“Sunshine” is one of those indulgent songs that every rock cover band plays. Thing is, I don’t think anyone has ever played the song well – including Cream! (A reminder that’s it’s the best recording we’re going for, now how well you like the song.) “Breakdown” has been a reliable opener for us for years, another one we can play with our eyes closed.
I confess to forgetting that we had recording “Lonely Boy,” one of the few tuns that has a parallel lead guitar and organ riff. We usually play the Stones tunes “Honkey Tonk” and “Brown Sugar” back-to-back. We do that for a handful of songs that go well together. This version of “Brown Sugar” was recorded at our 10th anniversary gig.
I have to tune my keyboard down an octave so I can play the intro to “Old Time Rock And Roll.” I use a 61-key Korg X50, which has great patches but really isn’t meant to be a stage keyboard (only 10 presets). I will add that the organ solo in the 2014 recording of “Oye” may be the best I’ve ever played it – or at least the best recording we have! No pressure.
“Sultans” is one of those tunes I can play (literally) with my eyes close. Good groove, although this 2009 recording may not be the best. The Zeppelin tune is our only recording of a rehearsal (in Josh’s basement) taken by my brother, Mark. It has the most views on Facebook, which makes me think we should do a studio version!
“Smoke On The Water” is a sentimental underdog, feat. Colin McKinley on lead guitar. And I happen to know that Eamon doesn’t particularly like The Rolling Stones but sings ’em really well! Fun fact: Eamon and I have (not to secretly) been trying to morph The MCats Band into a Tom Petty cover band for the last decade or so!
I don’t want to prejudice the judges, but the 2005 song made the list as a piece of history, since it is out very first recording at our very first gig. It’s also a super longshot to make it past this round! I should also point out that we are going for the “best recording,” which may not be the song you like (to play or to listen to) best.
For the month of March, The MCats Band is replacing its website homepage with MCats Madness! To celebrate our 15th anniversary, we, the bandmates, have identified and initially ranked our top 32 recordings, dating back to the first song at our first gig on 2005-03-19.
We are then asking you, our fearless fans, to rank ’em in head-to-head (and more or less daily) contests! Vote with your comments! Vote with your likes! Vote early and vote often, but – for the love of rock ‘n’ roll – vote! And, to quote David Letterman, “Please, no wagering.”
[Editor’s note: This edition of “17 Seconds” has been heavily cross-posted (on clocktowerlaw.com, erikjheels.com, giantpeople.com, mcatsband.org, Facebook, and LinkedIn) because cancer sucks!]
On Sunday 08/06/17, my band will again be playing on the Pan-Mass Challenge party boat from Provincetown to Boston at the conclusion of the #PanMass2017 cancer fundraiser.
Here is why we PMC. Cancer has touched the lives of many of us in the band.
Josh Stein, our band’s fearless drummer, lost his mother to cancer. Jon Oltsik, our band’s rhythm guitar player, and Paul Greenspan, our band’s lead guitar player and former PMC rider, both have friends and family members impacted by cancer.
Mark Wessel, the band’s original sound guy (and all-around good guy), rides for Team Lick Cancer. Mark’s PMC page (which is a great place to donate if you have not already done so) explains why he rides:
“The team’s 2010 pedal partner, Charlotte O’Shea, and our 2012 partner, Avalanna Routh, both died of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT), a rare pediatric brain tumor. They were each six years old when they died. We ride in their honor, and many of us are directing our funds to fight this particular disease.”
My kids’ Finnish grandmother contracted and beat ovarian cancer in the 1980s. Then in 1995 (a “cruel joke,” said her doctor), she contracted leukemia, succumbing to the disease in 2003. I have been supporting cancer-fighting causes ever since (including BeTheMatch.org and PMC.org). In the 1990s, Verio co-worker Tom Martin was one of my first friends to ride the PMC. In 2005, a bunch of Acton parents formed The MCats Band to raise money for our local elementary school, and we’ve been playing to raise money for various charities ever since. As soon as I lost track of how many folks I knew who were riding the PMC (including Vince Asbridge, Glen Glater, Mike Cavaretta, Mark Wessel, and James Markson, just to name a few), I started looking for other ways to support the cause. Then in 2011, Paul English introduced me to PMC’s Dave Hellman, and soon my law firm, Clocktower Law, started providing pro bono IP assistance to the PMC.
Eamon Tighe (the band’s bass player and lead singer) has also been touched by cancer. His sister died the day before the PMC last year. In Eamon’s words:
“For many years, I have supported a good friend riding the PMC, but it was not until this time last year that I was directly affected by cancer. It was the night before my band took the ferry from Boston to Provincetown to pick up and entertain the riders on the return journey. Sad as I was reflecting on my sister’s life, I felt a tremendous emotional lift as I looked out on a sea of riders and contemplated what they had just endured in the fight to find a cure for cancer. I believe in ‘closer by the mile,’ and with the resources generated by the PMC, one day we will find the cure.”
So ride on, riders! And DO rock the boat! Thanks for your support! One more song!
17 Seconds is a publication for clients and other VIPs of Clocktower Law. Email version powered by MailChimp and the beat of a different keyboard player.