Gig Genetics Part II

Chameleon—THE Brass Show Band in all its Glory

Gig Genetics is passed on from generation to generation. Ma was a concert pianist and then a piano teacher. Guess who had lessons all his life? ME. The Beatles led the British invasion and every kid on my block wanted to be in a garage band. It’s just that some kids never give up. That’s why I joined Chameleon, THE Brass Show Band, which played 745 gigs over 2 ½ decades.

I’m quite sure that our polyester tuxes, like cockroaches, would survive Armageddon. And when I couldn’t play with Chameleon anymore, I created AirPlay. We only played three hundred or more gigs. Why? Because we could!

George Beauchamp invented the first electrically amplified guitar in 1931. But rock and roll in the late 50’s and early 60’s really launched the use of electric guitars and drums as the mainstay of pop bands. This also created an explosion of musical styles as the new art form evolved. All it took was a few guitars and a drummer and you could launch a garage band. And in the late 70’s keyboard technology and sound reinforcement gave bands even more options for playing live. Sure, a few sock hops played records, but nearly every wedding, corporate party and bar featured live bands. That’s why I played over 1000 gigs before I was forty. I was making $8,000 a year in the eighties doing what I loved as a sideline.

AirPlay—your quintessential wedding band

Sadly, as technology evolved so did DJ’s, which is why bands today like Murley Shertz have a rough time making any money. This is ironic, because to a man their band (and most in today’s age) could play circles around my old bands. I would have to say, however, that we had just as much fun.

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