Joan Who?

I've never thought of myself as the kind of person that plays well with others. I think that's why I gravitate toward solo endeavors and leadership roles. If I'm alone, there's no one to judge and if I'm the boss, I only have to listen to your opinion if I think its a good one.

But living on one's little island has all kinds of flaws.

I won't list them, but melody is much better with a little rhythm and procreation is much better with a partner.

To name the important ones.

So, suffice it to say, I need a band if I'm gonna go the direction I wanna go.

The solo singer/songwriter doesn't sell T-Shirts and has to take single responsibility for lugging his/her own crap around. I'm gonna need roadies and groupies, and for that, I'm gonna need a drummer.

But don't think for a second that I've been idle.

I've been recruiting all kinds of cool folks. Young folks, old folks, red folks, blue folks. My list of criteria as very small. First you have to be cool enough to spend time with. Understand most pop culture references beginning from Patrick Swayze to the second to last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You have to have owned a Joan Jett album sometime in your life and you have to know which end of the instrument to blow in.

You have to be okay with not showing up to rehearsal stoned.

Actually, I'm pretty flexible with any of those except for the Joan Jett clause.

That's a deal breaker.

I will however accept a greatest hits CD.

Or for bonus points, a VHS copy of "Light of Day."

I played my first show with a little accoustic jam band a few nights ago.

I was surprised by how much we didn't suck.

I mean, there has to be a little suckage. The amplification alone is bound to cause all kinds of non-sense problems. The space was too small, the audience too small, we only had two full rehearsals and I think, but I can't swear to it, that it might have been the first time I've performed with a group since 1996.

Yet we ran through a sorta sloppy first set, and then reran a totally less than sloppy second set, and finished off almost, but not quite, in the pocket.

I was pretty proud of us.

And by extension, myself.

We all want to hit the ground running, but in this case, which is appropriate, we had a nice soft landing and I don't think I could be more pleased.

In honest conclusion, everything is working out well. I thought I'd feel more fear by now ditching a solid professional life for the quicksand nature of the arts, but really there are only those awkward moments when I tell people that I've quit my job to go be a rockstar and they laugh because they don't believe me and then they feel embarrassed for laughing and then they back slowly out of the conversation until they're no longer in earshot and drive away, squealing tires and all.

My wife says I need to start telling people that I'm pursuing a career in the arts. Or spending time to promote my second album. Or taking a year off to write a book and spend more time with the family.

Sounds more hoity toity, and by extension, a little less ridiculous.

But it's more fun my way.

Especially when I tell them that health insurance through ASCAP is cheaper than through Kaiser.

We have unions to thank for that.

A union which includes Joan Jett.

So put another dime in the juke box baby.
Come on take your time and dance with me.

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