Monday, March 03, 2008

Of Peeps and Men

Psachya writes:
I figure we can all use a (short) break from the Lipa stuff, so I'm sending you a coupla peeps:

- "Rat in a Maze" - that would be me, trying to navigate my way into certain catering halls with my entire sound system. First, I have to squeeze by the florist truck that's blocking the ENTIRE loading dock that's the only way we're allowed into the building. We then get to the right-angle elevator that's almost impossible to get a loaded musician's cart into or out of. Then comes the exit from said elevator, in front of which the kitchen staff thoughtfully placed as many of their trays, plates, and rolling carts as possible. In case that wasn't enough of a challenge, once I finally fight my way into the main room, the tables are set up so close to each other & in such a way that, short of knocking down every chair, plate, and piece of silverware in the place, I need to wheel my stuff around the entire perimeter of the room before finally (gasp!) reaching the stage, where a piece of cheese awaits me. (I combined several different halls, but you get the idea.)

- "The Connoisseur" - that's the guy whose wedding I was supposed to play tonight. He ran into my boss a couple of days ago, and their conversation went something like this:

BOSS: So, we're almost at the big day! How's it goin'?
CONNOISSEUR: Great! So tell me, who's in the band?
BOSS: Well, I've got Psachya on keys...
BOSS: Psachya.
CONNOISSEUR: Never heard of him. I want Musician X on keys.
BOSS: But, the wedding's in two days, and you didn't request any specific musicians in the contract...
CONNOISSEUR: I don't care! I want Musician X - I never heard of this Psachya guy.
BOSS: But Psachya's a good keyboard player, too - and besides, he's already hired! I'd have to cancel him!
CONNOISSEUR: I don't care! I know the music business - musicians get cancelled all the time! I want Musician X!

What The Connoisseur apparently didn't know was the Local 802 ordinance that says that when a musician is cancelled within 72 hours of a gig, he has to be paid anyway. So I get a one-day paid vacation, and The Connoisseur gets Musician X (no hard feelings, X is a friend of mine.) All I can say is Mazel Tov, and lots of luck to the future Mrs. Connoisseur. I have a feeling she's going to need it.
It's going to be a very short break.

Coincidentally, I'd already started another "Peeps" post.

Here they are:

The "Camp Songs"Guy

This guy has to come up and sing his camp lyrics to the songs the band is playing. We usually run into him in the summer season, but he also shows up at weddings of popular staff members and at various organizational retreats.

Playing Yidden is not exactly the most musically satisfying moment of our career to begin with, but it really hits a new low when "Camp Guy" takes over the mic to sing "I need to take a shower/I wish there was one more hour/to Shabbes!"

The "I Must Make This Call Now" Guy

The scene: A CD release party for an insanely talented Klezmer group.
The tune: A sweet soft doina improvisation
The time: perfect for standing up in the back of the small room and making a phone call
The solution: When virtually the entire room turns around to shush, just turn your back to the band and keep on talking. Loudly. Even after someone comes over and asks you to leave.

The "Ma'ariv Jerk"

"Ma'ariv Jerk" is the client who waits until we're all but packed up and ready to go. That's the time he chooses, natch, to start davening ma'ariv. Um, dude, the event's been over for at least twenty minutes already. You couldn't find time to hand us a check beforehand? Note: "Ma'ariv Jerk" is also always "Long Shemone Esrei Dude." He never tips.