22 April 2011: Zero Hour with Six Minute Century

Posted: April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This day is going to go down in my book of life as one of the top most memorable experiences of 2011.

The night that I got to see SIX MINUTE CENTURY perform at the BFE Club in Houston, Texas. Something I have been hoping and dreaming of doing ever since I first heard the song, “Zero Hour” which ultimately became my absolute favorite song from the band’s first album, “Time Capsules”. Which was probably about two years ago, maybe even longer. But no matter, it was most certainly a dream that absolutely came true.

If you read my last post, you already know that I went to Houston for a bit of a little vacation of sorts. And you already know what wonderful experiences I had from the beginning. Also, warning: a lot of this post is going to be repeated material from that earlier post.

The evening before, I was taken into the recording studio by bassist, Michael Millsap and his fiancee, Lori. I had never been inside a recording studio before, so I am sure that I looked like a character from “Willy Wonka” who just found the last golden ticket and had entered the factory gates. Being able to hear the new material that the band is working on for their next album far before anyone else in the general public, I couldn’t help but feel so honored to have been there. A little later, I got to meet lead guitarist, Don LaFon.

I don’t know if he was surprised to have seen me there. I knew that the whole entire purpose was to surprise the band that I came all that way so that I could see them perform live!! I hope someone from the band was. If they weren’t, then I think that all the secret planning would be wasted because it was getting very difficult to keep my excitement toned down, especially during the last week before I went.

I sat there in awe of Don. If I am understanding correctly, SIX MINUTE CENTURY is a project that he started. Being in the recording studio with this totally awesome guitarist was truly something I thought was so cool. There I was sitting in this control room with the lead guitarist and the bassist. Right off the bat, I got to meet half of the band. Awesome!

And then of course came the big night at BFE Club. Several bands were on the bill before SIX MINUTE CENTURY was to be on the stage, including a really awesome band from Brazil called “MindFlow”. Others included “Decimation Theory” and “Silenced Within”. Yep, if you haven’t figured it out by now… it was a heavy metal show.

It was a bit scary to have these metal acts doing their thing, and then they looked down right at me. Especially, Decimation Theory!! That guy screamed his lungs out, sweat pouring down his face, and then he looked straight at me. CREEEPYYY!!!!

MindFlow did the same thing. Sang a bit, came to the edge of the stage and looked me right in the eyes while singing.

What was really exciting for me was all of the introductions that were made amongst other fans and friends of the bands. I surely got to meet a lot of great people. It was wild to be walking around in the club and instead of waving to acknowledge the person, all they did was throw the Devil Horns in the air.

I was quite honored that lead singer, Chuck Williams made an effort to come and talk with me just before he went on stage. He kneeled down to talk to me at my level and just talked to me like I was a person. Not as if he was the star and I was the adoring fan that must worship him. No, it was “man to man”. He thanked me for being such a great big fan of the band and he said he was happy that I could make it to a show there in Houston. I would find out later that most of the band was quite happy and thankful to hear that I had made it all that way just for the show.

Chuck asked me if I had heard any of the new material and if I enjoyed it. Of course…

I told him that my favorite song was “Zero Hour”, and then he replied with: “Well, good because we’ll be doing that song tonight.”

Okay, a little confession. I had already known that. And yes, I was totally stoked to hear it. So then he shook my hand and said that we would talk later after the set. Its just too bad it didn’t work out that way. I was just very happy that he treated me so kindly. To be honest, the entire band and their family and friends did. As if they had welcomed me into their family.

So during the major bands, I was right up at the stage. Speakers and amplifiers and fillers galore in my face. What I did not realize was that there was one underneath the stage. I wondered why I kept feeling like I was getting punched in the chest and face each time the bass kicked. But as they say, if it isn’t loud- it isn’t rock and roll. And it isn’t metal if it isn’t louder.

By the end of the night, I couldn’t even feel the hair on my arms. My hearing was shot, my voice sore. Yep, that’s the way to do it!

When SIX MINUTE CENTURY hit the stage and got things going, I got right back into place right up front near a monitor and slammed the brakes on my wheelchair. There was no way that I was going to be removed from being right up front at that point.

Nobody.. and I mean absolutely NOBODY was going to knock me from the top of the mountain!! Do it and die.

Thankfully, Lori stood right behind me during the show. I felt so guarded and protected from the scores of people that were there.

I had no idea, but apparently when SIX MINUTE CENTURY comes out to play a show, people come crawling out of the woodworks in Houston. The first few bands didn’t have a lot of people there, but SIX MINUTE CENTURY had tons of people!! I found myself amazed that after they got off the stage, there wasn’t a lot left. I was told that SIX MINUTE CENTURY doesn’t play too often, so if a fan misses a show, they are out of luck for a while until the next show comes up. I believe the last show before this one was back in late January of this year. When I had missed that one, I knew that I was going to work very hard at getting to the show on 22 April.

But back to my original point, with someone behind me it was what I needed to know that nobody was ever going to mess with me while the band was playing. I could just be care free and totally enjoy myself. So I am thankful to her for that.

Then “Zero Hour” was about to be performed. Hearing the helicopter at the beginning of the song, I knew it was coming.

Suddenly, Chuck walked over towards the front of the stage where I was and shouted out, “This is for you, buddy!”. He pointed right at me. Then I reached out towards him. He grabbed me by the hand and then I gave him the love sign, to which he returned with the Devil’s Horns.

At that point, I probably could’ve used a new pair of pants. I totally was getting into it. Slamming my hands onto the stage, singing as out as I could, and just enjoying the song. And yes, I did feel like the song was performed just for me. I allowed myself a moment for once in life.

When it was finished, I felt like I had truly accomplished something great. Of course, I enjoyed the rest of the show. They played some of the new material that is on the upcoming album.

I have to laugh because I remember having a conversation with Don a few days previously over lyrics of one of the newer songs. We couldn’t figure it out. Eventually, the mystery was solved and so when they were playing it, Don was looking from the stage in my general direction and he saw me singing those lines in which I had previously had been questioning him about.

The man SMILED!!

I don’t think he smiles a lot. I could be wrong. In fact, he can appear scary. But you know, that’s just part of the draw. There’s just no “happy happy, joy joy” in heavy metal. Its more of an attitude of “I’m about to eat your face off.” But he smiled. I thought that was cool. I should’ve been quicker with the camera to capture it on film and have evidence of it. Oh well.

When the set was over, Don walked over to me and I thought he was going to just shake my hand. He instead was trying to give me something. His guitar pick!! I loved it. That was totally cool!!! It rests here today in front of my computer until I can find a good place to make my own SIX MINUTE CENTURY shrine. I will have to make room to add it to my other shrines that I have.

When I find something that I totally enjoy, I don’t do it half way– I go to the extreme edge and carry it further. My dedication knows absolutely zero bounds. Whether its music, or people that I enjoy. I’ll do whatever I can to have the best and keep them close to my heart. Defending my position of admiration.

I should be fair though and add that the drummer from MindFlow came up and gave me one of his drumsticks that he just used. Its pretty chewed up, but its a wonderful momento of their performance. I bought their newest CD, a t-shirt, and a shot glass from MindFlow.

I wonder what other kinds of memorabilia that SIX MINUTE CENTURY can come up with? Maybe I should e-mail Don and ask what his thoughts are??

And I cannot forget getting introduced to the lead singer of Silenced Within. You just gotta love female metal singers. Besides, she’s really cute!!!

Then later on, I got the set list from both Don AND Michael, and I thought that was cool. I remembered that I had my copy of “Time Capsules” with me and I got Don and Michael to sign it. After the show, Chuck and Darren (the drummer) just disappeared. What a bummer that I didn’t get to meet Darren at all.

I really wanted to have a picture taken of me and the entire band. Plus gain autographs from everyone. Whether it be a t-shirt, a CD, a flyer, or anything that had their names on it. I hope that I will be able to return to Houston and get that done. It must be done- it is my mission as the absolute avid fan.

Did I enjoy the show?? YOU BET I DID!!

I’ve been working really hard for all of this to happen. Three months, countless secret e-mail exchanges, lots of saved money, and many hours to just get down to Houston. Meeting totally beautiful people, making new friends, and feeling accepted. I definitely believe this to be one of the best experiences I have had. The VIP treatment, presented by SIX MINUTE CENTURY is something a person will never forget. I never would have imagined all the kindness that came from everyone, all of their sacrifices to help make this short trip so memorable.

I am waiting excitedly for the new album to come out. Don told me that once its out there, they’ll consider coming to Austin for a show. And that would be cool beyond words at this point. I will do whatever I can to make sure it happens.

But until it does, I will look forward to their next show. And I hope with every fiber of my body that I can do whatever I need to do in order to make that return trip back to Houston to be there. Right in the same place near the stage.

That night, I went out with Michael and Lori for a little bit of breakfast which included a few other people in the party. I think there was about twelve of us. Some of them, had to sober up.

And then when the night was all finished, I crawled back into my hotel room at 5:01 AM, laid down on the bed and thought to myself, “Hell yeah!!”.

Tired. Sore. Deaf. Numb.

From all the hard work that went into making it happen for me. Absolutely worth it.

I came up with a slogan for fans of SIX MINUTE CENTURY. I think that the band likes it. I’ve been saying it ever since:

I AM A SIX MINUTE CENTURION!!!

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