Wednesday, May 06, 2009

May 6, 2009
Mike Torres just sent me an iPhone video taken of our rehearsal at the Kingman Fairgrounds on March 28. This was for the Exits Exit, Part II to raise money for Kingman Regional Hospital. It was all for a good cause, but our opening song was the Stones' version of "Route 66" and my family (both my immediate family and my Exits family) was very concerned that I would go overboard and have another heart attack, so Kathy bought me a heart monitor that connects to a watch. You hit a button on the watch, which takes it off the time and, thanks to a electrode band strapped to your chest, you can read your heartbeat by simply glancing at your watch. It gives out a constant reading: for example, when I'm standing still it registers in the high sixties.

As a benchmark, while it's an educated guess, my heart rate during "Wipeout" (the drum playing, gator dancing episode at the 2008 gig that triggered my heart attack) was probably in the range of 175 or even 180 (I read somewhere that the drummer for The Police was tested while on tour and he hit 190-plus, every single night). Like most performers, I have this switch that goes on when I'm in front of an audience and it's all or nothing. There is no in-between. AND it's very hard to modulate or control. The lights go on, the curtain opens and I'm ON.

And, for this reason, everyone was concerned about me, and for good reason.

So my goal at the rehearsal was to gauge how high my heart rate would go on the opening song. I wanted to regulate my jumping around, but I also wanted to see what happened if I went with the flow. Here's how it looked:

Route 66 Rehearsal

Mike called me and said, "How come you kept looking at your watch?"

Well, I'm nervously checking on my heart rate. And, for the record, I hit 127, although I probably hit 140 during the high kicks (and by the way, they sure seemed like higher kicks when I was doing them, at least in my mind. Ha.)

"Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth but not its twin."
—Barbara Kingsolver

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