The Vibratones mourn the passing of our friend
Jeffrey Thomas Ellis
6/12/1956 - 4/3/2012
While we reel from the shock of his untimely passing, we remember the man, the musician, the humorist and the limitless font of knowledge that Jeff represented to all of us in the musical community. Jeff was the point of reference for all things musical by day, and resident timekeeper by night for many of the top bands in the Capital District and the first-call player for the other pro acts that were not lucky enough to have his services on a full-time basis. We can see his face and hear his lilting voice even in this time of loss, and while he would be the one to lighten the mood in a time like this, I hope he doesn't mind if we grieve for the loss we share at this time. Actually, he's probably laughing right now because I can't get his picture to stay in the middle of this page. I guess he wanted to be on the right. Jeff, you were and always will be our friend. Rock on!
Here's an excerpt from our own original song that we we will be singing with you in mind this weekend:
Life goes on, that's what they tell me.
You never know when the curtain will fall
Life is short, make the most of each passing moment
You're here, then you're gone
Life goes on
Well.....this past weekend was quite eventful to say the least. We kicked off the weekend with one of those Murphy moments that lasted a WHOLE NIGHT, but we were no worse for the wear when all was said and done. It all started when one of us who will remain nameless (but his initials are F.R.A.N.K.) decided to clean and rewrap all the cables, wires and connectors in the wire box that we use for our band setup. The first gig of the weekend would be at Aaron's Irish Pub on Gloversviile on Friday night, and upon our arrival, we unpacked the trailer and loaded everything into the club. Five minutes later, Chuck was heard to say Hey, we don't have the wire box! Uh oh... So, we setup everything in place, unhooked the trailer and Frank was off at mega-speed (Officers of the law, please disregard that last statement!) to pick up the box and double-back to the club. We got the entire setup wired fast enough to have qualified for an Olympic medal (whenever they decide to start a new category for band setup, that is) and all was well until.......the M3 (a large, incredibly heavy chokingly expensive keyboard) would not make sounds. It was then we remembered seeing a wire innocently dangling while it was being carried out to be packed up after the gigs last weekend. Well, upon further inspection, we found (A) that the wire was not plugged into the intended socket and (B) the numerous miniscule pins inside the plug were bent all over the place and it was dark in the club and we could not see the freaking pins and everyone was waiting for the band to start. Ugh! So we went on and worked around the non-functioning instrument. All was well and we fixed it (Jack, Frank, a miniature screwdriver and a flashlight) on the first break. The place had an ever-growing crowd and was reaching capacity during the the second set when all of a sudden bodies were in motion (other than dancing, that is) and a mob-brawl ensued going left-to-right-to-left as we kept playing through it all while Steve attempted to bring the crowd to a halt by telling them to calm down and behave - - are you laughing yet?! As you guessed, even the Ultimate Warrior and 8500 watts of PA did not have an effect on these wild and crazy folks. Finally, the entire mob pushed through the door and into the.....trailer - - Yikes! Next thi ng we knew, there were police lights and ambulances and flashlights in the hands of local law enforcement everywhere and in the midst of it all was Jack with his cell phone interviewing people in the crowd outside. One of them cited our setlist as the catalyst! Too funny. If we can bleep out the expletives these folks were spewing, we'll put the video up on the site. You can't buy that kind of entertainment!! Anyway, we started playing again, and the place filled up - AGAIN - but this time with different people (thank God!) and the night was a big success. Then we froze our a$$es off loading up (thanks Asher and the other guy whose name escapes me now) and driving home on the frozen road.
And this was only Friday!!
(YOU GUYS ROCK!!)
Everyone had such a great time that we actually kept playing (almost an hour) after we were scheduled to stop. The people loved it. the club management was happy and we didn't care 'cause we love what we do. THEN, the nicest (although a little sad) thing happened: one of the people in the crowd came up to us as we were packing up and told us that we were fantastic, that she owned the club at the other end of town and that we had totally taken all her business and she closed early to see where everyone was. So.......we did the only thing a band could do in that situation....we gave her our card! And the night was not over yet.....when we stopped in at our usual fill-up spot to get fuel for the ride home, a loud voice came over the overhead loudspeakers Hey VIBE-guys, did you forget something on New Year's Eve? - and there was the station manager staning at the microphone behind the counter dangling the keys to our trailer (yeah, we had another set), so we had a good laugh, got some grub and gas and drove home where we woke up to see the Giants win and advance to the Super Bowl. All in all, it was a GREAT weekend. See you on the dancefloor!
Our gigs last week at The Bayou and The Grist Mill were outstanding and we were pleased to share our energy (and cake, thanks to the lovely and talented Carrie!!) with all of you. We're stoked to be celebrating our 2nd ANNIVERSARY together as a band. My how the time does fly! It seems like only yesterday that we decided to try something new....we got together ONE night (the day BEFORE the day before Thanksgiving - gotta follow along there!) to see if we really had something, and went to work the next day and have been making great music and meeting new friends ever since. As we look back over our collective shoulders we remember the changes in equipment, the PA, the racks, the power amps, subwoofers, the steady stream of new guitar ampswhile in search of the perfect combination of tone, portability and dependability(Kevin!!), microphones, cymbals, strings, miles and miles of wires, hundreds of 9V batteries and several percussion instruments, as well as the seemingly endless stream of revenue that left our collective wallets :) We shared sorrow in the loss of a fellow local musician and former bandmate, and we were graced with the love and appreciation of countless fans as we spanned the miles and miles and miles en route to perform at venues near and far. This business of ours presents itself in many forms, and while the allure of what seems like fame and fortune to those outside the circle is anything but glamorous to those of us who tow the line week after week, we remain aware that we have chosen to make this life our own. Through the good and the bad, we remain dedicated to our craft and we take great pride in putting forth our very best effort each time we plug in.
Come out and celebrate with us this weekend. Dance,Sing,Laugh, Jump, Howl, Cavort and kick up your heels like there's no tomorrow because we'll be laying down the groove until closing time at the following venues:
New Year's Eve at The Grist Mill was as it has been for all the years we've been playing there - - OFF THE HOOK!!
Btw - - - new pics are up - - look for yours in our Photo Gallery.
We had a BLAST playing everybody's favortie songs and putting our special brand on each one as the night went from friendly to FRENZY! The place was packed and we got to catch up with a ton of friends we have not seen in a while - you guys ROCK! A great time was had by all in the club, and the backstage antics were just as nuts, as we invaded Steve's room, gazed in awe at a tribute to Jack Daniels, tried to get the bathroom door to lock, climbed out hotel room windows, made fun of the dead singer in the chair and learned about the medicinal properties of Febreze - - its an inside joke and that's all we'll say about it!