For a full decade, Mark and I have belonged to a band that – in 2002 when we signed a group covenant – agreed to remain together "until further notice." Evidently none of us have served noticed, for even though we've only played one concert together in the past three years, we gathered as a band again last night.
It wasn't to make music. Not last night. Last night was simply about reconnecting and sharing life. Greg, our lead guitarist, was back in town; and for nearly three hours, we broke bread together (o.k., it was actually Chinese, so maybe we broke rice?), and we remembered what it felt like to be a band.
It felt good.
We relived our reunion concert this summer and filled Greg in on the experience. Because he'd missed the performance, it had not been a full reunion, but we told him how we could hear his guitar licks playing in our heads and even hummed one of his guitar solos so the song would be as good as possible despite his absence.
Mostly we laughed, teased, cajoled, and confabulated (love that word!).
We shared life ... just like we used to every Tuesday night from 7 to 9.
I know you won't be able to feel how we can fill musical spaces for each other – switching melodies for harmonies and instinctively following shifts in rhythms and tempo without need for forethought. But I hope you at least get a sense of the love and respect we feel for each other despite how vastly different we are. (And we are all really different!)
For six years we rehearsed weekly and performed once or twice during each of those weeks. In the past three years, we've only rehearsed four times and performed once. But we're still a band. A really good one. And even though none of us said it aloud last night, I'm confident that each one of us knows that we'll continue to be a band: Until Further Notice.
Until Further Notice:
Greg Owen, lead guitar
Jeff Gremmer, acoustic guitar
Roger Lyons, drums
Dave Melby, bass and vocals
Mark Newcom, vocals
Joy Newcom, vocals