I’m heading out for three quick dates in the northwest tomorrow (vancouver, seattle and portland, what’s up!?!) and that got me thinking about all the types of people I come across when I tour. A veritable shmorgasbord of folks. I’d say 90-95% of them are cool. I have genuinely nice chats with people. They’re pleasant , gracious and sometimes very cool. So, this is in no way taking shots at my fans. I’m lucky to have any of you motherfuckers. That said, I can’t front…there are patterns in behaviour I can’t ignore. No matter where I play, what part of the world, what time in the year, every show brings out certain specific types of people. If you read this blog, you know I’m a fan of sweeping generalizations. Hell, it’s in the header. So, I figured it would be fun to list the top ten types of people I meet at shows. Perhaps you’ve seen these people at other shows (This list surely isn’t just applicable to my fanbase at all) or maybe you’ve been one of these people at some point in your life? Either way…trust me when I tell you that on any given night AT LEAST 6 of these people are at every show I’ve done in the last 5 years. Let’s get into it, in no specific order.
(also it should be noted that none of the pics I used below are people i’ve met or known Just random shit I found via google image searches)
1)Local mover and shaker/promoter
By far the most common person I come across is this guy. He’s got his feet barely planted in whatever city I’m in’s local music scene. He didn’t promote the show I’m currently playing but he has big ideas for the future. Typically, they involve bringing me back to this city in the near future and playing in some sort of tiny lounge he works at for a small amount of money. Now, there is nothing wrong with these dudes (cause, without promoters , I don’t play anywhere) but it is telling when I tell them to holler at my booking agent, they recoil. That’s a bad sign. Any promoter who tries to book shows “on the side” is never a good look. That’s like a girl trying to bone you and then when you tell them “sounds good but I gotta go get some condoms” and they’re like “oh, really? hmm…lemme get back to you about that then…”.
The funny thing about these dudes is they’re everywhere, no matter how small the scene. It could be some backwoods town in eastern europe or in L.A., it doesn’t matter. They’re always the same guy. That said, I’m sure this guy eventually becomes a “real” promoter at some point and this is just his larva stage. Turns out, larva can be pretty annoying.
2)Random old person
To be clear, I’d consider myself a random old person at one of my own shows…but I digress.
At every show there is someone I meet who I’m shocked to see out. Not cause they shouldn’t be out but simply cause I can’t fathom going to the kinda show I do when I’m in my 40’s/50’s. It’s actually kinda awesome to see someone like that at one of my shows cause I know they’ll get a ton of the references I play during my set that flies over the heads of the typical 20-something. These people are always super nice and have a relaxed air about them. Sometimes, there is a definite cougar aspect to the ladies as I’ve found that the most brash sexual advances I’ve ever had thrown at me have been from women in their late 40’s/early 50’s. On some “Honey, you need an woman with experience…” type shit accompanied by some flirty eyes that were probably the shit in the 80’s. I won’t lie, it kinda grosses me out but it’s never not flattering. Imagine how a dude like Tom Jones must feel…
3)girl on molly who wants a million hugs
Molly wasn’t a thing at my shows until the last five years. Now it’s pretty much a staple. It’s not hard to spot the people that are rolling. Aside from a clenched jaw, the clothes are a dead giveaway. You’re wearing a furry animal hat indoors but also wearing what looks like a cave woman bikini? You’re on molly. I know this. Throw in a hula hoop over your shoulder and you might as well walk around with a sign. Now, as someone who did Molly recently, i get it. It makes you feel great. Touching is awesome. So, it’s no surprise when I’m chilling at the merch booth and I am asked to give hugs to girls on Molly. Typically they’re super festive (duh, they’re rolling their brains out), kinda sweaty (they’ve been dancing) and a little manic. The thing about working my own merch booth is that I’m pretty much a sitting duck. If someone decides they wanna hang out by me all night, they can do that if they so desire. So, Molly girls do what molly girls do. The happily float around the room spreading love. This means, they do a lap, get a hug, go dance, do another lap, get another hug and so on and so on. There’s nothing wrong with it but watching the pattern is always entertaining to me.
4)The fearless collaborator
This one is ballsy and at EVERY show. This is the person who also makes music , meets you (me) and figures , fuck it, we should work together. Why? Cause I make music and he makes music. why the fuck not? It’s not like I have specific interests musically and tend to only work with people I know/respect. Fuck all that, right? Nope…this guy is so confidant in his craft that he pretty much assumes he can walk up to the guy who’s show he’s come to see and a musical duo will be formed even though I’ve never heard what he does and we just met. The balls that takes is impressive. Often, I don’t even think it’s balls as much as that person just having no clue how things work. I suppose you could file it under “networking” but that’s kinda like filing rape under “dating”. I simply can’t get into the headspace of someone who does this. I mean, I get WHY they do it, i just can’t fathom ever being that type of person. Just a heads up to these types: in general, no one who’s even a little bit established is trying to collaborate with a stranger. That just doesn’t happen. Sorry. Nothing personal. But the fact that both you and I make music doesn’t automatically mean we’re compatible. it just means we stand under the same , humungous umbrella, along with ,like, millions or other people.
