So my cover band had its first gig on Saturday night.
I woke up that morning with a stiff neck and shoulders, but unfortunately I'd overslept past the opportunity to go to yoga class and had to settle for a couple of cat-assisted sun salutations in my living room.
I could see that my husband wasn't getting up any time soon, so I got in the car and began running errands, first stopping to fortify myself with a meatball sandwich from my favorite Italian deli. I exchanged my bad microphone cable, picked up a bag of leis and then went to TJ Maxx, where I'd meant to buy something to wear on stage but ended up getting a colander, some socks and a new yoga mat. That kind of thing happens at TJ Maxx.
By the time I got home, my husband was up, so I accompanied him to breakfast. Then we headed off to the Musician's Friend warehouse. We quickly found a 12-channel Yamaha mixing board in the scratch-and-dent room, marked down to $189. We tested each channel and it worked just fine and didn't seem to have anything wrong with it other than a little dust and no box or manual. Best of all, they were having a 30% off sale, so it was really about $132. I couldn't pass it up.
As long as we were there, I wanted to get some new earplugs. I asked one of the sales reps to get me two pairs (one for the hubby) from the warehouse and he said it would take 10-15 minutes. My husband waited with the mixing board while I went and picked out the speaker cables I needed. We waited and waited and waited, but no one ever came back with the earplugs, so we finally gave up and got in the checkout line. Musician's Friend clearly has some staffing issues, because the clerk seemingly existed in a universe where everything happens verrry slowwwly. Even with his slow-mo checkout, our earplugs still never materialized. Hmmph.
By the time I got home, I had barely enough time to shove my stage clothes and makeup in a duffel bag and drag all my PA gear into the garage for pickup. That is, I wouldn't have had time except that my bass player was late coming over with the truck, so I managed to get in a quick shower after all. We loaded up, and off we went to the bar.
It was a fairly small place, but it had a raised stage, which is always nice. There were actually quite a few big PA speakers there already, but nobody at the bar knew how to hook them up or whether there were sufficient amps to run them. I didn't feel like trying to figure it out and I knew my power amp was too small, so I just set up my own system. By the time we had everything sound-checked, I had barely enough time to put on makeup, goof around with my hair a little, and eat a bar hamburger before we started playing.
The first set went fairly smoothly and I was pleased to see how many of my friends came out. My lei giveaway was met with enthusiasm at first, but it turned out that a limited number of people were willing to play along, so the whole thing petered out early in the third set.
During the second set, we were playing AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" when I decided to go down to the dance floor and roam around closer to the crowd. I gathered the full length of my mic cable and sang the first verse at the edge of the stage. As the chorus began, I jumped down. It was only about a three-foot drop, but I landed badly and couldn't keep my balance. I tipped backward against the edge of the stage and whacked one arm against my carpeted monitor. I didn't fall, though, and I managed to keep singing. It was graceless in the extreme, but I recovered, finished out the song and announced to the crowd, "It's not rock and roll if you don't get a bruise or two."
We played four, 40-minute sets and I have to admit that it was really feeling like work by the fourth set. As soon as we'd played the last note, I started unplugging cables and packing up as quickly as possible. By then all my friends had left, so there was nothing distracting me from loading up.
The minute I got in my car, my feet erupted in pain. It occurred to me too late that wearing Converse high-tops with no arch support probably isn't a very good idea when you're going to be standing and moving around for hours on end.
As soon as I got home, I pulled out a big basin, filled it with warm water and Epsom salts, and soaked my feet for a half an hour. 'Cause nothing says "rocker chick" like going home and soaking your feet like an old lady.
So how did I spend my gig money (a whopping $70)? Well, I took my husband to breakfast the next morning. He'd run sound for us all evening long, so it was the least I could do. Then I paid a Vietnamese man to rub my feet and hands and paint my nails. It was well worth it.
So that's my rock and roll lifestyle these days: bad customer service, less-than-fruitful shopping and sore feet. Wooooooooo! The party never stops!