Tuesday, November 15, 2005

TBUB Turkey Day Extravaganza

Most of you probably didn't notice that I was absent from our Halloween weekend end of the month appearance at The Greenville. I don't usually blow off gigs when I'm sick, but (a) I had bronchitis and the smoke that permeates The Greenville was not something I wanted to endure; and (b) we had Jefferson Rice booked on sax for the night. Jeff also happens to be an excellent keyboard player, so I knew I wouldn't be missed. Thanks to Jeff for bailing me out and allowing me to breath easier - literally!

Well its almost Thanksgiving, my favorite time of the year. The Reverend's house is finally close to being rebuilt after the turkey deep fryer incident last year.

This year is especially exciting as The BackUp Band has two entries in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Pictured to the left is our float, the TBUB Deathmobile. Watch for it as we head down Broadway, right behind the Bullwinkle Balloon.

Next, as featured below, we have the "Reverend Lawrence J." balloon, with Larry flying high, right next to his special friend, Kermit The Frog.
(TM) Jim Henson Productions
The Reverend Lawrence J. balloon will be immediately followed by the Kenston High School Marching Bombers (pictured below).

But don't let the excitement end on Thanksgiving... Catch us live on Friday November 25th at The Greenville Inn for a post Macy's Parade celebration. Just look for the Reverend and Kermit floating high above the parking lot.

Lowly keyboardist, keeper of the blog and Assistant to the Assistant Marketing Director; Home Office, Back Up Band Central© 2005 The Back Up Band of Cleveland, Ohio L.L.C.
PS: To my knowledge, The Kenston High School Marching Band is not appearing in the Macy's Parade this year. Sorry!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Happy Halloween From The BackUp Band

Celebrate Halloween early with The BackUp Band Friday, October 28, 2005 at the Greenville Inn, Chagrin Falls.

Larry says:
"Hey; If I knew brooms were this much fun, I would've been a janitor!"

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Triumphant Return To Wilbert's

Last night we played downtown at Wilbert's to a crowd of about 15. We have only played the new Wilbert's once previously, and that was probably a couple of years ago. The evening featured Tommy Sharper on guitar.

Being surprised at the last minute booking, I asked owner Mike Miller if he had had a cancellation. He acknowledged that he did and felt that "since there was a Cav's game", he "ought to at least have something" meaning a live band, just in case someone actually showed up post game. I commented, "Yeah, we're definitely something".

I want to thank the friends who did show up, who are too few to mention by name (they made up about 50% of the audience.) Thanks also go out to Barry Weinberg for a great job running sound and Craig Clasen for rejoining the band for a night and playing great bass.

Check us out Friday October 28th for Halloween weekend. You never know what The BackUp Band will come dressed as. Usually, you don't want to know.

BackUp Band at Greenville Inn Halloween 2004

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Saxophonist Michael Brecker In Need of Help

Get Tested to Save a Life! Help saxophonist Michael Brecker and countless others with life-threatening illnesses—get tested to donate bone marrow

Saxophonist Michael Brecker has been diagnosed with MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome) and it's critical that he has a bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant. The initial search for a donor, including Michael’s siblings and children, has not resulted in a suitable match. In tribute to Michael, M-Audio will pay for the testing of as many people as possible at any National Marrow Donor Program center. Please read on for more information and specific details about getting tested.

You will be signing up to save the life of anyone needing a transplant due to leukemia, lymphoma, MDS, sickle cell anemia, aplastic anemia and more.

Important Information About This process: Screening involves only a blood test to identify your tissue type—which is completely different than blood type. It’s easy to get screened at any donor center of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). The cost for the test is generally $40 to $95, but the fee will be waived if you tell the center you are getting tested in connection with M-Audio. (Please note that testing is already free for minority groups). A match for Michael would be most likely come from those of Eastern European Jewish descent. If you or anyone you know are so affiliated, please make a special effort to get tested immediately. After the initial testing, all medical expenses will be paid for by the patient (Michael) or the patient’s insurance.