Oh, the drunk guy. Good old drunk guy. There are many variations of this guy at every show but one common theme remains…he’s a fucking mess. He slurs compliments, repeats himself over and over, gives 1000 pounds. He spills beer on your merch table. He interrupts other people you’re talking to under the guise that he’s helping you. He’s a disaster. We’ve all been there. The thing about drunk guy is that there is nothing you can do with him. He’s fragile and unpredictable. Say the wrong thing and he’s mad. politely ask him to chill, he could lose his shit. With these guys, you must be delicate. You kinda just have to let them run their course like a flu. My way is to just nod and say yes until they run out of shit to say and hopefully wander away from the merch table. This can be a long process cause, like I mentioned above, the amount of shit they repeat is truly amazing. I’ve literally had a dude sloppily tell me I “changed his life” about 50 times, each time giving me a pound afterwards. It was like groundhogs day but over the course of 15 minutes. The irony was I’m pretty sure he had heard maybe 3 of my songs ever.
Sufficed to say, these dudes are kinda the worst.
Not to be out done, the drunk girl is it’s own beast. While they don’t tend to corner you and repeat compliments forever, they do have a sense of entitlement rarely seen in people who aren’t billionaires. This transcends shows but the amount of girls who have come up to me and assumed I would just give them free shit cause they own vaginas is astounding.
In general, I find drunk girls at shows go two ways. Drunk and in love or drunk and angry. The love girls are basically just sloppy flirters who, in reality, don’t even really wanna make shit pop off. They’re just there with drunk googly eyes talking shit. They’re kinda fun and pretty easy to manage. The angry drunk girls though…it’s like getting brief glimpse into what it’s like to be this girls boyfriend. So many feelings. So much confusion. These girls are not as common but then they rear their head, I try and get away as quick as possible. Luckily for me, when they’re drunk and angry, it’s usually cause of something else so they’re easily distracted.
7)The guy who hangs around the merch table, saying he’s gonna buy shit but never does, still he hangs out all night
This is pretty much either the worst kind of indecisive person or a male groupie. This dude hangs HARD. He asks tons of questions about the merch, picks it up, looks at the back, says he’s gonna find an ATM and then comes back in five minutes to repeat the same cycle. Now, this doesn’t really bother me that much. I get the feeling that most of these dudes are just guys that wanna kick it a little and are nervous just blatantly doing so. Or, they’re dudes in serious financial binds that have them in deep contemplation as to whether spending $20 on a record is gonna put them out on the street. Either way, these guys are generally harmless. And wishy washy. They’re wishy washy as fuck.
The emergence of hippies at my shows has been a weird one. I realize it’s all an off shoot of the burner crowd. It’s generally fine with me. Hippies are typically nice and accepting. And high. However, every now and then I’ll meet one and we’ll get to talking. A minute or so into it, it will become clear to this guy/girl that I’m not exactly on that same page. I don’t care about crystals , i don’t love going to festivals and I’m not even really a fan of nature. Keep in mind, I’m always nice about it and this convo never gets super awkward but there is something a little heartbreaking about seeing the twinkle in a hippies eye dim as they realize “Oh, this guy is just some city loving asshole…”. It’s a look I’m so very familiar with. So much so that i try and just not let it happen any more. In fact, I’ll treat most rambling hippies like I do drunk guys. Let them run their course. Accept the crystals. Nod approvingly and wait for them to finish. It can be time consuming but that look is crushing and I’d like to avoid it as much as possible.
9)mystery drug guy/girl
Seeing people at shows I have become hyper aware of what drugs people are on. I can tell a cokey guy from a molly guy from a stoner guy with pin point precision. Every now and then though, I’ll come across someone on some whole other shit. Is it a drunk girl on shrooms? Is it some guy in the midst of a DMT trip trying to speak? I have no idea. The thing about these types is that lack of knowing makes them wild cards. I know how to deal with specific druggy people but these guys? No clue. In general, I find myself on the defense with them just out of safety.
The other day I was at this show and this girl started talking to me. she was slurring her words and doing the “repeat the same sentiment over and over again” thing. At first, I assumed she was just wasted. But she had an edge to her fucked-upness that felt different. Eventually she said “hey, do you want a cut of me?” huh? I thought it was the strangest sexual offer ever but then she repeated herself “Do you want some ketamine?”
Ohhhhhhhhh! Mystery solved.
10)guy who’s never heard me or my music but wants to do business with me
This fucking guy. Much like the local promoter guy and the fearless collaborator, this dude is just shooting first and asking questions later. This is how it starts:
He comes up to the merch booth with a friend. His friend introduces us and he says “I’ve never heard your stuff before but my friend thinks I’ll like it”. Pleasantries get exchanged and they keep it moving. Then a little later, that guy comes back to the booth to shoot the shit. It’s all good. just casual conversation. At some point in that discussion, the guy decides, even though he literally has no idea what kinda music I even make (it could be bluegrass for all he knows) that he’s ready to bring me into any business plan he’s got going. He runs a website! needs music. He throws warehouse raves! needs a dj. He owns a taco truck! Needs a theme song. It doesn’t matter at all…he just knows that , whatever i do, he wants a piece of it. The beauty of this guy is that, after the show, he’s never around. That might actually mean he hated my shit but, you know what, I’m okay with that. Better that than whatever else he had planned for me.