On May 14th 2012 after a year of contacting The Paramount in Huntington Long Island, I finally recieved an offer to play at their venue. The trouble was the offer to play the show, was for May 18th, and I already had a show for the exact day and time. The representative of The Paramount said it was no trouble, and that she may have another opportunity coming up very soon that would fit me. The offer she then offered me was to open for Eddie Money on June 7th or for Big Country on June 8th. I immediatley asked if the Eddie Money slot could be pushed to the front of the list. Not only am I a very big Eddie Money fan, but he is a native Long Islander aswell, so it just seemed to fit best for me. The represenative of The Paramount abliged and contacted Eddie Money’s people in regards to the show.
For me my occasional trouble is scheduling a drummer. My one drummer Will is a police offer in the NYPD, and his schedule is sometimes tough to figure out. My other drummer Al just so happened to have a drumming course for the entire week that he could not miss. At this point I began to get a little nervous, because this was an opportunity I simply could not pass up. After going back and forth, turns out Will would be the drummer on this show.
Now with my mind clear, I have to figure out a proper setlist for this particular show. I know alot of the crowd is going to be slightly older so I want to cater to that as best as I can. Within the 25 minutes the venue is giving me, I have to leave an impact and a lasting impression. I didn’t really wind up changing all that much, mainly just placed emphasis on songs like “Johnny B. Goode” which I normally perform anyway. The set list went as is
- Too Close
- Ready or Not
- Johnny B. Goode
- Hot Rod Lincoln (Instrumental)
- In the Dark
- That’s All Right
- On Fire
The song Hot Rod Lincoln is a song I have my band perform while I throw out complimentry tee shirts to the audience. Not only is the song alot of fun, but it seems to bring alot of energy to throwing out tee shirts. You wouldn’t believe it until you saw it, but every crowd seems to go crazy.
On May 31st I get a call from Will telling me his schedule is being switched. He is now being placed in Coney Island where his entire schedule and days off will now be different. And he wouldn’t know his hours until June 3rd. Now this put me right back into sweating bullets, because I know Al can’t do the show, and now Will may not be able to do the show. Clearly it’s far too close to the show to get a fill in. Basically, I have no choice but to simply wait it out.
June 3rd rolls around and Will calls me and tells me he will be getting out of work at 4:30PM in Coney Island. Which is about an hour away from Huntington Village. Load in for our show is at 5, so I decide I will take his drums to the venue. Seems like things worked themselves back on track.
June 7th rolls around now, and the day is one giant rain storm! Unfortunatley this rain storm seemed to want to drop in buckets.
If you drove a regular car, it was going to take you a while to get anywhere. So the one hour trip it should have taken Will is now taking closer to 3 hours. Showtime is at 8:00pm sharp, so I am back to sweating bullets and walking back and forth out of pure nervousness. Finally at 7:10 I get a call from Will that he’s down the block, the band and I took one giant breath of air. It was going to be alright, thankfully.
Will gets in and tweaks whatever needed fixing on his drumkit, while everyone is getting dressed and ready.
We all get onto the stage and look at whatever people we can see past the lights. A certain energy just seemed to generate throughout the room. I think it could have been the energy that was just going through us, playing the biggest stage in the area. We open up with “Too Close” by Alex Clare, and it seemed as if the crowd immediatley knew what it was, and you heard a small roar come over the room. By the end of the song that small roar turned into a much larger one.
The 25 minutes we had on stage felt like an hour of greatness. If anyone had ever doubted that my band and I could rock the house, they were certainly proven wrong that night.
I then went to show face with a few friends who came to see the show but missed it due to the massive flooding and traffic of Long Island. Within doing that I got to sit and watch Eddie Money perform. I was singing along to all his songs like everybody else! I did however get the backstage advantage and watch from behind the curtain. A very surreal moment to watch a rockstar you admire from the stage.
After the entire show was over I got to sit down with Eddie’s band. What a great group of guys, they gave me some wine, gave me some pizza, made me feel at home. The venue itself was so kind and hospitable aswell. As a kind gesture they brought a case of beer to the dressing room, which some may see as small, was actually a grand gesture.
A little while after I mingled through the crowd and talked with friends, recieved great compliments from new fans and such. I caught wind Eddie was leaving very soon, because he had a very early morning ahead of him. I quickly dashed to the green room so I could get a word from him. When I entered the room he stood up right out of his seat and walked over to me. We both extended for a hand shake, and I said “Pleasure to meet you Mr. Money, I opened for you tonight.”. His response “I know, I heard you did great!”. Now whether he was just being polite with no true knowledge of performance, or if he truly heard, it was still very cool to hear. We grabbed a quick photo together and he went on his way.
The night was a true success! I thank The Paramount and all its staff, aswell as Eddie Money, his band, and crew!