Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Not With The Band

I guess I can be thankful for my mediocre musical talents in this way:

I don’t have to be in a band, deal with my bandmates (i.e. drummer), negotiate with clubs, or worry about the high school politics of “the scene.”

Pete is, however, very talented musically, and gets no greater thrill out of life than playing music, on a stage, for humans. Therefore, he gets to deal with the accompanying bullshit. This is also probably another reason that I have not ever tried to publish any of my writing: bullshit and dealing with said bullshit. Oh, and soul-crippling rejection. But that’s another story.

In other professions, you make a deal, and both sides of the deal agree to provide certain amenities or execute certain tasks. They are expected to live up to them. But it seems that in the music business, only the club matters, and the bands just have to take it, unless they are hugely up-and-coming or already established.

In other professions, if you show up on time, according to the previously arranged deal, with everything you were asked to provide, and the other side of the transaction changes the rules, say, changes the time, you have every right to say no, and walk away. In the music business, however, you have to smile and nod and suck it up, and if your drummer throws a hissy fit because he can’t stay up that late because he single-handedly runs a 6 million dollar hedge fund during the day, and your bass player is nonplussed and also works in the morning, and your fiancé is freaking out because she is not going to have time to sew your monkey head, and you decide to pull out because it’s just not going to be fun anymore and this is supposed to be fun, right?... you have to deal with the fact that you will never play that club again, and never play with that band again, and word could get around that you are pussies. And that is one less place where you can experience the weightless joy that music brings you.

And you will spend another hour, at home in bed, not fornicating like you should be, but being talked down off the ledge by your previously freaking out fiancé, reminded that this is supposed to be fun, and you are not trying to score in the music industry anymore, that this was, in fact, why you quit your other verge-of-successful band, and that life and grown up responsibilities have, for better or for worse, taken priority over stardom, and that was the choice you made, for very good reasons, four years ago.

I am all for Pete playing music, don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to Yoko him out of his band. I love going to hear them play, and I almost never miss a gig. Even when I have a monkey head to sew. (Or when I wind up in the middle of nowhere northern Wisconsin surrounded by weekend warriors). Heck, I practically ordered him to take the free drum set his drummer was offering and set it up in my basement long before we had even talked about him moving in. But I also hate to see him wrecking himself over the politics and stressing out over things he cannot change. I would love it if he had a chance to play more because it makes him so very obviously happy, and happiness is sexy. Especially when accompanied by guitar face. Really. But he probably needs a new drummer, at least for weekday gigs, and he will obviously have some damage control to perform from last night, which I have no doubt he will be able to do; he’s charming and has experience with this sort of thing.

And once that is all in order, after they have a band meeting and sort out their issues, after he makes the rounds he might have to make, he should roll out and get those gigs, and get those new songs together, and play music, even if it’s only for the 5 people who show up. I’ll be there.

With a monkey head on.
If I ever get it done.

No comments: