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Aug 092021

Billy Harner (of “Sally’s Saying Something” fame)

Have you been to and/or performed at an indoors live show since the mid-March 2020 lockdown? I have not yet. My band is scheduled to play a show on September 23 that was already postponed twice. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m wondering if it’s going to get postponed again, what it will be like to play and hang at a live show again, and what we’ll all do if shows start getting postponed again.

If that last thing happens, I will aim to get creative. I’m always on the fence about playing live and seeing bands live as it is, but I miss the engagement with people. I miss seeing those bands that are meant to play live.

Wondering what’s on your mind…


  19 Responses to “Live”

  1. hrrundivbakshi

    Meh, I’ve become a cranky old man in recent years when it comes to live shows. My feet hurt, my back hurts, most shows are too loud and go on too late — plus, they cost too much damn money. And parking usually sucks. I don’t miss ’em.

  2. Moderator, me and little Mo were really looking forward to your show. In the words of Joey LaMotta, this whole thing “sucks big elephant dicks.”

  3. Haven’t been to an indoor show since late 2019, and while I was really hoping to see some outdoor shows by now, I won’t be going to any until the delta variant cools down. And indoor shows are absolutely off the schedule for me until at least 2022.

  4. mockcarr

    I can say I covered both varieties yesterday in that I met a few friends indoors at a bar that has old fart kind of live music, and then went to see Weezer and Green Day at Nationals Park, which frankly I imagined to be middle-aged fart music. I was called a snob at the bar after I made a few asides about the couple sitting on stools playing someone else’s songs, and then later felt like a depressed old fart at the outdoor show where all the empty seats I saw led me to think people actually ditched the show because somebody in Fall Out Boy caught COVID-19 and they dropped out of the tour. I had bought the tickets two years ago, and the show was supposed to be last year.. It was the first live music for me in either case since our global predicament.

  5. I recently saw the North Mississippi Allstars at an outdoors show and that was the first show I’ve been to since the Tuesday in March 2020, the day before everything fell apart, when I saw jazz guitarist Jeff Parker at Johnny Brenda’s.

    I’m currently set to go to a Neko Case show next week at Levon Helm’s Studio. Vaccinations and masks required. There are a number of shows on my calendar, including now for 9/23, coming up after that, although most are in the October and out timeframe.

    While the Desantis variant has got me a little spooked, I’m hoping it drives some combination of fear and mandates to actually get this thing under control. I’ve also noticed that a lot of the venues in this area are requiring masks and vax, so maybe the whole world isn’t crazy after all.

  6. Happiness Stan

    I’ve been to two indoor theatre shows with masks and only about a third of the seats in use. It was a bit, a lot actually, weird, but felt unexpectedly liberating. Having hung up my axe long ago, I’m only on the receiving end these days. A band I’m quite friendly with had a huge sold out gig booked in London and had to turn around on their way down the motorway as one got a positive test result back and they all had to isolate. They played their first gig the other night and they all look SO happy in the sound check photos.

    The idiot Johnson is bored with this game now and has declared the country open. Cases have slowed since the super spreading soccer tournament, but have started creeping up again.

    The boys and I are supposed to be going to a very small festival in two weeks. Hopefully we can all stay well before, during and after. Mrs H and I are double jabbed, our eldest had his second the week after next, but the IJ hasn’t agreed to jab fifteen year olds yet so youngest has to take his chances with the great unvaxed. Fortunately, my sister and her daughters failed to get it together to call around when we were on holiday down home the last two weeks as all three tested positive on Friday. They all have their own reasons for not getting jabbed, apparently.

    Since going to the supermarket once a week is the highlight of most weeks, although a bit nerve wracking since Freedom Day, I’m hoping the indignity of trying to avoid UB40 is the worse that happens.

    I hope your gig goes ahead and goes well. I’ll probably work the Solid Silver Sixties Show at the start of October, that’ll be the first indoor gig since March last year.

  7. Kudos to you Mr Mod for having Billy Harner in the banner picture. I once again encourage everyone to get a haircut from the man if his shop is still open. You will walk out with a horrendous haircut but you will be very entertained for a half hour or so.

    My bride and I went a bit nuts with what we thought were going to be “post Covid” shows. So we have tickets to:
    The Dead and Company
    Wilco with Sleater Kinney
    My Morning Jacket with Britney Howard
    Willie Nelson with Sturgill Simpson, Gov’t Mule, Chris Stapleton and Margo Price

    All shows are outdoors, three at the Mann and one at Citizen’s Bank.

    The Donuts have a happy hour gig at Fergie’s on September 17.

    The Hoodoo Gurus, which was indoors, got canceled a while back.

