I\’ve looked at bands from both sides now…

The trials of a wannabe roadie

If they only knew…

Smoke. Smokiness. This is yet another thing I’ve learned to deal with while helping the band at their gigs. Playing in bars means you will, quite often, go home smelling like cigarette smoke. Last night was another one of those times.

Cigarette smoke goes with you. It clings to your clothes, your hair, your skin…
It permeates, is what it does. And it is not contact-lens-friendly.

But, other than that, last night’s gig went well I’d say. In fact, there’s nothing much interesting to write about, though I did come to one other realization that falls into the “from both sides now” category: It is weird to see my friends give autographs.

Back in 2000, I saw The Nields play in Tampa. After the show, I, like so many other fans there, was getting autographs from the band. Well, as I handed the CD liner notes to the bass player, Dave Chalfant, to sign, some friend of his, who I assume he’s known for a long time, said to him, “dude, it is so weird to see you giving people autographs.” At that moment, I must say, I felt pretty dorky. That comment made me realize that basically he was just a guy who plays a guitar. To his long time friends, he’s probably the guy who got sick and threw up for half of spring break, or he’s the kid who lost his retainer in middle school and had to dig through a garbage bin to find it.

Now, I see people getting autographs from the SMB and I want to say, “don’t you know he/she’s just -“…well, I won’t go into specifics, but you get the point.

Of course, I do realize that they play great music and that everbody wants to get autographs from bands they like. Heck, I’ve even managed to accept my dorkiness and get autographs from a couple artists since that day in 2000. Dar Williams for one, and Christine Kane (gotta throw her name out there in case she still reads this) as well.

But, usually I skip the aftershow signing sessions and let the bands have one less person to feel weird about giving an autograph to.

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