Monthly Archives: October 2014

My Self-Righteous Solution

I just figured out what the problem is with my generation.  We are obsessed with television the way that the previous generation was obsessed with music.  We have HD televisions, inDemand, DVR, Netflix and all this bullshit that I can’t even, nor do I want to, keep up with.  This craze is how our parents were about music.  Well, the cool ones anyway.  They had PROPER speakers, nice record players, and followed bands obsessively the way that my peers follow Game of Thrones or the lives of the fucking Kardashian’s or the Hogan’s or whatever rich family is the flavor of the week.  It’s gross.  The former generation waited hours in lines to go to a concert and drove across state lines.  Now people do not go to live music events because they’re lazy and would rather spend the night watching The Walking Dead and then hashtaging about it on twitter.

One of my favorite past times is listening to music with my Dad.  I have OFTEN blew off my friends to hang out with my Dad at his house, drink rum and listen to The Beatles and Tears for Fears on his sweet stereo system.  You are simply not listening to music properly if you’re listening to it off of your fucking laptop or iPod or whatever mini device you have that will be out of date in four months.  When I was growing up, my Dad had floor speakers that stood a good two and a half feet tall, and I believe they were the same speakers he had had since ’75.  And my God, do they sound beautiful.

I was recently at my Dad’s house by myself and decided to put on one of my many CD’s.  While I am probably the youngest person I know who has a real CD collection, I only had a few handy because the hundreds of others were at my place.  I was stoked to discover that I did have a Sunny Day Real Estate album with me, so I put that in, and literally started laughing out loud all by myself when I heard the first note. It sounded so goddamn different from what I am used to that it was comical.  Jesus Christ I have been missing out.  I laid in the middle of the room, and let the vibrations of the bass coming from the floor penetrate my heartbeat, and I let the melody fill the room and devour all sense of time and space.  I think my life changed.  At least a little bit.  I’ve listened to music on these speakers plenty of times, but maybe because I was completely alone and feeling particularly susceptible, this time it was just different.

I left the room for a moment to grab my water which was in the living room where I had left the television on.  With the music in the background, it was now being poisoned by the sounds and images of some drama that was on cable.  In that moment, I was revolted by the TV.  I don’t own a TV, but I don’t have disdain for it either, I just prefer to not have one.  It makes me read more.  Anyway, in this moment, with the beautiful sounds behind me, and in front of me, bright colors and fiction discharging all over my face, I had a revelation.  My generation has it all wrong.  We don’t listen to music properly, and we’re not as die-hard for it as the children of the ’60s and ’70s and it is drowning us.

To further my self-righteous music rant, I truly believe that world peace could be obtained with a happy song.  If everyone in ISIS would just shut the fuck up and listen to “Tiny Dancer” things would get better.  During diplomatic discussions of drone warfare and economic stability, I think there should be a mandatory twenty-minute musical intermission every two hours.  You’re welcome, UN.

I know that I sound like a hipster right now, (which is something that I get made fun of daily by my tour manager who thinks that pumpkin patches are the demise of the society in the same way that big oil companies are), but I’m fine with that.  What did the hipster’s ever do except for bring us craft beer, great coffee, a mini revival of vinyl records, the expansion of Vice magazine and made it acceptable for me to wear fake glasses?

I just like this picture and it's one of my better iPhone photographs.  Wouldn't you rather be there than in front of the television?

I just like this picture and it’s one of my better iPhone photographs. Wouldn’t you rather be there than in front of the television?

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 14

I am sitting in a dirty hotel room, on stained bed sheets, my teeth not brushed, my hair unwashed and on top of my head like a gypsy whore, crumbs stuck underneath my fingernails, a bloody knuckle, smeared eyeshadow and wearing an over-sized, wrinkly band t-shirt.  I have not done anything to change this situation because the last twelve hours were dirty, so I want to stew in the filth of last night so that I can properly account for the events that took place.  If I shower away the grime, I’ll shower away the grimy details.  There’s something about being shower fresh that makes last night’s memories seem cleaner.  No, I want the dirty truth.

