Mar 052012

Dear Crabby...

It’s with great pleasure that Rock Town Hall announces the addition of rock concert etiquette expert Dear Crabby to the RTH Contributor Staff. Dear Crabby is well-known to concertgoers around the world for the gentle tap on the shoulder she applies before politely notifying overly enthusiastic fans, underappreciated artists, and overworked venue staff  of behavior that crosses the line of civil rock behavior. Without further ado, let’s welcome Dear Crabby and see if she can’t engage us in advising a legendary indie-rock musician sort through a most unfortunate case of mistaken identity.

Thank you for that warm welcome, Mr. Moderator and Townspeople of the Hall. I have followed your blog with great interest since the time you launched your ongoing investigation into the possible ZZ Top livestock hoax. Oh, how I hope that story proves to be a hoax. As wrong as it is to execute a hoax on one’s fans, it’s beyond rude to allow cattle and buzzards to stink up the stage with their untamed excretions! But I digress.

Nothing beats live music, but more and more I’m dismayed by acts of impolite behavior among audience members, performers, and venue staff. It’s my mission to bring these acts to light—and to suggest ways in which these individuals might better behave themselves in the future. I welcome the opportunity to field your questions and trade insights and advice on these important matters. After the jump is an offlist message I received from a musician I hold in high esteem. I will invite you to help me counsel him. In the coming months, if you find yourself in need of guidance over matters related to the live music experience, please feel free to write me at my personal e-mail address:

DearCrabby [at] rocktownhall [dot] com

I will ensure your anonymity is preserved during the public discussion that will ensue. Thank you. Now on with our first letter!

Dear Crabby,

When I tried to walk into the club where I would be playing in less than an hour, I was stopped by security who asked for my ticket or pass. Obviously I didn’t have one—I was the headliner! So he told me I couldn’t go in. Then some smart ass nearby looked at me and said, “Bummer,” knowing damn well who I was. I was able to enter my own show only after one of my group went to the ticket office and said he was on the guest list. I went in as my own “plus one.”

So maybe it was because I was wearing glasses and didn’t have my guitar slung over my shoulder. Maybe it was because I’m a little older now and those promo shots erase the wrinkles. But what is a ’90s Indie Rock Guitar God supposed to do when he can’t get into his own show?

Thanks a lot, SM

OK, Townspeople, when you have had a chance to digest this venue’s atrocious disregard of its headlining artist’s identity, please help me counsel him and other aging headliners, should lightning ever strike a second time. Thank you.


  16 Responses to “Dear Crabby, Rock Concert Etiquette Expert, Joins Rock Town Hall Staff”

  1. Go around back and come in the dressing room door.

  2. ladymisskirroyale

    Dear Crabby,
    I think that SM’s difficulties with recognition may reflect a lack of relevance. SM identifies himself as a “90’s Indie Rock God.” I’m thinking that he needs to do some things to make himself identifiable with the younger set. Here are some suggestions that SM may want to use:
    1. Blond highlights. They helped Plant. They helped Daltry.
    2. More tattoos.
    3. Include Justin Bieber as part of your entourage. At least one of your party would be instantly recognizable.
    4. Guest on Portlandia. Put a bird on your guitar.
    Best wishes,

  3. Dear Crabby,

    To prevent against this happening in the future I would suggest that SM hire an imposing, kick-ass manager to break the knuckles of the doorman who can’t tell the headliner from a common fan. Thanks.

  4. Dear Crabby

    Why don’t more middle-aged men consider highlights? I bet Jon Bon Jovi has never been mistaken for a member of his audience.

  5. Dear Crabby

    How true! Humility only goes so far when you’re the headliner.

  6. Dear Crabby,

    Dude, you’re in showbiz and by your own description a Guitar God. Look the part. I know it’s against the ’90s indie ethic but don’t look like some stoner who has just wandered in off the street. Show a little flash, style, even a little attitude. You’re the show, not one of the rabble. Make that clear to the security drone even before you say anything.

  7. Dear Crabby

    Mr. Moderator, dear, I don’t believe that 90’s Indie Rock Gods would consider that level of violence. Breaking knuckles is so 70’s and we are much more evolved than that.

  8. Dear Crabby

    Those are very positive suggestions, tonyola. I like your style.

  9. meanstom

    Dear SM,

    Were you carrying your license when you entered the club? Might that have helped your cause? I find it works for me when I need to show proof of identification.

  10. Dear SM,
    Don’t do anything. Just hang out by the front door and wait for people to start freaking out backstage because they don’t know where you are. Then when they run out front to see if they can find you, tell them you weren’t allowed into the venue (Make sure you look right at the security guy when you say this). As they hustle you past the guy, mutter something like “Nice work, douche bag.”

  11. Dear Crabby

    Meanstom, I can tell you are the calm sort to have around in an emergency.

  12. Dear Crabby

    While I believe in following the natural order of things, I think that we could watch our language, couldn’t we?

  13. hrrundivbakshi

    I agree with whoever suggested using one’s driver’s license. I would assume also — like all egocentric rock star wannabes — that JB has a variety of photos of himself in his PDA/cell phone, some of which must feature him in performance with his fellow band mates. If not, he (and other performers like him) might want to have such a photo on hand for just such a situation.

  14. misterioso

    Can I say that I am ok with anyone describing himself as a “’90s Indie Rock Guitar God” being barred from his own show?

  15. bostonhistorian

    Amen brother.

  16. Dear Crabby

    One of the things I have reminded my children is that I am not a mind reader so if they would like some assistance with a personal matter, I would be happy to put aside my dish towel and listen. Perhaps SM just needs our readers to listen and to feel his pain of growing older, having to wear glasses, and not being recognized. Can we not see beyond his rather flagrant last-ditched attempt to identify himself as “Rock God” (what ever that means) and just “be” with him? In my experience, sharing a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies goes a long way in mending our problems.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube