Wednesday

The last ride of The Chris Pope Train Wreck

 Musicians have stories. Much like every other profession, strange things happen.
I've been run out of a bar because i didn't play the type of country the regulars wanted to hear.

I've been shorted by bar owners, and had my gear stolen.

I even had a night where a woman requested a song... She didn't know any of the words and the way she described it, no one in the bar could understand a bit of it.( "It goes.....'something, something, something......NA NA NA' ".........That's exactly what she said. ) NO ONE was more surprised than me when I guessed the song she was talking about, and played it.....having never even considered playing it before.

We've all had nights where we leave shrugging our shoulders and shaking our heads.....
but one night in particular has bewildered me for years.....
I used to invite people to come out and jam with me…..For a few years, NO ONE ever did, So I would continue to invite anyone (who said they owned an instrument) to sit in. I don’t do that anymore.

This one night, playing at the Rookery for my wife’s Birthday Party, EVERYBODY showed up.
I had 3 electric guitar players,2 acoustic players plus me, (one of them didn’t even have a pickup in his acoustic and wanted to play REAL close to my vocal mic so it could get through the PA.) . I had a bass player, 2 more singers, NO Drums, and a guy who sat right up front with a harmonica……yes. One harmonica.

I was much nicer back then, so things got out of hand quick. Also, at that time, I didn’t use a drum machine…..you can just imagine how bad it was.

After every song, I would ask the harmonica guy to ‘sit this one out’. I told him over and over that I wasn’t used to a harmonica player and him playing SO CLOSE to me and SO LOUD that I was very distracted. Not only was he playing out of key, but LOUD.

At one point, a person came up from the crowd and asked (beginning very politely, and increasing volume as he leaned toward the harmonica players ear.)…

”Hey. Can your harmonica player play in the key of shut the f &% k up?!!?!?!” I laughed until I couldn’t breathe.

It was complete chaos. Fortunately, this gob of ‘talent’ allowed me to decide the songs and the tempo for each song. It was so chaotic and thrown together that the door guy changed the name on the sign from “Chris Pope and Friends” to “The Chris Pope Train Wreck”.

When it was over, I thanked everyone and started packing up, completely disgusted.

Chris Wolfe (he now plays for EchoSpeed) was in the crowd that night and decided, based on that performance, to play lead guitar for me in a two piece we called "the Window Liquors".

I got two business cards from women who wanted to book me for a private party. They both worked at Aveda and said they had the best time ever.

To this day it blows my mind.

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