“Where are all the people?”


Not the question you want to hear after driving three hours to play a gig somewhere. This is going to be another long night…


“This place was packed last night.”


Two hundred miles… rattled… sleepless… to perform at this place. I know I am not well known and had never been to this town. I am trying to build an audience but there’s not much you can build out of the two town drunks and the bartender.


Someone said I was the hardest working musician he knew… probably the most masochistic too. One man bands are enough trouble but mine is especially burdensome with four different guitars, a banjo, accordion, trash drum kit and all the miscellaneous pieces that put it all together. When discussing my rates I will usually say I will play for free but I charge at least a hundred dollars to carry all my shit in and out of the venue. Like most people who haven’t found success, my instinct is always to work harder… practice more… add more to my act to make it more unique and entertaining. All that work is surely evident to the people who witness my act. The problem is no one does.


Where are all the people?


It’s Friday night at one of the few waterholes in town and just about the only one with any live music but it is still empty. The bar I played last night was slow too. Unusually so, they said… as if I am some sort of curse… I feel cursed. I’ve been doing this for years. Getting better. Getting great even… and I am still playing these same gigs… for no one.


Every gig is my tenth birthday party all over again. The one nobody showed up for. The one that made me cry to find I had no one to share my toys with.


End this. End this. That becomes a mantra in my head. End this. I think I have learned my lessons from failure well enough. I know what it is like to be broke… unwanted… I know what it is like to have no one come to my gigs. Those experiences have played over and over again like a fucking broken record. I’ve heard that song already. I wrote that goddamn song already. Over the years of my repeated failure I have grown… gotten better than I ever imagined becoming… I even impress my relentlessly self-critical self at times… I got it all going now. The material. The chops. The act. I thought I was getting a better handle on promotion but... well... I am ready for something different now but where the fuck is everyone?


End this.