Go to www.marrow.org or call 1-800-MARROW-2 to find the donor center nearest you. If it’s difficult to make it to a blood center, private kits are available from Tepnel Life Codes (800-915-3695). Order the “HLA (A)(B)(DR)” kit for $140. You will need to have a small vial of blood drawn. Be sure to indicate to Tepnel that your test is for “Michael Brecker.”Should you be selected as a potential donor for Michael or any other patient, please understand that there have been tremendous advances in "bone marrow transplants" and the term itself can be misleading. In almost all instances, blood stem cells can be harvested directly from your blood at major cancer centers.

As a donor, you would simply be connected to a machine that extracts the needed cells before your blood reenters your system. On occasion, such cells may have to be harvested directly from your hip. You may experience a bit of tenderness for a few days—a small price to pay for saving a life.As a volunteer donor, you are never legally obligated to donate. However, a late decision not to donate can be life threatening to a patient, and among the most disheartening news a family can ever receive. Please carefully consider your decision to be a donor for Michael and all others in need.

If you have any questions, please read through the FAQs About Stem Cell Transplants.

If you have additional questions after reading the FAQs, please contact Michael's management office at (212) 302-9200 or info@michaelbrecker.com, or visit one of the sites below.

To order a private HLA kit:http://www.bonemarrowtest.com/getting_tested/pricing_kit_ordering/index.asp

For further information on whether you qualify as a donor:http://www.marrow.org/HELP/marrow_eligibility_guidelines.html

For learning where to get tested at a National Marrow Donor Program blood center:http://www.marrow.org/cgi-bin/NETWORK/map.pl?ctr_typ=DC

If you’re Asian American:http://www.aadp.org or http://www.asianmarrow.org

If you’re African American:http://www.aachac.org/healthfactsheets/bone_marrow.html

If you’re Jewish:http://www.giftoflife.org

If you’re Latino or Hispanic:http://www.icla.org

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Writer's Block

The BackUp Band's Secret Weapon:

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Click HERE for Keith's newest keyboard

Check out

The BackUp Band

Friday September 30, 2005

The Greenville Inn

16362 Arch Street

Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Like A Rolling Stone

Like The Stones after Bill Wyman's exit, The BackUp Band has decided on a similar approach to the bass spot now that Craig Clasen has left the band. The BackUp Band, as an established entity, feels that it can have the luxury to pick and choose from an available pool of freelance bass players for any given gig.

We have recently played with some awesome bass players including Dave Huddleston, James Gatewood and Joe Russo, but my personal preference would be to take the approach of say, Weather Report who replaced Alphonse Johnson with Jaco Pastorius; or The Sex Pistols, who replaced Glenn Matlock with Sid Vicious; in other words, hire a permanent replacement (although one could argue that neither Jaco nor Vicious were exactly "permanent").
Anyway, I am outnumbered, and in The BackUp Band, the majority rules (on occasion), so freelance a la The Stones is the decision for now. This month on Friday, September 30 at The Greenville Inn, it will be the talented James Gatewood handling bass duties and we are all looking forward to it.
Lowly Keyboardist and assistant to the Assistant Marketing Director
The BackUp Band of Cleveland, Ohio LLC (c) 2005

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tom Shaper & The Mature Individuals

Last Friday, September 2nd, BackUp Band guitarist Tom Shaper opened the show for Chicago Bluesman, Carey Bell at The Beachland Ballroom. The band, Tom Shaper and the Mature Individuals, was made up of Tom on guitar and vocals along with myself on keyboards, Joe Alessandro on drums, James Gatewood on bass, and a last minute unexpected but welcome addition of Neon Don Buchanan on guitar.

Tom did a great job leading the band through a short but energetic set mixing traditional New Orleans music and blues. Tom has visited New Orleans countless times and feels a close affinity with the city. The damage and destruction has had an effect on us all, and especially Tom. The music was a tribute to the City.

Special thanks to Gail, Loralai (sorry for the spelling), Ann Marie, Lauren and the gang for coming out and supporting us.

Headliner, Carey Bell and his band, The King Bees, played a couple of great sets of harmonica inflected Chicago style blues. Overall, it was a great night at The Beachland. For those of you who have not been there, it is a great venue for both national and local live music.

As usual, The BackUp Band will be at The Greenville Inn, Chagrin Falls on Friday, September 30th.
PS: Anyone with digital photos of the Beachland Show, please email them to me at thebackupband@aol.com for posting on this site.