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Larry Insana / Blog

06-02-14-My Morning Thoughts: More Gig Stories: #7 no real order…

06-02-14-My Morning Thoughts: More Gig Stories: #7 no real order… When we had down time or the guys were jamming with other bands or we were on one of our infamous hiatuses I would play out from time to time mainly as a solo artist. But without a hesitation the bar I played the most was a place called Quinn’s Pub in Euclid Ohio. I must have played there like 100 times if it was once! I would say in the early days this gig was special to me because the owner gave me the chance to play there so much. Now I did do my part because back in the day I started at 7:00 PM and played till closing time…2:30AM and quite often we closed the doors and played even later into the mornings! I loved it and never really wanted to stop anyway. But my personal claim to fame in this historically legendary “Irish” Pub is…one magical night when the stars must have aligned and everybody I knew must have not had anywhere else to go, I packed the place! Now this is back in the time that a shot and a beer was like a buck twenty-five. People were ordering shots that were brought out on trays like the old McDonald fast food trays!...it was insane yet truly amazing all rolled into one. I played over four hours straight before I took a break and mainly because there wasn’t anywhere you could go to get a break anyway! Couldn’t even get to the bathroom! Now don’t get me wrong, not that I’m some great attraction I’m just some guy that writes songs and can’t stop till I play every one of them!!! Anyway, the next day the owner told me I broke the record in sales that night eclipsing his St Paddy’s Day record! I don’t remember exactly but it was like just under 3K and his old record was like 2K at this time……….and this was how I came up with the words “He never got paid but he got free drinks, maybe it wasn’t the right thing to give a dreamer” in my song “Someday”…NOTE: this was the deal I made at that time, but after that night I made somewhat better deals…and that owner Mike Quinn, not only became a great friend and a supporter of mine…when my father asked me to write some country songs, Quinn liked them so much he not only hooked me up with his childhood friend the legendary music mogul Steve Popovich, he also took me to Nashville to shop some of those country songs!...now “The Nashville story”, that’s a complete other story…maybe I’ll bring that story out tomorrow…to be continued…plain and simple.

05-27-14-My Morning Thoughts: “One of my Favorite Moving Lines”

05-27-14-My Morning Thoughts: “One of my Favorite Moving Lines” “And so shines a good deed in a weary world”…just love that line and always will…have a great day all…plain and simple.

05-23-14-My Morning Thoughts: “Funny”

05-23-14-My Morning Thoughts: “Funny” Who’s to say what is funny? A movie a joke a picture, it really doesn’t matter what makes us all laugh but it unequivocally matters that we laugh as much as possible in my mind….it works for me every time…have a great safe weekend all and don’t let the bed bugs bite, unless you like bed bug bites of course…now laugh a lot this weekend it really works!…plain and simple.

05-22-14-My Morning Thoughts:

05-22-14-My Morning Thoughts: How hard is it to figure out that were all just people. Much of the world population are pretty much going through life with the hands they were dealt trying to do the best they can so they can get to the next day in one piece. Some may have bigger pieces but the premise remains the same in the big picture. Most have to work, most have to worry, most have to plan the best they can no matter how big or small that plan may be…did you know that just the food wasted, spoiled or thrown away in America would feed 25 million people annually! Can you imagine what it would be like if all this wasted food could be used somehow before it’s wasted? I mean feeding 25 million people would put a nice dent in those that go to bed hungry night after night. Is it enough…NO…is it a start…absolutely…I guess the bigger question would be…HOW can this be accomplished?...plain and simple.

05-21-14-My Morning Thoughts: “wishing out loud”

05-21-14-My Morning Thoughts: “wishing out loud” We all should be able to splurge a little every now and then ya know, this is what I’m thinking about next payday, …nice big steaks on the grill, big baked potatoes, peppers onions and mushrooms with olive oil slow roasting, Italian cut green beans and some garlic butter chargrill shrimp on the side…screw waiting for payday, Honey I’m cooking tonight!!!!...plain and simple.

05-20-14-My Morning Thoughts:

05-20-14-My Morning Thoughts: I am so into controversy this fine morning…watch out. Is there a reason why when two people or two groups or two anything not agreeing on a particulate subject should end any said argument/disagreement with conflict or anger? I mean one believes what he or she believes and that’s just the way it is. So often these things end with conflict or hostility when in reality they both still believe what they believe…right? If you’re arguing a topic and no one compromises or leans to the other side then you should be just the same way you were before the topic started I would think. Nothing’s changed so why get-worked-up? You still have your beliefs and they have theirs and they didn’t change your mind and you didn’t change their mind and there ya have it…a stalemate a draw a deadlock a tie a standstill a logjam…shake hands and try again another day, if your beliefs warrant it…still friends forever…plain and simple.

05-19-14-My Morning Thoughts: “it’s long overdue”

05-19-14-My Morning Thoughts: “it’s long overdue” It seems strange to me that we often drift away from family and friends only to reunite at weddings and funerals. I know there’s a reason for this and it’s called…LIFE!...But, when you catch up at these events and see these people that you haven’t seen in years and it clicks like you never left each other’s side it just makes me stop and think…WHY do we let this go!...I mean these are people that help me become me!...I do try and stay in touch however I know I should be doing more…this fine Monday before the day is done I’m calling, not texting or e-mailing or FB or snap chat or tweeting but calling somebody important to me while I still can!!…it’s long overdue…plain and simple.

