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You Hire Us, You Get The Soros
by Pril Stevenson
And there was this one venue owner, who was a real piece of work. We played at his stinking hole one weekend.
I was stuck at work by people who didn’t understand “I talked to Mark earlier about leaving at 3 because I have to be in Florence (90 miles away) by 7, and have to go home and scrape off the paint and shower before I get there”. So there is apparently a big chunk of stuff from this story missing because I got kept excruciatingly late painting and arrived at the venue at 8:50, 10 minutes before we were supposed to start. Felony speeding can get you there fast, as long as you don’t get caught…
We agreed to a cheaper price if he did the advertising. Strike one. No advertising was done, and our name was spelled wrong on the marquee.
We were using part of the house system. Which was barricaded into this cupboard by something like chicken screen. To operate it, one had to use chopsticks. Luckily these were in heavy supply. You found whatever button you needed to press by peering in with a flashlight, and then you jammed the chopstick in at the correct angle.
While playing, he sent his lackeys up, who spoke only the brokenest Chinglish, to complain about this or that. They would come up and wave their arms and say who knows what while we were playing. So we were sort of having a hard time with that.
Then someone in the audience, who apparently wasn’t paying attention and didn’t realize there was an actual band on stage, went and put money in the jukebox and played a couple of songs. So Tam cursed loudly at them and we continued.
We got charged for our food. At least there was a band house, somewhere, we were supposed to stay in.
That was the first night. I didn’t bother looking for the band house because I was beat from working so I plunked $80 down and stayed at the hotel next door. Best thing I ever did, probably.
I got to see the “band house” the next morning. Two bedrooms, four beds, one bathroom, a TV on a table and a fridge completely covered in the graffiti of all the other bands that had come through and gotten screwed by this guy.
The next day, we all just drank beer most of the day and then went walking around Florence, putting up hand-drawn-on-the-spot flyers for that night, and handing them to people. You don’t see that much in these towns. I never saw a person on the street handing out flyers for a local band.
That night, our second night, we get told “No soros”. Nick and Jeff had done their respective solos the night before, to a frenzied two-dozen or so people. Well, fuck that. It’s part of what we do. You hire us, you get the soros. That gig went off fairly well.
At 10 til stoptime, the guy came up and said we could stop playing because there were only five or so people in the place. So we did. Then it was time to get paid.
“You stop early, I no pay you all amount”.
“I prorate. You stop early”.
“I pay you ($100 less than agreed upon amount)”.
When I’m speechless, I’m truly speechless. I almost always have something to say, but I couldn’t believe this guy was about to try to do this to us. He wants to dock us the equivalent of $10 a minute for doing what he asked us to. So Djeef tried reasoning with him. It didn’t work.
Tam does her frilled lizard act. Great to watch this. It’s like the fabled Elven glamour skill. She’s smiling and happy one second, and the next, you have a pissed off 10-foot tall belly-dancer in huge platform shoes bearing down on you like a hungry dragon, and there you are with Rooster sauce all over you. When reason fails, we let the dragon out.
We got our full pay. We never played there again. Karma did it’s job, and the stinking hole was closed soon after.
Pril no longer eats Kung Pow Chicken.