When fatigue has become a means of existence, I really can’t underestimate the value of angry music in the car on the way home.
After getting up at 4am this morning, my dark route to work was glittered with shift labourers whose hi-vis vests glowed in my headlights… and lots of Auckland commuters who are willing to face the drudgery of never being home during daylight, because that’s what’s necessary to get rent they can afford. I dug out Lamb of God’s Sacrament for the return trip. It was a balm for every raw nerve.
Then this is what my brain did: “Hey, I should watch Killadelphia again tonight. I need a laugh… The truck breaking down. The power going off during the show. Randy being a drunken asshole and getting lectured about giving the punters a good show… And then being drunk and pissing in a trash can… Fuck that must be 10 years old by now. [It’s 11]… Fuck, now I have a job where that would be me emptying that trash can… Where was that Wall Street Journal article? I should share that around… WHY ARE YOU DRIVING SO SLOWLY, ASS-HAT!!!… Do I swear too much?”
It was this Wall Street Journal article, about the realities of being a working roadie in today’s music industry. A friend shared it on Facebook a few months back. I snorted at the bit about a day being 4 hours or 14 hours [try 16 to 20 on the bad days, a 14 by itself isn’t even noticeable], but otherwise it’s pretty much bang on. I know quite a few old workmates who’ve started down the road of retiring into special events production. The money can be really good in corporate events and big trade shows, and they’re usually very straightforward to do.
After a million weddings and conferences, I do miss the roadcases though. I miss hanging out with the other belligerent fuck-heads like me. Sharing a smoke in the loading dock at 3am. It’s purely tribal. And I’ve said it before: I’m not well tuned for the wedding world.
This is why I crawl back into the stuff that knows me…