Backstage with Baldy
Jones Beach – August 18th
Life can unfortunately be filled with regrets, and one of mine is that I never had any children.
I do have four rock stars to tend to and care for however, and I like to think that the responsibility of looking after them fills the void a little.
I also believe that there are some definite parallels between parenting and rock star caretaking.
Sure, there aren’t dirty diapers to deal with, and none of my guys really spits up anymore, but there are other similarities.
I would imagine that getting your kid off to school or any other activity can be a major undertaking.
Well, pretty much on a daily basis I have to make sure that four guys do three things in a timely manner: press, meet & greets, & the actual concert.
One of those they’re quite good at (concert).
The other two? Not so much.
Phone interviews are easy, because all they have to do is answer when the journalist calls.
Interviews in person are a little more difficult.
Usually I’ll speak with the journalist beforehand and determine where the interview will take place, then the fun begins.
And the more band members that are involved, the more difficult it becomes.
Because just like little children, Alice In Chains tends to wander.
This is what makes meet & greets the absolute worst, because it’s all four band members, every time.
And unlike interviews, so far the meet & greets on the Uproar tour have been happening at the same time every night.
So you’d think my little Alice tykes would settle into a routine.
Usually I’ll get lucky and have two of them in the dressing room about 5 to 10 minutes before the meet & greet. I’ll implore them to please stay put, then I’ll head off to try and track down the other two.
Whether it’s an amphitheater, an arena, or a theater, it’s basically a playground for adults, but instead of monkey bars and swing sets, I’m looking for my kids in catering, in another band’s dressing room, on the bus, or any number of other options that are available to them.
Fortunately I’m armed with a radio and a gaggle of co-workers who can help lead me in the right direction.
Eventually I’ll get them all in the dressing room and ready to go, but I think any parent out there will guess what comes next…
That’s right, one of my boys will need to visit Tinkle Town.
Then another one will need a piece of gum.
And another will need something to drink.
Then once we’re finally on our way to the meet & greet, inevitably someone will see Duff or Dave Navarro across the parking lot, and then suddenly I’ve got a straggler to deal with.
Any combination of the delays I’ve just mentioned happen before EVERY SINGLE meet & greet, without exception.
It’s not like they’re 30 minutes late or anything, but part of my job is to get the band where they need to be on time, so even if we’re only 5 minutes late it grates on me.
And the guys know it.
And they love it.
The fact that I get increasingly fidgety and agitated with each passing minute just makes them move even slower.
Just like part of my job is to be the time police, part of their job is to be carefree musicians with internal clocks that bear no resemblance to actual time.
So despite the fact that they don’t listen to me and they actively defy my authority, I take great pride in my dawdling quadruplets, much like any parent would.
I’d just like to ship them off to their Aunt & Uncle’s place for the summer so I can get some rest…