    I’m increasingly nervous about all of them and will have to make game day decisions about whether to go or not. I wish they had a vaccine passport because the honor system only works if people are honorable and the past few years have made it very clear that people are much bigger assholes than I suspected. The peace of mind that an outdoor show offerers is offset by the large number of people.

    Chicken Frank helpfully pointed out that fans of the Donuts had more than 6 feet between them before the pandemic so we should be good.

  8. I understand your concern about the numbers at a large show, but at the Mann I don’t think you’ll really be on top of too many folks for a long period of time. If I see you at Wilco, maybe I’ll come over and cough on you to make it more thrilling.

    I don’t think even a Donuts crowd will allow sufficient social distancing at Fergie’s. Oh, and I will be there.

  9. I think a lot of venues will be checking vaccine records. I read in the newspaper that Union Transfer did.

  10. Happiness Stan

    We went down to visit my mum at the seaside for the last fortnight, which coincided with the Hastings Reggae Festival, which seemed an improbable concept. I toyed with the idea of paying to get in, but had a perfectly good view of the stage from the bank running along the wall of the sports centre across the road, and forty five quid to see General Levy and Maxi Priest seemed a little steep. I was closer to the stage than many in the arena, and nearer than I’ve been to a lot of acts at bigger festivals.

    From where I was standing, it looked completely rammed at the front, and there was no social distancing anywhere that I could see, particularly among those falling over one another leaving early. Our government will not countenance any form of vaccine record checking, personally I wish they would. Many of us look to your side of the pond with some envy that you seem at last to have a grown up in charge.

  11. While we have a grown up in charge of the house, a lot of the kids are locked in rooms with irresponsible babysitters watching R rated movies and having a few nips from the liquor cabinets.

  12. Well said Geo.

  13. My first show will be Wilco/Sleater Kinney next week in NYC (enjoy the Mann show!). So far there seems to be a lot of tickets available in the section we’re sitting in which is a little comforting (though maybe not as much for the bands). The first indoor show we have tickets for is in November, a Big Star “tribute” at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn, which is requiring proof of vaccination. I was hoping to be able to go to the Sept. 23rd show but alas it’s a school night.

    At least I’m glad that the last show I went to before all this hit the fan was Richard Thompson. It’s a million times better than the last movie I saw in a theatre.

  14. I’m curious what other examples there are of famous musicians that you could interact with after their fame subsided. I’m reminded of the bass player from the Buzzcocks showing up at Mr Mod’s mother’s house to do some general contracting.

    I can’t think of a better example than having a star become a barber. You get pure one-on-one interaction, and there is usually an expectation of conversation while you get your hair cut. Who else must have received a lot of “hey, didn’t you used to be in _____?”

  15. I think I heard in the same podcast that Tanya Donnelly is a midwife and Bill Janowitz from Buffalo Tom is a real estate guy. As the years go on, having the stability of a 9-5 job with the ability to occasionally play reasonably well attended shows is probably nicer than people would have thought on the front end of their careers. Not as good a having massive hits and “set for life” money, but still.

  16. Speaking of bass players with other careers, I coincidently recently came across this article about erstwhile Soft Boy Matthew Seligman

  17. I think you might want less callused fingers from a midwife if she’s going to be all up in your business.

  18. hrrundivbakshi

    The Jam’s Rick Buckler was a furniture mover for a while. Legendary white blooz guitar genius Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) dug graves. My fave, though, has to be ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill, who took a day job as an airport baggage handler during the band’s late 70s sabbatical. He explained that he was bored. Occasionally, a co-worker would ask, “hey, aren’t you…?”, and the Dust would reply, “If I was the bass player for ZZ Top, would I have a day job as a baggage handler?” His true identity was never discovered.

  19. BigSteve

    Lee Dorsey was supposedly a body & fender man. He understood that his music career was going to go up and down, and he apparently spent more time working on cars than working on music. He wasn’t bitter about it or anything, he just kept working.

    When I still lived in New Orleans I never met Lee Dorsey. but I did meet Fats Domino producer/songwriter Dave Bartholomew. From 1990-96, right before I bought my house on Music St., I lived upstairs from Mike’s Hardware on Elysian Fields Ave. It was a great apartment. Mike was a retired cop, and hanging out downstairs could be interesting. Mike knew I was a music fan, and one day he introduced me to ‘Mr. Dave.’ Apparently Bartholomew used his music industry earnings to buy rental properties in that Gentilly neighborhood, and he was a regular hardware customer, trying to keep his rental units in working order. He shook my hand and was gracious when I told him how I loved his work, but he basically just wanted to buy a faucet or whatever and get on with it.

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