When I was in high school, we started a swing band. It was called The Show in Full Effect, coined after a phrase used to denote whether a member of our school's hockey team had been showing off more than he really should've been. When he'd play, and hog the puck, and do something stupid, then blame it on someone else, they'd say something like, "So, how's the show coming?" "Oh, the show is definitely in full effect today." Our pianist, who kicked all kinds of ass, didn't agree to our being named Sammy C. and the White Boys, due to his older brother's claim that it wasn't kosher in a political sense, so the day we performed, we gave ourself this name.

Anyway, we covered some Cherry Poppin' Daddies, attempted some Royal Crown Revue, and played a version of Minnie the Moocher that was taken from the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy disk. We had a four man horn section, half of which didn't show up to a lot of practices, a guitarist called Duck, a pianist named Samuel Cross (our only African American, but hey, I'm mostly Native American and Hawaiian. We were equal oppurtunity. Honest.) The leader of the band was the bass player, Dusty Reagan. He liked to play slap bass, like funk stuff. But he wanted to do 'Zoot Suit Riot' for our school's talent show. They'd ditched their last lead singer, and with a good enough coincidence, they asked me to sing for them.

I like to toot my own horn, so I'm gonna say here that I have a pretty decent voice. We kicked serious amounts of ass. If the Duck had applied himself to his guitar parts (which he didn't seem like he gave a shit about, because he could've played them better than he did; I mean, we know him) we would've been nigh on perfect, granted that I didn't keep losing my voice and Dusty didn't almost die from a gastro-intestinal disease after our second gig. But it was fun while it lasted. We only actually did two gigs, one at the high school talent show, and one for charity, a few weeks later, at our local civic center. We opened for a band called High Life, that stole all the cash proceeds from the event. They were a bunch of punks. Worse off, the other opening bands were a bunch of drunks. Case in point. Here's a real quote from that night from one of the members of the other bands to our drummer. "Hey man, you think you guys need a tenth band member? I could stand up there and drink." Our drummer declined the gracious offer.

By far, the best part was dressing up in black suits and fedoras when we played. I seriously enjoy wearing black and/or white suits. I highly recommend joining The Two Tone Army to anyone who can. In addition to the fun of looking like I had an agenda, everyone thought that since I was the lead singer, I was in charge of the band. People would come up to me and say, "DJ, you guys were damn cool. Is your band gonna play anywhere else?" I'd respond in a sly, slightly aloof manner, "Well, I'm not really in charge."

I guess I just really wanted to say, "You can't take control of the Show in Full Effect, you can only hope to contain it."

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