That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.


All right, so here’s another one:

This is how slang terms get invented.

A couple years ago we, the house band at BB King’s club in Memphis, went to Chicago to do a gig at the Isaac HAYES’ club (this got us cussed out by Tommy Peters, the BB’s owner! “How tha bleep y’all gone take off from playin’ at MY fragglerockin’ club, an go all tha way ta ChaCAgo to put money inta tha pocket of tha shadrackin’ people that tryin’ ta shut my meshackin’ place down?!?). The parent company of Isaac Hayes club in Memphis “allegedly” tried to mount a subversive campaign to drive the club out of business.

We were known as “Ty Brown,” and to date, it is the best band I’ve ever played in. 

It was the dead of winter, and the eight of us were crammed into this 15 passenger van, which any musician or church group knows won’t seat 15 grown, often fat, people! It was TIGHT! Plus, all the pillows, blankets, bags and snacks took up any extra room. I, after six years of playing for blues singer, Denise LaSalle, had grown used to sitting in the back. Sorry, Rosa.

When we reached our destination, I squeezed my way out from the back past some of the guys in front of me who were moving too slowly. Then it hit me. Rather, it hit my NOSE.

“Man!” I said. “Somebody FEET cone CHIPPIN!” (meaning, for the unaware among you, that somebody’s feet smelled remarkably like an open bag of corn chips whose expiration date had lonnnng passed)

They all laughed. But one guy laughed the hardest. I suspect that HE was the posessor of the putrid podiatry. I did not do further investigation, though. It ain’t good to be in close quarters with your shoes off on a long trip if your dogs are barkin’.

I just said it in passing, but it kind of caught on. The next thing I knew, it had transmogrified into a musical term which defined bad playing. Now, if a band is doing a bleep-poor job of execution, they are “cone chippin’,” or depending on your geographical configuration, “corn chipping.”

We see it all the time. I don’t like to be hyper-critical of guys’ playing abilities, but when they act like they got it going on and clearly DON’T, they become fair game. See: Most of the bands on “The Next Great American Band.” 

Sadly, I have played quite a few gigs where the chips were flying, and in the interest of providing some relief from all the crooked-preacher-ranting, I will be recounting some of them from time to time.

Like two weeks ago when doing a Jewish wedding, our boss/bandleader neither told us that we had to play “Hava Nagila” nor provided us with the music!!! Come on, now! How you gonna do a JEWISH wedding and butcher up the Jewish WEDDING song?!? I was furious! That’s like playing for Sinatra and not knowing, “My WAY!” That’s like George Bush writing a speech and not using spell check! Cone CHIPPIN’, y’all!

And a WEEK later, we were supposed to do “Just the Way You Are” for the bride and groom’s first dance, and he didn’t tell us about THAT either!!! That doggone song has more changes in it than a freekin’ Liberace show! The singer knew the words, and thought the keyboard player knew it. The bandleader/bassplayer (the LOUDEST instrument on the stage!) tried to catch it on the fly and sounded like he was playing with oven mitts on from the back of a galloping horse! It was crickets and coughing up in there after that was over. (add to that the fact that we started 45 minutes LATE!!!) I can’t go on like this!! Chippun’! Calgon, come git me!!!

The only Christian tail I can pin on this is that I can’t cuss folk out and act a fool in public because of how it would make God look. Thanks for the handcuffs, Lord.

By the way… click this link and you will hear a rehearsal for a Marvin Gaye tribute we do yearly. The other horns and the strings and backing vocalists were not here on this day, so use your imagination. This is NOT the band I was just griping about!

Sax- me.

Trumpet/flugel- Marc Franklin

Bass- Jackie Clark

Vocals- Larry Springfield

Drums- Dave Mason

Keys- Tim Terry

Percussion-Felix Hernandez

Guitar- Joe Restivo

November 2, 2007 Posted by | Christian Life, Christianity, Humor, Music, Slang, Work | Leave a comment