NAME: Nicolas Beaudoing
BAND AFFILIATION: the Doc Marshalls
INSTRUMENT: Cajun accordion, guitar, vocals
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The soundtrack to the movie “Footloose.” It was an actual LP on sale at Target. At the time, I was 100% convinced of the awesomeness of Kenny Loggins. I remember having to ask for permission to use the record player in the den.
I also have a memory of my younger sister bringing home a copy of “Synchronicity” by the Police. She’d won it as a prize at our school’s Father-Daughter Dance. My father put it on the record player that evening, and we listened to both sides, start to finish. I remember thinking that was a very cool thing to do.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … This is very embarrassing. Erasure in Dallas, Texas. Probably junior high or freshman year. I was heavily into Pink Floyd at the time and definitely not a fan of danceable synth pop. I was simply tagging along with friends. I do recall the lead singer wearing a tutu and gradually removing articles of clothing in between songs. It was horrifying. I remember thinking, “Who is he doing this for?”
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … My siblings and I all took piano lessons for years. I’ll never forget the fear of an upcoming lesson when you hadn’t practiced. This got much worse when my mother, a pianist, started teaching us. A teenager is not exactly thrilled about taking piano lessons with mom. I mowed lawns and saved enough money to buy a saxophone. This was in the 1980s, when being a sax player carried a certain measure of dignity.
Once I’d saved up a couple hundred dollars, I answered a classified ad in The Dallas Times Herald. My dad drove me to pick it up. The owner was a professional musician with a wife and toddler. “I really hate to part with it,” he said. “But she’s got doctor’s bills.” The girl was playing in a sandbox. My dad ended up giving him a little more than the asking price, which confused me at the time. It was a Yamaha alto, which I used to play in the garage where the acoustics were great. The experience of playing an instrument by yourself is highly underrated.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … My first ever performance was in the church choir. I had a brief solo where I sang the following line during mass: “Lord Jesus Christ. Only son of God. You are one with the Father. Receive our prayer.” In retrospect, I’m very grateful that the era of the castrato had long since passed.
My first real performance was playing saxophone during the song “Stray Cat Strut” at a high school talent show with a band called The Gracelanders. It was a huge adrenaline rush. By then, however, I was already getting into Cajun music and had convinced myself that the accordion was much cooler. I wish I could have a conversation with that guy…
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … This End Up, in high school. This struck us as a very clever name. There were three of us: acoustic guitar, saxophone, and keyboards. In 1990, this was a perfectly acceptable lineup. We played “Louie, Louie” over and over again. Amazingly, this project went nowhere. All three of us went on to play music professionally, though. It just goes to show that very little experience is wasted.
Nick Beaudoing and his bandmates in the Doc Marshalls return to the hallowed Caffe Lena stage in Saratoga Springs at 7pm on Sunday (October 2), in support of their recently released single, “Here They Come,” from their upcoming new album, “Look Out, Compadre,” slated for release in January. Tix are $15 in advance; $17 at the door.