The TLP Network

No One and a Half: Nice Guys

by on Mar.24, 2008, under Articles, No One and a Half

Scribed by Jason Firestone.

It’s a common occurrence, really. Always happens in a way similar to this:

I’m playing a show on a random night of the week. I strike up a conversation with one of the five people there before the show. I ask him what band he’s here for and he tells me he’s actually in one of the bands. Duh, no one hangs out at a bar an hour before the show starts unless they’re in one of the bands, fucking a member of one of the bands, or one of the day patrons who are about to stumble their drunk ass out the door to… uh, wherever the people who hang out at bars during the day go to at night. Cool cool, I say I’m in one of the bands too. Musician small talk for a few minutes. Dude seems like a really nice guy. This makes me actually have the desire to pay full attention to his band’s performance instead of paying attention for a couple songs and then listening with half an ear as I talk it up with the sound guy, bartender, door guy, or a random friend of mine who happened to show up tonight. It’s not that I don’t care. I definitely do. In fact I’m that guy who’s freakishly devoted to the local music scene, who shows up at a venue on a random Thursday, not having heard of ANY of the bands playing, just to find some new local music. I just have a very short attention span and I can count on the fingers of one hand how many bands–local or national–I could actually sit and watch and devote 100% of my attention to the whole time they play.

Now I’m usually the last guy to talk shit about a band that I’m playing a show with. Seems like people can be so endlessly critical of a band whether they themselves have the chops to back up their criticisms or not. And, hell, I’ll be the first to admit that despite everyone around me making fun of the band and despite the type of music they play being far from one of my favorites, when a band is great at what they do I respect them. This past week I even told a band straight up that I wasn’t into the type of music they played but that they did a great job. Good for what they do, pretty much, which really is the best compliment you can give someone if you aren’t into their music.

The point is this guy’s band gets on the stage and starts playing, and they are awful. Absolutely terrible. I have to actually excuse myself from the room to keep my pain and agony from being visible. But you know what? When I end up talking to the guy after the show I won’t be that asshole who tells him to his face “you fucking suck!” Why? Because he’s a nice guy. If you’re going to suck, at least be a cool person. Nothing’s worse than someone who sucks AND is a total douche. If someone’s up there doing their thing and aren’t particularly good at it, I’ll be much more willing to take the “hey, props to them, they’re trying” attitude if they’re a good person. Shit, I’d even chill with them after the show. Now, don’t get me wrong, their band wouldn’t be my first choice when setting up a show, but they’d definitely be someone I’d call up when I’m having a big show and I’d like to be surrounded by good people instead of assholes.

Even if you’re a fantastic, mind-blowing, pants-wettingly spectacular musician and performer, don’t be a dick. There’s just no excuse. I really don’t care how good you are, there’s no excuse to be a dick.

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