You know the saying "you get what you pay for"? Well, when a boy grows up watching MTV and listening to the radio and somewhere along the lines, he decides that he wants play guitar and run around the world as a job, somewhere along the journey, he's been mislead.
In my last blog, I described a bunch of issues that needed to be dealt with, annoying ones that happen to people from time to time and, when you are out on the road, running into trouble far from home, and in turn, discovering who your real friends are and stuff. This time, it's not the troubles to be discussed, but the shear difficulty of what this job asks for. A career in performance asks, no, kind of demands, that you rarely rest, you constantly need to be nice to people, you always have to look out for yourself and try to plot the day (or the week) a few moves ahead like they do playing chess.
Yesterday, after sorting out this car situation, getting the banking issues fixed, and starting the trek up into the mountains after a night of no sleep, I encountered one of the spookiest drives of my life. My life.
Up from Denver, about 40-50 miles or so, are two ways to get to Keystone and beyond: the tunnel, which is probably really easy and cool, peacefully lulling the driver into some wonderful mood, and the other way, the Loveland Pass. Of course, I don't remember all the numbers like altitudes and miles, but suffice it to say, there was a big dumping of snow earlier in the day, so, by the time I got there, not much was falling, but a whole lot was blowing around.
For a sea level boy like myself, I am not used to driving in elevations, not with unbarriered cliffs, slippery roads, distractions from the mountainous scenery and, oh yeah, the three "white outs" from all the snow blowing around the car at times. Literally, while I was moving, not very fast mind you, three times the car was "consumed" by a thick fog of snow. I didn't know whether I was going to run into another car, or run over the edge. Compounded with that was the fact that I was over 10,000 feet above sea level, which I am pretty sure added to the anxiety which I'll admit to having. Maybe I should have taken the tunnel.
The gig last night was at the Goat (www.thegoattavern.com), a well-loved hang out for winter sports enthusiasts and ski bums, hippies and the random, drunken transient. Lucky for me, I really dig the Grateful Dead and have no problems playing a bunch of tunes that they played, and this goes for ALL the gigs I've done so far. So, the gig was long, after all, I had woken up around 7am, had stressed all day, drove the insane pass, and did three sets of singing hard, jumping around banging on the guitar and a lot of harmonica playing at over 9,000 feet which is an elevation I am not prepared for.
Of course, that wasn't all... Somehow, I had scheduled this cool little spot for a unique network called Plum TV (www.plumtv.com/vail) which has a studio in Vail, and we were slated for around 8am. What? Did I say yes to that? No sleep, then a long day and a late show, then drive an hour, possibly another scary pass, with the forecast for snow, then be bright and chipper for an interview and a performance on Plum TV at bloody 8 in the morning? Who didn't plan a few moves ahead properly? Who didn't look after himself? That would be me.
All in all, things worked out. I got the car, I made the gig, someone paid me some money, I sold some CDs, made some fans, got to the TV shoot and now I am trying to take it easy, since I was able to nap for about 45 minutes in the car before the shoot started. There is a lodge on the slope here, and people are coming and going. I've got a room I can't check into 'til 4pm and my new bank card should arrive here before 2pm but, mind you, peoples, this is just the beginning of a crazy weekend. I've got two more gigs to go, plus an epic race back to the airport in Denver straight from the stage in Steamboat Springs.
I overheard some fool on stage talking about "life on the road" and he was trying to really romanticize it in front of some of his non-musician friends and I just thought to myself, with all this going on, with everything that has happened in the past week, I may have even said it out loud: "what an idiot".
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