In 1983, I pulled into Harrisburg to spend a few weeks with a guitar player who could play better than anyone I had ever met. We had been in a short lived recording project called Metropolis. It was sort of a Baltimore area super group of guys who had been in and out of bands that had “made it”. I was included because I could write songs. They could all play rings around me.
Anyway, this guitar player left the band when his girlfriend got a good job in Harrisburg. When he left, so did the magic. We put out a record, but it just fizzled. So, I figured, if nothing else, I’d go to Harrisburg and practice every day with this guy until something else happened.
He had an apartment in Walnut Street, near the river. I threw down what little cash I had and took the room across the hall. The next thing I know, we meet an absolutely out-of-bounds drummer… and Split Decision was born. I pretty much just held on for dear life because these guys were ferocious jazz fusion players. But I learned. For 12 hours a day we just played, usually unplugged in my apartment. Then somehow we ended up on a flatbed truck at a festival a half block from our building. It was Artsfest. After a 50 minute set of some pretty ridiculous music, including a song called Front Street (because the song didn’t have a name and the sign next to the stage said Front Street), I was hooked. Harrisburg became home.
I still go to that spot. And I swear I can still hear those two mad men ripping it.
October 18, 2016