Things look different from the stage, #11.

As many of you know, I’m pretty physically messed up. However, I still have obligations to myself, the band, and to our clients. As such, last Saturday I took to the stage in a wheelchair.

Rather than appeal to their sympathy, a simple thing to do, we chose a different angle and we went with, “That cripple can sure play the fuck out of that guitar.” This was actually quite successful. That shows that we’re really, really getting good at playing together as a cohesive unit – a band.

Our client was a corporate client and our performance was actually in a warehouse they’d decorated and filled with everything from a bar to a stage. We have another show scheduled with them – at the same place and for a higher fee. Why is it a higher fee? Because we’ll be lugging the stage down and setting that up.

That’s right, it’s going to be the first time we’ve officially used the stage for a show that we’re getting paid for. (We have played on the stage before. We had it setup for the 4th of July festivities, though it didn’t quite belong to me at that point.

The show as a fairly simple one. We played just two sets. Their configuration/schedule was weird and we were due to stop playing and they’d continue their party for their employees. It was not a very big show, only about 250 people were there, according to my eyeballs. They weren’t actually counted.

There was no real encore, but I played solo between sets. Getting on and off the stage was simply too long a process, so I just sat out there in my wheelchair and played for them. We ran that into a jam session, as people came back on the stage, and then we ran that into Mary Jane’s Last Dance.

That song would normally be somewhere in the middle of our setlist. Why? It is familiar but doesn’t have any strong emotional attachment. People just like it. So, that’s one that we’ll use before pushing into something that is more emotionally evocative.

We also chose to do the song then to ensure that the Eldest Hoodlum could get her stage time. Her onstage antics are amusing and the audiences eat it up. I introduce her as my guitar student and one of our sound people (though she does most of the sound work) and people are continually surprised at her ability.

One of the things we showcase is our actual talents. We take advantage of our musicianship to actually demonstrate the skills we have, not just to replicate music but to create ambiance. She fits into that quite well, because people expect her to not actually be that good.

Little do they know… She’s got the guitar in her hands for at least six hours a day, pretty much every single day. If there’s one thing to be taken away, it’s that dedication to effort does, in fact, pay off with ability. She impresses not just them, she impresses the remainder of the band and myself.

When we drew the show to a close, and our emcee work was done, I ran away and headed back to the hotel (technically camps) and settled in for the night. However, the clients had provided free food and some free drinks to the band. (I gave my drink tickets away.)

Up above, you saw me say there was no real encore. There wasn’t. After I was long gone, some of the band continued to play on – after having some food and drinks. We were supposed to pipe music for the remainder of the night, but they took to the stage and even had some of the (now intoxicated) audience members sing with them.

I’m told that was a rousing success and we’d discussed that potential going in. I wasn’t there, so I really can’t opine. They didn’t record it, so I’m not even sure how well it went – but I’m told it went very well.

That’s a good thing because, as I said, we have one more scheduled show with that same client. What we’re hoping to do is to become their regular band. We’d like to be their band. They pay our fees without complaint and in a timely manner. They’re easy shows. They’re not very demanding and say things like, “I’m sure you know what best to perform.”

What’s not to like?

There was a previous band that did most of their work. They broke up and that’s how we ended up with the show. The world of performing musicians is pretty small, so being recommended to fill the roll is not really surprising. That and we’re pretty niche and exactly the type of band they want performing.

EH wants to learn enough to be able to sit an entire setlist. That’s a daunting task and would mean we’d have to create a setlist that suited her ability. We’ve not yet discussed that in great detail, but it may be something we do. I’m pretty sure she can do the work. She’s reached the stage where many techniques are available to her, but she’s at the stage where learning to use them and make faithful replications takes a significant amount of time and effort.

We shall see!

In a related note, the missus has complained less about going to do the sound. My guess is that she’s worried about my physical health and that she wants to keep an eye on me. I’m happy to have her there and I’m glad she’s concerned about my well-being. It’s nice to have someone who cares and I’m blessed with quite a few folks who care.

And, I’d also like to take a minute to thank all the people who have expressed interest and wished me a speedy recovery and good health. Thank you. The vast majority seemed sincere and that’s not something I think most people expect at the sites I tend to frequent. You online people are very valuable to me. I appreciate your readership, attention, and emotions.

That said, I’m going to bring this to a close. I will not be submitting this. I will not be posting it as a shared link. However… You’re certainly free to do so. In fact, I encourage you to do so. I don’t do so because I can’t commit to being there to answer responses today. But, if you’d like to share it – please do. I’m guessing other people would like to read it. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

(Also, I didn’t even remotely proofread this. It’s probably riddled with errors, but it is what it is. I’m slowly starting to get into a mindset where I’m willing to write. Please be patient with me and my activity will resume and become more frequent – hopefully.)

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