View from the stage – mostly.

So, I should write something…

I’m gonna tell you ‘bout last night! It was awesome.

a very long time later (the next day, in fact)

I know how I can explain how awesome the show was. Those of you in-the-know will understand. I’ll try to explain it for the rest of you.

I’m still at the hotel.

I’m pretty inebriated, but still not slurring or falling over.

The venue brought us coffee and donuts this morning.

They laid a pretty good spread out the night before. Probably too good. We still have alcohol left over, put it that way.

You can imagine the only possible outcome from that.

Fast forward a little bit and my actual reason for still being in the hotel is that we want to go see tonight’s act at that same venue. It’s research!

This is not a task to be undertaken sober. We’ve never met, but I’m sure they know who we are. We will certainly meet them, if we feel inclined to do so. We can stomp right backstage, if we want.

See, I called and asked them to reserve some tables for us and to prepare for a party of 11 to 15. I asked them if they had a taxi service that I didn’t know about, ‘cause we’ve got like one sober legal driver.

They said they’d send drivers to pick us up and that tonight was on the house.

It gets better.

I called the hotel lobby and said we were staying another night. They gave me some discounted price that they probably charged the venue. We’ve got 8 rooms. That’s actually not really enough. We brought some extra people with us.

Anyhow, it turns out that the hotel occupancy goes up when we are here. It’s not just us that stay here when we have a show.

However, I know sorta why this is happening with the venue.

Our price is going up in June. They know this.

If they treat us like this, we aren’t going to raise their cost. In fact, we gave them a bit of a discount for doing this, this time. They can have us at this price, every time. We drank more than their discount was. We ate like kings.

Well, no… We had like finger sandwiches and assorted snacks. That’s pretty much royalty treatment in this business!

The owner already started asking about the next time. I told ‘em to call me, but they didn’t seem to take the hint. I don’t want to deal with that. I’m drinking.

Alas, I’m going to have to. That’s okay, I’ll have news he likes. If they treat us like this every time, they can have us at this price but we can’t do it that often, as we have better paying stuff.

We do better than break even here. That means everyone gets paid. They love us here.

This is kinda short… I’ll write some more about last night.

Last night? Last night we wanted to make it special. We’ve been here before! They love us!

So, instead of two sets, we did three but a slightly shorter format and the last set kinda being played a little bit for us. They didn’t mind. We told ‘em what we were doing.

During the last set, we had guests on the stage. The eldest hoodlum came up to play, so long as someone stood in sound and pretended they were doing something. We had my son and his friend join us, even though they only partially knew some of the songs.

And we played. We had a quick discussion about what we’d play and left the script more or less behind. There are many songs I can tell a good guitarist to just follow my lead.

We finished up the set as just the band. We went backstage. We had a quick drink. We then went and played a 20 minute encore with all of us on the stage.

Afterwards, we did a floor walk and received much adoration, flirtation, and drinks.

Then, I left with a sober driver, and went to the hotel. Didn’t even pack my own guitars up. Didn’t even lug ‘em. They stayed and tore down.

I kinda expect VIP treatment at tonight’s engagement. I don’t see why I shouldn’t expect it. They’ve given it to us so far. I bet tonight, they turn a spotlight on our table and tell ‘em we are there – unless we ask them not to. (Edit: It was slightly different. Still good.)

Tonight, the band will truly be stars. (Edit: Indeed, they were.)

Bastards are getting a raise. They deserve it. They’ll earn it. They pick things up quickly. They’re very motivated. They can even do a good show without me. They passed that test with flying colors, while I was in the hospital.

But, this will be (quite probably – and I should prep them, or at least warn them) one of their biggest amounts of time with that many people who know us. There are pretty much no other bars around for miles. ‘Snot like they’re going anywhere else to get drunk.

I might not warn the band, for my own amusement.

Anyhow, I have to go get ready. We’re going early, so we can feed and drink. Tonight, we shall live like kings!

time mysteriously moves forward

I told you I was doing research!

The act that played was not terrible and they’re hungry. We met ‘em before they even went on. The owner brought them over. They draw like 150 to 300 people. That’s respectable.

