Whatever It Takes — A Musician’s Journey Through the Storm

by | Jan 8, 2022 | News

The following was originally written in 2000—a year after the actual event. It was first penned as a series of e-mails to a friend, and then later compiled as a story. It has since been edited for continuity, but the spirit remains intact. This occurred over the course of one evening.

Like most working musicians, I’ve traveled a lot to gigs. Sometimes it would be just a few towns over, other times I would cross several states. One of my biggest fears throughout most of my life has been getting stuck while traveling alone because my car broke down in an area that I was unfamiliar with and/or far from home, but fortunately that hadn’t happened.

It was Friday, Jan 8th 1999. I had a scheduled weekend gig planned to play with the band Liquid X at a club near the Hunter Mountain ski resort in New York state. We were to play Friday and Saturday night, while staying in a room upstairs from the club.

My plan was to leave early enough from my home in northern New Jersey to have plenty of time to settle in, unpack, set up my gear, do sound check, and get something to eat before gig time at 11:30. I left around 5:00 with a car full of all of the musical equipment that I needed including a sequencer, which I was responsible for transporting in addition to my own stuff.

My car was primed and ready for the trip. I had all the winter precautions taken care of, oil was changed and tank was gassed up. Under normal circumstances, the trip would take about 3 hours.

The weather on this particular day was snow. It had started falling an hour or two before I left and was coming down steadily at about an inch per hour. I knew that driving in those conditions, in addition to leaving during rush hour, would make my trip longer, but still felt confident that I would arrive early enough to accomplish all I wanted.

I was really looking forward to the weekend. I had played at the same club a couple of months prior and really enjoyed the experience. The band was a lot of fun and the music was different than I had ever played in a cover band.

The pay was good too — and I was very happy that I was given the ability to stretch my wings and do what I love with such competence. The events involving how I got the job is another story in itself, and one in which I learned the value of a leap of faith and experienced a boatload of clarity.

I was feeling especially relaxed once I got going. The local traffic and snow were slightly annoying at first, but once I got on the main highway, I was thinking about nothing but the gig. I had with me tapes of the songs that this band played. I had them cranked up in the car for the ride, so as to refresh my memory of the material.

At the time I was playing with four different bands, so review was essential, especially since I didn’t normally listen to the dance music that the band played. I was singing out loud like a fool and enjoying the ride.

As I drove further north, it was apparent that it had been snowing for a bit longer in that area. The roads were well covered and the trees and grass along the sides of the New York State Thruway were bathed in white.

It’s important to know where my head was at the time. During the course of the preceding year, I was really getting an understanding of what life was about. I had taken a number of chances and learned about the things that are really, truly important in life. I was feeling very grateful for everything that I had, even though I didn’t have a lot.

I was especially grateful for the experiences I had. Being able to really see the flow of how things work, how one thing leads to another and how important each one little thing is in the grand scheme. My mind was in a state of readiness.

After driving on the thruway for about an hour, I heard and felt a loud “thud” underneath the car.  Nothing seemed affected so I just figured that I had hit a patch of slush or ice on the pavement. But about 15 minutes later, the car stopped wanting to go. I pressed on the gas and just listened to the engine roar without affecting the car’s forward movement.

I coasted over to the shoulder of the 2-lane highway and tried the other gears. Nothing. My initial instinct was to panic. After all this is one of my biggest fears. Here I am stuck in the middle of nowhere with a vehicle full of gear and my car won’t move. What am I gonna do?

I laughed. I threw my arms in the air and accepted my circumstance. It’s no big deal. I just have to handle the situation. There is a solution and all will be well. Let me enjoy this experience somehow and see what it brings. I turned on the hazard lights, shut off the car and sat back and enjoyed the sounds of the lightly falling snow…along with the 18-wheelers whizzing by me at 70 MPH. [Editor’s note: This was in 1999 before most people had cell phones.]

Within ten minutes I saw a vehicle with flashing red lights pull up behind me. I got out of the car and started walking towards the driver’s side window of the police car. He then directed me over to the passenger side where I was not in danger of being flattened by a roaring, monster truck. After telling the kind officer of my dilemma, he promptly radioed for a tow truck and sped off.

