You know you're a lousy blogger when it seems that half your posts start with 'sorry I've been away so long.'
The thing that sucks the most about being a working musician is the waiting. Waiting to find out about gigs, waiting to leave for them, waiting to set up, waiting to play, waiting to tear down, waiting to leave from them. Well, I'm just waiting, period. My life has been caught in some hellish sort of limbo as of late, but let me catch you up on things.
Drugs and Slugs
When last I left you, I was mulling over the idea of drug testing the members of Dirty Joe over allegations of methamphetamine use. I eventually worked up the nerve to confront Ron and Roger over it, and they were surprisingly up-front about their drug-use histories, and confronting the rumors that have been dogging them. I proposed purchasing testing kits and having the guys test themselves on-camera with the results going on this blog for all to see. That way, my concurring course of action would be completely justified - either quitting the band, or looking for the rumor-spreaders and dealing with them (you two consider yourselves marked). I also declared the band to be an official Sam Stevens-free zone, and Ron and Roger really appreciated that idea. Nobody wants to deal with his shit. Things got even weirder when Joy bumped into the person who sparked the rumor at Wal-Mart - a daughter of her former boss at the Port Angeles DOT who'd dated Ron, then the drummer in the band at the time - who openly admitted to starting the rumor after her boyfriend got axed. I asked Joy why she didn't slap the shit out of the bitch right then and there, and where was she so I could do the job myself. Joy took the higher road and fairly dragged out of the store with her scooter.
We practiced that following Sunday, but I haven't heard from them since. It seems that Roger's parents have moved to the Peninsula from Hawai'i (why?), and we'd have to suspend practice while they stayed with him as they looked to move into their own place. It's been two weeks since, and I'm beginning to get a little nervous. Some people like taking their own sweet time getting things done. I'm not one of those people.
Because of this, I'm continuing to court the services of Jenn Smith for a band of my own, and Joy and I are budgeting some of her eventual SS/D back payment towards the purchase of a PA system. Thank the Maker for Carvin (www.carvin.com). Love their stuff, and I can get good systems from them directly and dirt-cheap. Joy wanted to budget US$5,000 for a system, and after checking the Carvin website, I told her that we could get PA and monitors from them, and have enough left over for an old van to schlep it around in.
And Then There Were Three
Things haven't been much better for Steppen Stonz. We were scheduled to play The Nugget in Sparks over Memorial Day weekend, but we suddenly found that gig cancelled, and our upcoming gig there for Hot August Nights in question. A quick check of their cabaret schedule found the slate packed with country and rock bands. Mikey isn't sure who could've done this, especially after all the good vibes the Ascuaga family gave us personally while we were there last. I have a suspect. Let's just leave it at that.
And because of the lack of gigs, we've lost Cliff. He just couldn't survive the waiting, and went and got himself a real job. I knew it was coming months ago, and now I'm in Cliff's place of hanging on by my fingernails, waiting for that next gig. Mikey told me that he can be replaced, will be replaced. But I could hear the worry in his voice when he told me about what was going on. I told him who my suspect was - we both know him, and he told me not to make such rash statements. I told him nothing else fits, and that this was the modus operandi of my suspect - I knew of others that have had the exact same thing happen to them, and that they had come to the same conclusion. I just hope I didn't make him any more depressed than he probably already is.
Right now I'm in pure survival mode, looking for temp and part-time jobs just to get some money, any money in my pockets. I just hope I can hold on long enough to get to the next gig. I guess Tom Petty was right - the waiting is the hardest part.