Five Firsts: Howard Fishman

Howard Fishman
Howard Fishman
NAME: Howard Fishman
INSTRUMENT: Guitar, vocals, piano, banjo

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads. Haven’t heard that record in years. Might be time to break it out…

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Neil Sedaka. My parents took me and my brother when we were kids. I was too young to remember much, but his ’70s “comeback” albums are printed in my musical consciousness in indelible ink. “Love Will Keep Us Together,” “Laughter in the Rain” … classic stuff.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … Piano. We had a baby grand in the house where I grew up, and when I was really small, I’d watch old sci-fi and monster movies on TV, and then go play the mood on the piano. Lots of bass notes and atonal stuff. Maybe I should be doing soundtracks?

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding” by Bob Dylan. We had an Apollo Theater-style amateur night at my school. I’d only been playing guitar for a few months, and I had some nerve. Booed right off the stage.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … My very first band was called Four Boys Named Sue – two guitars, upright bass and drums (sometimes I played piano). We didn’t know what the hell we were doing, but we had a lot of fun doing it. Skiffle, bluegrass, country, blues, the odd Roy Orbison cover. Our bass player would get really drunk and lay down on the stage and play. Once I think he crawled under the stage and played from there … not an easy trick with an upright bass!

Last year, Howard Fishman simultaneously released three very different albums – “Better Get Right,” “No Further Instructions” and “The World Will Be Different” – which he’ll be showcasing along with selections from his earlier albums when he steps onto the stage at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs on Saturday. Garrett Devoe opens the show at 8pm. Tix are $16 in advance; $18 at the door.

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