Th' Soulfinger Diaries: Final Installment-- O'Hara's, Manchester CT 5.8.07

yeah, I've been doing these utterly execreble two-piece gigs here and there with Ace McClintock playing bass and me on th' Red Lady and singing. Oh, they're awful. His competition with me reaches full swing when it's just the two of us and his aping and sputtering and bass solo-ing just completely destroy my spirit, especially when I see the disbelief in the audience's eyes.

Oh, how utterly demeaning. And I'm so off my stride and so completely mortified that I tend to begin sucking too. And minutes become hours, my friends. Seconds tick by like days. Jesus Christ.

Today we had two gigs and it was like seven hours of stage time and my trepidation was boundless. And then he started drinking. Drinking. I got off stage and let him have it all to himself because he was heading into what was sure to be a humdinger of a bass solo. Oh, it sounded so bad. He got the echo going and looped an awful, unpleasant three-second noise bit and started making more noise on top of it. It sounded like Radiohead sort of. But Radiohead would speed it up and distress it and cacophonize it and then it would go into a beautiful, alien beautiful song.

This wasn't going to go into anything beautiful.

I crept over to a corner and tried to make myself small and a woman came up to me and asked me to please go back up and make him stop and play music instead. She asked me why I let him do that and I told her it was his band and he did the booking so it was his prerogative.

"So, why are you doing this?" she asked me. She was a smart-looking woman who was obviously hanging out with her smart professional friends at happy hour and probably just wanting some nice pop songs in the background to drink to.

So why are you doing this?

I didn't know if she'd really understand if I told her it was how I made money. Everyone gets humiliated by the boss every now and then, right? There was something lacking about that answer though, you know? Like I'd decided to be a musician so I could basically have a crappy, humiliating job that just happened to be trying to play decent music for people.

So why are you doing this?

Like there was no consideration beyond esthetics. And the fucking club manager came up to me, fairly pissed off, and asked me to put a stop to it and play some fucking music or get out. Jesus, it was bad. It was really bad for me.

Music is the only thing I have that I don't suck at. I'm not kidding. When I go into Musicland it's a happy place with flowers and it's the one place I can go, man. The one place where I feel I belong, where I can proceed with confidence. Going into Musicland refuels me and gives me the will to live.

And this crazy, drunk, spoiled, evil motherfucker McClintock is turning it into this gross, barren, beshitted lunar landscape of despair and now I have nowhere to go and nothing to do in front of people that makes me feel worthwhile. God, I hate that motherfucking McClintock. What a pig he is. And the way he treats women is disgusting. He's a complete narcissist pig who doesn't respect people's boundaries and embarasses everyone around him with his utter self-centeredness.

So three songs into the second gig I packed up and left.

He was going to do a bass solo.

Just to piss me off. Just to piss me off. What an asshole.

So why are you doing this?

Why indeed.


Blogger EmployeeoftheMonth said...

Solo, solo, solo.

Bobby, old fruit, it has been made clear with Zeiss lens clarity - go solo.

I was in a lounge on a, please forgive me, a cruise ship. The pianer bar performer sucked worse than a hole in a spacesuit. Not saying cruise ships are your future, but witnessing this level of musical blowage illustrates the need for you to share your gift/bliss in a solo format, thus delivering us from the unwitting clammery of "Dennis, in the Schooner Room".

You did the right thing.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Larry Jones said...

What a nightmare. When my day job bites that bad, I can shrug and say "It's only my day job." Believe me, that's hard enough, but if the gigs were as hideous as this one you describe, then my mood would be dark indeed, and I would have to conclude that I am a useless sack of shit to be involved in such a travesty. If it makes you feel any better, the work you've posted here has been verging on brilliant, except for the stuff that's just flat out bitchin'.

So when you packed up and left, did you at least think to grab one of the happy-hour babes and take her along?

2:09 AM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

My God, Robert. Jesus fucking Christ. That is awful, man.

I, too, think you did the right thing. Absolutely soul-sucking, if you'd have stuck around.

Yes, go solo. Hell, do the cruise ship thing -- there's no rule says you have to stink up the joint and wind up in a Coast Guard incident report.

Knock 'em dead. You can do it, man, and you know it.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous mdhatter said...

right on ya, laddie

7:39 PM  

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