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I tried to get four shows, Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; Jacksonville and Orlando in Florida. The Birmingham show didn't come about at all because the connection I was given turned out to be a skinhead band and well, needless to say they never got back with me. A friend of mine, Brandon, in Atlanta works at a club called the Star Bar and he said he would see what he could do for me. I use to live in Orlando so I got in touch with an old friend down there about the Jacksonville and Orlando shows. He told me that the Orlando show would be no problem but jacksonville is like pulling teeth.
After much pressing and worrying I finally got news that I would be playing the Star Bar in Atlanta on Nov. 10th and the Back Booth in Orlando on Nov. 12th. The Jacksonville show was still up in the air. This was a week before the 'tour' and one show never came about and another show didn't look good. Two shows and a week out of town is still a pretty good vacation however, so I was happy.
Three days before I was to leave I get word that the Atlanta show fell through as well but that I still had a place to stay. So, one night playing in Atlanta and a week partying in Orlando... I wasn't too down yet. Then I got news of the bands I was to play with in Orlando and they were all punk rock bands that throw bottles and glasses. An old friend of mine had had to go to the hospital after playing this club the week before. This one gig 'tour' is finally a disaster!
I load up the van and go see my grandma and reassure her that I'll be
alright on my trip. Before I left town I called Brandon in Atlanta for
directions for when I get into town. He tells me to get my ass to Atlanta
because it turns out that I do have a show, so I hop in the van and make
the 5 hour trip in about 4 and a half (I'm really not much of a speeder).
I stop at a gas station, call Brandon and wait for him to meet me.
When he arrives
we decide that I will follow him back to his apartment, but before I can
even get out of the parking lot I got rear-ended, but I had no time to
stop and deal with it so i just took off so as not to lose Brandon in
traffic. When we arrive at his apartment we sat around and drink PBR for
a couple of hours until it's time to head to the club.
When it was time for me to play I was out of my mind drunk, I played four songs and they cut me off. We did, however, go back to Brandon's apartment and had quit the party, lasting till the wee hours of the morning and I slept in some guys bed who was out of town. Brandon came through and gave me some gas money out of his own pocket and apologized for the show being a bust and I was off, driving all night to Orlando.
I arrived at the Back Booth around 8:30 in the evening on Nov. 12th. There were tons of friends and family there to greet me and it was very pleasant until I found out that there is no guest list for family and, again, no bar tab. About 9:45 I'm told that I'm on first and to get up there. While I was opening my guitar cases I was noticing that the stage was covered in broken beer bottles and glasses and I was completely convinced that someone was going to fuck up one of my guitars and I would be spending the night in jail, twelve hours away from home.
Surprisingly enough, the show went off well. I played great and sold a lot of albums. At 1:45 in the morning I was standing around waiting to get paid when the sound man walks up and asks "Were you expecting to get paid?" I said "Umm, Yes." AND THEN he said "Well all the other bands played knowing they were not going to get paid." I said "I didn't." and somewhere they came up with some money for me. So, no guest list, no bar tab, and no getting paid, but everyone there had to pay 3 bucks to get in the door, hmmm.
I spent another
5 days drinking in Orlando and one day I found a girls sweater in the
back of my van and still have no clue what girl I got into the back of
my van nor what city it might have been in. So I had one fairly successful
gig and a hell of a lot of fun and that's really what we do this for...
Jack Clement once said "This is the funnest business
in the world and if we're not having fun then we are not doing our jobs."