Second show in Bogota, third show of the tour, seventh day on the road. I told myself hey, that’s another whole week since the accident. That must mean you’re healing. Right?
Truth was I couldn’t really tell if anything had changed physically in the course of that week, and the possibility that I was making it worse instead of better nagged in the back of my head. I tried to convince myself that it balanced out.
Having had a day off where I didn’t stress about what we were doing with Star*Gaze was probably a good thing. Now that it was time to think about it again, though, I got the guys together at the venue while we were waiting for soundcheck.
“So, what are we doing tonight, boss?” Chris asked.
I had opened my mouth to say I thought we should do pretty much the same as the previous show when I realized that I couldn’t remember what we had done. There was a blank. I remembered the really painful slog through the show in Venezuela and then… I remembered my fantasy of what a Moondog 3 show would have been like better than I remembered the actual performance from Bogota. And it had only been two days before.
I hedged. “Did you guys like how it went?”
They gave each other some sly smiles. Bart finally spoke. “If you’re going to go off like you did every night, that’d be great. Just remember the oxygen this time.”
Oh. Right. It started to come back to me. The thin air explained a lot about that performance now. “Um, maybe I should take it down a notch.”
“Maybe,” Flip and Bart said in unison, and then immediately started a kung-fu-esque fight where they each tried to be the first to touch the other’s knees. (Bart won.)
Soundcheck went okay, but I only sang the minimum during it, saving my lungpower for later. I noticed a lot of looks from various crew and performers, I think because most of them were worried I might keel over again. Understandable. Most of them hadn’t seen me yesterday so this was their first chance to see me upright since being carted off on a stretcher after passing out during the argument with Linn.
Linn for her part was brusque but cordial with me. “Cool temperatures again tonight,” she said at one point.
“Mm-hmm,” I replied. It’s always colder high up in the mountains. Maybe she was just trying to make neutral conversation–talking about the weather–but I think she was trying to suggest I wouldn’t need to take my jacket off during the show this time. I didn’t press to find out.
Needless to say neither of us apologized to the other.
My anxiety began to ramp up as showtime approached and I thought about whether I could pull off the kind of unbridled, balls-to-the-wall performance I had the previous time. If I didn’t, what would happen? What would “taking it down a notch” mean? I was working myself right into a bout of self-consciousness that was going to cripple me onstage. The feeling of impending “stage fright” was worryingly familiar.
But this is what you do, I tried to tell myself. You got this. You know you do. Come on. Just get out there and stop worrying.
But worrying led to increased stress chemicals in my system and that led to my hand being a problem. Argh.
I went right to Dr. Flip. “What do you think?”
“I think the difference between you drinking this now and drinking it an hour from now is negligible,” he said. “It’s not like we’re upping your quantity.”
“Okay.” That was reassuring.
So it was I hit the stage with a mix of Vitamin F, Gatorade, bourbon, and canned oxygen in my bloodstream.
I don’t remember how that set went at all. But I hear it was good.
(Hi folks! hard to believe September’s almost over! Two things you could do today if you want to do me a huge favor. One, leave a review for Daron’s Guitar Chronicles Vol 10! This is the book that runs from the putting together of Ziggy’s tour band through the ring ceremony in St. Louis. Most important is Amazon, but Goodreads helps a lot, too, and it’s only got 1 measly review in each of those places. The other one, if you are a fan of erotic fiction or LGBTQ science fiction, is the Circlet Press 25th anniversary Kickstarter is at 94% funded! Can someone please push it over the top? Thank you all for everything! -ctan)
(OK, I skipped ahead a few months for this song. The official video, and honestly the official mix of the song, I find pretty awful because it’s like they couldn’t figure out what was great and wonderful about Suzanne Vega and why her previous albums did so well in the college radio world, so they commercialized her, overproduced her, and tried to sell her as the next Laurie Anderson. Gag. But in 2011 they released a pretty awesome and much more sensible remix of the song that lets the awesomeness of the song finally be heard. So I put that one on top, above, and the original below it. -d)