Great! Things are looking good. I got some help in a short amount of time and could at least now get to a phone. But I was still an hour or so away from my destination. It was only about 7:00, so I still had plenty of time to try to get someone from the band to pick me up along with the gear and make the gig early enough.

Now I needed to wait for the tow truck. I sat back in the car and waited. There wasn’t anything else I could do. I thought back to other times when I had required a tow truck, and the extended length of time it took for them to show up. And this was mostly in Jersey where there are tow trucks everywhere. I was in the middle of nowhere. I considered the amount of cash I had on me, remembering that the drivers usually take nothing else. I had about $40-$50…not nearly enough I thought. Yet I remained feeling very calm, as if I knew that this was all just meant to be.

Within fifteen minutes I saw the familiar yellow lights of a flatbed truck in my icy side-view mirror pull up behind me. I explained my predicament to the driver, and he told me of a town about 15 minutes up the thruway where his shop was located.

After loading my beaten Camry up onto the bed, we headed north. He mentioned that his shop was deep into the town a bit, and it would involve taking a lot of small, winding and very snow-covered roads. He said that I could leave the car there and he would look at it on Monday, but it was way out of the way of any civilization, and I would not have a phone available to me.

My other option was to drop it off at a place right off of the thruway where there was a diner next door and a convenience store across the street. There were also a couple of hotels within relative walking distance should I need to spend the night in this small town. The only drawback was that I would have to leave my car in the parking lot of the transmission repair shop. I couldn’t let anyone know about the need to get it fixed, being that they were closed for the night and quite possibly the weekend.

But my choice was simple. I couldn’t see dropping my car off far away from the main highway with all the gear in it. I still needed to get this stuff up the mountain to the gig. Plus, I needed a phone and was starting to get hungry.

After paying the toll, we drove no more than a half-mile and pulled into the vacant parking lot of the repair shop. There didn’t seem to be much activity in this town. The main road was virtually empty and the parking lot had yet to be plowed.

It was still snowing and there was about 4 or 5 inches on the ground already, so it seemed that most people were probably staying indoors for the evening. I got the impression that there wasn’t really much to do anyway for people that lived there, except hang at a local watering hole or stay in. I was really in an unfamiliar place and I felt that there probably wasn’t much help available in this tiny town, but I needed to focus on the matter at hand.

Thankfully, the tow truck driver took credit cards, so I paid him with my Visa, he unloaded the vehicle and headed off.  Before he left, he gave me the number of the transmission place. My plan was to call the next day to see if they were open so I could have the car looked at. I trudged over to the diner next door and prepared to attempt to find a way to get to my destination.

It was your typical looking diner: a small outside lobby with entrances on either side, a couple of video games and a pay phone inside each door. There was a double door entrance in the center to the main part of the diner where there were booth seats to the right and left and a bar area directly ahead.

I whipped out my calling card and attempted to contact somebody at the club. It was about 8:00, so I figured that someone from the band might be there. I talked to someone who worked there, and they told me that no one had arrived yet. I left a message to have the first band member that shows up to call me at that pay phone.

Ok…more waiting. I was hungry but I didn’t dare leave earshot of that phone. I couldn’t think of any other solution to my problem. I considered that I might have to stay the night there and see if the auto shop was open in the morning, have them fix my car and get up to the resort area for at least the second night. But I didn’t want that. I really didn’t want that. I wanted to play and I needed the money. So I waited.

I stood holding the outside door open and smoked a cigarette. I didn’t want to fog up the small lobby and it wasn’t too cold out where I couldn’t bear to be outside for a few minutes despite the weather, and I needed to listen for the phone. It was very quiet, the kind of quiet where you could actually hear the snow falling. The only other sounds were the occasional passing car and the steady scrape of a snow shovel on pavement from around the side of the building.

