Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Musical History, Episode 5: It's A Long Way To The Top If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll

Fresh off our successful dorm banquet show, we thought, "hey, this is easy." Or maybe we didn't. I can't remember. Either way, as it turns out, it wasn't.

At that point, we had enough momentum and enthusiasm to secure another gig at a school function being held at Andrews Amphitheater, which is this sweet outdoor venue located on campus. Pearl Jam even played there. In preparation, we expanded our set list to include more hair metal ("Nothin' But A Good Time" by Poison - yes, really) as well as some actual cool material ("Rough Night In Jericho" by Dreams So Real - check it out).

Andrews Amphitheater
The show itself, however, didn't go so well. There were P.A. problems and the energy just wasn't there. The mid-afternoon time slot was probably partly to blame, but watching a tape of the show afterwards, we realized that if we wanted to take this thing to the next level, changes would have to be made. Personnel changes. (cue ominous music)

Bands are like relationships. Heck, they are relationships. And breaking up with someone is never easy to do.* But that's probably a topic for a future post of its own. ANYWAY, we cycled through a bunch of potential bandmates until we settled into a lineup that featured a new singer and a new bassist - who, unbeknownst to us at the time, was actually a guitar player who hadn't touched a bass in years (he replaced another guitar player who was moonlighting on bass, who had replaced another guitar player that we had talked into playing bass. Remember, no one starts out actually wanting to play the bass).

With this lineup, we wrote new original material and managed to book a show at (cue fanfare) the Campus Center, which, just a few short years prior, was a place that we had fantasized about playing at with the legendary R.F.H. And if that wasn't enough, we then went on to play a show at the Jazz Cellar, which was a popular hard rock and metal club in the middle of Waikiki. We even got our name mentioned on the radio as part of a "which of these band names isn't real?" segment (remember, our name was Zoning Chinchilla).

So at that point, we thought we were really on to something. But after playing a bunch of gigs around town (including a memorable one at the infamous C-5 on Hotel Street, which is a whole 'nother story), things just started to peter out. Tensions within the band rose. We thought about personnel changes once again. Eventually, we came full circle by playing a show at another dorm banquet - this time, to decidedly lackluster response. That was Zoning Chinchilla's final performance.

Next: Ground Zero and The Krayons

* until you do it enough times

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