Monday, March 26, 2012

Another reason to add to the list of the myriad ways in which I fail.

Despite the looks of derision I get when I announce as much, I love me some country music.

Love it.

Love it.

I don't know what exactly it was that flicked in my brain, but at some point during my teenage years I stopped using the ol' reliable, "I LIKE EVERYTHING EXCEPT COUNTRY AND RAP" and changed my declaration of musical love to something more along the lines of "I FREAKING LOVE COUNTRY MUSIC, AND PUNK, AND 60S POP. WANNA FIGHT ABOUT IT?"

When tracing back the roots of my ever-growing, never-stopping love of country, folk, bluegrass and all things old-timey, much of the credit for that initial musical education must be given to The Byrds. The Byrds quickly led to The Flying Burrito Brothers, then to Gram Parsons, and then to all the things that led to the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Thus I delved deeper and deeper, to the daggy point of no return. It also led me to a deep, undying hatred of The Eagles, but that's an entirely different story.

I could wax lyrical for hours on end about my love of country, bluegrass, twang, but fortunately for you the point of this post is something entirely different. Even if you do think a love of Emmylou Harris is reason enough for me to fail. Frankly, all you need to know was the above; that I like me some daggy-ass shit. From the 70s and all years that preceded it. It fills my iPod, right alongside the metal, the electro, the indie pretensions.

So. I bought myself a ticket to see Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson play at the Corner. Chris Hillman being a founding member of The Byrds. For those of you playing at home, you may recognise The Byrds by their cover of "Mr Tambourine Man" (indeed, a cavalcade of Dylan covers), as well as songs like "Eight Miles High", and the seminal country-rock album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. The Byrds was the band that spawned the careers of Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Gene Clark. Big-deal-band. You may also know (or not know) Chris Hillman from his work with The Flying Burrito Brothers. For the more tired and weary members of my readership at this moment, what I'm getting at is that seeing Chris Hillman in the flesh was going to be a VERY BIG DEAL. 

Big Deal.

I bought my ticket.

I prepared myself.

I got excited.

I listened to The Byrds, The Burritos, Hillman's solo stuff on repeat on Wednesday night.

I got to work on Thursday.

I went onto the interdweebs to find out what time the gig would start.

Then I realised the gig had been the night before.

My face when.
Believe me when I say I almost burst into tears. I think I made some sort of animal-dying choked noise, and I know I went bright red and started sweating. WAS THIS SOME SORT OF HORRID NIGHTMARE???? Apparently not. I stood up and paced around my desk, probably with steam shooting out of my ears. I then stormed into the producers office.


The ladies stared at me, horrified.

"Did you hurt your arm again?"
"What happened?"
"Are you okay???"

I'm sure that if I were laughing as I told them the story, they would have been sent into peals of laughter, but given the obviously distraught state I was in, they seemed to share (albeit in a decidedly more calm manner) my feeling of utter horror. HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A NERD WHO MISSED A GIG.

I stomped into the kitchen and stood in front of the fridge, and began shoving chocolate into my mouth.  HEALTH KICK BE DAMNED, I MISSED OUT ON SEEING SOME MANDOLIN AND BANJO PICKING ACTION. I decided to make a coffee, but the fact that I was obviously still in shock meant that I got coffee all over the bench. I stared at the coffee and wondered how on earth I could FAIL SO HARD. Had I massacred a town full of kittens in a past life? Had I played a pivotal role in the formation of the Eagles in a past life? WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS? Surely it wasn't just my poor organisational skills. Surely not. Pfft. Don't be daft.

I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was about seven shades of pissed off/traumatised/deeply, deeply saddened. To think! While I was listening to The Flying Burrito Brothers, Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson were ONSTAGE. At a gig I HAD BOUGHT A TICKET TO. OH, THE HUMANITY. OH, THE INFINITE SORROW. 

Oh boy. I'm pretty sure I spent the rest of the day looking sullen. I sure as shit know I trudged over to Mike's place, looking very much like a dejected, depressed Peanuts character. I bought beer en route. I needed beer. OH BOY, DID I NEED A BEER. So I had a beer, and Mike cooked pad thai, and the pad thai was consumed in front of a couple of episodes of Awake (you know, it's actually Pretty Damn Good so far!) and everything seemed a little better.

Still ...

Yours truly, good at things.

Let that be a lesson to you, kids.



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