Friday, March 4, 2011

Tin Huey Unit 5 The Bank...Didn't See This Coming.

So we are completely thrilled that we were chosen to open for Tin Huey when they came home to play The Bank in Akron.  This was one of those...take you to another level gigs, earning more respect and attention which we were after, at that point. There was a lot of buzz about Tin Huey coming home and playing The Bank, a lot of local bands wanted the show and we got it, that caused (and this was rare) a few ruffled feathers among the bands who thought we were to pop oriented, not artsy enough, to open for Tin Huey. Valid argument actually, we were, for the most part a pop band.  Having said that, you can't put Bob Ethington and Mark Jendrisak in a band, as the rythmn section, and not have a unique, busy, art influence so I felt they were not getting there due.  Me...I was pop influenced I admitted it, but it was being thrown around that I had nothing more to offer than a pleasant enough voice and a size 5 butt and some frizzy blonde hair. The general consensus was that I was up there, having fun, being a diva, soaking in the attention, riding the coat tails of the "real" musicians I was lucky enough to be working with. We had only very recently become Unit 5, a lot of these people that would be seeing us, were Tin Huey fans, this was going to be hit or miss and I (personally) had a LOT to prove, and I was feeling it.  I lost so much weight and sleep over this, I felt it was the most important thing I would do in my career (you can't underestimate the popularity of Tin Huey in the late 70's early 80's in NE Ohio). So whatever....we were playing the show and I would prove that I was more deserving (we) were more deserving than anticipated...or I wouldn't and that wasn't an option but it was an option I was just trying to be confident right there.
We got to the club a couple hours before showtime, like always we got drinks, played some Space Invaders I had the high score on the machine most of the time, Dave Whitt our manager, and I, back and forth, waiting for rehearsal or a show, playing Space Invaders. I knew how to kick the machine in a way that it would let me play for free, I don't even remember why we knew that but after I got a drink, I would walk up to the machine, kick it and we played, me and Dave (he could shake it and make it play but let's face it, punk chick walking up and kicking the machine with a beer in her hand......way cooler).  We went downstairs to the dressing room area set up for some of the bands that played there, not everyone had access but we did, it was such an ego stroking thing to have a dressing room, but WOW it was scary, dark steps, stone walls, concrete floor, cold, sad awful, but HEY!  We could throw around things like.."I'll be in my dressing room" and it was fun.  I had to change with the guys, it was actually only one room, that's it, but I got used to it, I learned to arrive almost put together to avoid awkwardness and nudity around my mates.  While we were downstairs people were coming down to tell us the club was really filling up, then it it's really filling it's jammed...then...we are going to have to clear a path for you guys to get to the stage.  It was insane!  I could hear the rumbling upstairs and it definitely sounded like a full house. We got word that Tin Huey had arrived, we had met them before but I believe this was the first shared bill.  I would end up staying in touch with them, I still talk to Harvey Gold often. Whenever they play locally (Not as Tin Huey since the passing of Mark Price)  I make a point of going to the show, I always loved that band and they are still amazing life, Ralph is always fun, Mike, Stuart and now Bob Ethington is actually part of that band, who knew? Mark Price is so missed, he recorded Unit 5's first demo's at his studio, we really got to know him and enjoy his company, sadly he passed away at the age of 56...But I digress (again).
 So it's time, the lights are dimmed, we get our call to go up and at this point, I think even Bob is nervous, I know Augie later confessed he thought he was going to puke.   We chose matching police shirts for this show, ties, gray uniform shirts just for fun.  We entered the club at the top of the dressing room stairs in the back, when I saw the people I freaked out!  They were everywhere, the floor was capacity, they were in the balcony, up to the stage, I had never seen it like this, how many hundreds of people must have been there and where was the fire marshall this was WAY over limit, I think I let out an audible gasp when I saw it.  As we made our way to the stage the crowd began to cheer and scream and it was pretty flattering, and very hard on my anxiety ridden psyche.  By the time we made it to the stage it was loud and I don't think any of us, expected it or knew how to respond.  Augy said thank you I definitely remember that, Mark probably nodded at everyone, Bob probably giggled repeatedly and I probably turned my back to look at Bob (like I always did) and make some dumb face.  But we had arrived, Unit 5 was on the Akron map, and believe it or not in the late 70's early 80's  that was pretty damn cool....NEVER MIND WHAT YOU MIND KEEP YOUR MIND ON THE WORK.

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