Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ruminations on Creativity, Bar Dancing and Honeydust



Photo by Moonmama
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to dance on top of a bar? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have split beer, quarters and wet napkins under your precious and trusty boots, with hundreds of people below you, watching you, thinking your some hot shit because you’re, well, dancing on top a bar? It’s a pretty phenomenal feeling! In my opinion it’s up there with going to Disneyland or having your first kiss.

Imagine if you will, a hot, jiving bar; dark and smelling of booze, sweat and smoke. People are gyrating and grooving to some Hot Band cranking out sweltering tunes on stage and you have the BEST view in the whole damn place. You are up high, you see above all the heads and the drunken tall people.  You feel as if everyone below you worships you because you are brave enough to show off your stuff on top of a bar. You sway, you shimmee, you try not to bash your head on the ceiling. You try to act so cool. The guys are drooling, the girls are too…and you know what? You ARE some hot shit, because not too many people are brave enough to dance on a Bar Top.

But I did it! Yep, ME! I danced on a bar, I did, I did, I really did and it was pretty fucking awesome! I am now a changed woman from my Bar Top Shenanigans and I will never be the same again, the afterglow is still on my sweet face. But there was deep inspiration behind this HUGELY dramatic feat in my life, the band Honeydust.  

Photo by Moonmama
Let me just say, that Bar Top Dancing & Honeydust go hand-n-hand, like Whiskey & Honeydust, or Good Weed & Honeydust, or Shaking My Sweet Thang & Honeydust. OK, just about anything and Honeydust works for me!

Honeydust, the Rocking-est, Kick-Ass, Old-Time Rock & Roll Band to shake my inner yaya’s since I don’t know what!  Sweet talking front man Darren Nelson’s project with his trusty sidekicks in shit-kicking, Danny Uzilevsky (Chrome Johnson) making magic with his eternally phenomenal guitar playing; Michael Weiss hitting me hard with his throbbing stand up and electric bass and Lee Bittner skinning his drums like a trapper.

There is a story to tell about these 4 men who make incredible Rootsy-Americana-Country-Twang-Rock-N-Roll kinda music. I kind of liken them to Tom Petty or the Eagles; great songwriting & great musicianship. Each member of Honeydust contributes much to the Honeydust Vibe to make a complete circle of sound. In their own words, I let them tell you the story of Honeydust, plus a few random facts about themselves that their Mother’s may not even know.

I now present you…with Honeydust!

Photo of Darren Nelson by Garth Parr
DARREN NELSON: Guitar and Vocals.
SIGN: Sagittarius.  

FAVORITE COLOR: “I like every color for different things but manly Black is my favorite rock and roll color. Blue is my favorite color to drift off into. Red is cool on an old hot rod and on a Gibson Firebird. Yellow looks great in a kitchen, brown is my favorite color for a pretty girls eyes (unless they are crossed, then I like green).”

BAND MEMBER WORSHIP: I like being me. (No offense boys)

IN HIS OWN WORDS: “Honeydust came out of playing a regular gig at Peri's with Donny Gallardo, the singer from my last band "The Fitts." It was an acoustic thing that we were doing every Tuesday or Wednesday. It wasn't called Honeydust, in fact, it wasn't called anything, but that was when I met Mike Weiss. He rolled in with his gigantic upright bass and asked (politely) to sit in. Mike is so charming! Couldn't say no. Lee Ray Bittner was also a casualty of “The Fitts”. He and I have been playing music together for 6 or 7 years now.  Anyway, Donny G. left for fame and fortune in La-La Land and I was over playing Quietly, so I recruited Joey Midnight. Had a brief stint with another bass player who was awesome but regretted asking Mike to step down (another story). He and Joey lasted about a year. Joey was a great guitarist but had many directions he needed to go before settling down as a guitarist for HoneyDust. When he left I thought I'd just hang around and wallow for a while. I was questioning everything that I had worked so hard for and believed in but within just a few days Danny Uzilevsky got in touch and said, "Don't give up lil brotha!" Coincidence or not, Jonathan Korty wound up at my house the very next day with the same suggestion. Mike Weiss had a birthday coming up and said, "For my birthday I wanna jam with HoneyDust!" So I asked Danny and Jonathan and the rest as they say is...”

HONEYDUST DEFINITION: “It's Sweet & Dirty Rock and Roll! (...and sex powder) but mostly the Sweet & Dirty bit.”

HONEYDUST DREAMS: “I wanna house with some land and a barn to covert into a studio for art and music. I want to have everybody I love around me making art and music always and all of that because of the success of HoneyDust!”

Photo of Danny Uzi by Garth Parr
DANNY UZILEVSKY: Guitar and Vocals.
SIGN: Aquarius.
FAVORITE COLOR: Blue

IN HIS OWN WORDS: “Darren and I had been working on a rock opera, "The Riverside Kings" after both our bands kind of imploded, so we were used to working with each other & encouraging each other. I always thought HoneyDust had a lot of potential and wished I could get my Rock-On with them. I was happy when we finally got it together, because I love these guys...great band and great friends. As Darren said, once we had the right motivation, it all just kind of fell into place. The greatest Honeydust moment in time has yet to come... With our CD is finished I hope we can take Honeydust to a National touring level. I think the world desperately needs Honeydust!”

