Well, combined with the last post I made, there seems to be a theme here.
But right now, I’m thinking of a gig I played with The Right Now on Wednesday night. This rarely happens, but I spent the entire set just waiting for it to end. I couldn’t stand being on that stage — and bear in mind, I love being on stage. Problem was, I broke a string in the first 30 seconds of the set. Ok, not so terrible…this is why I bring a backup guitar to every gig. I switched to my trusty Telecaster, and found that one of the strings was out of place for some reason. Ideally, you want all of the strings on a guitar to be evenly spaced out across the neck, and if one is out of place, the whole guitar feels off-kilter.
Long story short, I tried to get the string in place, and the guitar was NOT cooperating. I spent the first two songs of a short 45-minute set trying to get this stuff together. In the end, I decided the string was not going to work, and pulled it off the guitar — and played the rest of the set with a missing string. As it turns out, I discovered that the worst string to omit is the third string (the one I was doing without)…it’s right in the middle of the action. I can work around pretty much any other missing string, but the third string is a crushing loss. I spent the whole set trying to re-learn my guitar parts and basically wishing our set would magically end early so I could get the hell off stage and end my misery.
My point is: Eventually I realized that no one in the audience cares (or even knows) that I’m missing a string. No one knows or cares that I’m trying to make an omelette without a skillet. All they care about is that they worked hard all day, and got off their asses to see a band they like, and paid a cover at the door to be entertained. Usually I’m pretty good about this, but on this particular night, when it felt like the universe was playing a practical joke on me, I had to remind myself to do my damn job – be entertaining, get the songs played, and make something happen on that stage!
So I pay this one forward: if you’re an entertainer or an artist who wants people to come see you repeatedly, you can’t afford to wallow. Man up and play.