Backstage areas really vary. Last nightâ€™s venue Portland Alladin is a cosy little theater, with some history to it. The backstage is like a 40â€™s apartment, with actual dressing room facilities, unlike some of the venues Iâ€™ve been playing. The Agoura Canyon Club for example used to be a supermarket. I was shown to a little space that was partitioned off from Colin Hayâ€™s by a wall that didnâ€™t go right to the ceiling, so I could hear his bandâ€™s conversations, and they were forced to listen to my horrific vocal warmup excercises. It had no towels or hangers or fridge and certainly no food and drink. I went in search of a staff person responsible for the dressing rooms, and in the kitchens I found her, a dizzy blonde called Michelle. â€˜Oh, is there a support band?â€™ she twittered. ‘What are you guys called?â€™
Now. Iâ€™m not a pissy artist type. Iâ€™m not the kind to scream at the top of my lungs ‘Get my agent on the phone! I want a full deli tray and three bottles of Shiraz in my dressing room in two minutes or I WALK!â€™ (although it would be fun as hell to do that one time, just for a goof.) Some venues we arrive mid afternoon for soundcheck and thereâ€™s a fabulous spread, fresh bread rolls and a tray of meats and cheeses and white wine chilling in a silver bucket. And often at the end of the night itâ€™s barely been touched, because thereâ€™s only 1 guy in the band, I donâ€™t invite a lot of folks backstage, and my crew seem reluctant to help themselves to my stuff. [Mental note: tell crew to chow down!]
That said, Iâ€™m often hungry after the show. I never have much of an appetite beforehand, so by 11pm or so Iâ€™m thirsty and ravenous. And end up swilling a Heineken and stuffing myself with salami and Swiss and M+Mâ€™s (not the blue ones, naturally.) Then I get to the hotel and pass out. Not very healthy. We try to book hotels with a gym so we can work it off in the morning, but the best intentions always seem to fizzle by the second or third week of a tour.
Ah, the joys of the deli tray. Square bread. Green olives, some with the little guys in, but some of them… Hello?
Through all of it, I never let it affect my performance. Oh and while weâ€™re on the Tap references, hereâ€™s an email I got from sweet Kathleen this morning:
I just found your driver’s license, your Visa card, your LTP/Thomas Dobly Amex card, and a pile of cash in a pair of sweats on the floor behind our bathroom door.
This is true. I realized the moment she dropped me off at SFO yesterday that Iâ€™d left that stuff in my sweats. I am rapidly devolving into brain-dead musician mode. But it didnâ€™t matter as I have my Resident Alien card for photo ID, and I had â€˜per diemsâ€™ due to me in cash in Portland.
Here are some more pics from last nightâ€™s show; thanks to John Lehmkuhl, a former Korg progammer and evidently ace photog.