Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sudden Recall; vertigo, or what

I just now recalled some of my last gigs in Memphis. There had been a running battle over volume, me not wanting to wear a hat very often, etc.

On the volume front I remember that for the last six months or year of playing, I sometimes would suddenly become totally disoriented on stage and the sound would lose all structure in my mind. It would be alike just a bunch of disjointed noise and rhythms, and would make me dizzy and somewhat nauseous. Almost like a seizure or attack. I remember one time it happened there was a guy who wanted to sit in on harp so I put him up there and kept him there longer than he really wanted.

Then it happened at other gigs and I just continued to play from habit not really hearing or feeling any of it. No one seemed to notice because I guess I was in key and starting and stopping at the right time. But it was like operating on remote control. Very weird. I had to avoid much more playing in that environment for awhile.

I think they were too loud. It drove people out the door, I know. They still deny it, but how they can I do not know. More than one inn keeper and patron said we played well but way too loud on the guitars. Duh. That did not phase them.

Amazing. But I am more sensitive to noise than most people, and especially more sensitive to it than most electrified musicians. Good I got away from it before it caused a grand mal seizure, which it very well could have.

Now I think I would not have a problem. I'd like to sit in with a high powered band again sometime. Due to the precision and different techniques required to play with my mountain buddies I think I could do far better than ever in a blues/rock electric setting. Amplified harp setting. If I did it for any length of time though I might get those special ear plugs. To loud is hard on the ears.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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