HONEYDUST DEFINITION: “I believe it is a reference to a "sexy body powder" that takes things to a new level of "sexy"... I believe it will come to mean a whole lot more in the near future.”

HONEYDUST DREAMS: “That Honeydust will bring back that "classic" rock sound for a whole new generation to enjoy. I think the music scene is practically screaming for what we're doing!”

Photo of Lee Bittner by Garth Parr
LEE BITTNER: Drums.
SIGN: Virgo.
FAVORITE COLOR: “Burgundy. First it was blue, then it was green, went through a short purple faze and now burgundy... yes burgundy it is I think”

BAND MEMBER WORSHIP: “No silly! If I was someone else in the band, then that means I or someone else wouldn't be there and that wouldn't be Honeydust now would it? But seriously, to make that possible one would probably have to find a worm whole or be able to create an electromagnetic field so powerful it might tare the fabric of the space time continuum & it could send one of the swapping life forms to another dimension or cross-dimensions possibly, you know all that kinda stuff. So even if I did want to be someone else in the band, my personal opinion is it would be too dangerous to attempt. Furthermore, I think here in this Dimension, one of the lessons of our species is to embrace the self & shed our insecurities. Once you can be conscious of that, you can begin to love others and be a good partner for someone else truly. With all that said I wouldn't mind giving a go at shaking my bum on stage a bit…lalalala and all that. It can be a bit lonely behind the kit. I always miss the girls flashing me back there...”

IN HIS OWN WORDS: “When did I join the band? Well, I forget the date but it was just after the Revolutionary War. Washington just gotten his wood teeth and Ben Franklin and I were partying a lot back then. That guy is a Mad Man and super smooth with the ladies. Well, ol' Ben introduced me to Darren and we hit it off immediately We had hung out a couple times upon our first meeting, but after the Boston Tea Party we were like two peas in a pod. Shortly after that, we started playing music and it morphed into HoneyDust. It’s been all Liberty & Justice For All in the name of Rock-n-Roll since then.”

HONEYDUST DEFINITION:  “Darren and Joey Midnight came up with the name at a lingerie party at the Pint Size Tavern while sitting on the hood of a Camaro or something if memory serves. I think the consensus was that it just sounded cool, contextually fit and in some way represented our sound & personalities; super sweet and lovey with a dirty underbelly Just like us. Perfect!”

HONEYDUST DREAMS:  “I envision our path running right through my yard. All I could ever hope is for success, love, fun and health all that good clich├ęd stuff. First band to play on the moon works, too.”

Photo of Mike Weiss by Garth Parr
MICHAEL WEISS: Stand up & Electric Bass.
SIGN: Libra. FAVORITE COLOR: Freckles

BAND MEMBER WORSHIP: “If I could be anyone in the band I would be me, only more talented & better looking.”


IN HIS OWN WORDS: “I was playing on the patio with “The Billy Boys” after the Fairfax Festival on a warm Sunday. It was a particularly fun gig with lots of people and I was in the early stages of a romance with my Upright Bass. I was also allowed to SING with “The Billy’s”, (my previous band, “Jesus Martini” actually took away my singing rights...Bastards!) and I was, by far, (at least I thought at the time), the coolest Upright Bass Player on the stage.... let’s just say I was feeling it. Anyway, Donnie Gallardo, Darren, Lee Ray and Joey Midnight had a regular Wednesday Night Gig at Peri’s. Donnie asked me if I would sit in with them that coming Wednesday. Well, I showed up with my upright and a cord & asked where the bass player's rig was so I could plug in and Darren looks at me and says "Your it! Where is your amp?" I went back home and got my amp and played all night with these guys, faking through the songs. It was a total blast and we started every Wednesday till Donnie left. But, we weren't very cool until Darren took over on lead vox. His songs were the best and we faked through a bunch of covers. We never rehearsed until we reincarnated with Danny Uzilevsky. We were a highly improvisational band; frequently we would try a song we never played at a live show! It was like a train wreck in paradise! When it was good, it was magic. But eventually someone would get hurt.”

HONEYDUST DREAMS: “I want to go on tour opening up for Tom Petty or U2 then I want HD to be the musical guests on SNL and do all the talk shows. I would want to be the hottest band in the world after that. Then I would want to travel to other planets and be the hottest band in other galaxies as well. After that I would want the band to be cryogenically frozen and thawed out for 2 days a year, every Fairfax festival in the years 2100 through 2150, when they actually find a way to reverse the aging process take us back to our 20's and do it again.”

So there you go, inspiration begets inspiration. Creativity begets creativity. Be it making great music or dancing on a bar, I say take your inspiration whenever and wherever it comes from!



Moonmama says..."get your boots kickin'!"
Thanks to the Amazing GARTH PARR for his pictures of the band!