Insomnia, Excitement, Fear. . .
I haven't performed live all that much for the last thirteen years. It had to do with sobering up, becoming a single parent and deciding that my place in the music biz had to change. Working for producers who want quick and dirty studio licks has been lucrative and in its own sweet way rewarding. The list of folks that do what I do is a short one. I work from home most of the time thanks to the internet and the top flight musical software that out there. The fax spits out a chart, I study it, when I have my ideas I call the producer and then I hang up and lay the tracks down. They get squirted over the ether to the studio, if they like it, if they need changes, they call, I change it until they like it at which point their machine calls another machine and my bank account (less cuts to agent and manager dude guy) goes ka-ching. Most days I don't even get out of my jammies except to put on some swim trunks or go golfing.
This set of shows is pretty intimidating for some reason. I usually don't start my show jitters until a few hours before the show. Most of the time before I go onstage I throw up. I've gotten used to it and keep a toothbrush, toothpaste and some club soda handy. Most of the time as soon as I've barfed and brushed, it's all good and I'm ready to go. Except, here it is 18 hours before I even sound check and the butterflies and jitters are already setting in.
I know that once I get out under the lights, my practicing and experience will take over and things will be fine. And yet. . .ah, it's just the old little voice thing at work again.
I guess this might be valuable or slightly interesting to the folks that allow themselves to think that performing is easy and natural because it looks that way when we do it right. Yeah, it's a lot of work. I'm jittery and nervous right now because by this time tomorrow I'm going to be up in front of a shitload of folks who paid shitloads of money for their seats. I need to make that investment of time and treasure worthwhile. I'm also getting paid well by someone I respect (as an artist and as a person) to do a job that he knows I am totally capable of doing (but what if i let him down says that shitty little voice).
I'll clue you non-performing types in on a secret. It's not easy what we do. Most of the time it's pretty damned scary. It's also not easy. I've spent a lot of my life on one stage or another and for every minute of being on stage, I've spent hours and hours alone in a room running scales and practicing what I'm going to do over and over and over and over again. That's why it looks easy. That's also why there are usually only a few of us on stage, and a shitload of people in the audience. I've seen lots of talented folks that weren't willing to put in the work to get where I am. I've also seen talented folks that put in the practice and when the lights hit them and the realization of how many motherfuckers are actually out there, they freeze. I've also left the stage after playing stadiums, gone to a little local dive somewhere and heard somebody playing better than I can.
It's a strange life. I can't think of any other one. If I worked in a cubicle I'd probably have gone all starkweather on some folks by now. I wish I wasn't leaving my son and my daughter behind again. I think they understand. I think they've forgiven me for being gone so much. They know that I can be distant, moody and tempermental. They know that I do the best I can. They know that I love them. I do tell them that all the time. They are at an age right now when they actually enjoy me getting out of their hair for a few days. By the time I get back Renee wil be back at school in Tucson, and my teenage Natty Bumpo will be ready to force himself through his junior year of high school. Egad, that's so scary. When I got custody of that boy he was only 3. He says he doesn't remember much about when his mom and I were both stoned and fighting all the time (when I was home which was seldom). He also doesn't remember when I would be gone for 9 to 10 months of the year.
Now I trip out being gone for less than week. Just hush my mouth and call me a homebody.
Having a blog is better than sleeping pills. If any of this made any sense, please leave a comment. If there was anything that you would like me to expand or explain better, leave a comment and I'll do what I can when I get back
It will be fine. I just need to get there. If I do my job right, nobody in that audience will know what a mess I was about a half an hour ago. . .Peace. Out.