I watched an employee work his way up front, cleaning off the snow from the walkway. I wondered what his life was like. I tried to see things through his eyes for a moment and found it interesting how different my life is from his. How regardless of what is happening to me, this is what he would be doing. And now I am here seeing his life because of a series of events that had occurred. Any other way, I would not ever know of his existence, and he would not have a direct effect on my life.

There were only a few cars in the diner parking lot and a couple people came and left during the course of my waiting period. It was about a half hour (but seemed much longer) before the phone rang.

The first to arrive at the club was the singer, Bailey. She said that there was also a message from the keyboard player, Kelly, saying that she had driven for a while but turned around and went back home because she felt that the roads were too dangerous. It was still possible to do the gig without her, though.

The first time I had played with the band, we performed for three nights without a guitar player. We were able to pull it off with little difficultly because we had the sequencer with recorded guitar parts, so we both figured that we would be able to easily manage without keyboards, which were less prominent in the music that we played.

Bailey had traveled with Donna, the drummer, and said that it took them a long time to get up the mountain. The ten mile or so stretch up the hill consisted of many winding roads and sharp turns in addition to the incline. And with the roads as they were, she didn’t feel that they could come retrieve me and make it back in time to play.

So the only recourse we felt was to attempt to contact the guitar player, Mark, who had not yet arrived. She knew that he was bringing along his girlfriend, Amy, who was also a singer, and she had her cell phone number. We got off the phone with her promising to call me right back.

After only a few minutes the phone rang and Bridget informed me that Amy’s cell phone wasn’t on and she would keep trying. We considered that we might have to wait until they got there and have them come pick me up. She suggested that I look in the Yellow Pages for a car service that might have a van to transport my gear and myself. I felt that a car wouldn’t be big enough to fit all the stuff and two people, so this was a viable option. We agreed on a time when she would call back so we could coordinate the plan.

I felt that it was a good time to eat. I walked inside and straight up to the bar and plunked myself down on one of the familiar diner swivel stools. I immediately ordered a coffee and a grilled cheese sandwich.

There were only a few people in the place. A typical “Flo” type waitress was serving me and a gentleman a few seats to my left. There was a short Greek man hosting and manning the register. He was engaged in some gossipy small-town conversation with a man seated at a booth. There was one other waitress taking care of all the customers and chiming in on the discussion.

I really wasn’t paying attention to what they were talking about; I was too involved in thinking about what I was going to do. Bailey was going to call back at 9:00 which gave me about 20 minutes to chill and eat. She was going to keep trying to get in touch with Mark and Amy to see if they could stop where I was on their way up and at least pick up the equipment, and hopefully me, too.

While I was waiting for my food, I stepped back out into the lobby to peruse the yellow pages for a car service. The only listing I found was for cab companies…two of them. I decided that a taxi would not be acceptable transport and I would wait for her to call back.

I sat back down and waited for my food to arrive. I had exchanged glances with the host a couple of times and decided to strike up a conversation with him. I quickly recounted the events of the evening thus far and asked him if he knew of any transport service that could help me out. His response, along with the other patrons that had been listening, was that there were only the taxi services that they knew of, and they weren’t even sure if they were in operation with the weather.

I started growing anxious. I was thinking about my shitty financial situation, my lousy car, the fact that the gig is supposed to start in two and a half hours….even if I get a ride now, I’ll hardly have time to get ready. I was just watching the clock, waiting for the big hand to crawl its way up to the 12.

When my food finally came I could hardly enjoy it. The peace and relaxation I had been feeling for most of the night had mostly vanished. I took modest bites of my greasy sandwich and lopped it back onto the plate. Everything started to look a little bit darker.

A few minutes before 9:00 I left my plate and empty coffee cup and returned to the lobby. I stood and stared at the phone as if I could actually will it to ring. I knew that it would, but I wanted to get moving. I felt restless and paced back and forth until the call came in.

Bailey said that Mark and Amy had arrived at the venue and that there was no way that they could come get me with the roads as they were. I told her of the available car services, and she suggested that I call one of the taxi companies. I was skeptical but agreed to give it a shot. I told her that I would call her back when I found out what I was doing.

