Steve Ferrone Clinic

5:10 After a long wait in the lobby, we’re finally in. There’s a 3 piece band setup on stage.

5:16 Intro from the Sabian A&R guy. He’s played with Tom Petty. Turns out it’s pronounced “ferron-y” like pepperoni.

5:17 SF takes the stage.

SF: It’s a whole new day in America, eh? I gotta get that out of the way. I’m so proud of all of you, and what you did the other day. No matter who you voted for. So proud, that I’m going to join you and I’m going to become a citizen! (He’s from the UK and has lived in the US since 1974.).

Now I’m going to play a solo. I don’t like doing solos so we’ll see what happens.

5:20 Plays solo. Punchy start the lays into big groove. He’s playing a green Gretsch 4pc with Sabian cymbals. Goes into Latin section before huge rolls around the kit.

5:26 Launches into track play along. Wow, his pocket is so fat. Why’d he even solo?! This is where it’s at! This is an organ tune with keyboard stabs. Such a simple groove that is deep and powerful. Bombastic ending.

5:31 Q&A

Q: How was it playing at the Super Bowl?
SF: It was great! Bit what was really great was the gifting suite. After the dress rehearsal, I go down to the NFL suite and there’s all this stuff. Watches, boots, inflatable castles, jewelry, and I walk out with bags full of stuff.

They said it was a huge game, that a billion people would be watching. It wasn’t until that week that I started to get nervous. If I screw up in front of these people I’ll never work again. So I did some meditation and my mum who had just passed away came to me and said have fun! My girlfriend also called me up that week and reminded me to have fun!  I figured it was a sign.  So I started to feel better. It came time to play and they take us to the field. They roll out the stage and plug in everything and when I get on stage, I look over at Tom and his hand’s shaking. So I tell him, this is fun! Once you’re into it you go thru the paces.

Q: How is it backstage at a Tom Petty concert?
SF: It’s very boring! I’m a recovering alcoholic, and I used to party a lot. I was in Minneapolis one time and I picked up some newly recovering friends. I took them backstage and they were amazed that we weren’t getting all amped. I told him we WERE!

Anything else or should I play another song?! (audience demands another song)

5:47 Plays to deep funk tune. 16th HH feel with horn licks, guitar, and Rhodes.

5:50 Introduces band.

5:54 goes into blues rock tune. Pretty generic sounding song. SF sounds fantastic and his groove is great, but this is coming off like a bar band number. Plus the vocalist is distracting with his crazy showmanship. I wonder if he realizes we’re here to watch SF do his thing?

5:59 Second band that is a slower bluesy piece. This is very much like the first song. On one hand it’s good to see a clinic where the drummer is doing exactly what we all spend our careers doing. On the other hand I can see this any day of the week on Beale. Just seems a waste to spend this precious time in a bar band jam.

6:04 Third tune. Bluesy with a deeper pocket. Way too many guitar solos. I think these guys are famous Austin cats with a big local following. Is it wrong that this is annoying me? SF is playing exactly what he should be playing on songs like these, but it just doesn’t sit well in this clinic context. I dunno, maybe I just need a snack and a nap!

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