My son was celebrating his first birthday in 1999, and at the party I met the spouse of my wife’s friend – a guitar player. This led to talk of music, dusting off the bass guitar, playing together in our living rooms once or twice, and an offer to join his cover band that was stalled for lack of someone to “hold down the bottom end”.

At that point, I gave myself a personal timeline of ten years. If I wasn’t working steadily as a gigging cover-band musician, then it wasn’t going to happen – and I could immerse myself completely in art; my core competency.

What first started as an excuse to get out of the house every so often, became a tiresome clash of egos, musical differences, and a cavalcade of lazy musicians and control freaks.

It was not all “gloom and doom”; there were some well-paying and unforgettable crowds along the way. The best run I had was with Westchester NY-based cover band “The Spin” which trawled the Irish pubs in Yonkers and played some jumping private parties. Once you’ve had a pub-full of girls on G.N.O. dancing to the booming pulse coming from your hands, it’s hard to walk away. But even that become burdensome when I realized I was playing very few songs that I liked.

There’s a quote from Trey Gunn that I often forwarded to other musicians: “Don’t play music you don’t like, it will poison your love affair with music.” Or words to that effect.

I have been dusting off what I refer to as my “humble” home studio and realize I have been blessed with the ability to acquire some very good gear – if not an abundance of musical talent. Thanks to home recording and MIDI, any computer literate musician can be a one man band.

So if something doesn’t come up in about five days, I’m giving up playing with other people. However, there is one keyboardist I’m corresponding with in nearby Nanuet who is starting up a band, so it couldn’t hurt to just check him out…