A Late-Summer Dispatch
Saw Kiki & Herb's opening night on Broadway last night at the Helen Hayes Theater (thank you Jared!!!). It was probably my favorite K&H performance to date. Apparently the New York Times
thought so, too. I'm so glad there are performers like this out running loose in the world. Remember, "allow yourself to suck and watch the magic happen..."
I drank a bunch of free Stoli at the afterparty and am perhaps partially to blame for getting Alessandro wasted (I really shouldn't overestimate the alcohol tolerance of others!).
Also must thank Claudia for getting me into the Gary Numan show last week. The show itself was ok -- I really like Gary's old stuff but he seems to be on some kind of NIN kick these days and it doesn't really suit him, if you ask me. But he seems like a genuinely lovely guy and it was great to hang out with his band and his wonderfully mental wife Jemma all night after the show. All really top notch people. And nobody's more "five star" than Claudia.
Been rehearsing with my Motorhead tribute band these last few weeks; we are playing Amelia's birthday party tonight and have cooked up some pretty ridiculous surprises. Big thanks to Mike D. (our surrogate Lemmy) for providing Manhattan Specials at all the practice sessions. The rehearsal space is unbelievably hot, but the free-flowing Specials kept the tempos up to speed...
Bully played their first show with new guitarist B-Stone (aka Brad), formerly of Joker Five Speed, a week or so ago. I always had a great time filling in on guitar with Bully but it was even more fun to be back in the audience. Such a great band. Brad did the right thing by staying out of the way of the tunes and stepping forward to do his thing only when it was appropriate. He seems like a solid player and guy.
Been a slow summer, work wise. I had to turn down an "acting" gig in some new Queen Latifah movie (I would have played a studio engineer) a couple of weeks ago because, given the choice between doing that gig (and having to wait a month for the check to arrive) and teaching a day's worth of guitar lessons (and getting paid with no delay), I had to go with the latter (you should see the holes in my shoes!). Oh well, things will pick up in September as they always do.
Speaking of which, I finally got my own publishing company established with SESAC (Andee's Vault Music), and not a moment too soon; one of my songs is being used in a TV show this week. While the production company is paying me a very sweet fee for the song, additional checks that come in from publishing royalties will not be frowned at.
Which leads me to a brief rant. A few months ago I was at a party talking to some dudes from another local band and I mentioned that P*S*K were shooting a tv show for ESPN and doing the theme music for said show, etc. One of the guys said, half-kiddingly, "congratulations, you're a corporate sellout!"
Now, I know he mainly meant it as a joke, but it was certainly a barbed one, as well. It made me think about how easy it is to have sky-high ideals about your artistic cred when you've got a dayjob and don't have to worry about how your electric bill is going to get paid. I'm a full time musician. There isn't a shred of security in it and sometimes I've got to get creative about finding money.
And if ESPN or ABC wants to toss me and/or my band good money for some honest work, then as long as I/we have no moral or creative objections to the programming or the people who are paying us or the way our music is being used, then you better believe we're gonna do it. We've got bills to pay. This isn't a hobby. Did I mention the holes in my shoes? Or the unpaid laboratory bill from when I had strep last spring? Survival comes first. Being finnicky about which corporate entities I will or won't do business with comes second. Thank you very much, and good night.
Off to Germany this Sunday to spend a week in Berlin with Julie and catch a Madonna show in Hanover. Yaaaay! I am sooo looking forward to this trip even though I've got just a handful of spending money. I'm not worried about it -- I couldn't be in better hands with Julie, who's as resourceful as I am when it comes to having "stacks of fun" with almost no cash. And Madonna? Well suffice it to say that I haven't seen her current tour yet and I'm positively itching to get in the same room with the Material Girl (or "Her Madgesty," as the press like to call her) again. In Hanover, Germany, no less. We've got ground-level, general admission tickets at Niedersachsen. I will have seen Maddy in three countries.
By the time I return, toothpaste-and-hair-gel-less, to NYC, the summer of 2K6 will be all but kaput. It's been a hellish season for people in other areas of the world. But for me it's been pretty damn good.