05-16-14-My Morning Thoughts: The Gig Stories: #5 no real order…

05-16-14-My Morning Thoughts: The Gig Stories: #5 no real order… The first time I ever played solo at Ohio University was at a bar called Swanky’s. It was my first week of my freshman year at OU and I hadn’t met all my professors yet. I was playing this open mic type thing and there were about 5 people in the bar (other than musicians) when it was my turn to get up and play. When I get on the stage about as nervous as one can be and get ready to take the world by storm (in my mind) my very first strum of my very first song I break a string!!!! I didn’t have any extra strings so I just kind-a-froze for a moment and then started to get off the stage and look for a corner to hide in…I was thinking to myself that’s it, I’m never doing this again it’s just to frigging embarrassing! As I stepped off the stage another guitar player walked up and said where ya going? I said I’m done, this aint for me…he replied…”you can use my guitar if ya want”…now I’m thinking how cool is that, I guy that doesn’t even know me has offered me his guitar to play my set. It completely and absolutely changed my perspective of the entire incident in a split second as my emotional state went from no self-esteem, to at least some level of normalcy self-esteem I would say…anyway, I play the set with his guitar, I walk off the stage and thanked him for the kindest he offered to me in my moment of despair…and when the night was over and I was walking back to my dorm I was actually saying…man I was ready to quit playing forever because of one stupid embarrassing moment and if it wasn’t for the kindest of a perfect stranger, a fellow musician, I might have walked out a never played again. The next morning I get to my Psych 101 class for the first time and who do you think my professor was?...Yep, the guy that graciously lent me his guitar last night!...now this was a good thing and a bad thing at the same time because good that there were plenty of musician’s and places to play in Athens however bad because there were plenty of places to play in Athens if ya know what I mean…I did stay there around four years writing and playing songs but I retired early from the school part…anyway, guitar players normally don’t offer their guitar’s to perfect strangers to play but at that moment in time I realized there are good considerate genuine people in this world and don’t let anybody tell you different!...well I have years upon years of gig stories and I may revisits’ the topic in the future but until then, have a great safe weekend everyone and enjoy every moment you can…plain and simple.

05-15-14-My Morning Thoughts: The Gig Stories: #4 no real order…

05-15-14-My Morning Thoughts: The Gig Stories: #4 no real order… While waiting in line with probably a hundred bands or so to audition at a place called Ponderosa Park we had way too much fun! This place was an outdoor venue and had the history of every country act you could name or think of play there at one time or another. Willy Nelson, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rodgers, John Michael Montgomery I mean every country artist from old to new (at this time) played this place!...we were the only Rock band auditioning but it didn’t matter cause I had written a bunch of country rock type songs and we had plenty of material to give it a shot…We decided to camp out at the place and hang out there the night before because it just made sense because auditions started at like 8 or 9 the next morning….maybe not such a good idea. We camped, we drank, we ate and played songs around the camp fire till it was daylight! At some point one of the guys said hey, we got to get to the auditions we only have a few minutes before we thought we had to go on! So we grab what we needed ran down to this stage and proceeded to stand in line backstage with all these bands. This backstage long hallway was kind of like a long enclosed shoot that once you’re in, there aint no turning back. Did I mention we were up all night eating drinking and playing music…anyway, this audition took hours to move all the bands along and of course we had no shower and no water and no bathroom accessible since…whenever? …all I can tell ya from this point on is there aint no band in that confined space hallway that would ever want to be around our band ever again…if ya catch my drift!!!!!...well after we played and started to leave, the running joke by this time was…Man that American Front Band (that was our name then) was really really good…but man do they stink!!!!...plain and simple.

05-14-14-My Morning Thoughts: The Gig Stories: #3 no real order…

05-14-14-My Morning Thoughts: The Gig Stories: #3 no real order… When we entered the “American Dream Festival” in 1989-1990ish (kind-a like and early American Idol thing) we had high expectations. It was a battle of the bands throughout North America and me, Steve, Rick & Al wanted to win! We played in clubs and you had to keep winning week after week club after club until the finals, and we made it to the grand finale and won the Cleveland section that allowed us to move on to the Las Vegas competition. Every finalist came from Canada & the US from winning their battle of the bands from which the cities they came from. We all played at a place called the Shark Club in Vegas for the semi-finals and I thought we played great! We didn’t really know what was next so we flew home Sunday night and thought we represented Cleveland proud! On Tuesday we got a call and they said you made it to the top ten and you have to return Friday and perform with the other finalist at the Stardust Casino in their Sahara Club…now this was pretty cool because there were hundreds upon hundreds of bands that started this competition and we made it to the top ten!...anyway, I “borrow” money from my parents and we fly back again that Friday. Each band played one song and there were other acts competing in different categories; comedians, models etc….Dick Van Patton and his wife were the MC’s of the show and as we were waiting in the wings for the outcome…Dick Van Patton leans over next to me and said “I thought you guys were the best band”….well anyway again, we didn’t win but we got the bronze medal in the North American Dream Festival…what a gig and not to bad either to be third in all of North America!…and it was cool at the time to receive the award from Dick Van Patton cause I was a big Eight is Enough fan too, LOL…plain and simple.

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