sputtering.

During the remainder of spring and early 1992, we sputtered. We went to see a few bands at various clubs, and found nothing. We saw a band led by a guy I went to high school with at some monstrous club in Rockland County, NY, and hated them. We saw an awful metal band, appropriately named “The Fist,” at some dive in Jersey. We would, essentially, find out about some band playing at some club, we’d take $40 out of the band, and then Sandy, Rich, Frank and I would go see them play. Invariably the would suck, and invariably we would drink all $40.

One Friday night Rich was at our apartment, and we were talking about various bands in the area, and I suggested that I run down to the liquor store and pick up some beers, and then we could sit around and brainstorm a bit.

“You know, you’re not going to have any money to actually make records if you keep drinking all your savings,” Rich said. He was right, of course, but I felt he’d overstepped his bounds.

I said, “I don’t notice you chipping in when it’s time for us to go out. We go see a band and I pay your cover charge, I pay for the beer, and then you tell me I’m spending too much money?”

I was frustrated. We’d been trying to get this thing off the ground for months, and had gotten nowhere. We couldn’t find a band.

“You’re wasting money,” he said. “You said you were going to put an ad in the East Coast Rocker. Instead, you’re going to these crappy little clubs where you know you’re not going to find any decent bands. What would make you think you could go to some shithole in Clifton and accidentally bump into The Pixies? All you’re going to find is a bunch of horrible bands that can’t get gigs anywhere else.”

Of course he was right. I was avoiding the good clubs because I didn’t want to approach a good band and talk to them about being on our record without having any other bands on the label. I felt like I’d sound stupid. I was embarrassed. So I’d go out to a third-tier club, get my beer muscles on, and invariably wind up sitting in the corner, laughing at the band.

Rich went home that night, and I grumpily pulled out a copy of East Coast Rocker and paged back to the Classified section. I ripped a piece of paper out of a notebook and wrote some classified ad copy, drove to the local convenience store, paid the three dollars (or whatever it cost to use their fax machine) and faxed it to the publication.

I’d love to say I have a copy of the ad, but I don’t. It’s one of the pieces of Dromedary’s history that I seem to have lost. Essentially it said that Dromedary was a new label, looking for local bands to appear on a compilation. It asked for interested bands to send their demo tape to our address – I had no problems giving out our home address because I could call our road “Circle Drive,” and the Post Office would deliver the mail to our house. However, the real name of our street was Marion Pepe Drive. If you looked on a map for Circle Drive, you would never find it – so I never worried about some psycho reading an ad and deciding to come to our house.

Anyway, at this point it was early summer of 1992. E C Rocker came out on Thursdays, and Sandy and I had planned a vacation at her parents’ house on Cape Cod the following week. That Thursday I picked up my copy of the paper at the 7-11 and saw the ad. Then we made arrangements with Rich to come into our apartment while we were away, feed our cat, and keep an eye on our apartment.

And we left for a week at the beach.

~ by Al on January 11, 2009.

One Response to “sputtering.”

  1. I remember Doug first showing me a copy of the ad when we played a horrible, horrible place outside of Trenton called Club Easy Street, which later became a strip club, then burned to the ground. I may still have that issue of East Coast Rocker – if I find it, I’ll scan it for you.

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