Sunday, February 12, 2006

Robin Crow (and other Rock 'N Roll ruminations)

Working at a record store in 1992 meant listening to Robin Crow for about a month or so over and over again. His promoters were all over retail to play his CD in-store. Either through bribery or other tactics, they ensured that our little corner of record retail played his entire release about 3 or 4 times a day. The shame was that it wasn't that bad of a record. But after a while I would welcome the music of Kenny G or Michael Bolton just to shake things up.

I wonder what Robin Crow is doing now? I think he wanted to be the next Satriani or Malmsteen, but it's likely that he's just selling insurance somewhere like one of the guys from Dramarama.

In fact, it was around the same time that I thought Dramarama was just a step away from making it big time. They had 3 or 4 CDs under their belt, a few hit singles, and a great sound. But somewhere along the way, it just didn't happen. I forgot all about them until I saw their name mentioned as a band featured on VH1's Bands Reunited series. I was all pumped about following their path back toward relevance, but discussion boards and email updates from band members proved that it just wasn't going to happen.

It seems that the big problem was that they had scheduled a big "We're Back Together" show somewhere in L.A. but it had to be cancelled. The reason behind the cancellation was that one of the main guys couldn't make the trip out west because he was working for an insurance company back east and didn't want his boss to give him a hard time about needing time off. His wife and kids couldn't afford for him to take that risk. He went from rock star to this?

Reminds me of when I saw Drivin' N' Cryin' at JackLegs Speakeasy on 2nd Ave. This too was years since I had heard anything from them, and years since I was a regular part of the Nashville nightlife. So it was good to feel young again, rocking out to good music, among a cool, fun crowd of people who were into it just as much as I was. All was going well, the songs felt good, the band was tight, and the vibe was electric. Kevn Kinney, lead singer, was delivering the goods just as he had done ten years earlier when I roadtripped to see them in Knoxville at the Bijou. But then, he turned to the drummer and I saw it. We all saw it. Right in the middle of all that long rock 'n roll hair was the biggest bald spot. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. Rumor has it that I am cultivating my own "no hair allowed" spot, too. It's just that rock 'n roll doesn't easily prepare us for these realities of life. We just take and enjoy what we can.

As for me, I am listening to Drivin' N' Cryin' right now, on my laptop, hours before I go to the job that I don't love. But I go in because of the health insurance, because I have that obligation to those I love, my wife and my kids. I bet all of the guys mentioned above are doing the same. If you can't make a million bucks doing what you love, you gotta do what you gotta do for the people who love you. No shame there.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Robin actually now owns and runs world famous Dark Horse Recording Studios in Franklin. Over the past year Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift have recorded CDs' there among many others. He is also a successful author and motivational speaker..www.robincrow.com