Let me level with you: when I'm not puttering around the country, touring, and driving until I have one of those ass tumors that truckers get, I'm in a cubicle, selling tickets. Not exactly one of those jobs that's making the world a better place, granted, but it's also fairly harmless. Or, to put it another way, I might not be curing diseases but I'm not designing them either, which, given my high school biology grades, is no great surprise. Of course there are perks too: the occassional cheap Warriors ticket, that sinking feeling you get when you realize people will pay $600 to see another Barbara Streisand "No, really, it's my farewell" tour, and, my personal favorite, secret lingo.
I think every job has it's own weird, insular vernacular. Lawyers can say things like "voir dire" and "res judicata" and "certiorari" and the only response I can come up with is "abracadabra." Doctors have their own private lexicon, filled with three letter acronyms, more latin, and words that describe parts of your body you barely knew you had. Rumor has it that some butchers can speak a mangled version of pig latin. So, naturally, I'm thrilled to have a job where saying things like "flip the one-eleven charlies at a buck and a dime" is a daily occurrance. It's like learning a second language, except that's it's about as useful as Maltese and nowhere near as interesting. It's better than saying "you guys save room for dessert?" though.
This is my roundabout way of making an observation. Since I'm selling (read: scalping) tickets, I get to see what shows and teams are incredibly popular, ergo expensive, and which events you can see for a half-punched smoothie stand frequent buyer card. What I've noticed lately is this: it is now against the law to write an original musical.
Bear with me. We've got Jersey Boys (about the Four Seasons), Mamma Mia (about ABBA), Movin' Out (about Billy Joel), that one about Dylan that's supposed to reek, the one (now long gone) about Freddy Mercury & Queen; in other words, at some point, without telling anyone, musicals have devolved into pseudo-non-fictional retellings of musician's lives, using their music, only it's sung and performed by pretty people with American-Idol-style voices, surrounded by Spandexed, flexible people. When did this happen? What happened to grown men and women wearing whiskers and prancing around to modernist poetry? I mean, if you write a musical, shouldn't you be, you know, writing music?
One thing I forget to mention yesterday, somehow. When we played the Riott festival this weekend, we had the pleasure of sharing the stage with a strange variety of artists. One of these acts was Living Legends (who, I must say, were really damn good. Having fifty thousand people on stage never hurts). What I forgot to mention is, on my way back from the bar, I noticed something odd during their set. I noticed, stage left & front, a hooded dude, wearing sunglasses, smoking a blunt, humping a melodica. Which, naturally, forced me to ponder "where the hell is my melodica?" Which, naturally, led me to the conclusion that it was on that guy's crotch. Which, naturally, was kind of creepy. At any rate, I found it after their set, safe, sound, perhaps a little emotionally scarred, and packed it up. On the other hand, Sage Francis stole my keys.