Monday, May 30, 2011

The Garage

Several times during the course of filming this documentary, 2007 -2010, I received telephone calls from Ol' Hole Heels (OHH), letting me know the boys were getting together for a impromptu practice. I couldn't miss those, as they were usually full of surprises, both musically and otherwise. Since OHH had warned me about such happenings, it was important my gear was ready. To hone reaction time, I kept my camera sitting by the door, packed and loaded with fresh batteries. Having practiced the drill in advance, my time from house to car was 48 seconds. I was always trying to reach 45 seconds, but that was never achieved.

On this particular occasion (summer of 2009), I received OHH's alert. It was mid afternoon. The boys were on their way to practice. I arrived in the scene, beating them there by a good five minutes. OHH was there preparing for their arrival. Being a n excellent sound engineer, OHH busied himself setting up mics, adjusting their levels, and fine tuning the PA System's mixing board. He even restrung and tuned Andy and Dennis's guitars. An equally important task that OHH had completed was the preparation of snacks, a serious issue, as described in my last posting. Offering me a glass of grape cool-aid (the boy's favorite drink) we enjoyed a moment of quiet before they arrived and thundered the countryside.

Now, from 1984 on, the boy's had a few places to practice. They'd switch between an old tool shed and small warehouse (part of Andy's father's business), but their favorite, and eventually their primary location from 1990 on, was known as "The Garage". Well, it was a garage. But it was special. Located on one of OHH's many properties, "The Garage" is attached to his summer home. Housing a state-of-art recording equipment, this facility has seen much action. In addition to recording an amazing catalog of songs, over the years it has become somewhat of a magical place and the boys love it there, often using it to just hang out. The vibe of the place seems responsible for sparking fits of frenzy and creative genius. It was here where OHH has taught the band some of their signature stage moves.

This practice session was one of those special times. With an endless supply of grape cool-aid, popcorn, potato chips, and no-bake cookies, the boys were charged up. The room pulsated with excitement. Giddy with enthusiasm, the boys were on fire. I got to experience a phenomenon OHH had told me about. While playing, often they stopped in the middle of a song so they could laugh. No particular reason. Just laugh. As if their musical instruments were tickling them. I was fortunate enough to capture this on tape. What you see in the following video represents a composite of approximately seven takes of their song "Forget It":

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