If you know me personally you know my love of live music. I will anything from local acts at some small venue to national acts at stadiums. I prefer not to go to stadiums with crowds etc. but that is not what this story is about. In the 80s I was fortunate to go see a few concerts, like many kids we stood in line at some local record story that had a ticketmaster machine and waiting outside in line to get them. If there was a hot act, they often gave wrist bands out to get tickets. And get this you got physical tickets (iphone didnt exist.)
I won’t mention the act, but is was one of these Arena shows (at the time the local arenas were the Brendan Byrne Arena or Madison Square Garden. Living in central jersey it was easier to get to MSG as it was an easy train ride. Well we got are tickets, took the train ride to the city, walked around the Arena saw a bunch of trucks and a few tour busses. Teams of people setup the stages, get their food, organize their day etc. Its like a small moving city to get this band on tour. We get in to watch, always going early. Dozens of people walking across the stage etc. Well the show was fantastic.
Not that many years later, the same band is on tour. But this time playing a local venue. For those who lived in central jersey at the time, it was Club Bene (Joe Beninato was a great guy, but thats a story for another time.) Well this time no multiple trucks or giant tour busses, no entourage building the stage etc. I saw the musicians setting up their own equipment. The show was even better than the MSG one, well sitting in one of the front row tables helps) – but they were tight, played with fantastic energy etc.
After the show, well the musicians were breaking down their rigs. I felt bad for the dummer and the keyboard player, definitely had more to do than the bass player/singer. Well after the show I go chit chat with the band, cause I saw them there. I mentioned I saw them at the Arena tour also, the laughed and said that was a fun tour. After talking the seemed incredibly happy to still be playing live, thought the crowd was fantastic and I seemed to be in shock. To me, they were playing arenas one minute, a club of 1500 next.
That night I came to the realization. The tractor trailer, giant tour busses, entourage, the stage setup etc. all of that really was not for them. It was for the popularity of the band, it was for the place and time they were in. They were most likely bar musicians before this, and now playing just bigger bars. But in the end, they are just regular people. And they understood this. They love fans, playing for 15,000 or 150. They didn’t care. So I learned that respect you, perks you get may not be for you, it may be for the position you hold. At the end of the day treat everyone from the janitor thru the CEO the same, with respect.
This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them
This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.