Five Firsts: Erin Harkes of B.A.B.E./the Erin Harkes Band
NAME: Erin Harkes
BAND AFFILIATION: B.A.B.E./the Erin Harkes Band
INSTRUMENT: Vocals, guitar
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Weird Al Yankovic’s “Dare to be Stupid.” Greatest album ever.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … The Monkees with Weird Al opening. I was eight years old, and I heard about this contest on the radio to win Monkees tickets. I was a huge fan of the show, not realizing it was syndicated. So you can imagine my surprise when three old men walked out on the stage. And I was also disappointed that Mike Nesmith had left the group. I got over it in about two seconds; they were amazing. Having the additional (and random) surprise of Weird Al opening was more than my eight-year-old heart could take. Now 24 years later, I can still say it was one of the greatest nights of my life.
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … I had a toy guitar with a picture of Bugs Bunny on the front. To ‘play’ this guitar, you wound the crank on the front and magically this fishing-line-strung plastic guitar played some Jack in the Box-esque song. The first real instrument I played was the piano. I was constantly trying them out anytime I saw one, so my mother got a used stand-up bar piano. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in tune, but it was mine and I loved it.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … I did “Songbird” by Christine McVie from Fleetwood Mac at a high school talent show. I accompanied myself on the piano and positively destroyed the song (and not in a good, rock and roll sense). It was brutal. The first original song I ever played in public was some trite drivel about love back when I thought I knew what love – and more importantly heartache – really was. So naïve. I can’t even remember the name of it, and I don’t want to try that hard. I’ve obviously done a good job of repressing it!
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … actually a bagpipe band. Then once I learned how to play guitar, I focused more on playing rock. Got a band together my senior year of college. We never agreed on a name. We got one gig that the bar cancelled the day before, so we would just play in the main lounge of my dorm until campus police (the man) showed up and shut it down.
Erin Harkes – who made her network television debut earlier this year on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” – brings her new all-girl, all-cover band B.A.B.E. (Bad Ass Beauties Entertainment) to Savannah’s in Albany at 9pm on Saturday.