Monday, August 16, 2004

Earning the money

For all of you who think being a musician is an easy crack, think again Saturday was tough.
7:15pm I'm just thinking about getting a bite to eat...... as usual I hadn't eaten for a day, Friday night I had a stir fry, my last meal. Anyway the landlord phones me.
"'ere Mick where are you?" Mick? I'm not Mick, who the fuck is Mick? I'm Mike.
"I'm at home."
"You should be here. I booked you to play here."
"I know I'll be over later."
"If I'm paying you £90 you'll be here."
"I'm on my way."
Shit! So I don't have time to eat. Good job I'm not particularly hungry. So roadie and I load the car and drive over. The pub is virtually empty when we walk in with guitar and amplifier and stuff. In the corner is a mother daughter and baby in push chair round a table full of empty crisp packets, a couple of die hards are propping up the bar.
"So you're here then?" says the landlord stating the bleedin obvious, and I guess with a touch of irony.
"oui j'arrive." breaking into french to piss him off.
We set up the mike stand and amplifier and I start playing at 7:30 to no one in particular. My roadie fucks off to get dinner.
8:00pm roadie comes back. "Just thought, would you like something to eat? You haven't eaten since yesterday." No shit sherlock! "Shall I bring you a sandwhich?"
"If you like."
8:10pm Roadie fucks off again
8:20pm Roadie comes back, sans sandwhich. "I found your guitar strap in the back of the car."
"and the sandwhich?"
" err...... I thought you needed the guitar strap."
8:24pm Roadie fucks off again.
8:45 Roadie comes back with fan club, they all sit at a table in front of me and make faces.
9:00pm I stop for a break. Sit with fan club. Roadie says "Do you want that sandwhich?"
"No I'm not hungry now."
Now my problem is because I've started about an hour early I'm running out of material. There's two hours to go until closing time and I've already been playing for an hour and a half. So I figure if I don't stat again until 9:30 that's only one and a half hours to fill. The pub is filling up, noticable in the crowd is the local drug dealer and his cohorts. They are all chandelier with gold necklaces bracelets and rings. They swagger about the place as if they own it. The drug baron himself is shouting loudly to someone about how he did severe bodily harm to someone, meanwhile his second in command is talking to my fan club boasting about how many times he's been in prison and how hard he is.
I carry on playing. I sing songs repeating several verses just to make them longer no one notices.
A drunk falls over my microphone stand......."Can you do Lady in red?"
The drug baron comes over and stands right in front of me, I mean real close, so close I can't see round him. He's a big fella, asian, close cropped razer cut hair, one gold earring, he gives me a good hard stare.
"You're fucking shite. You are."
"Thanks for your support, glad you're enjoying it."
"What? Oh yeah ........ yeah great! Fuckin' great." he grins and walks off. I wonder what the hell that was all about.
10:45pm the voice is beginning to go. I can barely talk. let alone sing. I've had a few beers and no food. Mistakes are made no one notices. I drag out from the depths of my memory songs I haven't played in years.
11:00pm I stop playing. Roadie says "You were great." I croak something in reply and pick up a beer from the beers that had been lined up for me, that I hadn't drunk because I was too busy playing. I am absolutely knackered. The drug dealers are playing pool for £100 a game. Cash.
I'm so tired all I want to do is go home. So roadie and fan club all pick something up and carry it back to my flat. I open the door and the fan club is all giggling and singing. I say I want to go to bed.
"Chrikey Mikey you've got four beautiful women here to take you to bed. Can you manage us all?"
"I need to sleep."
"You wont get this offer again. How big is your bed? We can all take it in turns to ravish you."
"or all at once?" I venture.
"Sure we'll have an orgy."
"OK just be gentle with me,and if I fall asleep amuse yourselves." Hmmm now that's a thought. Uncle Vodka would be proud of me for that one, as long as I wasn't tied naked in the corner of my room while the girls amused each other on my bed.
The fan club goes home. No orgy after all. Just as well I'm asleep before the sound of their footsteps and laughter fades round the corner.
Sunday roadie says "You need to eat, you haven't eaten since Friday. You must be starving by now."
"Not really." So we drive to the Fox at Folkesworth and have Sunday lunch. Roast beef and yorkshire pud etc. Washed down by two pints of Summer lightening.
I phone Dianne and Del. and invite ourselves over. Del is in the sitting room with a pint in front of him. We sit and chat and have more beer. Then we decide to go to The Wheatsheaf to watch the football on the big screen. We make an afternoon of it and drink copious quantities of beer. Life is good.

Finally get home M phones. The stalking is getting worse. She's been to the police station. not to complain but to get advice. She's a little upset. Oh God! what have I done?

I unpacked my gig bag this morning and found a mouldy sandwhich. Hmmmm. So that's what happened to it.


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