Busy, Busy, Busy!


A couple of months ago, I talked about how I had decided to head for Colorado and yet another reunion with my old band, Void Where Prohibited. It was going to be quite an effort:

  • June 26: A three-hour drive to Grass Valley for a last visit with my best bud Gary before his move to Oregon,

  • June 27-28: Two days driving to and through Nevada and Utah before arriving in Durango. The heatwave was to be as advertised.

  • June 29-30: Two long days of rehearsals.

  • July 1-4: Four gigs in four venues.

  • July 5-6: The long drive back home. 


But there was a curve thrown in. Gary and his wife Eva had been performing in the Grass Valley area for years, and this would be their last, and they wanted to schmooze. They asked me to play two mini-sets of perhaps three songs each to entertain while they socialized. Of course, I obliged. Performing on my porch for the last few months meant I'd be ready. It turned out to be one set of five songs, but there was no time for a warm-up and I was rather average. Life.


Colorado was beastly hot, in the 90s for all four performances. We got through them, and each had its moments. Realist that I am, I tend to be critical of myself anyway, but by the end of the fourth gig I was dragging to the max. I survived it all, but left Durango thinking that had I not gone, I'd regret it, but having gone I had no desire to return. Will I feel the same way next year if I'm asked?

So my four gigs turned into five, or so it seemed until bass player Sean had some family issues arise and had to bow out of a real Void gig on the 17th. Could I sub for him on bass? Good heavens, I hadn't played bass with a band in what? Fifteen years? A couple of three-song sets for the church band, but that was about it. I figured I could dumb down some of the parts, but bass is physically more challenging than guitar. The thicker strings make one more prone to blisters, and the larger scale is harder on the wrist while navigating the neck. A couple of updates ago, my quote of the month was "If you don't expect too much from me, you might not be let down." On that basis, I said okay.

Two weeks, a fair amount of practice and a few rehearsals later, I played the gig. To be honest, I was surprised that I played as well as I did. The gig was fun and I remembered how much fun playing bass used to be. Another plus was that for the first time, I was using my Rickenbacker bass. I'd always wanted one because of its distinctive sound, but it arrived just prior to the pandemic, so I'd never been able to show it off.

Shin the Musician

Last update: July 25, 2021

The John Shinnick Web Site

Because Sean came to Durango with Eric and me, I didn't get to play any bass there, but this guy was the star of gig #6!

Eric, Void's leader, singer and rhythm guitarist, was very complimentary about the sound I was getting from it, as was Rob, my replacement as lead guitarist. So it was that my sixth gig was very satisfying indeed.

Before I left for Colorado, I'd been asked to play a set for our block's "Neighborhood Night Out" on August 3. This should be comfortable turf for me, a formalization of my porch set. I've got plenty of material ready. I'm looking forward to this as gig #7 in a month's time after no performances in a year and a half (except for Zoom, and that just isn't the same.)

I'm really looking forward to the "Night Out" performance. Just me and my acoustic guitar with a small amp and a small PA. I'll probably be just background noise, but you never know. Someone might actually be listening.

The recording, lyrics, and back story to "My Brain Is Too Small", a song I wrote and recorded in 1990.

The video, lyrics, and back story of the song I wrote and performed for my retirement party in 2006.