Friday, March 03, 2006

Act III... Pearl from PR!

To the reader: This post is the third in a series of narratives. Hence, it's binding on the reader to read the previous two posts (I mean, Acts!)... Sorry if I sound too text-bookish!!

Act III:

All Pearl drum-kits that glitter won't give out a good tone... For people not having much of a knowledge about drum-kits, Pearl is the leader in drum-kits and percussion accessories the world over. But, what about a Pearl drum-kit that has stood the test of time for 16 years? KK and I went to a drummer named PR, who rents out glittering Pearl drum-kits @ Rs.500 per day. A detour of considerable distance from the main road took us through three sides of a pond, a couple of hay-stacks, cow-sheds, a line of huts and last, PR's house. The colony was so silent that one could indulge in drumming or counterfeit note-printing without a soul knowing it! It resembled a villain's residence as portayed in many a Malayalam film! PR praised his kit sky-high. We believed him, and I had already started dreaming about the tone that would emanate from the drum-kit. Pearl, the two of us, the driver and the jeep made it back to college!
The other band members wanted me to practise on the rented drums. I set up the kit and started playing, only to see the three others in the music room place their hands on the appropriate sense organs to convey: "See no Pearl; hear no Pearl; speak no Pearl"! The bass drum looked like it was just out of a mob-fight, torn and bruised. It sounded eerie when played, and therefore, it was pointless to speak anything more about it! Being amateurs ourselves, we didn't quite have a sound knowledge about what tone a kit should have, though. Nevertheless, none of us liked the sound it gave. We reverted to the college drum-kit, which then sounded divine with a pleasing thud filling the whole room! CRIMSON CHORDS was beyond angry, and soon, expletives echoed from all corners!

Soon it was night-time, time to leave. CRIMSON CHORDS packed its bags, ready to perform for its first show outside college. A Swaraj-Mazda was arranged, and twelve of us (ten members and a drum-kit!) headed towards FSH, Kkm. The driver of the Swaraj-Mazda looked weirdly comical! More about him in the next Act...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Act II: A band... without a name?

(N B: Please read the previous post titled Act I, as every post from then is inextricably linked with it!)

...named... Goodness Gracious! We didn't have one! All the competitions we took part in got rid for us the troublesome job of naming the band, as we were called WEOK008 or MAE005, enough to communicate to the judges our identity! And the only place where we did shows was our college OAT (Open-Air-Theatre), where we were known as "students of NITC"! This being our debut forage into the vast, ever-expanding world of music, we had to give our band a name. A day and more of arguments finally gave rise to the name "CRIMSON CHORDS". Our band finally had a name!
The next day, KK's cousin called on us to meet the middle-man, someone suspended somewhere between Cct and Kkm (understand them as a couple of places, that's it!) and one of the event managers... a weirdo named FK (name abbreivated too!!!). KK and I went to his house, only to be met by horror of sorts. FK removed his cap to reveal copper-coloured hair, cut short using some equipment as powerful and efficient as a lawn-mover. A hunter's gun adorned one of his walls. Five computers, three phones and two mobiles filled his room. He handled two totally unconnected jobs: he was both seller of rice(!) and event manager of shows!! Excerpts from the exchange of dialogues between "us and him(!)":
FK: What is your band's name?
Us: Blinked tight, swallowed, sighed and then blurted out in chorus: "CRIMSON CHORDS."
FK: OK. Crimson Chords is spelt as C-H-R-I-M-S-A-N K-O-D-S. Am I right?
Us: We put him back on track!!
FK: How many songs can you play?
Us: Sir, as promised, we can play for one hour, which may come to twelve songs.
FK: What about making it 24?
Us: !?!##@%... Sir, we aren't a professional band! We just play a couple of songs as part of college shows! We just can't do a song more than twelve. It's OUR LIMIT!
FK: OK. Cool down! I understand! Do just twelve! You will get 8k as your band's payment plus conveyance allowances...
Us: Took a very humble bow. I almost fell down doing it, while KK asked: Sir, any restrictions on the type of songs? What will be the type of audience present?
FK: Shrugged, shook his head sideways, then nodded and finally said: Play whatever you want. You needn't bother about all that.
End of a seemingly fruitful conversation. Fred dropped us at the main bus stop, and we were back in the music room, content that the deal had finally been settled. He called us again to know if a Matador would be sufficient to get us across to Kkm, which was when I got the impression that they meted out the same treatment to us as they did to any drama troupe out there: I fancied a maroon banner at the back of our van. titled: CRIMSON CHORDS. Musical Orchestra Team, Cct! Oh! My! That's hard on us, ain't it?
By the by, our college drumset wasn't sounding all that good. That was when CRIMSON CHORDS thought of hiring a kit. A drum-kit called Pearl, from a drummer named PR. Pearl from PR?!