Despite my best intentions, I don’t write these too often; but, it seems appropriate now, with venues re-opening and, as of last Thursday evening, our first gig! Yay! I say “our”, referencing the band with which I play, “Fat Fast Bobby” by name. I used to be in a band called The Dog’s Bollocks. That band, and the 23 or so members who came and went over the years, was awesome. But the Bollocks are gone; now it’s Bobby.
As you may imagine, there’s a story behind the name. In our first incarnation several years ago, we were Fat Fast Bobby and the Bad Rap Goat Monkeys. Personally, I prefer that name; but, I am universally over-ruled, so now we are just FFB. Which, really, is very cool. With regard to the details, this is who’s in:
Angie LeMar - If you ever want to hear singing - I mean singing like singing ought to be done when it’s done right and true and proper - you must do yourself a favor and listen to Angie. She used to be in a professional a cappella group FFS. If you can do that, you can sing. Somehow, still not entirely clear how, we have deluded her into foregoing the a cappella route (actually, she did that a while ago) and joining a band that thinks Fat Fast Bobby is a great name. I’m just thrilled that she did, though we must question her judgement. In any event, brothers and sisters, when the opportunity presents, please come and hear Angie represent! You can thank me afterwards.
Rich Stubits - He’s the man holding the beat on the drums, no easy task given that the songs I write sometimes forget to have regular measures or things relating to consistent time. Rich handles that job with aplomb (yes, that’s word) and regular shrugs of resignation. But then he attacks the task and wrestles it into submission. The outcome is a rock solid beat embellished with plentiful adventurous fills. It just plain works, despite my best efforts to throw him off.
Mike Bennett - While we are still seeking a full-time bass player, we have recruited the multi-talented Mike, a music pro, to assist us and hold us together. Mike has that enviable skill of istening to a song once and then nodding, “OK, got it. Everybody OK? Let’s move on.” I’m never sure whether to be consumed with jealously or admiration. In reality, it’s both and it makes me want to practice in a serious way. And Mike is a gentleman in the finest sense of the word. A more gracious dude it would be difficult to find. We are blessed to have him.
James O’Brien - Me. I write the songs, play the guitar and sing, and just hope that I can get away with it. So far, so good.
If you’ve read this far you may be saying, “Wait. What about the gig that you mentioned up front?” Well, let me tell you about that, my brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors. The date was Thursday, July 8th (at 8pm, if you really want to know), and the venue was Shrine World Music on 134th St in NYC. Google it. It is way cool. I mean in a serious way. I confess, I was a little nervous about this one. It’s such a great venue (the Bollocks had played there once before), and this band, with this line-up, hadn’t played a gig anywhere, ever. So while being seriously grateful to the Shrine for giving us a shot, I was anxious that we should deliver the goods. I suppose that’s understandable, first time out.
Well, let me tell you. It was fecking awesome. The people at the Shrine were as kind and wonderful as they could possibly be, the vibe was easy-going and welcoming, and we had a bunch of friends show up despite what was literally a monsoon. The subway was flooded in some parts. Rich had to abandon his car in Brooklyn. A nightmare. (Angie and I were fine; we took a cab). But - rain! Mother of God - I had never seen anything like it. Despite it all, a whole gang showed up and I am beyond grateful to them all.
And the gig was feckin brillyant. (That’s a musical term, for those of you not in the know. It means, “feckin brillyant”). Mike and Rich were a rhythmn section locked in like Ginger and John-Paul (not Rogers and the Pope). Angie - well, Angie…I can’t even put it into words. Angie did what Angie does. You’ve got to see it to comprehend it. Me - I just played a few chords, sang a few words and, mostly, stood back and watched the show. I’ll be honest; I was proud. There, I said it.
But that’s not the whole of it. After that…well, as I mentioned, the people at the Shrine are just the nicest, most welcoming you could imagine. To the point where at 2am it seemed like such a good idea to start doing shots. This being a Thursday night, let me remind you. (Actually, Friday morning). And me having to be at work at 8am. And the Apocalypse still being under way outside. And not a taxi to be found. And Uber asking $1000! (The word “feck” can be coupled with “brillyant” or “off.” You decide which we chose). Anyway, friends stuck around, friends left, we made new friends, and had a generally amazing time.
Do you ever have those occasions when something just resonates with you as being truly special and you know you will remember it and tell the stories for years to come? This was one of those. It’s a special gift when somebody gives you something that you will treasure for as long as memory lasts. Everybody - and I do mean everybody - who was involved in this special night gave that gift to me, and I thank you, which may not seem like much, but I hope you understand. Special thanks to Shrine World Music. You are very special people.
So now - next up is Connolly’s Klub on W45th St in mid-town Manhattan on August 27th. Watch for all the details on our FB page and e-mails that you will most definitely be receiving. Until then, your mission, should you choose to accept it: Be Fat, Be Fast, Be Like Bobby.