Thanks, Ernie.


The email/text/something came from Dave in a lull.  I don’t know what it was, but I know it wasn’t a phone call.  We don’t use phones to talk.  What is this, the 1880s?  Dave said he knew a cat that played bass who wanted to start something weird.  Dave wanted to learn drums, and they needed a guitar player.  I think the original concept was to cover songs from the Willie Wonka movie.  That never panned out, but Erin told us that he had always been in bands to play bass, but had never really sung.  He wanted to be the singer.  That was cool with me.  I was just happy to be making music & playing shows once again.

Erin took on the role of frontman pretty easily.  That gravely growl was perfect.  The bass playing was very fluid.  All I needed to do was slap out some power chords, and some backing vocals.  Everything was always a work in progress, ever-evolving.  I eventually played slightly more than power chords.  Erin was the writer, mastermind & driving force.  Dave & I just reigned him in a little where we could and only if we thought he may be losing focus.  Focus?  Ha.  We didn’t have much of that.  That was OK.

Practice nights sometimes were about playing songs, and sometimes just about bullshitting.  Sometimes we made some really cool sounds, and by next week we had all but forgotten them.  Who cares?  We were having fun.  Dave & I were old friends by this point, but Erin was right in there.  Somewhere along the way & pretty damn quickly we had that “dudes in a band” bond.  He was the Ernie, and we were the Berts.  It fit.

Erin was always excited at the prospect of a new show, new idea, recording, playing with a new band… new logo, new T-shirt, whatever.  Sometimes it seemed like all of our effort was fruitless… but looking back, it wasn’t.  It only furthered the “us against them” mentality.  I think we played an open stage after 1 or 2 practices?

Erin was always concerned about what was going on in my life, be it good or bad.  He listened.  He actually listened & cared.  That can be rare.  He did the same thing to random people in the bars before we’d play, or after we played.  He liked to talk & he liked to listen.

I don’t know if we were a punk band, a rock band, a fiasco, or a gang… but we were friends.  I wish we had more time, and more shows.  But that’s always how it goes, isn’t it?

Oh yeah.  Erin had brain cancer too. He didn’t let that get in the way.  Oh sure, he’d tell you about it just to make you squirm a little in your seat, but then he’d laugh it off and put you at ease.  Yeah, he’d put you at ease.  That’s the kind of cat that he was.

The first official Ernie and the Berts interview?


<shameless plug>

Check out this interview with Ernie and the Berts from AZ Productions!

</shameless plug>

Sponsor me for FAAN’s Pittsburgh Food Allergy Walk 2011?


Did you read my last blog about the food allergy walk?  OK, so you can officially donate to me now, via this link:

FAAN Thermometer

FAAN

I decided for the 1st time to just sign up as an individual, maybe do a team next year.  I believe we’ll be signing my wife Bethany up for the walk too, she’ll be walking with me if you’d like to donate to her too or instead of me.  (…Perhaps more well deserved for putting up with my crazy ass.)  I’ll post her URL as soon as we have one.

I would appreciate any donations to FAAN, be it a $1 or $100.  Please don’t feel obligated or pressured to donate.  I realize that there are many many other charities/causes out there worth of donations.  I want you to think about donating your time and or money to those that you hold dear.

FOOD☠ALLERGIES

FOOD ☠ ALLERGIES

For me personally, as far as food allergies go… just raising awareness of the seriousness and validity of serious food allergies is as important as research for a cure.  People need to realize that it’s a growing concern, and it will need to be addressed more and more in schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and homes everywhere.

I’m looking forward to the event & meeting other like-minded food-allergy Yinzers.  Thanks for reading, considering, & possibly donating!

As an added bonus, Erin (a.k.a. Ernie of Ernie and the Berts) has pledged to provide some special-edition Ernie and the Berts T-shirts to the first 10 people who donate $50 or more, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.  They’ll be the new design, but a different limited orange deathfish color run.

Just email Erin at ernie@ernieandtheberts.com to tell him you donated & are interested in a T-shirt.

The Satanic Bat – Satanic Brats EP


There’s lots of free music out there on the internet.  I decided to start pointing to some of it.

Sadly, bands disband.  For whatever reason, a lot of ridiculously awesome bands just peter out or implode or flat-out fall apart.  One such band is old time local rockers, The Satanic Bat.  I guess they’d be classified as stoner metal in the most generic sense of trying to pin them down.

My old band (Gasoline Dion) shared a practice space and a band member with these dudes.  (Regular readers will know I mention Dave all the time. If you have a band, check to see… Dave’s probably in it.) They even helped us record our album, but probably wouldn’t want their name attached to it.  (Maybe I’ll put that up for free in a later installment.)

These cats could (and individually still can) rock, and they had a sense of humor.  They were asked to play a Ramones tribute show… and they recorded an EP.  The resulting songs sound like Black Sabbath covering the Ramones.  Seriously.  Since I’m a big fan of both, this is one of my absolute favorites.

Mead Rock 2000 | Satanic Brat EP

Satanic Bat - Satanic Brats EP

Satanic Bat - Satanic Brats EP

Click the link or image above to go through to the old Bat blog post for details and the link to download.

TRACKLIST:

  1. Loudmouth
  2. Commando
  3. Beat on the Brat
  4. R.A.M.O.N.E.S.  (Motörhead)

For a weird anecdote… the show was played at Rugger’s with the Atomic Drops, of which Erin “Ernie” Payne was a member.  Now, Dave & Erin are my current partners in crime with Ernie and the Berts.

Other live Satanic Bat stuff is available in their old blog, I urge you to check it out if you dig this EP.  You can also buy their CD: Tales From the Southland, Tales From the Sea.

Steve & Josh went on to form Rogue Vessel.  Dave is in Dethlehem and Ernie and the Berts. Jon ended up quitting music for a while, but I hear he’s back?  Anyone have any info on that band?

At any rate, enjoy the EP… I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

Ernie and the Berts “Toybox” | Official Music Video!


This was a project by our friends Jason & Terry.  Luckily, they needed a band and we were up for making a video.  I know I’m pleased with the results!

Ernie and the Berts owes these cats some thanks as well as Jonathan and Naveed for starring along with Jason & the band… and Erin and Lynn for giving up their house for a day.

Almost forgot, Brendan for helping us record this thing & his patience!

Hopefully, you dig the song and the video.  We’re (of course) interested in your thoughts/critique/reviews/compliments/criticisms/etc.!

Ernie and the Berts | Photos from the Fallout Shelter – Sat. Oct. 30th, 2010


Just sharing some photos from Saturday’s show at the Fallout Shelter.  Thanks to Jason for taking the photos of Ernie and the Berts!  I got the photos of Blaming Murphy and GuruGuru.

I know I had a blast, hopefully everyone in attendance did too.  This show felt great.  My “being in a band again” nerves or jitters or whatever they were are gone.  I wasn’t thinking about what I was playing… I was thinking about goofing around and being entertaining.  Hopefully it payed off.  I need to remember to tape my cords to the floor so I don’t unplug my pedal.  Ha ha.

Or just click on the thumbs…