Most of the night, the patrons sat at the bar with their back to me. I was really givin’ up for them too, singing with particular passion on this night, exploring the emotions in my songs. But I don’t know… Every once in a while, I started to get the feeling that I was in one of those absurd moments where the corner-of-bar performer is competing with the clientele’s obstinate inattentiveness.
If you walked into the place at, say, 10:32 pm, you would have seen me looking quite professional on a nicely lit stage, playing good tunes, and singing with great conviction. You might have said to yourself: “Wow. That guy is really into himself, and nobody’s listening. He must really suck.”
I couldn’t let it faze me, though. ‘Cause my good friends Cindy and Dave were there requesting old faves like “Spontaneous Combustion” and “1968.” And right now, I’m preparing for upcoming recording sessions. So each one of these gigs is like dress rehearsal. Producer Ehren Ebbage is expecting me to show up with my shit together, so I’m holding nothing back, no matter how enthusiastically the people ignore me.
(Damn, I’m glad I’m not a stand-up comedian. They actually get booed, not merely ignored.)
Come to think of it, I might be over-estimating the quality of my performance. I did slip a Vicodyn before the show; back pain had come on after I spent the afternoon walking around beautiful Sandpoint in the sun. Maybe I was in the throes of drug-induced euphoria, under the illusion that I was creating something beautiful, while hacking my way through mediocre strummin’ crap, wailing at the top of my lungs, annoying the crap out Eichardt’s.
Strangely, though, I received a ton of tips, relative to the size of the tiny crowd. So I couldn’t have been that bad… Unless they just felt sorry for me.
I tease myself, just to make sure that I don’t get any strange ideas about being so important to Western Civilization. But the truth is, I think the new material is working well, and I’m finding new places to go with my singing voice.