A thought before we go on stage to open for the legendary Willie Nelson. A hero to all of us out here on the road. Many years ago when we were still just kids looking out on Daddy’s pond, which he insisted was classifiably a lake as defined by Delores Getty a certified “Realitor” and friend of the family, who said that any body of water larger than fifteen square feet is technically a lake. But if I’m being honest, I think he only called it that to justify his ad in the local Penny-saver that listed our house as a waterfront property. I guess so he could fetch a premium for the ole place, which is still for sale.
Anyhow there we were sitting by the brackish water just discussing with one another the possibilities that might exist in the world for small town truants just trying to get by on a 50-cent-a-week allowance and a BMX bike cobbled together from the parts old 10-speeds. Who knew then what we know now.
We were prime candidates actually and it only now makes so much sense. Music would become our salvation! Music would lead our lives of course! Yes, music! Music because we hated church and liked guitars. Music, because we had something to call ourselves, a place to go, and something to spurn us on. A reason to exist! For THE BAND! For the MUSIC!
We practiced tirelessly everyday in Daddy’s tool shed, which he called the “guest house” and we got our first gig. We’d be opening for “Masquerade”, northern Ohio’s 2nd loudest Billy Idol cover band, at the Kent State Jobs Fair. We were so excited. We just referred to it as “the gig”. And that’s all we ever called it too. The gig. Never has a word in the English language been so over used than “gig” was that summer. We’d just throw it in a sentence even if it was completely out of context, like “Man, I can’t believe my step-brother thinks he can come into my room any time he feels like it and take my shit, even if he does think I won’t notice because of the gig. It’s just not cool is all.”
Yes, after joining this distinguished union of the “working” musician. We would spend hours just basking in the fellowship we were pretty sure would follow. Any day now we’d be paling around with Jimmy Page and Pete Townsend, and why not? Weren’t we all “gigging” musicians after all? With gigs.
Ah, but tonight is one of those nights you think back and you pinch yourself because you can’t believe you’re lucky enough to be playing music. The one thing you know. The one thread that continues throughout your life and keeps you on the ground and out of tall buildings and away from people who say “let’s put a pin in that idea and come back to it.” And for that we are so humble and grateful.
Thanks for the gig Willie!