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Writings, Essays, Lyrics, Musings, Commentary . . .

Article #30: How To Know When You're Too Old To Gig

Happy Spring everyone!

I haven't written anything here since December, 2005. In February, instead of writing, I opted to create a new gallery of some of my sheroes. Hope you've had an opportunity to visit.

However, as promised in my December writing, I have been doing for self. Suzanne and I went to Mexico in January -- had an incredible week being pampered at a spa and made what I call a mecca to Frida Kahlo's home (powerfully inspirational . . . relatively speaking, I have no pain). March found us beside the peaceful teal waters of St. Croix, in the Virgin Islands.

Because I haven't written in so long, I had a wealth of topics to choose from. Many of them decided to channel themselves into songs. I imagine that in the next few months you'll see some completed lyrics here. In the meanwhile, I want to share a delightful email.

I received this gem from Cathy Ponton-King, a long-time blues woman (vocalist, guitarist, composer) from the D.C. area. While we've never met, we've developed a great cyberspace friendship. I think part of our connection is her warped sense of philosophical humor. Hope you'll share this with all your musician friends who are like me. . . gigging seniors. Maybe soon we'll be doing our rockin' in chairs.

YOU MIGHT BE TOO OLD TO GIG, IF . . .

--Your fans have left by 10:30 p.m.

--You ask the club owner if you can start at 8:30 p.m. instead of 9:30 p.m.

-- You need your glasses to see your amp settings.

-- The waitress is your daughter.

-- You're thrilled to have New Year's Eve off.

-- You don't let anyone "sit in."

-- You hire band members for their values instead of their talent.

-- Instead of a fifth piece, your band wants to spring for a roadie with the extra money.

-- Most of your crowd just sways in their seats.

-- You find your drink tokens from last month's gig in your guitar case.

-- You've thrown out your back jumping off the stage.

-- You check the TV schedule before booking a gig.

-- Prepping for the gig involves plucking hair from your chin or nose.

-- Most of the hair you've plucked from your chin or nose is gray.

-- You refuse to play out of tune.

-- It becomes more important to find a place onstage for your box fan, than your amp.

-- You love shopping the Dollar Store because you can sing along to most of your playlist.

-- All you want from groupies is a foot massage.

-- YOU HAVE TO ENLARGE THE FONT TO READ THIS.

-- You can't figure out the directions to the gig.

-- You no longer use a tip jar.

-- High notes make you cough.

-- After the third set, you bug the club owner to let you quit early.

-- You want an opening act.

-- You need a nap before the gig.

-- You're related to at least one other member of the band.

-- During the second set, you scream for the drummer to please stop hitting those annoying cymbals.

-- All your friends are musicians.

-- You stop the set because your bottle of Ibuprofen fell behind the speakers.

-- Your drugs of choice are Ibuprofen and correctol.

-- You notice that you play better than most of the younger players and know way more songs.

-- You prefer a music stand with a light.

-- During the breaks, you now go to your van to lay down.

-- You don't recover until Tuesday afternoon.

-- You can't operate without a set list.

-- You discourage playing longer than contracted.

-- You have a contract.