Band Element of Surprise, Ventura County CA

Do you <3 classic rock? Strange pairings of music, such as Richie Valens & the Ramones meet Deep Purple? You may appreciate us. We're the band Element of Surprise! We may get thru the song-or it may go horribly AWRY. You pays yer money & you takes yer chance! We play a very eclectic mix of classic & alt rock...if you live in the SoCal area & listen to either KLOS or KRTH-101, you've heard most of our songs. We're a 6-piece consisting of Pat on vocals & percussion, James on lead guitar, Hector on bass, Rob on drums, newest member Danny on acoustic and electric guitars, and your humble scribe Rita on rhythm guitar/keyboard/harmonica and vocals. We've been together for 5 years (longer than some marriages!) and have had some memorable gigs. I started this blog to keep a list of them--and to chronicle our RISE-TO POWER! Well, not really--all of us have a day job, and we're all over 45 (except for Danny, who is young and impressionable!) so this is more of a hobby. But we all have an abiding love for music, and we have healthy self-images, and some of us are major hams, so here we are. Walking down the street. We get the funniest looks. From everyone we meet. Hey hey--no, stop, that's plagiarism. Anyways, I don't expect anyone (other than MY FRIENDS & FAMILY) to ever read this, but if you do and you have an interest in an elderly garage band on the first level of getting started gigging, welcome and well-met. If YOU have an interest in starting a band and are curious about equipment, etc-let us know. Maybe we can help you avoid a TON of trouble.
Well, cheers, and see you "on the cover of the 'Rolling Stone,'"
Rita aka MrsMMars :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Sacred Heart Fiesta gig 10-24 Ooooh, you missed out!! :-)

Dudes. It was fun. But it's late and I'm tired (it's 6:30pm and I'm OLD.) More to follow, when I can lift my arms to type a post and load some pix. Thanks.
Sigh. Who am I kidding, if I don't do it now it won't get done.
Well, James & I got there at 8:30 dull (as opposed to 8:30 sharp. ;-) This is the life of a low-rent band, you have morning gigs and it's too early for tequila shots (or 'talent juice' as christened by Esteban AKA Danny.) And it's too early to burn nervous energy by practicing, cos you have to unload ALL THIS CRAP. ;-)
After-Hours Productions setting up.
Look at ALL those TROPHIES!

We were very pleasantly surprised, however, to find that the onerous job of setting up the PA system was being very competently handled by Rico and Dan of After Hours Productions. They were there at 6 am (OMG-made my whining about having to be there at 8:30 seem very, very small.) Their equipment was absolutely top of the line, and perfectly tailored for a large outdoor venue like this (without making the neighbors reach for the Excedrin.) This was one of the easiest set-ups we've ever had, and we were able to walk around a bit and check out some of the cars and bicycles in the Show.

We found the EXACT Buick Roadmaster that James used for the De La Crank website! We were SO EXCITED! We recognized it by the fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror, pinstriping above the grill, and  the shiny headlights. It truly is a beautiful vehicle and deserves recognition. The owner, Mr. Henry, is still unknowing of his car's exalted position in the annals of music and webpagedness, but I really hope some day to meet him, shake his hand, and ask him to go to and see his car immortalized. Well, the grill, anyways.
There were also some extremely amazing bicycles that deserve recognition. These kids do some AMAZING things. I've posted some pix so you can see what you missed today. SHAME ON YOU. ;-)
We did a sound check around 10:20; we played 'Tuff Enuff,' which we managed to mess up by starting on a 4-count, as opposed to the 3-count that the song actually starts with. LOL. However, I must say how proud I am that we have been able to overcome our minor disasters and go forward without most of the audience being any the wiser.

We went on officially at 10:30 and played 13 songs. I won't bore you with the setlist. Some of the highlights were, as usual, "Suavecito," "I Should Have Known Better," and "Running Down a Dream."

There weren't many folks in the audience directly in front of us, but there were a lot of people there--I'd guess at least a couple of hundred. There were a LOT of beautiful old cars there, too.
We took a potty/beer break at 11:30. I felt SO decadent having a beer before breakfast - and at a church, no less. Does that make me an alkie? Only time will tell. I *did* miss the 'talent juice' but the beer was a nice substitute. LOL. Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery. ;-)
James taking 5 before we start
Some of the really cool bikes we saw

Pat thinking about our next song?
"Purple Haze"
Look at that Roland Juno-D!

Rita n Rob
Rob with gear
Bitchin' bike! I WANT ONE, this one will probably fit my fat @$$ LOL!

Here are some random shots from the gig. We played til 1 sharp. ;-) There were no major melt-downs, and we had good crowd response for the most part - what else can you ask? Considering the last time we played for Sacred Heart, I can confidently say we have improved immensely, and are ready to do it again. Pat's ability to engage the audience (with the help of an AWESOME wireless mike that After Hours set her up with) are a huge portion of our success. We got through it, and we are proud that we can bust out 25 songs without the crowd knowing at which point we screw up. ;-)
(Yawn) well it's now 8:42 and I'm BEAT. So thanks for reading, as always, and thanks for keeping up with us--you have no idea how much we appreciate it.
Rita =OD
Pat n Danny

Pat, Danny n Jim

How are those fairy-tale football scores coming along, guys? LOL!

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