659. So You Think You’re In Love

“Your new manager is pretty great, you know that?” Courtney said to Ziggy. “The man first of all is a walking Rolodex, and second of all, not an apparent slimewad.”

“I’ve liked him so far,” Ziggy said with a small shrug.

“Anyway, I spoke to Mandy. She’d heard about Galani’s parents but didn’t know what had happened to her. She’ll take her in. She’ll even go and get her. The thing we don’t know is where she is or how to get in touch with her.”

“I know who would know.” Ziggy gave a nod. “Janessa. Here, take her number.”

“Is it okay if I call her?”

“Yeah. She’s cool. Explain who you are and that you’re trying to help out another, what did you call it, Dar’? Member of the FOBD Club.”

Courtney snorted with laughter. “Fucked Over By Digger Club?”

I was startled into laughter myself. “Yes. Can you read my mind or something?”

“I just know how you think, big brother,” she said with a grin. “Zig, I think it might be helpful if she heard it from you, though.”

“All right.” He kept hold of my hand. “Lead me to the phone.”

Puddle in the Road was just starting their set, but back in the production office it was quiet enough to use the phone. I discovered I didn’t really want to hear Ziggy talk to Janessa and I waited in the hallway, where I could hear the echoes of the bass and drums without really being able to make out what song they were playing.

I tapped my fingers on my thigh: I could hear a completely different song in those echoes. This is how my mind works sometimes. I’ll be in the shower or wherever and it will be like there’s a song I can barely hear through the noise and that’s the song I’m trying to make into reality. The exhilarating thing about working on the soundtrack stuff alone at Remo’s was that I get pretty close. I could use synthesizer sounds and effects and computer sequencing to go from hearing something in the shower in the morning to having a half-decent track for people to hear by that night.

Writing music for a band was a little different because it had to stay within certain parameters, but with Moondog Three I knew what we “could” sound like. I had a strong understanding of what our sonic range and timbres were, and of what Ziggy might do. The surprise always came in what Ziggy actually did, but one of the reasons it worked so well, why it felt magical at times, was because when he took things in some musical direction I didn’t expect it was so often wonderful. You could hear it.

They startled me coming out of the office. “Everything good?” I asked.

“Everything’s copacetic,” Courtney said. “I’ll give you the details later. Right now shouldn’t you be getting ready to go on?”

“Yeah.” Among other things I needed to change my shoes, hand my laminates to Flip, and make sure I’d brushed my hair or I’d never get the post-show knots out of it. I’d done a vocal warmup before soundcheck but I should do a quick one of those, too. I took Ziggy’s hand and pulled him with me to the green room.

He was quiet, sticking with me without getting in my way, watching and listening. And maybe thinking about all the things I’d said.

My mind, on the other hand, had gone blank, like all I could think about was the show. I was aware I was shutting out everything else without being aware of what exactly I was shutting out.

I didn’t want him to think I was shutting him out, though. “Hey.”


“We’re hopping into the buses and heading north as soon as we’re done here tonight.”

“I know.” He slipped his hand into mine again. “I’ll say goodbye before you go, though, okay?”


“O-kay,” he said, and pushed me in the direction of Flip.

A little while later I found Ziggy in the hallway with Fran and Clarice, the three of them singing three-part harmony of some gospel hymn and then cracking up laughing when one of them–Ziggy, I think–got their part wrong. We warmed up a little more together after that.

Normally I do not get butterflies in my stomach before a show. Maybe on opening night. Not usually. But that night it feltl like everything was taking forever, like the span between when Puddle in the Road came off the stage and when we were in the wings waiting to go on was longer than usual. Maybe it was and I just didn’t notice the delay and assumed it was in my head.

But it was probably in my head. We usually went out as a group and took our places, prompting a cheer, and then Remo came by himself prompting a bigger cheer. We always stood there for a while after the lights went down, letting the audience find their voice before we took the stage. It sounded like a Friday night crowd that night, energetic and ready to be rocked.

Good. I didn’t give a fuck if the place wasn’t sold out as long as the people who showed up really wanted to be there.

And then it was stage time. Stage time is different from all other times. It’s like a parallel universe, actually, and all stage time stitches together into one continuum. All road time does that, too. And all home time. This is how it can be that a musician who goes out on the road for four months can come home and the day they left can seem like yesterday. There’s a way in which it was.

It was a good show but it felt to me like the band was tired, like the energy came from the crowd and pumped them up but I could feel the fatigue at the edges. I don’t know whether it was they knew we were almost done with this leg, so they were letting it show (to me, not the audience), or if this was why Remo only put them on the road six or seven weeks at a time before a break. Or if I was projecting my own lack of sleep onto everyone else. I don’t know. It was a perfectly fine show with some very fine moments. Given that it was one where we weren’t deviating from the default set list at all, there wasn’t anything unusual to remember.

When I came off stage Flip traded my guitar for a towel and my laminates as usual, and I slung the lanyard over my neck then toweled my face as usual. When I pulled the towel away, though, I had a faceful of Ziggy. A kiss, and then he pulled back, his eyes bright.

“You’re really great, you know that?” he said, and it didn’t sound like something he’d been rehearsing saying.

“I get by,” I said with a laugh.

I grabbed a shower because Flip said there was time to, and then I grabbed Ziggy to say goodbye.

“I’m really, really glad you came to Los Angeles,” I said. “And not because of whatever happens because of the radio thing we did. And not because I made a good impression on your manager.”

We were in a back hallway that had already been cleared of gear.

“Ditto,” Ziggy said. “You know when I was glad I came?”


“When Janessa showed up–”

“When Janessa showed up!”

