Every day in April I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. Each day I will write a post dealing with an issue that is near and dear to me that starts with the letter of the Alphabet the corresponds with the day of the month. Neat right? Today is April 1st so the letter of the day is A.
A is for Assholes. Those people who used to make my life miserable. Who I swore I would never let infect my life and my psyche once I was able to gnaw through the shackles of employment. I finally bit through the last shank of steel in 2001 and vowed I would never look back. When it came time to quit the last job I had, as the talent buyer for the Knitting Factory, I was so depressed about working there that I bailed on showing up to quit on January 2nd and made up an excuse of having been arrested on New Year’s Eve to explain why I simply hadn’t shown up, or returned a call or email all that day. But I think that’s a story for a different letter.
I got started in this whole band booking thing when I got my arm twisted into taking over booking at Wetlands in 1999. Because I was working for someone else, I had a directive to keep the club open 7 nights a week no matter what. Closing for a night simply wasn’t an option. So I had to deal with a lot of characters who I would have otherwise told to Go Fuck Themselves. Not to point a big, stained, brown, blunt-rolling finger at anyone but a big percentage of those “assholes” were from the hip hop community. And the rest was made up of fast talking, slow promoting douche canoes who represented bands with more tenacity than talent. And pretty much anybody who referred to me as “buddy.” If you ever pick up the phone and the guy on the other end refers to you as “buddy” I can guarantee you that he will be guaranteed to be pitching a money losing and / or time sucking proposition.
So once I started Rocks Off and was beholden only to myself, my rent-stabilized apartment in Harlem, and my growing tabs at the bar and the tattoo parlor, I made myself a promise. “NO ASSHOLES” If you were an asshole I was just going to refuse to do business with you. And it’s worked. The air just smells sweeter since I made, and kept, that promise to myself.