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.