Monday, November 8, 2010

When Your Biggest Fan Wants You to Go Down Memory Lane

"Do you have any old videos of your band that we can show my girlfriend?" I don't have my VCR hooked up anymore. I'm glad that I don't. I don't want to go down memory lane, but I know why he does. He wants to impress his new girlfriend. I may have boxes full of my old disks, and videos from live shows, but I don't have awful band pictures hanging on my wall from days gone bye.

Sometimes I forget that your friends will speak highly of your accomplishments in hopes of impressing others. "Yea, I'm good friends with XXXX." My friend meant well, don't get me wrong. He's my best friend, but I can tell when he has made too much of what I did back when I was just a kid in a punk band. That time was special to him, just as much as it was special to me. His perspective is his own. Mine is from behind the drums. It was a sober, working drummer's view. His was view was from the front of the stage with a beer in his hand.

This is not to say that I don't sometimes use my prior musical accomplishments to impress others. We all want to be recognized in some way. Heck, dropping my old band name got me many gigs. I will continue to use it, as long as there are people that remember it. That brings me to my next point. Fewer patrons of the arts remember my old band, as they are now young enough to be my children. This is not an old man's sport.

I can't watch videos of my performances without seeing every mistake. I hate the way I look when I play. I pull faces, slouch,and look around to my left and right too fast and too often. Everything goes in slow motion when I am playing, so when I see it in real time I notice that I'm not looking too cool. Why would I want to watch myself on video? I understand why some bands videotape their rehearsals. It is a great way to hone your visual side. I think I can tell when someone has been working on their stage presence in front of a mirror, or watched videos of themselves. They look too polished for a cheesy Milwaukee nightclub. I do prefer performance over shoe gazing though.

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