Those are my two sons, AKA: Unorganized Hancock. I hereby testify that Unorganized Hancock is the best band in Maine. Of course, I’m biased. Not because they’re my kids, but because I know my arse from a hole in the ground. That’s a form of bias. They’re not bad-good. They’re good-good.
They played at a multi-purpose function hall here in Rumford, Maine on Friday night. The room is called The Mystic Theater. The entire building is called 49 Franklin. It’s a converted church of some kind. Scot and Cindy Grassette did a wonderful job renovating the building. They are really nice people, and they are successfully making a go of running a viable business in a town where that’s almost impossible. They should be commended and I hope I just did.
Most nightspots are simply buildings so far gone that the owners take down the original sign from a shuttered business and hang their liquor license in the cobwebs and that’s it. The 49 Franklin building is nothing like that. It’s not extravagant in any way, but nothing was wasted and the place looks great, and it works. The Mystic Theater has one of the nicest stages I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen thousands. The theater was once a small gymnasium, and you can still see the stripes on the birch flooring from the basketball hoop. The room is the perfect size and dimensions for the stage it holds. There are two tiny but useful dressing rooms on one end, a sound man’s platform in the back, and they turned the closet where they once stored the basketballs into a nifty little full-service bar. The room has another rara avis for any sort of performance hall: A spotless and well-appointed bathroom. To someone that’s worked in the music business, that’s as rare as a burning bush or a ladder descending from heaven.
My boys have been saving their tip jar money and finally had enough to purchase a new video camera, and we tested it out. The front view is the result. I know this will sound silly to most folks, but it has an honest to goodness lens that zooms in and out, which I found to be a revelation. The audio you hear is simply the ambient microphone in the camera. Because there were two other music acts, it would have been practically impossible to set up anything to record it any other way. It was enough for you to get the idea.
The room was full, and people clapped and sang along. The owners don’t charge admission, but put three goldfish bowls on the edge of the stage, one for each band. They were all full and everyone went home happy. Me too.