Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Aye Aye, Captain(s)

Hey Comrades!

Wow, what an eventful past few days! I had the great good fortune to play a snazzy gig in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The local paper was most friendly, and gave me a great write up before my show. Check it out here!

I arrived at the outdoor venue with my good buddy Hunter, and we spent the next two hours setting up the PA (and figuring out it's various mysterious gremlins), checking levels, and setting up shop. I had promoted the gig quite a bit, and the promoter was expecting a lot of people, as well.

Well, maybe it was the threat of rain, because turnout was relatively light. I'm actually glad it was, though, as it was like playing to a living room full of friends. They were really supportive, AND taught me an extraordinarily valuable lesson.

The guy on stage is always the employee. These people had come out on a beautiful Saturday evening, bought food, brought chairs, and were giving me the most valuable thing of all: their time.

Musicians deal in many currencies, and we often make the mistake of assuming that money is the most valuable one. I'd venture to say that it's time that we're really after. It takes time to listen to a song, and it takes time to watch a show. There's plenty of rich people in the world, but I rarely hear about people who say "man, I've just got so much time!" For someone to sit down and watch me for an hour is really quite generous of them. My folks drove for over an hour to watch, help, and support my show. My brothers were there and took some great photos and videos of the show. It happened to be a very special day for my mom and step dad, but there they were, watching and laughing and clapping. People walked in off the street and sat, instead of going to a bar or baseball game. Hunter set up a PA and had to watch the show.

They all gave me their time, and I did my best to reward that. I realized, behind the mic looking out into the park, that I was looking at a crowd of bosses. Granted, I needed to present my artistic vision, and use the stage with authority. At the same time, they were the reason I was there. I was working for them.

A guy came up to me after the show, and as he was buying a CD, he said "Josh, I always like to support artists who really work the audience." I'll never forget that. I guess it was like a boss giving me a Christmas bonus.

I even got to sign some lady's hat. I was getting ready to sing a Johnny Cash song, and said I needed a black hat. She obliged, and wanted me to sign it afterwards. I was honored!

Money can be lost, earned, stolen, cheated, invested, and multiplied. Time can never be. When you spend it, it's a little bit of your life you'll never get back. I'm humbled and grateful to those of you who have spent some listening to me. Thanks, bosses!

"Didn't mean to take up all your sweet time...Give it back to ya...one of these days."

- Josh

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