Monday, February 18, 2008

"'We ADORE Children!' (They Taste Just Like Chicken)" or "Daddy's First Day Out of Sickbed"

Yesterday, The Joans went to CAN-TV studios for a taping of Chica-Go-Go, a kids' dance show. Since we were lipsynching to a CD, I could get by with a stripped-down drum kit, and I was grateful as hell for that, since my back was still sore and my joints still ached from this god-forsaken whatever-it-was. (It never hit me digestively, so it couldn't have been the flu--I think it was just a really nasty chest cold.)

I went to Taylor's at 11:00 to pick up the kick, snare, hi-hat and stool and shoved them into my/mom's Malibu, which was illegally parked next to a fire hydrant (making me sweat even more--thank God I brought clothes to change into). I took Ashland all the way down to Congress, then realized I could jump onto the Eisenhower and go east for a mile and get off at Halsted, and be a block away from the studio.

No, I couldn't. After I got off Ashland onto the Eisenhower, I quickly discovered that I had to take the I-90 exit to be at Halsted, and then I'd have to be on, you know, I-90, and miss Halsted altogether. So I took the Eisenhower all the way to the next exit (Canal Street), and decided to go a few blocks west from there. Already my head was hurting.

But I got to the studio with time to spare and only drove around the block once before I found a juicy parking spot right across the street (the studio's in Greektown, and there are lots of restaurants and churches in the neighborhood--lots of activity and I was lucky to get a spot so close). I started carrying drum pieces inside gradually, so as not to faint dead away right on the spot. I saw George Joans circling around trying to find parking, and my heart went out to him, but there was little I could do. It's Bitch-eat-Bitch in this crazy old world...

Taylor was the first one there when I arrived. I was a little surprised, since I'd heard him upstairs at his house while I was in the basement gathering my drum things, and I wondered just how the hell he'd gotten there so fast without getting a ticket or blowing a policeman. But his car was there a half a block away when I pulled into a spot.

I pressed the buzzer and was allowed entrance into the building by a device that sounded a lot like a dentist's x-ray machine. Only longer and louder. The studio was a lot like the ones I remembered from my college days as a radio/TV major, so I felt sort of at home. The kids started arriving shortly after we did and went downstairs to the hospitality room. Taylor and I waited for the other Joans and they came within a few minutes. Our dressing room was very tiny, but it had groovy mirrors and lights:

(Davy Joans in our luxurious dressing room. THIS'LL learn him to say he doesn't want to see the picture when I offer to show him the playback image!) :-)

It occurred to us before we went on that although we had the cleaned up version of "Mad At The Dirt," the word "hell" was still in it, but Jake the producer said that that wasn't a problem. So we were all set--now we just waited for our turn. Since we were a band and had to "set up," the process consisted of taping the first two songs with no break, and just an introduction by Miss Mia. After we got all our stuff onstage, I sat on my stool and began sweating under the lights. Thank God for all the powder. "We heard 'five four three two one," then waited for the sound of the music to begin our fake playing.

I have to say, fake drumming is probably the hardest thing on earth to do. No matter what you hit, you're gonna make noise, and it's REALLY hard not to hit anything--it's against our nature. But this wasn't rocket science, and everyone was there to have fun, and besides they were watching Davy, not us. He really worked the group well. He even had all the kids chanting "Mad At The Dirt" at just the right time. And they always nailed it.

I can feel confident in our futures now. Finally. If they can figure out the hand gestures to "Mad At The Dirt," then that "balancing the budget" and "cleaning up the atmosphere" thing should be a cakewalk.

After we were done, Miss Mia asked each of us our name in turn. She interviewed Davy as our spokesperson, and she did a great job feeding him questions that were Joan-specific, esp. with regards to rats ("Well, Bette Davis once fed her a dead rat for lunch, so she didn't like them very much") and performing for the show ("We're happy to perform here--we ADORE children"). Davy also gave the kids in the studio and at home a very simple lesson:

"If there's anything you dream about doing, you don't have to think about it, you can just do it. It's really easy."

I think we might have added a few new little members to the JoanNation yesterday.

A kids' show certainly wasn't what I ever expected to do with The Joans, but it was kind of fun and the kids were very enthusiastic. They LOVE to be on TV, and they enjoyed dancing. They were having a hell of a good time!

And it's good for The Joans, too. It's always good to plant the seed early, don't you think...?


Blogger Stephen Rader said...

All children's shows should include The Joans!

I'll bet there was one bright eyed boy who laughed heartily at the cleaned up version of "Fuck you Norma Shearer!" Ah, gay youth...

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure hope you were speaking metaphorically and not literally when you said you were planting seed in little kids. haha. I don't want to see you on America's Most Wanted.
I saw a porn film several years ago called "A Night at Halsted's" I thought it was filmed in L.A.I don't know how you drive in that rat race. I'd do that guy in the picture or maybe vice versa. hehe. Ed

6:16 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Stephen: The cleaned-up version says "Up yours Norma Shearer," but I did hear a few sniggers at that...they loved "latrina" rhyming with "Christina" too (is that as bad as "Nessa/I must confess-a"? I think it might be...! :-))

Ed: I've gotten really used to driving in the traffic here and the only thing that gave me hives yesterday was that I hit EVERY SINGLE DAMNED RED LIGHT on Ashland. It figures--ALWAYS when you're in a hurry. Jaywalkers are scary, too, though...sometimes they come out from just a few feet in front of you. Dumbfucks.

6:33 PM  
Blogger BC said...

"...if they can figure out 'Mad at the Dirt'..."
that's friggin hilarious.

2:00 AM  
Blogger BC said...

ps Davy looks great.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

BC: In separate tests, our President and Vice President couldn't figure out those hand gestures (or else maybe one of their hands was too busy), so those kids are yards ahead by far.

Yes, Davy was well-rested after his lovely vacation! The mortician only had to spend two minutes on him before she scuttled back to the parlor. ;-)

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When does this fine cable production air and when is it posted on the net?


9:57 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Sarah: I'm not exactly sure when it will broadcast, but the MySpace site will probably be updated soon...and I'm sure some it will be on YouTube, also, since we found a lot of their previous episodes on there.

9:16 PM  
Blogger dirk.mancuso said...

Sarah beat me to the punch -- be sure to alert us to the clip when it posts on YouTube or MySpace.

(And check me out all posting comments and stuff -- a buddy figured out there was some sort of firewall issue blocking my efforts to comment on Blogger. Or at least he THINKS that is what was blocking me...)

11:17 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Dirk: I'll definitely let you all know when there are clips up...and look at you, all out-smarting Blogger's firewalls and shit!

4:16 PM  

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