Subject Ask for Babs
DateCreated 9/15/2006 9:40:00 AM
PostedDate 9/15/2006 11:43:00 AM
  • Chicken Football:  No (how often does THAT happen?)
  • Band picks necktie to match room decor:  Yes
  • Band sets record for sax players used in one summer:  Yes (6)
  • Groom hits on H in front of whole band:  Yes

Once in a while a Happy Couple will ask us to play the same song for First Dance and Last Dance.  This is known in band-speak as "bookends" and it's usually done to support a theme for the evening; less often because the HC have no imagination.  The last time it happened I ended up singing the Eagle Eye Cherry/Jack Johnson version of Bob Marley's "High Tide or Low Tide" - a song so obscure (and stylistically far from what we normally do) that we all expected a wreck that would tie up traffic for miles.  Surprisingly, it went pretty well and so we had few reservations when we found out we'd be doing the same last week.  Until we found out what song they'd picked:
Ever seen "Animal House?"  Yep, that "Shout."  Suddenly we're in the middle of a horror movie and Neve Campbell is nowhere to be found.  I've written about "Sweet Caroline" and how we can't escape doing it at every gig.  And yes, I sing it and it's expected that I get out into the audience and be the clich├ęd Wedding Band Guy, making everyone sing along and wave their hands.  (Sidetrack:  People either like SC or they don't, and if they don't they hate it.  And me.  When I sing "Sweet Ca-ro-line!" they're supposed to answer "Woh, woh, woh!" but I'll get "This song sucks" or "F^&k you a$$h^le!", which doesn't fit syllabically but does make the point.)  "Shout" is C's "Sweet Caroline" and we frequently do them one after another, putting the band through ten minute's worth of musical ice picks to the ears.  What makes "Shout" harder, though, is C's penchant for setting a script and keeping to it no matter what is happening around him.  The song is always the same length, we always go into "A little bit softer now" after the same number of measures, and we always get people doing the 'Gator' or 'Worm' or 'Spazzy White People Convulsing On The Floor Dance' in the same spot.  Furthermore, at one point (always the same, also) C will sing:
"Now wa--i-i-i-i-i-t a minute!"
"[GROOM'S NAME] is feeling al-l-l-l-l-right!"
(Takes bride's hand) "Now that he's got his woman,"
"He's feeling al-l-l-r-i-i-ii-i-t!!!"
Dopey?  Maybe to us, since we've heard it literally hundreds of times.  The guests usually think it's cute, although there have been a few possessive-looking grooms that have been close to stomping him to death for touching the wife.  Doing the same song the same way twice in the same gig makes you look like the comic that loses his place in the middle of his routine and tells the same joke he told ten minutes earlier.  So when he got to "Now that he's got his woman" the second time around, the rest of the band were exchanging horrified looks and trying to hide behind our mic stands so that no one would see us (something only H has a shot at doing.)  This song should be extemporaneous, joyful and sexy; but instead of Otis Day and the Nights we sound and look like Whitey McWhitington and the Wonder Breads.