Monday, July 28, 2008

The Battle of Upland

Oh Upland! You savvy old veteran you! You put up a fair and respectable fight, attempting to defeat your opposition with self-inflicted wounds. While I do commend thee, I unabashedly claim victory and I do look forward to future confrontations....

UK's had a show last night (Sunday July 28) at Biacci's Pizza in Upland, CA with fellow Los Angeles rockers, Hello From Reno. The day started out with meeting up at the rehearsal space around 4pm, follow by a short run through of the set and a lengthy discussion of band politics. Guylaine had to tend to a sick cat so Rory, Regilio and I drove out in the van and we met up with her there. As we drove along the 210 Highway to make our destination, we grooved to Clinic's "Walking with Thee" and discussed beer production, Marblehead, MA, how Matt Damon has made it easier for Bostonians males to get action, the origin of the geographical term "east bumfuck" among other things. Personally, my favorite story was delivered by Rory Modica (UK's drummer with a thick Boston accent) as he recounted his initial reaction to Californian's probing of his Boston accent. I'm certain this isn't a completely accurate quote but read it anyways (and be sure to read it with a thick Boston accent in mind).

"You really stand out having a Boston accent in Los Angeles. I moved out to LA and people I'd meet in bars kept trying to get me to say certain words and shit. Like this one chick kept trying to get me to say "fork". I was like, fuck that, what am I? A fucking dog?"

That was the line of the night. "What am I? A fucking dog?" I assure you Rory is no dog. He's a motherfucking drummer that blasts the shit out of the skins, kudos to you Rory.

So the van rolls into Biacci's Pizza at 6:30 p.m. and we park right to the side of a beautiful, brand new, white, PT Cruiser. Michael Regilio, sitting in the passenger seat, swings open the passenger door and absolutely creams this beautiful new car. I was already walking toward the back of the van while he did so and noticed a large man with a bushy goatee, shaved head, rushing from Biacci's toward Regilio. This fine gentleman was the kind of individual one would envision belonging to a Hell's Angels-esque biker gang. So literally within seconds upon our arrival, UK's are already being threatened with getting our asses kicked. Goddamn you run a tight ship Upland! Regilio quickly and alertly decides the best course of action is complete denial, so after a hundred and twenty seconds of saying, "No, I swear I didn't hit it" the seas of masculinity calmed and Regilio found a quiet place to ponder his newly reestablished existence. After several clandestine efforts, we detected that no serious damage was done to the PT Cruiser and breathed easier.

Biacci makes one hell of a pizza.

Our set list was as follows:

Parking Lot Angel
Down Threw
White Noise
It's All Made Up

We kept the set short in the interests of the new audience and Regill's was having some "tech diffs" which cut Neighbors. In my experience, after hearing 5 songs from a band you've never heard before, audience attention starts to wane. While taking apart his drumkit, Rory managed to smash his fingernail in, causing blood to squirt all over the stage and his shirt. Upland, you fiendish beast!

After playing, UK's decided to "tie one on" with the bartender since she was already leading the way. Hello From Reno had their first show and played a very tight and energetic set. My favorite song was "Roy Orbison" which was very pleasant on the ears, made me wish I was on a beach in Hawaii, not that I've ever been.

Around 10pm, it was declared by Sir Modica that it was time to load the van. I yelled at Regilio to help out, then I bent over, grabbed my amp in a bearhug, and picked up the 70 lb amp. guessed it! UPLAND STRIKES AGAIN!

I completely threw my back out. I felt like a voodoo doll and someone just jabbed a needle directly into the middle of my back. I put the amp in the van, winced in pain and was unable to pick up so much as a mic stand the rest of the night. Ah, in retrospect, the pain was a small price to pay for this rock and roll life. UK's made it back to LA alive and ready to play another show, which is coincidentally August 8th in San Francisco at Cafe Du Nord, be there if you can.

Lessons Learned.

1. Be careful when opening up the van doors.
2. Be careful when breaking down the drums.
3. Be careful when lifting heavy objects.
4. Biacci's has great pizza and the bartender likes to have a good time.
5. Rock n' roll is bitch and pain is a small price to pay to enjoy it.



la-underground said...

haha, awesome.

smegbabie said...

that is a hilariously awesome story! i am sooooo on the wrong coast. lol