A tornado. A tornado whipped up by a reverb soaked, chugging telecaster. On a horse. With a Coney Island hot dog in its mouth.
That’s the best way to describe the birth of the Metro Edition segment. It happened quick and dirty with much noise and ecstatic joy. Lots of onions too.
Having been a musician for a number of years, I’ve always had the greatest respect for the folks behind the scenes that make a show come alive. My brother was a top notch roadie-drum tech-sound guy-lighting genius who brought all sorts of people home to sleep on our couch when passing through New Jersey on tour in the early Eighties. We even had the occasional rockstar trying to find their own records in our collection while munching through the last of the White Castle sliders from the night before.
I saw skills and talents most people are oblivious to, all done with modest yet focused precision. As I got into the live show circuit myself, I came across another piece of gold that most bands keep like a secret: the session player.
When the bass player who looks the part on stage can’t navigate a 120 BPM click track to save his life, in walks The Sideman. He glides into the studio like the soft spoken hero in a spaghetti western and saves the day. No flash, but finesse. Barrel loaded, he need only fire one shot deep in the pocket. The song comes alive. He goes home and the band heads to the bar, bragging about the radio hit they’re about to unleash.
That’s a generalization, of course. Sometimes it’s the drummer.
When I found out that Micheal Clair was working on The Sideman Show for the internet station my-tv-now.com, I jumped at the chance to get involved. Micheal (or Bear as everyone calls him) has been in the Nashville scene for decades and saw the same gap that I did. Where’s the opportunity for the guys in the back to tell their stories? Why don’t you ever hear about the engineers or the A list pickers that grace thousands of hit records? When is the six stringed devil going to get his due?
I pitched my idea about doing segments from the northeast metro area to complement the tales from Music City. Micheal and his partner John McGlasson took a chance on me. I’ve never met them and yet they asked for a bunch of three minute segments to work into the show. Five minutes later, I was sent the theme music, written by Ray Flacke specifically for the program. RAY F!*@*!NG FLACKE! (If you don’t know who he is, this is why the show is important.)
I realized this was serious. And after checking it out, I’m sure you will too. Here’s to the guys behind the curtain.