Friday, February 26, 2010

Where do we go?

Of all the ridiculous, impetuous, hot-headed things I've done - and rest assured, friends, I have done a LOT of them - most of them I have regretted nearly immediately. I've gone and done it again, and it has taken me weeks to feel like perhaps I should have thought things through a teensy, tiny bit better.

I quit the band.

I quit my own band, the one I sweated and bled over. The band that practically saved my life. The band that was directly responsible for my current relationship. The band that was the reason I made friends with Eve Hell and Memphis Evil, the reason I shook Geoff Firebaugh's hand and had beers with Deke Dickerson, the reason I saw Wanda Jackson perform from backstage. The band that finally allowed me to be the woman I have always fancied myself to be.

When we first started the Sugar Shakers, I talked seriously with a Musician (like one who does it exclusively for money) and he said: bands are like families. It's all very dysfunctional, and there are expectations that never get met, and drama is unavoidable. I laughed him off, because seriously. I wasn't touring 200 dates a year, I was playing for my friends in the bars where I drink on the weekends. I should have paid better attention.

Here's what I loved: falling into the pocket, playing like breathing, knowing how's it's gonna go before it happens. I loved being clapped for, being told I was gorgeous or amazing, being asked again and again to do it some more. I loved being in the constant company of artists and musicians. I loved the insufferably geeky feeling of passing bits of music trivia back and forth. I loved the way the second whiskey went down, the ice slowly melting in my glass on top of my amp, sipping from it while bantering with the pretty girls in the audience. I loved cabling up and tearing down, jenga-ing all the gear into a vehicle, transforming into Stella.

Here's what I hated: taking sides. Not moving forward. Feeling like it was a chore for other band members. Playing who's got the biggest tiara. Being told to just be a princess. I hated those things more than I loved the other stuff for about six months, and I finally just gave up.

I miss it a whole damn parking lot. Ukulele isn't the same thing as slap bass, and I don't really write punk songs, as much as I like to think I do. I love rockabilly music, and I love to play my doghouse. I hope I can find a way to do the things I love without it devolving again into sniping and stressing out. It's only rock and roll.

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