Tuned In, Turned Off

Submitted by TheGripester:

In the mid-80s, I played keyboards in a working band, a pretty low-key affair. We played covers (Bryan Adams, ZZ Top, Huey Louis, Creedence, etc.) at a lot of little nightclubs in Northern California.

There were some friends from our day jobs who came out to every gig.  One night, one of these friends approached me during our break.  It seems his girlfriend had brought her best friend from work, Amy, and now some drunk was hassling her and trying to chat her up. Could I come and pretend to be her boyfriend so that he’d leave her alone?

My sense of chivalry activated, I headed over to their table. Amy seemed like a nice person, and we had a casual chat. After a few minutes, the drunk realized he wasn’t going to score and buzzed off. I stayed till the end of the break making conversation, then went back to the stage to play one more set.

After the show, I packed up, and my friend walked over. “Hey man,” he said, “We’re all going out to Denny’s now. Amy was wondering if you’d like to join us.”

I was pretty wiped out from a four-hour gig. “Sorry.  I have to work in the morning.  Maybe some other time.”

“You don’t get it,” he said. “Amy really digs you. She wants to get to know you better.” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

I was flattered. Normally, I would take him up on it, but I was getting into a pretty serious relationship with someone else (who I ended up marrying), and I was not interested in anyone else. I explained this to my buddy, trying to get him to convey the message that Amy seemed really nice, but that I didn’t want to start something right now.

Next gig, my buddy showed up again, with his girlfriend and Amy. What should I get from Amy but the biggest, pissiest attitude, like I’d ruined her life by not going out for coffee after the show. What did I get for being a nice guy and chasing off a drunk? The evil eye for four hours, and bitter, nasty comments about me behind my back to all my friends at the club.

It was a pain in the ass and really dragged down the vibe of the gig. It goes to show that if you just act like a gentleman that’s not out to get in someone’s pants, that can come off as attractive, but if you then bring someone down to earth, they’ll hate you worse than any asshole drunk.


  1. See he should not have let his friend explain the reasoning behind his not wanting to go. Should have been a man and told her upfront. I bet you the friend couldn't relay that information in such a way for her mind to understand. =)

  2. Hey Anonymous - you play a four-hour gig, pack up a road van with gear, have to work at 7 in the morning, and then get hit with something like that at 1:45 a.m. Then let's see how competent you feel about talking to someone who's built a whole big fantasy about you that was totally not your fault. You simply have no idea...

  3. Laugh it off, will ya? 'Cause it is funny.

  4. Ha ha, it is funny, just don't cast aspersions on my manhood. Men have died for less.

    Thinking about it now, I wonder if my buddy and his girlfriend were trying to set me up...like they just waited for an excuse to introduce us, then after I went back on stage, they said all these nice things about me and got her going. Then they led her into this whole big deal about going to Denny's after the gig. I guess I'll never know- I haven't seen those people in decades.

  5. If I was in a band that played ZZTop and there was a bitchpsycho stalking me in the audience I would have played Tush and sung the whole song staring right at her. I ain't askin' for much.

  6. Sounds to me like she was very ungrateful, but unfortunately some people are just like that.

  7. We didn't play "Tush" - that would've been cool. We played "Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Legs," and "Sharp Dressed Man." Basically for a keyboardist that meant repeating an "E" about ten thousand times.


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