Last night was roadie Friday, which just means that it is the night before a day off while on tour.  The day started as normal.  We did a show at The Gramercy Theatre in New York City.  Great venue, sold out show, and I got my New York bagel and cream cheese that I had been eagerly anticipating.  Coffee, found a book store, annoyed my tour manager, set up merch, sold merch.  Normal day except that it was the last show that the two other bands on the tour package would be playing with us.  These days are always a bummer because you almost always become friends with everyone, so the day the tour package breaks up is always characterized with heavy drinking, heavy hugging and hopes that paths will cross again.  One of the drummer’s and I started a cute, flirty tour courtship.  He was the only member of his band who had a beard, so OF COURSE he was the one I ended up getting the closest with.  My curse of the bearded boys.  Him and I would pass notes to each other during the show (because it’s always so loud, it’s difficult to talk), and try to steal a few minutes here and there throughout the day to have a real conversation and maybe take a hit from his pipe.  The point is, that it always feel like you are saying goodbye all too soon in this industry.

Back to the last twelve hours.  Things started going downhill when the lead singer of one of the bands hit on me.  Hard.  It wasn’t cute or flattering, it was demeaning, uncomfortable and dirty.  Him and I had got along great, and found ourselves in deep conversation on occasion, despite everyone telling me that he generally keeps to himself and doesn’t talk to anyone.  When we did speak, it’s always during the day, and I never saw him after the shows.  So last night, I made a point to find him to give him a hug and say goodbye before he went on stage because I knew I wouldn’t see him after.  He suggested that we exchange numbers.  Okay.  I’m fine with that.  He’s a cool guy and maybe we can work together again in the future, or at least send each other funny pictures of people we see at Walmart every once in a while.  I am so hopelessly naive because he then got weird.  He started speaking really low and saying things like, “I’m not going to pretend that I’m not attracted to you, and that I wouldn’t tear your shit up.”  I’m nice, and I don’t like embarrassing people or rejecting them, so I just tried to change the intent by making a joke about it and then saying I had to get back to merch.  That didn’t work, because he then grabbed me by the back of my hair and pulled it HARD, (the way you would to someone in bed) and brought my face into his chest so that his mouth was touching my ear and said, “I know you like that.  Don’t act like you don’t want it.” Um actually bro… no, I don’t want it.  He then went on to say that the next time he sees me he is going to “punish that shit,” as if I don’t have a choice in the matter.  The notion that I may not be into him didn’t even seem to be a thought in his mind.  Lead singer syndrome.  So that was shitty and was a bad last impression, and what started the grime of the night.

The second disaster happened a few hours later when the guitar player of the band I work for went Italian mafia on our driver.  It was epic and I was secretly hoping for blood to be spilled.  Very long story short, our driver pulled a little bitch, diva hissy fit and literally, huffed and puffed and slammed one of the inside bus doors, breaking the jam and essentially turning it into a swinging door.  If that wasn’t already bad enough, he continues slamming it over and over again, looking like a fucking idiot.  He failed at failing.  We were all just staring, open-mouthed trying to decide if we should laugh or yell or help or look the other way.

The guitar player stands up and is calm at first and says with his Italian accent, “what’s the problem, man?”  The driver explained, but that made it even worse because he was completely in the wrong.  Apparently, our guitar player had these same exact thoughts times a million because he lost his goddamn mind on our driver.  He was an inch away from his face, and screaming at the top of his lungs.  He then goes on to smash things and break things as well, yelling, “I’m mad now also because you disturbed me and my guest CAN I GO AND BREAK THE FUCKING BUS TOO YOU FUCKING BITCH?!!”  The “guest” was our guitar player’s flavor of the night, and I felt bad that she had to awkwardly sit through this ugly affair.  This went on for a good twenty minutes and spilled out onto the New York streets.  Our guitar player threatened to slit the driver’s throat if he ever disrespected him like that again, and the driver, just crumbled as he was being shoved and yelled at.  I felt like I was watching The Godfather.

The English Hooligan (our Tour Manager) came back to deal with the situation because what a TM really is, is an adult babysitter.  I regularly whine in a little girl voice at him.  Just two days ago he gave me a pair of his own socks because I was bitching that my feet were cold and my socks kept falling off of my ankle.  This took place only hours after I was claiming to be low maintenance.  Bus call was at 2:00am but obviously, we were not going anywhere at 2:00am as it was already 1:50am and there was a chance that our driver was going to be murdered in the next ten minutes. The English Hooligan basically ordered everyone to go to the pub and drink until 4:00am.  He had some problem solving to do, and was trying to make everyone happy again, so he handed me a 100 dollar bill and told me to buy everyone a round.  Word.  Between us crew, the band and their guests, we were an entourage of 14 people and we took over that bar until we managed to stumble back out onto the New York streets at 4:00 in the morning broken and better for it.

