Monday, April 7, 2008

Day ninety seven ... A confluence of events.

I had just sent Steve, my band mate, a link to a blog which featured a funny picture of him. It had some info on the Stuntmen regarding our new record, where we were playing, and what our future was looking like.

I had found it by Googling our name and new record's title (State Fair, available May 20th) as I tend to do as one of the group's publicists.

Said blog is by our friend Mary Serreze. Mary and I go way back to a time back in the early 90's that I will never forget. It involved some mind altering parchment, a Nantucket farm and a skunk full of skunk-stink (well, it wasn't full for very long). It's more fun to think about what happened now then it actually was at the time. You know how that goes. Let's just say it happened, and everyone involved knows it.

Well, anyway, Mary was introduced to us by a mutual friend, Rob Skelton. He is an iconic figure not just in the Northampton music scene, but in the world of music in general. His simple, sensible, folkish-pop tunes are ironic, fearless dissections of human behavior put to the sound of a guitar, harmonica, and occasional washboard. His ska-rock band was Free Press who, incidentally, was the first group I saw in Northampton back in 1991 at a place called Sheehan's Cafe. They were on the verge of National stardom when something happened. I don't really know what that was, but it happened, and the band broke up. Drunk Stuntmen ended up with their drummer, Dave Durst, and Rob continued on doing his own thing.

Besides making music, Rob likes to make babies. His newest one is named Terza. She is adorable just like Rob sometimes is. I happened upon them in Pulaski park yesterday on my way to the gym.
I was on my bike and, rather than take the short way, decided to go through the park and there they were.

Before I had initially left my house on my bike, I decided to run back upstairs to grab my new camera which was connected to the computer.

I said to myself, "You never know what's going to make a great photo. Best to always be prepared."

As you can see, the extra 20 seconds of effort paid off.

Rob told me that he had just left me a message, telling me that our mutual friend, the aforementioned Mary, had a radio show on the local station and wanted to do a feature on Drunk Stuntmen. He told me to use this promotional opportunity from the gods and not just blow it off. I had a few things to do but said I'd give her a call and see what was up.

"Just do it. Don't screw around. Don't think about it. Be a star. Do it!"

I called Mary an hour later. She said she had gone to all the record stores in town and none of them had our record. I told her it was because nobody had our record yet except the folks who bought copies at our last few shows. It has a street date of May, 20 but I told her I'd bring her a copy.

I also brought my guitar.

We talked a bit. She played some cuts off the new record and I played a few songs. One of the songs I played was called Halcyon Days. My dear friend Michelle particularly likes this song. I must say, it thrilled me to no end to hear her voice on my answering machine upon arriving home immediately following the performance. She said she heard it on the radio and told me that it "rocked."

Thank you Michelle. It meant a lot.

And thank you Mary for hosting the show and taking this picture of me. Thank you Rob for starting the whole kismet avalanche in the first place. And thank you to the people on my favorite music forum for taking the time to respond to my last minute announcement and letting me know you were listening.

Sometimes we concentrate on how one bad thing after another happens to us and we just can't catch a break.

It's nice when you can balance these observations on life's unpredictably unfortunate events with recognition of the good things that happen, too.

Bad things occur all the time and news travels fast. This is a fact. Sometimes though, at the speed of sound, you can beat it to the punch with some words, chords, a microphone, and a camera.

Thanks for reading.


PS: The whole hour of performance and interview will be available here soon.


Anonymous said...

Hey Alex,

You sounded great last night. I'm glad luck had me click on the board and see your post as your show started!

In other happy news, Jim Armenti just called to cancel my family's regular weekly supper with him next week (Wait! That's not the happy news!) -- the happy news is he's going with you to L.A.

When you posted a while back that Jim fills in on guitar when you can't make it, I understood that that was how he got to be in the movie. But even though he downplays the thrill of going to LA, I wanted him to be a part of it. And now he is!

I'm gonna tell my folks to try to make it to a show.

Congratulations again on your continued success and on seizing they day!

Libby Spencer said...

Noho was never really the same after Sheehan's went under, was it? And I still miss Free Press. I saw them there many times in that sweaty basement.

Thanks for pix too. Rob sure does make cute babies. And glad to hear you had an unexpectedly good day for a change.

Mary Serreze said...

for a recording of the radio show, complete w live acoustic stuff and cuts from the album, go to

for old free press recordings, go to

Anonymous said...

interesting that you could get Ina and Mary and Rob S. in the same room . (however virtual).
That previously happened at the first New Woodrose ballroom party on 02/02/02.
You must have some kinda powers or something..very foreboding.....

All 3 had huge impacts on me...not all the same, but not good. Funny how ex-girlfriends and ex-bands can be so similar.....
(no need to post this..but it seemed noteworthy)