http://lamkins-guitar.com/music/article/life-after-bands
David Lamkins picked up his first guitar a long time ago. As best he can recall the year was 1967: the year of the Summer of Love. Four decades later David has conjured up an amalgam of folk, rock and jazz solo guitar music for the occasional intimate Portland audience.
location: Portland, OR USA

Facets: attitude, goals, motivation, @musings info
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Life after bands

I played in "original material" bands between `00 and `04 before walking away from that scene. I got to the point where I'd be in a bad mood all day leading up to rehearsals; I didn't want to deal with the drama, the substance abuse, the endless repetition of the same material, and the fact that band members didn't understand the difference between practice (something they're supposed to do on their own time) and rehearsal. Not all the bands were like that, but between the slow progress and the poor working conditions in clubs I just couldn't participate any more in that scene.

I've been concentrating my efforts since then on developing material that I can play on my own. I've worked up some semi-improvisational solo guitar material (meaning: I have a bunch of motifs that I can stitch together as the mood strikes me) and play once in a while at private parties or open mics.

I still play with other musicians when the opportunity arises. I've also sat in a couple times at the request of one of my old bands. But I'm not pushing to "put together a band".

I never want to get back into the "originals band" scene; it's almost impossible to build a following, there's literally no money in it (not that I'm in it for the money, but it rubs me the wrong way when every non-musician who works at the venue takes home more at the end of the night than the musicians), and the hours and working conditions (smoke, insane FOH volumes) are awful.

I'd like to find one or two musicians with whom I could go out and play improv material in the early evenings at restaurants and galleries. Kind of a "wallpaper gig", if you will... Quiet enough that the patrons (and musicians) can enjoy themselves, but with enough musical "substance" that some who's inclined to listen to the music won't be bored.

So far I've only found one guy who'd be a good match, and he moved to the east coast... Everyone else I've met is either trying to position themselves for a "career" in music or lacks the proper mindset to book a gig, show up and play whatever comes out of the aether... But I'm keeping my eyes and ears open, and starting to connect with some folks who'd be a good complement to what I'd like to accomplish musically.

October 26 2006 04:50:03 GMT