The Triumphal Debut of Mass Way

All across America, pimply teenagers armed with Stratocaster and Les Paul guitars, Fender basses, synthesized keyboards and drum kits large enough to accommodate an overnight visitor, stand before banks of Marshall amplifiers crowding their parents’ garage. With visions of rock gods like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and others, they toil into the night, testing the limits of amplified sound, their neighbors’ patience, and the sensitivity of Richter scales thousands of miles away. All in the name of Rock ‘n Roll.

Little do these nascent Mozarts realize that,  in addition to providing a comfortable living for thousands of otolaryngologists – and untold misery to millions more – their musical roots trace back to a little-known band of collegiate undergraduates.

In the mid-1960s in Boston, four intrepid lads with side-parted bowl haircuts, black Coke-bottle eyeglasses, and enough change among them to sate their daily pizza pie-a-day habit, invented what is today known as the garage band.

Calling themselves Mass Way, named partly for the avenue that traversed their campus and mostly because they either couldn’t spell or pronounce the word “avenue,” they practiced in the basement of an underused college supplies depot – until they were forcibly ejected by campus police. The erstwhile super group then moved on to various basements in row houses, restaurants and finally a church (where the nightly tithe ate considerably into their pizza budget), practicing arduously until the inevitable appearance of a blister or an episode of Star Trek forced them to call it a night.

Now, prodigies possess true talent; it is an inherent ability, a measure of genius. And there are few prodigies – musical or otherwise – who are recognized as such. The members of Mass Way were not among this group. They could not read music. Coming together as they did from the four corners of the globe, they could barely understand one another, choosing to communicate with a series of grunts, whistles, and a perverted form of American Sign Language.

What they did share, in addition to a dorm room, was a love of American music. Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Johnny Mathis – even Lawrence Welk made the list, though he was later dropped when the band realized that playing the accordion led to a more celibate lifestyle than they had hoped.

After hours of grueling practice, the quartet was finally ready for its debut at a college mixer – filling in for a phonograph that had succumbed to a broken needle. But this band did not shrink in the face of humiliation. Despite pleas from their friends, college administrators and the theology school that was conducting choir practice next door, Mass Way plunged headlong into its first song: a cover of Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

Students who owned (or borrowed and never returned) the original album knew the song would last 9 minutes and prepared themselves for an epic night of dance, choosing the most ravishing partners they could find. What no one in the audience had foreseen were the music stands set up before each of the band’s members. On the stands were notebooks with the chords to the song printed in longhand.

What no one in the band had foreseen was that the house lights would be off.

Unable to read the notebooks, and with no innate sense of rhythm among the four of them, Mass Way proceeded to play from memory. Imagine that smart alec in Catholic school who would stand by the light switch, rapidly flicking it on and off until a nun cuffed him upside his ear. Mass Way proceeded to give the first musical rendition of this annoying act: stopping abruptly to allow fellow band members to catch up, or arguing over what chord should have been played. The audience, being collegiate (translate: high and/or inebriated), responded with what many who were there perceived as threats of bodily harm if the band continued. But Mass Way, unperturbed and unable to understand the words being hurled at them, played on.

Thirty minutes later, the music, such as it was, had finally stopped. The Fire Department was dousing the remaining embers of what were once the band’s instruments, campus police were rounding up the remaining students who had chosen to shed their remaining clothes, and Mass Way were last seen running from the Student Union, arms covering their heads to shield them from the assorted debris being hurled by students and administrators alike.

Advertisements

20 Responses to The Triumphal Debut of Mass Way

  1. My Homepage says:

    You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart. 288676

    Like

  2. Blogging about…

    […]I really don’t typically advise other online websites but I will break my trend for this[…]…

    Like

  3. Hi my friend! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include almost all significant infos. Id like to see more posts like this . 78570

    Like

  4. Exceptional post even so , I was wanting to know in case you could write a litte far more on this subject? Id be quite thankful in case you could elaborate slightly bit far more. Thanks! 635071

    Like

    • tonyg says:

      More of the misadventures of Mass Way? Hmmm…something to consider during the lulls between my sessions of Electroshock Therapy.

      Like

  5. Tucson Gyms says:

    Hi there! Nice post! Please do inform us when we could see a follow up! 583966

    Like

  6. Perfectly indited content material , thanks for selective details . 195878

    Like

    • tonyg says:

      I assume you meant “indicted” rather than “indited,” in which case I plead not guilty by reason of insanity. tg

      Like

  7. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! 803565

    Like

    • tonyg says:

      Hmm…If your colleague is researching how poorly brains can be wired, I’m your test subject. I hope you enjoy the rest of my posts. tg

      Like

  8. Useful information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site by chance, and Im surprised why this twist of fate didnt happened earlier! I bookmarked it. 910385

    Like

    • tonyg says:

      Not sure how useful my posts are, as they are written with my tongue firmly in my cheeek. But I am glas you enjoyed “The Triumphal Debut of Mass Way.” I hope you enjoy the other posts on blog. tg

      Like

  9. really good publish, i undoubtedly enjoy this internet web site, carry on it 248470

    Like

  10. Id always want to be update on new articles on this web site , saved to favorites ! . 481749

    Like

  11. Some truly good stuff on this internet web site , I like it. 257940

    Like

  12. Shakeology says:

    Just a smiling visitant here to share the enjoy (:, btw outstanding style . 795484

    Like

  13. Wonderful post, thank you so considerably for sharing. Do you happen to have an RSS feed I can subscribe to? 73203

    Like

  14. quite very good post, i surely really like this internet site, go on it 843970

    Like

  15. I discovered your blog website on google and check just a couple of of your early posts. Proceed to preserve up the outstanding operate. I just extra up your RSS feed to my MSN Info Reader. Seeking forward to reading much more from you in a whilst! 890045

    Like

  16. michigancarinsurance.info…

    I wish I could write my blog more like this blogger……

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: