So I was at the legion Jam, you know, that monthly Jam night where I like to to play music and jam with no worries. Everyone loves the legion in our small town because we can go there to make music. Even if we bomb a set, the folks in the audience are always supportive. It's a great place for musicians to go and see if they like performing live and hang out amongst our friends. We almost always keep the music simple, unless a well rehearsed band shows up, then, they have their set.
So I noticed more than anything a change in my mentality when I was talking to everyone, musicians and non. I felt like "yes I feel like a well-adjusted individual and I have nothing to fear." I think it showed in a way, all my interactions we're positive and it made me feel less afraid nervous on stage. I was able to be myself without judgement.
Lately, I've been trying to approach all interactions from the standpoint of how can I help?
Alright get to the point I was trying to make. I digress...
There's this young buck, you know, one of those kids who thinks he's hot s***. Also one of those Canadian country singers who talks always with a fake Southern drawl. And hey, I won't judge, I think it's neat that he's able to do it so well and never break character during a set. I could never do that.
Don't get me wrong the kids talented, very talented. But cocky. Anyways, kid shows up like he's hot s** and asks me, I forget the exact thing, a question, looking for confirmation as the king of men. Do you want to know what I said?
But I noticed something really interesting about this kid. I noticed an unusual attitude. Immediately when the kid walked into the room, I got the impression that wow, he finally answered his why. I got the impression that he's picked up that spark. You know that spark that musicians get? The one that they get when they realize holy s*** I love music and I want to do it. I want to go all the way? I sense that in the kid who has always been flaky and nonchalant towards musuc. He says that he's been writing Originals. When I heard that I was stoked. The people in my town, 90% of them, rough estimate here, think that you have to play what the people want to hear. The people in my town only want to hear CCR (crappy cover bands)
Anyways, I thought it was really interesting the things I noticed from people in my town on a local level. I can't help but Wonder how much of that is from the likes I bought on facebook? I have a feeling the folks in my town are paying attention.
Another interesting thing that happened at the Legion. Was I spoke to the hosts of the festival where my classic rock band of all originals has been the headliner and house band. We've become great friends over the past couple years by the way. We had a long chat about edgefest, caught up on BS. Etc.
And so my night resulted and many interesting things and many interesting things that I now have to follow up on. To me that's the greatest thing about live shows. Did I mention that I played the show for free?
So after the show, I was too drunk to drive obviously. I decided to go for a long walk across town (my town is not very big). I decided to bring along my acoustic guitar and head down to the local 7-Eleven and Tim Hortons since that was the only thing there was open at the time.
I ended up walking into that 7-Eleven, a few beers in, more than I'd like, but not so much that I couldn't function. But more than enough that if I got pulled over by a cop, things might have gotten messy. I had it on good authority that the cops in training we're out for blood, but I digress again, sorry.
I walked into that 7-Eleven on my back looking for coffee. I walked into that place, acoustic guitar all my back, in the freezing rain, which is weird for mid-January in rural British Columbia. So there's these drunken rednecks inside 7-Eleven as per usual on Friday at 1:15 in the morning. One of these dudes, looks at me kind of funny. I Smile Back, and say hey nice weather. He responds with some smart ass retort to intimidate me or something. a boat my nice guitar, and says quote why don't you play us a song there bud? And quote. My reply in my friendliest, most outgoing voice. I'll play you a song if you'll give me a tip."
Buddy Guy says "let me see that guitar there bud. What kind of guitar is that?" I show him my guitar and explain to him about it
"this is a Mann guitar m a n n. I don't know much about it but it's a cedar top and I think it's from the 80s. It's my favorite of all my guitars but it needs new strings. so Can I play you that song now?"
By this point he's already cut in front of me in line, paying on his MasterCard No Doubt. buy now pay later they always say. As I make a wisecrack, but with a huge smile on my face so he can tell I'm obviously joking and not try to punch me in the face, about how we just got in front of me in line, and how that was a clever move asking me to play a song with the intention to steal my place in the lineup emoticon. also told him that I just finished playing at the legion. His reply. "Oh, you must know Lori and Dave then."
"yes we had a long talk about Edgefest."
He says "here's your tip buddy have a nice night."
I asked him, "do you want to hear that song?"
"no but have a nice night."
So I leave the 7-Eleven, carry on with my night. I walk over to the Tim Hortons across the street. Once again acoustic guitar on my back. Still out of tune by the way. Order my coffee and whatever's freshest I guess. It all comes out of the microwave anyways. But it was the only thing that was open. And it was the only place that was warm. I asked the staff there if I could play my guitar there for a few minutes. They said sure no problem, so that's what I did. It's not the most inspiring place for songwriting. But I got a few minutes of practice. The weird thing was, I didn't feel uncomfortable just randomly playing in a public place like that. Normally, I'd be scared to death. In fact, I've tried it before. When I was younger, maybe about, 6 years ago, I tried to go busking across the Kootenays. It was an amazing Drive. But half the towns I went through, maybe stop for a few minutes see some sights and play My Guitar alone. I wish I had a video camera at the time, that would have been great. But half the places I stopped I didn't make that connection. I feel like tonight at the legion, and afterwards, I was truly comfortable in my own skin as a musician, without fear of judgement.
Gene Media Productions
Cody Gene is an Independent Record Producer from BC
Music Methodology & Creative Lifestyle