We had a great weekend Memorial Day.
It was awesome even if we did cancel a show because an emergency came up. I want to comment that we survived the cancellation. I thought it would kill me. I hated it. It caused me fear, frustration, pain and woe to me syndrome. I’ve always been one of “The show must go on” crowd. I’ve played gigs so sick that I had to be propped up by a bar stool and a trash can next to me so I could get sick. I played and never gave up. Yeah, I was the super trooper when it came to making it to gigs. I also stressed out beyond belief about each and every one of those gigs. It had to be absolutely perfect. Every gig had to be spectacular, unforgettable and monumental. All that is changing and there’s a benefit here that I never imagined. You see (insert crowd scenes from the local 12 step program) Hi, my name is Cliff and I have terrible stage fright! It’s awful. I can infect those around me by simply allowing them to look at me. I forgot what songs we were playing. I forget to sing. Heck, it was all I could do to remember what song we were playing even after it started. It was awful. I would be shaking, my heart beating in my chest so hard I was afraid it was going to exit my body through my throat. I’ve kept my terrible secret for years. Hiding it under a case of “professionalism” where everything had to be perfect. I drove people crazy.But that’s all going to change. Saturday we played an awesome show. The crowd of several hundred or more were all smiling and watching. Women were holding their young kids and dancing. I noticed two people at the festival in wheel chairs. They had incredible smiles on their faces and I think our music almost had them walking again. Inside I could feel those nerves beginning to rise, my stomach getting tight my hands starting to cramp. All those old terrible feelings starting to surface. Then something happened! A loud clap of thunder and rain. The promoter and sound man ran onto stage, we stopped playing, set our insturments down and watched people run for cover. Well, everyone except a couple that simply opened umbrellas and kept their seats. Obviously they were going to be there when the music started back. NOW that’s encouragement that we all could use. Then the rain stopped and we finished our set. The world didn’t end and fans were super nice to us. It was great. We got home after midnight and set the alarm for 6 am so we could head out again. The alarm went off and just as I woke up my cell phone did that vibrating thing indicating a message. No news at that time of morning is good and this wasn’t either. After some scrambling to wake up and assess the situation we contacted the promoter/booker for the show and cancelled. I thought I was going to die. This was new territory for me. I’ve been a professional musician for YEARS and never have I had to do this. It felt terrible! BUT later that day we learned that it was a mud bath at the other festival. The rain throwing the whole schedule off. And you know what? I lived. There was no phone call from an angry promoter threatening me. The sun came up the next day. Everything was still OK and know what else? I don’t think, after a rainy weekend plauged with bad news that things are going to be near as stressful the next time. Thanks to those fans for popping those umbrella’s when the rain started. Not only did you stay for the rest of the show BUT you cured my stage fright for that day AND you did something tremendous in helping a musician to cope with a bad situation the next day. I don’t know who you are but I owe you a world of gratitude. That’s what the great folks at Medicine Park did for me. You guys are awesome, we can’t wait until we return! Backwoods Bash, we’re sorry we had to cancel BUT, because we received text from fans that had come to see us at your festival, we know you still had a great time AND the world didn’t end for anyone. Maybe we all need to carry an umbrella sometimes!