24 Hours of Rock Stardom
Have a young musician close his eyes and tell you what he thinks his life will be like when he becomes a rock star. Just like how Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” adoringly fantasized about getting a Red Rider B.B. gun, the typical young wanna-be shares with me his dream of grandeur something like this:
“Their arms held up high in the air as I claim almighty power over my subjects below. An arena filled with unreserved love for ME, the one high up on the huge stage. All eyes are riveted to me as the spotlight illuminates my magnificence. I have absolute and complete command over the mere mortals who stood in line for hours to see me. They are so incredibly privileged to be here tonight. I am the supreme master; the thousands of fans are my loyal and eternal servants. I command them. I am their King.”
I rudely shake Ralphie from his lethargic dream with my shrill alarm-clock statement: “And then the concert’s over…WHAT HAPPENS THEN?” Here’s where all Vets shine; sharing their war story:
Well, first go get high and drunk, as soon as possible since the high of the performance is over. Better to fall down backstage then onstage! There’s a joint being passed your way; take a hit! Don’t worry about what may be in it. Eventually I have to stumble back to the bus and it’s smell…I would really like to count how many days there are left and the tour, because I’m really tired of forcing myself to tolerate the mandatory asshole-of-the-tour that irks the crap out of me to be in the same room with. I’ll have another couple shots, maybe he won’t bother me as much. There’s only a couple warms Coors under the seat, I’ve gotta go find our tour manager, and he’s always got a bottle of something. He gets paid!
Daylight is glowing behind the velour drapes at another Holiday Inn… I honestly don’t remember how the hell I got into this bed. Massive headache, right behind my eye. I’m starving. Let me throw on the same perspiration infected clothes, jump out into the hallway and find a vending machine…I know if that some change at least. T.V. sucks, and I can’t pay attention to it anyway. Shower. At least now my headache doesn’t look that bad. I gotta get goin’, bus is ready to pull out. I THINK I put all my stuff back in my bag, but I don’t really remember anymore what I even brought…or lost. Another very long drive. I hate this; I don’t wanna watch that DVD, my head hurts too much to listen to my ipod, and I don’t wanna hear anyone talking… I HATE their voices. Why can’t I have SOME kind of privacy, besides my bunk, which sucks anyway? Almost there…good, I gotta hit catering ASAP and grab something! Hey wait! There’s some press interviews to do today, that’ll be cool…although I’m still kinda hung over and I realize that I’m starting to stutter a lot. But the press wants to talk to me: I’m important. Everyone’s complaining that we’re not getting anything that’s on our rider. I don’t care anymore. Only an hour left to kill until showtime… I’ll probably feel much better at the meet and greet where I can honor some fans with my presence, let me go comb my hair again be cause I know they’ll wanna take a lot of pictures with me for their MySpace page.
Wow…a lot of hot chicks around tonight, and I’m starting to think about that again…sex always makes me feel better. I really don’t want to cheat on my wife, and how do I know that this chick or someone else won’t spill the beans? Thank God one of the crew guys, who happens to be my best friend on the tour, sees what I’m thinking and talks me out of it . The opening band is on now it won’t be long till I’m back up on the pedestal. I feel OK now, I’m ready to go, Our intro tape is on. I’m pumped with adrenaline…on come the lights! I hit my first note and the sea of arms in front of me rise high in the air. I’m king again for an hour. This sure beats a nine-to-fiver…
Ralphie looks crushed, as though he just heard another “you’ll shoot your eye at kid” coupled with me telling him that there really is no Santa Claus. All I could say is ”I’m sorry Ralphie, but I if didn’t love you I wouldn’t have said a thing. C’mon… let’s go try to fix your glasses”.
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PROBLEMS CAN’T BE SOLVED WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM.