Thursday, August 6, 2009
Musical Pet Peeves: Rock of Love Edition
I've mentioned previously that I have a few pet peeves as a musician. If I'm not mistaken (and I might be) I've mentioned the following already:
- People who request a song and are seriously offended when I don't know the song, and assume I can not only figure out the music right then and there, but also learn and sing the lyrics without any practice.
- People who ask me if they can play a song or sing with me. First, you're not touching my guitar ever. I wouldn't trust you to carry it while it's in it's case, so no, you're not allowed to play it. Second, you're drunk and believing that this is a good idea- no one else's ears feel that way. Please take a cue from Journey-Opposite Band, Stay Put, and their song "Do Stop Believin'."
Well, I have a new annoyance, and you're going to think I'm crazy when I tell you what it is. Groupies. Not the kind that follow Poison around with only one goal in mind (sleep with a member of the band who is not the bass player.) Oh no, we're talking about a little bit different version of this phenomenon. As a happily engaged man I can't help but wonder, were these girls before? Seriously though, these antics get old after awhile. Here are some of the types of ladies I've run across in my years as a relatively unknown musician:
The Sweetheart - This is the least annoying version of the groupie. She would be at least pretty good looking and flirt harmlessly throughout the night. When it comes down to crunch time, she'd ask if I'm available. When I say, "I'm engaged," she'd politely reply with congratulations and bid me adieu. She probably envisioned me as a nice, sensitive musician and man (true) who was about to sweep her off her feet and engage in a committed relationship (untrue.)
The Cougar - Cougars are all the rage these days and it has produced a large quantity of over-confident divorcees in their late 40s ready to pounce on fresh meat in their 20s (son's friends? who knows?) These ladies are extremely direct with their propositioning and it's 50/50 as to whether they care about me being engaged. 50% of them look like they've were just shaken from their club/bar haze and the mom inside them was woken up. The other 50% get a crazier look in their eye as if they're one of the infected from "28 Days Later." "Must... suck... a young man's face... now!"
The Friend - This is usually occurs when there are a group of girls dancing near the stage (or area where the musician is playing) having a good ol' time. Inevitably, one of the girls will call "dibs" by saying, "Oh, he's cute." [I, of course, am just assuming they said that, hey-ooooooo!] One of the friends will come up to me and say, "My friend thinks you're cute, you should talk to her." Now generally, but not always, the friend who came up to me is better looking than the girl who she's going to bat for. More importantly, and this is the most overlooked aspect of my shows, I can't go talk with your friend because I'M WORKING. I know it looks like I'm having fun, and I am, but my job is to put out a good vibe and make sure people are drinking/singing-a-long. It also is my job to actually sing in a microphone rather than talk to you and your friend. Thank you for offering me a conversation with your less-hot friend (who is even less-hot than my own fiance) though! Much obliged!
The Screamer - Known on "How I Met Your Mother" as a "Woo-Girl," this is the girl that will yell out pretty anything. Song requests? For sure! Less than witty remarks? You know it! Propositions? Absolutely! Look honey, I love the enthusiam, but let's keep it real, you're insecure and want attention. You're like the guy at the comedy club that keeps yelling out unfunny things only to ruin the act for those around him. Even hotness cannot save you from your fate of eventually being hated by everyone in the room. Enough from the peanut gallery already!
The Pusher - This is the girl that is less interested in bringing me home that night, and more interested in scripting my setlist. It starts out as friendly banter during the first few songs. She seems nice enough, and I need to keep the fun vibe going so I indulge her a bit. During the middle of the set, she'll start yelling out every song she's ever heard in between songs- and it doesn't matter what genre the song happens to be in. "Sweet Home Alabama!" [hate that song] "Free Fallin'!" [ok, I can do that] "Motown Philly!" [don't do it but not bad] "Shake It Like A Salt Shaker!" [oh, come on!] "Blame It On The Rain!" [Milli Vanilli? Are you serious?] "Dirty Dancing!" [now you're just yelling out movie titles] "I'm Drunk!" [factual information] After awhile, I have to ignore her and hope she stops the shenanigans- many times it only heightens the yelling and kills the vibe.
The Girl Gone Wild - This girl goes one of three ways. 1) She asks, "Can I make out with you?" 2) She shows me her boobs. 3) She shows me her boobs and then asks, "Can I make out with you?" Ah, your poor parents...
I suppose there are worse problems to have in this world, and believe me, by no means do I think I'm so awesome because these girls come up to me. People (not just girls) are usually looking to enhance their evening when they go out with their single friends. If a group of guys go to a restaurant, and the server is mildly cute, she may often morph through conversation into a "super-hot chick" and one of the buddies may try to hit on her. It has more to do with enhancing the evening than viewing the actual person for who they are and what they look like. I get that. However, I do have to put up with these types of women, and the more gracefully I'm able to handle it, the better off I'll be. Just because my annoyance is buried, doesn't mean it doesn't still exist.