The Mythical Broomstick

It’s when you see that the red recording light is on.  It’s when the TV camera is pointed at you.  It’s when you know this is the one that counts.  It’s the broomstick, or at least that’s my expression for it.  It’s when everything is on the line and you’re nervous, and you’re trying so hard that… you try too hard.  You’re so concerned with being at the top of your game that you forget that the most important things are to relax and listen.

Where the hell was my placard when I needed it?

But that broomstick stuff is all a myth.  Of course I’m referring to our Cleveland show that was webcast.  It was our fourth night in a row and I was tired.  My voice was shot and kept faltering unless I pushed it too hard.  And I wanted to make these sets the absolute best because I had a lot of friends watching as well as a lot of new people.  And that attitude is a formula for disaster.  I didn’t feel great about the sets after they were done.  I got lots of good feedback from people watching but that doesn’t change my own impression of what happened.

But later on the bus we listened to the show and watched some of the video.  And you know what?  It was great.  Much better than I thought it was.  It didn’t sound like I was trying too hard.  It sounded relaxed and creative and fun and hypnotic.

I had a similar experience recently taping a video with Max Creek.  We did “Playing In The Band” for Telefunken’s Song Of Their Own series and I did the first pass of a mix for it.  And at the time I thought we were stiff and self-conscious.  But watching the video now I can see that we were on top of our game.  We were relaxed and patient allowing the jam to ebb and flow naturally and we hit some amazing space considering we were only playing to the cameras.

I guess the point is – if you find yourself in that situation, where it’s all on the line and you have to be at the top of your game, don’t sweat it.  Pull that mythical broomstick out of your ass and do what you do.  Get your swagger on.  And don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you choked.  Chances are you didn’t.  Chances are it came out much better than you thought at the time.

8 thoughts on “The Mythical Broomstick

  1. The webcast show was great and sounded spot-on to me. You guys had good flow, played if each other well, and had some tasty jams!

    The Playin’ broadcast was interesting. To be fair, I thought it sounded a little rough for the first moments – but then, Max Creek is not really a studio band and you had no crowd or atmosphere to feed off of. I’ve seen a couple shows in odd venues that the first few bars felt odd too though. Just like always, once y’all got through the first cycle, the groove had been found and the magic came out. Might have been a bit rough to start, but all was (as a mutual friend says) Super Yum!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed your webcast show. Thank you very much! You guys have such great chemistry. The new musicians don’t just “fit in” they add to the magic of your band in a way that really is impressive. So creative! Thanks for the blog. I really enjoy reading it! Happy touring and maybe see you along the way!

  3. Scott an idea for a blog post; insight to show day. What time do you usually get up? How do do you kill time on the road? Time of soundcheck? Does eating pre-show, affect your vocals at all?

  4. I enjoyed watching the feed from Cleveland, thought you sounded great! I could tell you were a lil tired but who wouldn’t be after the crazy light show ya deal with!
    The guitar lights and stage lights are a big much at times. Hard to concentrate I bet-
    Telefunken ” Playin” brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it! Max Creek at its best! It takes me to a different amazing place time and time again!
    Thanks and can’t wait to rage at Sterling!

  5. Have not seen a MGB show yet, however I did watch the #28 video, like 20 times. Starts of ruff and quickly turns on fire. Smoking hot! Love it. High energy on The Main Ten

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s