Revival Meeting: The Chrome Cranks | Music | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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Revival Meeting: The Chrome Cranks

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And yet temperatures—and people—can change considerably over time. In the wake of the buzz from the album the four of us ended up reconnecting through the web. We’d all moved on from the ill winds of the past and now were even able to laugh about them. William was back in Ohio, but the rest of us were living in the New York area. The reunion thing came up again and I decided, what the hell, if we were ever going to do it it’d better be now, before we were too old. I wrote up an e-mail asking what the others thought about maybe doing a couple of shows, crossed my fingers, and hit the send button.

Amazingly, everybody was into it. I couldn’t believe it. On our MySpace page we added a simple line about planning some reunion gigs for 2009. And just a few days later there was a message in my inbox from a promoter in France asking if we’d like to headline a night at the Nuits Sonores festival in Lyon that May. She was offering us what would’ve been insane money back in the day, plus plane tickets, separate five-star hotel rooms for the entire three-day festival, and free meals in the very crucible of French gastronomy. Um, okay. We booked some other shows; a warm-up in Kingston, plus one apiece in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

They say this stuff is like riding a bike, but for me it’d been almost a dozen years. And though I’d done my best to take care of myself over time I was now middle-aged, after all. But I threw myself into it, relearning the songs next to the stereo and jamming with Bob and Jerry on Saturdays. It was wobbly going at first, but when William finally arrived in April it was the ’90s all over again as soon as he plugged in and we hit the first tune. Whatever it was the four of us had had as a band was absolutely still there—in full, earsplitting, diamond-hard spades. Unbelievable. Okay, then, time to go show these kid bands how it’s done.

But as our return loomed I couldn’t help but ask myself: What reason did I have to once again be making such ungodly noise? Heck, I gave up being that blue black-haired, coiled spring long ago. What did I have to be angry about now? It’s all too clear when a performer is going through the motions, and I didn’t want to puncture whatever legacy we had. Was I going to feel like an idiot, screaming and jumping around again with my battered guitar? Another side of me, however, was crawling out of my skin, couldn’t wait to give the world a fresh kick in the ass.


Which bring us up to the first show in Kingston on May 2. Gulp. But somehow as I got ready I found myself oddly at peace. It was like everything was happening just exactly as it was supposed to; this was where I was meant to be. I walked on stage, the set started, and it was just like opening the front door and stepping outside. Nothing felt idiotic at all. It’s weird to talk about, but as soon as the music begins something takes over and, pretentious as I’m sure it sounds, I kind of become someone else and black out. The less I remember, the better the show tends to have been, and later I don’t remember much of this one. What I do recall is that the band played like the same demons we were way back when and had no problem getting our point across. It went by in a flash, and we left Kingston a blackened, smoking hole.

When it came Gotham’s turn I guess I was a little antsier, as I only got about four hours’ sleep the night before. But, yet again, the first song started and—Bam!—that master switch went on. We became a raging rock machine and flattened the room. The next day, reviews on the web said we’re even better now than we were the first time around. The following gig in Brooklyn turned out to be the best one yet, a sold-out sweat-fest of orgasmic, communal catharsis that ended with multiple encores and an extremely messy stage.

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