" So, what happens next?"

When I was in The Sounds Unlimited Blues Band circa 1968, we practiced at a rental on Capp street in San Francisco. The band equipment was set up in my brother Toms bedroom. He could literally wake up, get out of bed and grab his guitar at anytime and start to play. When the band had an upcoming gig, the session would be more like a review where the group would run through the sets of the songs that we were going to play. This would be the stuff that had been worked out and you were just refreshing your memories to be more confident when the night came. The sessions that I was more interested in was the ones where there was the unknown to deal with. Tom might be playing some chords or a riff that he was messing with. Jorge would listen and start trying out some licks. Fred, the bass player, would watch Toms hands to get the chords and begin to develop a bass pattern and based off of that, Jim, the drummer, would start laying down a beat to get this idea into some kind of shape. If we hit a good groove, that is we found the rhythmic basis that you could tap your feet to, we'd play out over and over. At some point, some one would say," What if, we played a little faster?" We'd try that. Or maybe Jorge would try some fuzz on the chords which would make the drummer get more flashy to match him. This unknown idea was beginning to take shape and might be on the way to becoming a song. I listened to what the band was playing trying figure out what I could do. In my head, I listened to the sound and lyric ideas would be running through my brain and how to get hold of them. Finally, I'd pick one line, maybe a title? And start to sing it out, playing with the words or crooning wordlessly finding a melody. If we were really into this thing we were creating, we might play it for a couple of hours, refining and discarding ideas and parts. We would give it a working title like Toms riff or Jorge heavy number so we wouldn't forget since we didn't always have a tape recorder going. More about that on the next section.

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