I was sneaking around in Christopher Gustave‘s Photobucket page the other day and found some pictures of The Drew Johnson Band I’d never seen before. I asked Gustave if he’d mind if I post them here and he said “Mi bucket es su bucket.”

Most of these are from the soundcheck for the George Harrison tribute show we did at The Pageant a few years ago.

This show was far and away the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of as far as music goes. We had a twelve-piece string section, a four-piece horn section, Tim Redmond (from Cobalt Blue) on keys, Sean Garcia (from Three Merry Widows and Tinhorn among others) also on keys, Lliam Christy (I don’t even know what to say here, it’s just like totally Lliam Christy of Lliam Christy fame, and a long time ago he played in The Stranded Lads) on guitar, and The Drew Johnson Band rounding out the the whole thing.

Steve Nowels (bass – The Drew Johnson Band) gets all the glory for pulling this whole thing off. Dave Kalz had asked us if we would play in this Harrison tribute he was putting together and of course we agreed. I assumed we would just tackle it as a three-piece just like we had always done. Then Steve came into practice with the idea of putting together this gigantic band and he said he would write out all the scores and rehearse the orchestra and the horn section and the whole nine yards all by himself. To this Dino and I gave a resounding “Pfft!” It was a wonderful idea but we knew there was no way we could ever pull the thing together in a few short weeks. But I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if Steve didn’t pull it off.

The whole thing didn’t come together until the soundcheck because we couldn’t find a way to rehearse such a huge group. So we had to use the soundcheck as the only rehearsal where everyone was there all at the same time. I was stunned by how well it all came together. Huge kudos to Steve for having a vision and seeing it all the way through. His incredible work ethic made for an unforgettable experience for everyone on stage.

I think the thing that made me the giddiest was that Steve was able to get Lliam Christy and Sean Garcia to play with us. Those guys are legends around these parts. I went to college with Lliam and always saw him as this enigmatic super-human guitar wizard so to get to play with him was really an amazing thing for me.

Here is an mp3 of us playing ‘Here Comes The Sun’ at that show if you’re interested in hearing how the whole thing sounded.

All photos are by Christopher Gustave.

This is Sean Garcia.

This is me with hair.

Dino Nicastro

This is me trying not to giggle about the fact that I’m on stage with Lliam Christy and he’s actually talking to me.

Me and Lliam again.

Sean Garcia with Tim Redmond and the Magical Mystery Orchestra.

Steve Nowles – the brains behind the whole thing.

These next two aren’t from the Harrison show, I just thought they were cool so I stole these too.

Me and Steve.

Here are a few other pictures I happened to have from the Harrison show. These are of the actual performance. These are not by Gustave. These are not very cool.

Man I really wish I still owned that Les Paul.