I got to jam with Melissa Etheridge’s band for about ten seconds today.
I should back up: I’m a huge Melissa Etheridge fan, have been since I was 12. I was so excited that she was just coming and I could even watch her sound check, I was giddy.
So I went down early to watch her band sound check, because the guys she plays with rock. I was just sitting around watching Kenny Aronoff whale on his drums and wondering how they could sustain such percussive force on a nightly basis.
They were doing some camera reherasals without Ms. Etheridge, so the stage manager asked me to step in since the lead guitarist, Phil, was going to stand in for Melissa, they needed someone to stand in for him.
Since I didn’t have a guitar, I did what came naturally: I played air guitar while they were playing. I didn’t want to just stand there like an idiot, and that was what came out. The guys in the band thought it was fucking hilarious.
So Phil, highly amused, offered me his guitar, telling me I rocked out on it. I told him not to offer it to me, ’cause I just might take him up on it. He handed the guitar to me.
So I put it on, and after a bit of confusion over who had volume control, turned it up a little. Mark, her bass player, was telling me the chord progression for the chorus to “Breathe” (since it’s too new for me to have figured out), and I started playing.
All of a sudden, the band kicked in behind me. I was so stunned I immediately started fucking up, but I didn’t even care. The whole thing lasted maybe fifteen seconds, a couple of lines of the chorus since that’s all I knew.
Best fifteen seconds of my fucking life.
I quickly gave Phil his guitar back, thanked him and the rest of the guys profusely and giddily wandered offstage as they finished tuning up for the final soundcheck.
To be able to play with musicians of that caliber was a gift, and it was a fucking blast. And it made me realize how much joy music still brings me, despite my burnout from it right now.
I’m going to get off my ass and finish writing my album, and see what the hell I can do with it, see if I can make it something I’m actually happy with.
I’ve felt invincible all day. And I want to take that feeling and run like hell, because it’s something that only comes along once in a great goddamn while.
For now, however, I’ve got to track down some contact information to thank Melissa’s band. For them to let me do that was fucking incredible of them, and short of dropping to my kneeds à la Wayne’s World, a heartfelt thanks is the best I can give ’em.