Today’s blog post is not about rape in the conventional sense of the word…it is about rape in a Holden Caulfield kind of a way. You know Holden Caulfield….the rebellious kid from Catcher in the Rye who wants to protect the innocence of youth. Today’s blog is about what I like to call “performance rape.”
This is a very important topic for musicians….non-famous ones. Musicians who play gigs into their later years knowing that they will not “make it.” They play for the sheer joy of playing.
Well, last night my family and I went to a sweet little sandwich shop for dinner. The restaurant gets most of its business for lunch, but, in my opinion, it’s a great place for any meal. The owners really try to create a fun atmosphere at this restaurant….live music, an outdoor and indoor play area for kids, help yourself goldfish cracker munchies for the kiddos while they wait for their food, board games, etc.
Last night, we were the only patrons at the restaurant for a good amount of time we were there. There was an acoustic guitarist hired for the evening. When we first walked in, he sat a table chatting and eating with his buddy. After about 20 minutes, his buddy left, and he got up to play….to us. Only us. He wasn’t even very good. His patch chord that amplifies his guitar was bad and was creating a buzz. My husband…my awesome handyman of a husband…helped him stop the bad buzz. He played, and here’s where the rape part comes in…..we were forced to clap and smile and cheer him on. How could we not? We’re musicians, and if anybody understands the need to show appreciation to musical people….it is us.
It even gets worse. My daughter whispers that she has to go potty. At that moment, our own one-person show announces, “Here’s one for the kids!” Oh my gosh… total boring non-kid-friendly song! “Mommy, I really have to go,” my daughter whispers after about 30 seconds into the song. Sometimes politeness just needs to be shooed out the window, so we listened to his “children’s” song without her….uggghhhhh….and clapped with plastered cheery smiles on our faces.
So, musician friends, the moral of the story is to learn to have consideration for your audience. Don’t rape them with your songs. Last night was just creepy and weird and uncomfortable. Please know that there is this potential if you go play a gig at a sleepy venue.
Of course….my song of the day is Nirvana’s “Rape Me.” It just has to be. Click HERE to go to Youtube to hear Kurt Cobain and the guys at their best, and promise me…..don’t ever put an audience through that. Ever.