here. Dave is a consummate professional who is very proud of his role and contribution in the Blasters. His goal is to make the Blasters reunion look as good as the Blasters ever were. He really took charge of the sessions and in every sense was showed complete respect by Phil.
Dave's leading of the band helped expedite things. In the old days, The Alvin brothers' fights were legendary and on full display in the press. There was always the notion that Phil, the big brother, might have taken advantage of the pecking order of older brother to younger. If that were the case, there is no sign of that now. In retrospect of the rehearsal and tour, Phil has shown Dave complete respect all throughout. John: "It was much different than I had anticipated. Phil bent over backwards to make things go smoothly, and I was really proud of him. David is one of those guys that believes it when he sees it -- I got the feeling from him that he never thought it was gonna work until we got on stage and played the first time."
Near the end of the rehearsal day, Dave cut off conversation to say, "Let's do ONE BAD STUD" and Phil came back very sincerely, "Oh, good call, David." These little things tell a lot of the story of how the brothers can relate to each other in a band situation now-a-days. This would continue on the tour as Phil let Dave lead the band and cue the band to start songs. Dave even made up the set lists. John Bazz, "I always loved Dave's set lists. We haven't used a set list since the last time Dave was in the band."
Phil and Dave really have grown to respect each other mutually, and especially Phil for his little brother: he realizes what Dave has accomplished as a solo artist.
They worked for a while on ONE BAD STUD, especially the ending, because as Phil said, "It's the big ending of the show." Phil stressed the importance of the big pause before the last chord of the song and taught it to the other band members. At that end, Phil usually yells a good bye to the audience. Here he mocked an address to the audience saying, "Goodnight Were the Blasters: The nostalgia re-tour band."
There was a funny moment between the brothers Alvin when Phil said, "How come Steve Berlin isn't doing these gigs? He's from Downey." Dave came back and said, "Well, do you want to pay him enough to get him off the Los Lobos tour?" Phil responded in a low put-in-his-place tone, "No." and Everyone laughed. Enough said. Some of my favorite moments were seeing the Alvin brothers interact. There's still a certain electricity there.
Phil and Gene had a thing going. They got on quite well and even had a lot of fun with each other. Gene reminisced with Phil saying, "Phil. Look. I never had this note (he hits a low piano note) back with the Blasters." (Modern keyboards can switch to lower octaves). Phil jokingly replied, "Now that you have a real piano, we'll have to get a real piano player (laughs)." Phil said that playfully because Phil is the one who has repeatedly said, "Gene Taylor is the only one who can play piano since Roosevelt Sykes (legendary piano player from the 40's)." That's quite a compliment.
ONE BAD STUD finished and the session was over.
It was a great day in Blasters history. The session today was the longest stretch of time in 15 years that the Alvin brothers, let alone the rest of the original Blaster, have played music together in the same room. They gelled perfectly and showed that there is some magic there, and it came right back when all five of these guys started playing. Bill Bateman remembered how long it's been having all five of them at a rehearsal: "These are the first full band rehearsals since 1984 when we were preparing to make the Hardline record." Day two of the rehearsals was over.
Johnny, Bill, and Gene have some more playing to do today. The Blue Shadows are playing a pre-re-opening of the legendary King King club in Hollywood.