Boulder, CO – Tomboy Bride CD Release Party – The Fox Theater – September 9, 1998

Tomboy Bride’s CD release party is in two days (Sept 11).  I’m playing The Fox Theater on a double bill with Zuba (who are holding their own CD release party) and I’m nervous. 

I played last night at The Oasis, a small joint with a low ceiling, neon lights, pool tables, and no emergency exit.  You take your life into your own hands watching live music at The Oasis.  I wore my lion yellow dress and brown boots; the ones with a hole in the left sole which leave my socks perpetually wet whether it’s raining or not.  I had a discombobulating set. My guitar strap kept slipping and my mic stand kept bouncing off my lips, redistributing lipstick around my face. 

Bill Bennet, the manager of the Fox Theater, was there and when I came off the stage flustered with a lash stuck in my eye he whispered kindly: “You won’t be a secret for much longer,” which redeemed the gig entirely.

(Left to Right) Kenny Castro (Bass), Jeremy Lichter (Guitar & BGV), Brian McRae (Drums)

On Saturday Jeremy Lichter (guitar player & background vocalist) finally arrived to complete the band. and not a moment too soon.  We were lucky the Tribes rehearsal space was available. We were able to practice a few extra nights so Jeremy could fine-tune his harmonies and guitar parts.  The band was just starting to sound tight when Brian Mcrae broke the news to me.

Brian Mcrae

“I am so sorry.  I forgot I told Sherry Jackson (another Colorado singer-songwriter) I’d play a show with her this Friday in Fort Collins.”

“Do you mean you can’t make the CD release at The Fox?” He shook his head, sucked in his breath and clenched his teeth.  Time stood frozen. I stood like a deer in the headlights, the wind knocked out of me.  Brian was terribly apologetic, making it easier to reassure him “It’s okay Bri.  Life is like that,” while promising myself never to trust another drummer.  I spent the next 24 hours calling around until I found David Rastatter, Nina Story’s drummer who said he was available and excited to play with me.  Good Lord my heart.  Managing musicians is simply the worst.

On Monday I made my way out to Spruce and 13th where I’d rented Jeremy a condo to make his transition to Boulder easier.  I showed up at our appointed time, 4 pm, to sign over the lease but Jeremy was a no-show and the landlord had other meetings and couldn’t wait for him.  I sat in a skinny patch of grass in the middle of the parking lot with the sun’s last rays on my face, bile rising in my throat.  Jeremy didn’t arrive until after 5:30.  As he swaggered out of his car in his aviators laughing I tried to imagine he had a good excuse for standing me up. But instead, he had the audacity to tell me he’d been out looking at rehearsal spaces for a side band he planned on starting.

“Get back in your car and drive back east,” I pointed in the general direction “I’m not gonna put up with your shit.  I’m not your babysitter and I’m not your mother.  I’m your boss!  And I’m the one doing YOU the favors here so show some fucking respect.”  Now, something you might not know about me is, I rarely get mad.  I’m 90% good-natured and of the 10% of me that’s ruffleable, 9% is resourced enough to self-soothe and get on with the show.  However, there is 1% of me few have seen and it comes out when I’ve got nothing left to lose.

As I pointed east and put my foot down and stuck my chin out and squinted in disbelief and hit my forehead with the palm of my hand I could see curtains fluttering out of the corner of my eye. Neighbors were trying to catch a glance at what was being thrown down in their parking lot. 

“Now,” I continued, unperturbed “I don’t know where you get off telling me you’re gonna start your own band here in Boulder after I brought you out to be part of mine, but if you think you’re gonna flake on me you better damn well tell me now and let me get on with the business of hiring a serious player ‘cause  I don’t have time for this crap.”

I was done and breathing hard and Jeremy was scared as shit and ready to fly to the moon if I asked him to.  He shook his head and then shook my hand and assured me with an authentic sigh “I promise. I promise you, Sally Taylor, I am your guitar player and nothing is going to get in the way of that.”  I looked for his pupils behind his aviators and wondered if I could trust him as far as I could throw him.

“Cause, I need a serious band ya know?  Don’t make me regret this Jeremy.” I said catching my breath.  The fire was out, the bridge hadn’t been burned irreparably.  The condo residents released their curtains and went back to their post-work bong hits and cleaning out their cat litter boxes and I drove back home with my own eyes watching me from 800 CDs in the trunk.

Reader interactions

4 Replies to “Boulder, CO – Tomboy Bride CD Release Party – The Fox Theater – September 9, 1998”

  1. Oh Sally! You are fierce! That must have felt GREAT after the explosion — especially because it elicited and an apology (and, apparently, a commitment, although I guess I’ll have to stand by to see how it pans out).

    I, too, am 90% good-natured and 10% ruffleable (great word!), with the your caveat of that portion realll only being 1%. I feel like people like us should have warning labels that say: “when this one gets mad she really really means it so watch out and take heed”.

    Not being a musician, I find your account of starting out so interesting. Your experience with band members flaking out seems so different that your dad’s, where he pretty much landed the “dream team”, who more or less stuck with him for life, i.e. Danny, Lee, and Russ. Do you think he got lucky? Or was it “the times” (Laurel Canyon magic)? Or was it that he had signed on with a producer (Peter Asher) who somehow found talent and held them accountable. Totally understand this blog is not about your dad – just interested in the comparison of “DIY musician” vs “musician with paid producer”.

    Thanks, as always! 🥰.

    1. Hey Cindy,

      I think it did feel good to release the flood gates. I recall the adrenalin after the confrontation keeping me up most of the night. Yes, stay tuned. It is a bumpy ride. My dad did get extraordinarily lucky with his band though it may have had something to do with his guitar player. My uncle Liv is fond of saying “People love my brother’s music so much cause he’s got James Taylor on guitar,” which is just a nice way of saying my dad is an AMAZING guitarist. I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to be in a band with that kind of skill. Me, on the other hand, not so hot on the guitar. But where I’m lacking I make up in spirit.

  2. You are indeed a fierce spirit. These stories would make a great book.

    1. I’m always thinking someday I’ll get a book out there.

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