What Became of Cojones

*See [earlier post][] for background*

[earlier post]:

On the scale of successful to not, this evening probably ranked pretty low. I’ll dispel your initial worries by informing you that my performance wasn’t tragically poor, but the subplot that unfolded over the course of the evening was unexpected and amusing in a very carcrash kind of way.

I walked in with my bass bag on my back and approached the bar for immediate lubricant. The time was about 9:10pm.

*Are you here for the acoustic night?* asked the Tuesday Night Bar Lady

No, no, this is my hockey stick, I joked.

She believed me, and so there then followed a painful exchange, where I had to explain to her that I was joking, and the hockey stick reference was a joke, and all of this required excruciating clarification to set straight.

I supped my pint and enjoyed the entertainment for a little while. Soon enough I found myself approached by a begoateedImagine, if you will, someone who is trying to look just like Frank Zappa. There you go. fella who introduced himself (eventually, after much encouragement) as Dave. *Sorry, I’m a bit stoned* he warned. Oh dear.

Over the course of the next half hour or so, Dave fell in love with me. I hadn’t even picked up my instrument yet, but the simple fact that I was a bassist who had been playing for 9 years was enough to convince him that I was the bassist with 9 years experience whom he sook to complete the lineup of his current project. I did my best to curb his enthusiasm, stating in no uncertain terms that my 9 years of recreational playing was not comparable to his 9 years of 6-hours-per-day dedicated practice. But he was stoned, and fame beckoned to him, and he was deaf to my protestations. He waxed lyrical on improvisation, and how important it is to have a groove etc.

Eventually, at about 10:15pm or so, the two of us sat down to play a little. He was clearly a highly accomplished musician, and the time that he had invested in practicing had not been wasted. Ironically though, he seemed to be most comfortable with the specific songs that he had worked on a lot – I wondered what exactly his concept of “improvisation” was.

I departed at 11pm. As I had anticipated, there was no feverish *Oh man, you’re so awesome, you have to be in my band!* just a *Maybe see you next week, yeah?*

That suits me fine. I don’t really want to be in his band. He’s all image and no substance. He thinks that wearing leather, smoking 60 a day, having no money and widdling on a fretboardThis is an acknowledged term, and has nothing to do with urination. In fact, it has more to do with masturbation. is the lifestyle, and he subscribes to that lifestyle. To me, music has never been about fitting in to the music stereotype, but making the music fit into the Pete stereotype. I don’t see the logic in spending £15 on cigarettes each day, which would be better spent on owning a car so that I can offer music tuition at peoples’ houses. For this reason, his business model of making money from music is doomed to fail.

One of the most memorable blog posts of all time, for me, is Hugh MacLeod’s [sex & cash theory][]. I strongly recommend that you read it. In Goatee Dave’s case, he needs to earn cash from the music tuition to be able to fund his dream. He doesn’t have to approach the whole thing in a more businesslike fashion – just the music tuition. He has to draw the line.

[sex & cash theory]:

Myself? Even if Goatee Dave did decide that I was good enough for his band, I don’t think that I’d be willing to invest the time in it. I’m not the guy that he’s looking for. I don’t have his dedication, his focus on a single (though hopelessly ill-defined) point, his cliches.

My journey continues, I suppose. I know not yet who I wish to become, but I have a better idea of who I don’t want to be.

**ADDENDUM:** There’s something that I’m struggling to reconcile in my mind. On the one hand, Goatee Dave claims to have 9 years of experience pursuing music and music only, but then on the other hand he made the schoolboy error of making assumptions about the quality of a person’s playing (ie my own) before he’d actually heard them (ie me) play. Does not compute. Perhaps it was just the skunk controlling his brain.

One reply on “What Became of Cojones”

You did generally give the appearance of enjoying yourself, while you played. So don’t dismiss the entire evening as a waste of time. And Goatee Dave was mildly amusing. And the kid who couldn’t sing was definitely impressed. And the landlady thought you were cute. And everyone thought Pablo was a beauty.

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