“Sh, sh, let me finish.” He held my hands. That seemed to be a good way to get me to focus these days. “When she said to me, ‘I see why you picked him,’ or something like that, do you remember?”

“Yeah.” I remembered the words a little differently, but I knew what moment he was talking about.

“And you didn’t freak out when she said that. That was the moment I knew.”

“Knew what?”

“That you’re okay with there being an ‘us’ again, whatever ‘us’ means.”

Huh. “I was more than okay with there being an ‘us’ when we spent a week in your old apartment.”

“Yes, but then I went and messed it up.”

“And I am pretty sure it was me who was trying to make an ‘us’ when I asked you to come to Christmas.”

“Yes.” He was nodding. “The other moment where I was really, really sure was when Barrett told you it was obvious to him I wasn’t giving up on a relationship with you.”

“Uh huh. I felt that one, too. Instead of being freaked out that you’d talked about me with your manager I felt…validated.”

“That’s why I think…” He took a deep breath. “I think I finally understand.”

“Understand what?”

“That underneath it all your biggest fear is that I won’t defend the ‘us’ as much as I actually will.”

“Will you?” I asked, while I tried to figure out if that was true. Was that my biggest fear?

“I think I will,” he said, “but I do think that where we go wrong sometimes is we don’t agree on what ‘us’ is, which makes it hard to know what to defend.”

“That makes sense. But Zig. What is ‘us’?”

“We’re not going to answer that question while standing in the back hallway of a civic center,” he said.

Site news!
1. Did you see the fanworks challenge prompt for this month?
2. Reviews! SO CLOSE. Come on, folks, we just need ONE MORE review on volume 3 and THREE on volume 7. As soon as we get there I’ll release the scene…
3. Remember to look at all the awesome memes!
4. Pre-order the volume 8 ebook now at the $2.99 price! It goes up after it launches on Nov. 10th: Pre-order links: AmazonApple iTunes/iBooksSmashwordsBarnes & NobleKobo
• Chat with Daron: November 10 8-9pm in the chat room here on the site. (See the popup in the lower right corner of your browser screen!)
• Also Nov 10th: ctan will livestream from 9-10pm eastern for book launch of Vol. 8. (Direct Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0vzienFR-g)
Post questions to be answered in the chats by either of us here or on the Facebook RSVP page!

(Yep. Another one from 1991… A catchy one. Poor Robyn struggling to hear himself here, afraid he’s flat, and he manages to hit his high note every single chorus. -d)


  • Stacey says:

    “That makes sense. But Zig. What is ‘us’?”

    “We’re not going to answer that question while standing in the back hallway of a civic center,” he said.

    …and yet: in some ways, that’s one of the biggest parts of who you guys are, together and separately 🙂

    This was great. It’s nice to see Daron and Ziggy moving toward a new place in their relationship. I’m not worried that there won’t be plenty of drama, because it seems to stick to Daron like [insert cliche here], but it’s nice to see this part starting to work for them.

  • s says:

    I love this! I don’t know where you two finally figured out how to talk to each other (perhaps out of necessity?), but it sure is great to watch. Please let that continue.

    Also, these tour dates are so weird. LA to San Diego to San Francisco…that’s a lot of miles to go right past the place you’d just been. I guess that’s not something that would bug Daron since he doesn’t know where he is half the time anyway. 🙂

    And now I’m really wanting you to go on that tour with Ziggy. I was on the fence about it before, but if we’re gonna get kisses when you come off stage…

    • daron says:

      He likes me. He really likes me. Heh.

    • ctan says:

      It’s even weirder than that: LA to San Diego to Costa Mesa, which is right back to the L.A. metro area. (Which is why it will be easy to pick up Carynne. Daron doesn’t actually realize this until they get there, though.) These are the actual tour dates & venues from a Clapton US tour of 1990 or 1991. You’ve got hundreds of acts trying to set up their tours at the same time, hundreds of venues vying for dates, in those days anything that was within a 6-8 hour drive was fair game. (Remember the weird 14-hour side trip to Bloomington, Minnesota on the last M3 tour where they went Carolina to Minnesota to Toronto? That was in the actual itinerary for The Cure’s tour. It’s SO out of the way and the hauls were so long I figure someone HAD to have fucked up and thought they were going to Bloomington, Indiana. I’ve never been able to confirm that, though.)

      • s says:

        Lol, I figured it had something to do with when they could actually schedule wherever they were playing. I’ve never really paid attention to how often bands backtrack like that (now I want to read the back of some of my concert shirts…). Not even sure why it suddenly struck me as odd. I did think the Minnesota thing was weird, but at least it was still going NORTH from NC.

        I really love how you use those little details from music history in the story, even if we don’t always know they are there.

      • Bill Heath says:

        Twenty years ago, in one two week span of a two month trip done by air, I changed planes in Washington Dulles Airport seven times. LA to San Diego to Costa Mesa? Sounds pretty direct to me.

        • daron says:

          LA-SD-LA certainly beat North Carolina to Minnesota to Toronto by bus. (A haul that wouldn’t even be legal today…)

          • Bill Heath says:

            I’m dumbfounded by how bus tours changed in a couple of decades. In Europe, in 1971, we had nonstop fourteen days and sixteen shows. I earned a homesteader’s title to a very small seat (beds? on buses? whachu talkin bout?). On that tour I taught myself to read and speak Portuguese. Needed something to do that didn’t require interacting with people who smelled just as bad as I did.

            • daron says:

              Yeah, the excesses of the eighties are part of it, too. And they took another leap forward in amenities toward the end of the 90s, too. I guess the RV industry was innovating at the same time and anything you can install in a camper you can install in a bus, I guess…

  • steve says:

    I just laughed as the lyrics to this song played in my head.

    I don’t think you should be straight about it.

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