dave years ago that the story wasn’t about when he and I were together in our band. “Underbelly” was about an earlier band I was fronting where the bass player was an ex-junkie and still an alcoholic and he and the lead guitarist where small time dealers.
The name of this band was Hit n’ Run. During one practice it was obvious that the lead guitarist, the leader of the band, had something else on his mind besides practice. His playing was disconnected. In between two numbers I asked him what was wrong.
“Hey, man,” I said to him. “What’s up? What’s going on? You’re out of it.”
“My girlfriend asked to borrow one of my pistols.”
I knew he collected guns.
“Your pistol. What the hell for?”
“She said she wants to kill herself.”
The bass player sitting in a chair because he was too drunk to stand chugged another beer. The keyboardist and the drummer waited. For no good reason I said “Check” several times into the live mike.
So that’s what it was like. It’s why so many bands don’t make it. That’s why I titled the story “Underbelly.”
- Colorado Guitarist Dies After Fight With Bandmate (huffingtonpost.com)