Playing KISS FM Jingle Ball in a Week

28 Nov

Earlier today I was sitting with Debbie at her house in San Diego watching ‘Gran Torino’ when I got a missed call from Dru Decaro. Dru is someone I know from L.A. originally from playing in Ladyfox together. Not only is he a great guitar player, performer and front man, he’s a street smart yet ethical cat who can socialize with the best of them and hustle all day. He’s also in a band called DNA that’s worth checking out.

So he’s been doing some work at the studio of a heavy hitting young DJ named DJ Skee who apparently has big ties to KIIS FM. KIIS FM is a huge local radio station that plays pop, RnB and hip hop in a teeny bopping mix. It’s the home of Ryan Seacrist and Rick Dees. (or at least it USED to be Rick Dees home. Don’t know if he’s still doing his thing). KIIS has a huge holiday concert every year called the Jingle Ball. This year it’s at the Nokia Theater downtown and DJ Skee will be playing the afterparty.

Check It Out:

So after seeing Dru’s missed call, but before calling him back, I get an E-mail on my Blackberry subject line: ‘SKTX Live’. I open it and it’s a 52 minute setlist of 36 or so songs ranging from Lady Gaga, to Michael Jackson to Jay-Z to Bon Jovi to Daft Punk to Pitbull back to Daft Punk back to Lady Gaga with many other stops in between. With only this crazy set list to go on, I call Dru back and get filled in: He tells me that DJ Skee needs a live band to play with him as he merges live performers with a DJ in this fresh live concept he has, which will be debuting at the KIIS FM Jingle Ball at Club Nokia next Saturday. It would be Dru, our friend Carter Wallace on bass, an unknown drummer and me on keys. We’d have to learn this entire crazy set list for a Tuesday rehearsal (ie in 3 days) at some amazing studio on the Miracle Mile. We’ll probably have to have about 3 rehearsals if not more.

But….it pays absolutely nothing. What the heck? KIIS FM is making money OBVIOUSLY. This is KIIS FM we’re talking about. Is all that $ going to Taylor Swift (who’s headlining)? Can’t somebody chip us off at least a bill or two?

It’s a super valid question, but I’m not going to let that be a real point of contention. I am not in a position to negotiate here, and if I wanted I could just turn it down. The gig should be so frikin cool that it won’t matter. But it’s a drag to burn a week of evenings and MANY hours programming and practicing for zero $. We shall see how this turns out, but in my opinion this time the coolness outweighs the monetary burden. Sometimes as a musician if you really love your craft and performing and cool opportunities, you have to take it in the wallet. Great connections could be formed; future gigs could have the groundwork laid, and great music will be made.

I’ll post more about rehearsals and developments as they happen, but suffice to say, for now, I have my work cut out for me!


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