you know, just when i think things are ridiculous in the world of show business, they get so abstract and completely insane, i have to hang on to the mic stand with all i’ve got and just go for it!
tonight, i played at a jamaican/cowbuy/hip-hop bar in galveston called yaga’s. it was the loudest bar i have been in since college…i mean loud like the loud where you have to shout at the bartender, “I’ll have a ….” and they yell back, “WHAT?” and you just settle for a beer. so loud that my hair was not only standing on end, it was on tippy-toes!
college age people drunk out of their minds, the loud thump thump thump of heavy bass roaring through the amps…when i hopped on stage to do soundcheck, they kept the music ON full throttle while trying to get my guitar/vocal levels…so people could keep dancing!…i had to chuckle when the soundman put on headphones to hear what mix he was getting on me in his head, since there was no way he’d have heard me otherwise
i went outside and called lance and told him i was DOOMED.
he said i’d be fine. i told him he should trade places with me immediately and come see how HE likes being on the wrong stage and i would be MORE THAN HAPPY TO BE WITH THE KIDS, at home,
reading books…he said that sounded GREAT! but, really, come on, you know we laughed (me nervously) since this ain’t no star trek episode!
i was a little giddy with fear but feeling fearless in the world of bump and grind, the smell of salt water in the air, knowing a very nice hotel room (provided by the club) was waiting for me to rest my weary ears…..so i returned to the bar’s stage (which looked like a dock, complete with decorative ropes and life rings). i decided i was gonna rise to the occassion so i could buy groceries for my family! i would revel in the JAMAICAN DISCO PARTY DRUNK JAMARAMA DING-A-LINGA DING DONG!
before i dug in, the co-owner, a nice woman named aubrey who was, i swear, MAYBE 24, came up to me on stage, to let me know i was going to be playing for college kids who liked to dance…did i do dance music, she asked?
i started to mentally spin, and i said, “uh…no.” (i guess i was, at least, dressed the part cuz she actually PERCEIVED me as someone who does dance music….woo!)
she smiled and said, “ok, well, it’ll be fine!”
they stopped the music, with about 8 people on the dance floor looking up at me with a “HUH?” expression on their faces… i busted into “mother’s little helper”, trying my hardest to create some sort of a dance groove, to which, almost immediately, a 55 year old drunk man jumped up on the stage and started shaking, I’m NOT kidding, his gianormous ass right into my guitar, as i hung on, now, to my guitar, praying, “dear god, let me keep my sanity…let me do my best” and then the dude’s wife came and coaxed him down. i felt like a panda at the zoo…with nuts everywhere!
bathed in an orange spotlight…singing my heart out…the dance floor cleared…the bar stayed sort of steady for about two songs, then everyone went outside.
i actually said, on the mic, “well, now i can finally say i’ve cleared a room!” and then i started talking to the empty dance floor about my “band”, and how sad the accident was, that i was dedicating the evening’s performance to them…shoutin’ out, “Johnny, this is for your broken femur!” and kickin’ into a jam. it became a hilarious carol burnett show, me making up stories, short intros, singing songs, babbling to myself (and the sound man.)
i was supposed to do TWO 45 minute sets….but i courageously (and smartly) performed one long 90 minute set because, as the night wore on, more college kids started stumbling in (and i mean STUMBLING). they started filling the joint, so i knew there was NO WAY in hell i could take ANY break and then get BACK UP THERE on the stage… i knew the MINUTE i stepped off, someone would turn that super loud dance music on, and my getting back on after THAT would spell DISASTER with a capital “d”.
Dash Riprock came in. He’s very tall, I’d say 6′ 4″, with long, curly blonde tendrils cascading past his sunglasses. He stayed for the first 55 minutes, watching and listening to me perform, sitting on steps across the dance floor. At one point, he put a $5 bill on the monitor for me. Then, as I ended a song, he approached with a question, but I couldn’t hear what he said…I leaned forward with an, “Excuse me?” and he repeated, “Are you married?” I enthusiastically responded, “Yes! With two kids!” and he said, “I really like your style. It’s like mine. Who’d a knew ya had kids?” and then he
He also left a flyer. He does Haunted Houses around the country. First thing he’d said to me, when he first came in and I was getting set up (mind you, with the ka-thumpa-ka-thumpa going on), first thing he says to me was, “I’m number 3 in the country for this sort of thing.”