Thursday, March 10, 2005

Passing the Baton

The big news on Third Street is that Teen Spirit's band is going to have their first gig. And that's not all. Their first gig is going to be at CBGBs.

That's right, CBGBs: the Bowery birthplace of punk rock. Just days ago Smartmom penned a love letter to that endangered New York City landmark on this very blog. Who knew Teen Spirit was going to get his big break there.

Seems that Red's math teacher has an "in" at the club. A bunch of bands from Red's Lower East Side high school will be performing there in April, including Cool and Unusual Punishment, Teen Spirit's band.

The band has a lot of work to do to get ready for their first gig. But they are pumped. There's nothing like a gig to get you practicing. They've only been playing as a group for a couple of months. Teen Spirit's been practicing bass lines non-stop in the living room.

Teen Spirit swore Smartmom to secrecy that she would not reveal what three songs his group is going to play. "That would ruin the fun, Mom," he said. "That would give everything away.

This morning, he asked Hepcat what CBGBs stands for. He figured Hepcat would know and he was right. "Country, Bluegrass and Blues. That's the kind of place it was going to be," answered Hepcat, whose encyclopedic knowledge of facts large and small are an asset to the household. In the late seventies, Hepcat saw the Ramones numerous times at CBGBs, one time with Talking Heads as the opening act. Hepcat spent a lot of time in clubs back then: the Mudd Club, Area, Studio 54 and Xenon, where he was staff photographer.

Smartmom was the singer in a jazzy band in high school. "Darn the Dream," "Someday Soon," and "Them There Eyes," were their most requested songs. They played at dances, in Central Park, on the steps of the New York Public Library. Teen Spirit's gig brings up bittersweet memories of her days as a singer; it's been a long time since she moved her hips on stage and sang into a microphone.

But it's Teen Spirit's turn now. Hepcat and Smartmom are passing the baton. It's Teen Spirit's time to rock and roll.

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