You Wake Up Suddenly, You’re a Glove

Part 2

When we left off, Tina was coughing, I was drinking and the unknown drummer was doing alright.

The odd assemblage of players in the band was a tribute to tolerance.  Tina was a washed-up waitress from Buena Park with a kid.  Lots of gumption, but no goods.  Paul was the keyboard player who gigged with us when he wasn’t touring fairs with 70’s bands.  Henry the sax player, was big, black and really black.  An okay player, but great charisma, we always put him center-stage.  Mike, my guitar playing brother and myself, well let’s just keep us out of it for now.

The fill-in drummer was a Basque.  If you’ve never met a Basque then I apologize.  There isn’t enough space in this story to adequatly describe the psychological complexities of the Basque heritage.  Suffice to say that the tension was high and the behavior erratic.  This does accurately describe every drummer I’ve ever worked with, but being Basque adds an entirely new dimension to the equation.

The night wears on, the drunks get braver and the room stinks.

The dust and scum filled corners of the 34 year-old building hasn’t seen a sober broom since 2 months after inception.  The gum stopped urinals are stained and just plain nasty.

The frequenters of this establishment are locals.  There is nobody at home they want to hang out with, so they come here.  The bartenders and waitresses are their family.  The clientele choose to soak their heads in alcoholic splendor rather than have an actual life.

That’s where we come in.  It’s our job to encourage and incite the rabble and boost sales.

We think we have it.  The people are dancing and smiling and getting it on.  The staff are bobbing their heads and nudging their neighbors in excited, useless conversation.

People are buying rounds, the manager is smiling and nobody has been arrested or died.  It’s been a good night.

The last song is played and I expel a sigh of ouzo drenched relief as the evening seems to come to a close without incident. But of course, it’s never over until it’s over.

We’re packing up, carelessly swinging the heavy equipment through the thin doorways and tossing it into our cars.  The Basque wants a beer, but the place is closing and the bartender and the manager are anxious to leave.  The answer is no.

The Basque does not accept this answer and waits until no one is looking and while the competent staff are busy restocking for the following day, the Basque steals a 6-pack off the top of the bar and runs out the back door.

None of the band members are new, but we are a new band trying to break in to the club scene.  We start getting regular work and BAM, it’s gone.

Welcome to Rock-n-Roll

Gene Simmons is Irrelevant

If there was any doubt that Gene Simmons was irrelevant, the following article from Afterdawn.com should clear up the confusion.  Record companies have been manipulating the public for decades.  A recent example includes a scam by Capitol Records.  Coldplay will be auditioning bands to open for them via YouTube videos for this summer’s tour (Rolling Stone – June 26th, 2008).  Have you heard the phrase “Giving up your first born”?  If you sign up and agree to the Contest Rules, you are essentially giving up all rights to your submission (read this). So if you finally wrote that Million dollar song, guess what, it doesn’t belong to you anymore.  Of course the onus of this little trick is on you, if you don’t read the fine print, it’s your own damn fault.  But there are plenty of other examples where record companies were not so forthright in the practice of their trade.  Record companies need to die, maybe not all of them, but there are several that are infected with the virus known as g.W_ep (greed with extreme prejudice).  And for an artist(?) like Mr. Simmons to defend that model shows exactly where his priorities lie.  Read on:

“Last November Afterdawn.com reported that Gene Simmons, founding member of the rock group KISS, had gone off on Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead and college aged pirates, going as far as to call Radiohead “idiots” and saying “Every little college kid … should have been sued off the face of the earth,” for their unauthorized downloading of course.

Gene Simmons is Irrelevant

He has followed his last tirade with some new comments, this time again blaming NIN and Radiohead but more importantly, the music fans. “The record industry is dead,” Simmons notes “It’s six feet underground and unfortunately the fans have done this. They’ve decided to download and file share.” He then insisted that the aforementioned bands were “contributing to the demise of the record industry” by using new intelligent sales models that apparently he does not approve of.

When asked why KISS had not released a new CD since 1998’s ‘Psycho Circus’, Simmons added that “there is no record industry around so we’re going to wait until everybody settles down and becomes civilized. As soon as the record industry pops its head up we’ll record new material.”

Of course, he neglects to note that at every turn the “dead” music industry continues to push consumers away, using the RIAA watch dog to sue children, grandmothers, and even deceased members of society while failing to confront the real problems the industry faces.

It is also important to note that Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails’ “idiotic” experiments have raked in millions of dollars for the bands, with little overhead and more importantly, no revenue sharing with the labels. They gave the fans what they wanted, and the fans responded. What a crazy model no?”

Lastly,

Music fans have been sharing music since there was music to share.  Some marketing analysts might even consider this behavior a form of free advertising.  Historically, the RIAA has sued or lobbied against any form of recordable device or media.  Why…, g.W_ep, of course.  Their stance is that if you buy a record or CD, but want to hear the music you just purchased on a cassette player, than you need to buy the tape as well.  Enough is enough.

Downloading songs from the internet has and should change how music is distributed.  Imagine this, what if musicians/artists/bands relied on live performance for the majority of their income.  As if their talent and ability were the driving force behind their success instead of knowing someone or buying your way into a deal. Don’t get me wrong, awe-inspiring talent exists, but explain Milli Vanilli to me.