That would have been enough for one night for any sane person, but me, the Hooligan, 0069 and the Jackhammer are not sane.  We went on to have what we call, “a punk rock party.”  This title came to be LONG before I started working with the band.  I believe it got its’ name because the tour manager is from Liverpool and is a true punk rock hooligan at heart, and this side of him tends to come out when he’s drinking.  When we hear “London Calling” come on the bus stereo, everyone knows to run because a punk rock party is about to occur.  I didn’t run, and neither did 0069 or the Jackhammer, so we basically had a four man mosh pit at 5:00 in the morning while the bus was in route.  Twirling ninja kicks were involved and somehow I feel like I crowd surfed a couple of times with only four people.
This is what it looks like after a roadie Friday…

Hung over.

Hung over in a hotel.

I had fun during this punk rock party, and managed to get through it with only one cut and mild bruising.  However, things took a bad turn when Joe got a hold of my phone.  He knows my password to unlock my phone because I was stupid enough to tell it to him some other night, thinking a.) he won’t remember after this one time, b.) I don’t give a shit if he goes through my phone and c.) we are good friends and although he is out of his mind and known for playing practical jokes, I don’t think he would ever do anything with my phone that crossed the line.  I was wrong.

In the past, he has stolen my phone and done ridiculous things like pretended to be me while texting some boy, and then take a picture of his own ass, and sending it… that kind of thing.  Even though I have to do damage control after, it’s still a little bit funny and I usually don’t care.  This time though, he crossed the line.  The bearded drummer boy, who I mentioned earlier, and I were texting.  I made the mistake of telling 0069 that I kind of like this guy.  This is not something any of them are used to hearing.  They’re accustom to me having mild crushes on boys, but they know I’m an asshole and I usually just do it for my own personal entertainment because it makes the days slightly more amusing.  I typically find some shallow reason not to like someone after a few nights of flirting with a guy will say, “I don’t like him anymore because he pronounces library, libary,” or some reason equally as inane, and the Hooligan will roll his eyes, 0069 will exploit it, R-dizzle will say, “he seems like a nice guy,” (R-dizz is always the voice of reason) and Wolfgang will start singing show tunes.  So when I didn’t do that right away with this boy, I think it took 0069 off guard and he didn’t like it.  Like I’ve said before, I don’t do tour romances and Joe knows this.

He took my phone and started texting bearded drummer boy, pretending to be me, and he wrote some awful script.  After an inappropriate comment about “swallowing,” he then went on to text, “Listen, it was really nice to know you for a moment.  I don’t do tour hookups or after tour hookups.  Have a nice one.”  It went on.  When I saw this the next morning I was really upset, mostly because I was imagining poor drummer boy, who was nothing but nice to me, being humiliating by 0069.  If Joe hadn’t already crossed the line that night, he then crossed so far over that the line was not even in sight anymore…

Post punk rock party, while the four of us were just sitting now, beat up and drunk, Joe decided to bring up a lot of personal stuff that he is very well aware of that I don’t want to talk about because I have told him this on more than one occasion.  It annoys him that there are things he doesn’t know about me, so the interrogation ensued.  After Johnny and Joe made it to their bunks, the emotional onslaught that 0069 had blindsided me with caused me to have a crazy Caitlin spell, with the English Hooligan holding my shoulder telling me that, “everything’s all right, chuck.”  Chuck is a name he sometimes calls me.  Like I mentioned, he’s English, so he’s always using foreign words that I can only guess their meaning.  I assume that chuck is the equivalent to “sweetie” or something like that, but for all I know, chuck could be the equivalent to raging cunt.  Sometimes when I really can’t understand him I yell, “stop speaking British!”  This always pisses him off which always makes me giggle with delight.  One of my favorite things is listening to him and Wolfgang, our LD and also an English chap, go back and forth.  I call this, “British banter.”

I got myself together, patted Gus on the shoulder with a “thank you,” and passed the fuck out.  I woke up four hours later and walked out to the front, being welcomed by the morning light and the pure calamity of the front lounge.  It looked like five Cookie Monster’s on crack had come through during the night.  There was not one thing in the proper place, couch cushions were on the floor, coffee grinds spilled everywhere, and there was at least three bags worth of chips crushed up on the ground and everything was broken.  Tight.  Back to bed.

Now here we are, twelve hours later, and doing absolutely nothing except for dying in a hotel room.  Fucking roadie Friday’s.

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