The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - My Secret, From My Keyboard To Your Eyes
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My Secret, From My Keyboard To Your Eyes|
I went to go see They Might Be Giants last night. And the usual fantasy happened.
See, whenever I go to a band that I know well, I always have this dream that at the very last minute, the drummer will fall dreadfully sick with food poisoning. And the lead singer will have to go to the front of the stage and say, "OUR DRUMMER CANNOT PERFORM. IF WE CANNOT FIND A REPLACEMENT DRUMMER IN THE AUDIENCE WHO KNOWS ALL OUR SONGS, WE WILL HAVE TO CANCEL."
I would, of course, stand respectfully back. It's been years since I played seriously. Surely, someone else in this club must know all the songs better than I do. But the audience merely shuffles its feet, and the singer pleads with the audience again, for otherwise there will be no show, and Gini pushes me to the front of the stage to applause and thrills.
Now, you'd think this would make me happy. Yet for the rest of the evening, once I have had this fantasy, I am extraordinarily tense. Because for each song the band plays, I am playing along in my head, tracking whether I'd have gotten this rhythm right and whether I'd have stopped when the rest of the band did. If I miss a note in my head, I wince. I then spend the entire performance charting my virtual performance and discovering whether it is up to speed. Would I get universal acclaim, or would the band kick me off after the third missed break?
It doesn't ruin the show. But every live performance I see, there's a ghost version of me that's generally struggling to keep up gamely, and the people around me are mentally charting how this sad bastard is doing.
Sad, but true.
That happened at a Who concert after Keith Moon collapsed after taking--I kid you not--horse tranquilizers before the show. Pete Townsend asked the stadium audience if anybody knew how to play drums and the person they got finished the show.
So clearly the answer is to get the Johns hooked on horse tranquilizers. and dreams will come true!
There you go! Or at least slip the drummer a mickey. Not very nice, but you gotta do what ya gotta do when you're trying to fulfill your dreams.
|Date:||October 16th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)|| |
Except the Johns don't play drums. :-)
At least they didn't back when I was listening to them. Things could have changed since then. IIRC, back then they used Mr. Drum Machine on tour.
Oh yeah huh. I even remember Mr. Drum Machine. :)
|Date:||October 16th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)|| |
|Date:||October 16th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)|| |
His performance is here
, in fact.
Thanks for finding that article. It didn't occur to me this time to try to find a link about the topic, although I usually do that as a rule.
|Date:||October 16th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)|| |
OMG, I'm glad that I'm not the only person that has that daydream. I have that exact same experience when i go see Guster.
I swear that is like the exact ending to about 40 different movies.
You're not alone. I always bring a guitar pick to every concert I go to....just in case, you know?
My husband does this with concert and theatre lighting. I can't look at him during shows because I see him calculating himself against the lighting designer/op. But in that case there is the added factor of 'maybe I could do better' at smaller shows with not well known lighting guys since my husband has run lights for some big acts (and a the concert scenes in Walk the Line). But mostly it is just him wanting to be at the light board rather than in the audience. I can tell it is a really great show when he forgets to pay attention to all of that and gets lost in the moment. That is really hard for him though.
I suspect Rock Band has made your concert experience/fantasy even more pronounced.
|Date:||October 16th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)|| |
Something similar happened to me once, though not nearly as exciting or awesome. I was traveling with my grandmother and we were on a walking tour of this little town that had a legendary old church with a very old organ. The tour guide asked if anybody could play, and my grandmother volunteered me. It was a blast to be able to play on such a fine instrument, and I felt I rose to the occasion adequately enough. Afterwards, I wished I'd been more prepared, but I did okay.
I guess the moral is, you never know when you might be called upon to perform, so keep up the practice!
|Date:||October 16th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)|| |
But every live performance I see, there's a ghost version of me that's generally struggling to keep up gamely, and the people around me are mentally charting how this sad bastard is doing.
Just try to convince yourself that most of the people at the concert aren't listening that carefully. Hell, I'm guilty of that. When we saw Tenacious D in concert on their POD tour, my wife and I thought "fuck yeah, they ROCKED!!!"
Then we saw the concert on Palladia, and we both thought "wow...did they sound that bad when we saw them?"
You could be called up on stage and, unless you blow up like a Spinal Tap drummer, people will give you "rock on" devil horns throughout the show no matter how poorly you thought you were playing.
Except for the people who hate the band and were dragged to the show with friends, but who gives a shit about them? ;-)
|Date:||October 16th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)|| |
. . . you know, I'm friends-of-friends with People. . . this is the thing about fandom. This is the sort of thing that Gini could probably set up . . .
I mean, let's see. For They Might Be Giants, one of my friends in college used to be in charge of their publicity, so she still knows them. I could probably get to Amanda Palmer two different ways at least. Dunno who else I could get to, but I bet, among people you know, people could network their way to making this happen.
I'm not saying this to make you excited about the possibility, you understand. I'm just saying it to make you paranoid and worried.
Yeah, but here's the flaw in your fantasy: unless it was a huge fuck-up, 80% of the audience wouldn't notice it and the other 20% would be too polite to say anything to you. They like the music, they may even know it note for note, but most of the world is not so musically trained that they'd pick out every (or indeed any) small screw-up. Speaking as a mediocre-to-incompetent musician who's played for (and fucked up in front of) up to about 500 people - the audience wants you to succeed, and they'll hear what they want to. Only a total asshole* would be out there waiting for you to fail. Even the band themselves would probably just be happy they had someone keeping the beat.
*(or your pressure-inflicting perfectionist parents who always think you didn't practice enough and make you want to remain mediocre-to-incompetent forever just to spite them...no, wait, that's MY recurring concert dream)
*(or, possibly, the one other superfan drummer in the audience, who was sitting three rows behind you and was just about to raise his hand when you got pushed forward to play and is flailing around in a jealous rage throughout the concert...but even he would probably get over it before the end of the show)
Edited at 2009-10-16 07:41 pm (UTC)
Which makes me think of this question - when your fantasy-self is playing the drums, Ferrett, do you ever notice the actual drummer making mistakes and think "I wouldn't have done that!"?
And this is why you have to play Rock Band.
Edited at 2009-10-16 11:04 pm (UTC)
|Date:||October 16th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)|| |
I was supposed to go to that concert! But then my fiance and I both got sick :( Alas! Was it amazing? I have tried for years (unsuccessfully) to attend a TMBG show.
|Date:||October 17th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)|| |
Chuck Berry is notoriously too cheap to pay a band, so when he does his tours he hires local musicians. His assumption is that any reasonably competent drummer and bassist knows the notes for his songs, and that most musicians would be happy to play a gig with Chuck Berry for free. The problem, of course, is that sometimes it doesn't work. So a lot of Chuck Berry shows are reportedly pretty terrible.
So anyway, you could probably score a gig with Berry if you really wanted to.
I sometimes have this fantasy about nightclubs. It's not as specific, but it's a general fantasy of "oh noes, our regular singer just got sick, can anyone with a half-decent voice come bust out some Cole Porter for an hour or two?" I dunno why, it's not like I never get any other opportunities to show off my vocal chops. Oh brain. *Facepalm*