It was much as anticipated. I was asked to go on and play a few songs with them. I begged off and said I have a smashed femur. The table was having none of it. So, I went up in their first set and then joined them in their encore. They play bar music. Finding songs we all knew wasn’t actually difficult.

Even if I don’t know it, I can pick it up pretty quickly and play something along with it. But, they knew Layla which we stretched out into like a 15 minute jam showing off, and as an encore we did a mash-up of Who Do You Love and One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer.

I was forced to play an Epiphone Les Paul. I did not bring a guitar. It was just fine. They still howl.

Their band is not terrible. They need a manager. Not a job I’m gonna accept and they had the decency to not ask. We talked about them going on at 18:00 and opening for us. They’ll do. We figure that would fill the place to capacity for two weekend nights.

I’ll think it over. It means letting them use a lot of our gear, without any experience with it. What will happen is we’ll change out instruments and drum kits while they get the fuck out of our way.

That’s kinda a bitch. One of us will have to run sound for them. ‘Snot my job. If asked, I don’t know anything about it. They’re not plugging their $99 board with four switches for lights into our gear.

They need someone to promote them, because they suck at it. They don’t even try to sell merch. I’m told we sold a ton, but I haven’t seen the numbers yet. (Edit: We sold pretty much all our new stuff and then some older stock with the earlier design.)

Once again, I see bands making the same mistakes I have told you not to make. They don’t even really engage with the audience much. They play well enough.

I can’t save the world. I’m not fucking helping them. I have enough strays already!

But, either way, we were treated quite well. They came in several cars and a minivan to pick us all up. They dropped us at the door. We went inside. We were brought to tables with un-fancy ‘RESERVED SEATING’ signs on them.

I’m pretty sure it’s the first time this venue has had reserve setting, by the way. Said un-fancy signs were just printed paper and tape. We didn’t even get those rope barricades.

We were bugged all night. It was great.

We lapped it up. I ordered a ton of drinks for a ton of people. So, I figured I’d tip well. I estimated the cost of drinks and tipped that. I was ordering drinks for strangers that were now my new best friend! There were numerous trips to the bathroom and outside, for obvious reasons.

Everyone else got in on the act. We were trashed. We asked anyone who stopped to talk if they wanted a drink. Some of ‘em showed up a few times! One dude pretty much spent the whole time at our tables. Good times were had by all!

For legal purposes, I’ll point out that no upstanding lawful facility would serve alcohol to a minor. Thus it’d be illegal for two of our group to drink. We’d be law abiding citizens and stuff. That’d never be allowed to happen. No.. That would never happen! (I’m pretty sure they were both giving away drinks too.)

I’m pretty sure even the missus gave away some drinks. She was drinking tea and talking to old women. It’s what she does. She’s an old woman. What’d you expect?

She was not very angry and she was polite to people. She has a resting bitch face. Also, she hates you.

She sold merch during the show. I’m sure she was charming, even though you’re a drunk that argued when you got the correct change counted back to you. I should get a cash register so they can read it in the dark and drunk.

Some of us even got out there and wiggled. Some of them were particularly loud when I was on the stage. We were having fun. I did not wiggle. I kinda did the chair wiggle a few times.

I do believe that almost everyone from our party was on the floor at some point. I was not. The missus was not. I’m pretty sure everyone else cut some rug at some point. We dined like kings.

time mysteriously moves forward

Anyhow, I next need to process a lot of this, decide what it means, and decide what decisions need to be made, ask for input from the rest of the band, and then organize it.

I’m remarkably sober now. Now the level of work dawns on me.

They want me to play a show for two nights and with an opening act. That means one of us must be in there, any time there are people in there, watching our gear. I ain’t doing that. We need more people. They better have extra security. I don’t think any of us are doing that.

Fuck you. I’m a rock star!

Anyhow, last night was pretty much the best day ever. It was not even just the best day ever for us, but it was great for many other people. They really love us here. Some of those drunk people even remembered I have a smashed femur. They remembered that from the night before!

This isn’t very good, but I’m gonna publish it. It feels like something is missing. Also, I should probably edit it. Until next time…

 

 

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