The first call that I made was answered. An older sounding man—forty to fifty years old I thought—told me that he could come pick me up in about twenty minutes. I informed him of the cargo I had in tow and my destination, and he said that it shouldn’t be a problem. I told him of my whereabouts and we hung up. I quickly called Bridget back and relayed the news.

My negative tone didn’t stop her from insisting that I get there. I was feeling that there was no way a taxi was going to fit all the stuff, much less make it up a mountain in the snow. She started talking to some people who worked at the club to find an alternate route. I grabbed a napkin from the front counter and began to scribble directions. She put on one of the locals who gave me the details of the safer path. He told me that it would take a little longer, but would give us a better shot of climbing the slippery hill. I still felt unsure but agreed to follow the plan. I told them that I would call back before I left.

After sitting back down and nibbling on my sandwich, I paid the bill and stood in the lobby waiting for the cab. The driver had told me on the phone that it would be sixty dollars for the trip. I didn’t have that much cash on me, and also didn’t think that I had any available funds to extract from the ATM across the road at the convenience store. I had asked the driver if I could pay him upon arriving at our destination, and he reluctantly agreed. Bailey had said that she could front me the dough if need be.

It was about 9:30 when the cab pulled up. I walked out onto the now completely shoveled steps and couldn’t believe what I saw. The car was very familiar to me. It was an ’86 Chevy Celebrity; the exact deep-blue color of a car that I had once owned. I laughed to myself as I inspected the vehicle. The molding on the driver’s side had fallen off, just as it had on my long junked sedan. But this car had even more dents in it and seemed to ride a little bit closer to the ground.

As I approached the vehicle I was in for my second shock. The plump, elderly looking man had with him a female passenger. I was aghast. “What a moron,” I thought. I didn’t think that we had a chance to make the trip in this car with two people in it, much less three! And how was I going to fit all the equipment in this 4-door family car!?

After calmly conveying my protest to the situation, he told me that he could go drop her off then come back. He said that it would take him about another twenty minutes to return. I told him that it would be fine, but thought to myself that there was NO way that this was going to work.

After he left to drop off who I thought to be his girlfriend, I quickly grabbed the phone book and looked for the number of the other cab company. I tried to call but there was no answer. I was stuck taking this clunker up a steep mountain to my certain death.

At about 9:50, the driver returned with an empty vehicle. I asked him to pull over into the parking lot of the auto shop so that I could transfer all of my gear and belongings into his cab. I called Bailey back and told her that I was on my way. We hung up and I made my way over to my frozen car. I asked the driver if he would mind if I ran across the street and try to get some money. He seemed very calm and said that he would wait.

I hustled over to the store, thinking that I had very little chance of getting funds from the ATM, but I needed to buy smokes anyway so I might as well try. Much to my surprise, my line of credit with my checking account was able to dispense cash. I took out the sixty bucks that I needed for the ride, got my cigarettes and headed back to load up the car. I gave the driver the money right away, no doubt making him feel a little more secure about driving a long distance in such terrible conditions.

I remembered the system that I used when I had owned this same car for fitting all of my things. There was ample trunk space and having a four door was advantageous. We managed to quickly squeeze everything in with little room to spare. I was concerned with all the additional weight that having this stuff with us would add, and knew it could overwork the 4-cylinder engine on our journey. But this was it. We were set to go.

I hopped into the front seat of the only car this cab company had to offer and we started on our way. I pulled out the napkin with my directions and told the driver the route that was suggested to me. He seemed familiar with that path but was a little uncertain of where some of the turns were. Regardless, we jumped on the thruway and headed north, hoping for the best.

We were leaving at around 10:00, which I felt should give us enough time to get me up there to at least set up my equipment, wash up, get dressed and do a quick sound check. Going the more direct route under normal driving conditions shouldn’t take more that a half hour to forty-five minutes I thought, so I should have at least a few minutes to spare.

I was still a little bugged by the apparent ignorance of this man. I had explained to him all the particulars of my quandary and he shows up in this lemon with some chick! Although I had gotten my ride, I was still feeling negative. My mind was humming with all of the things that I had yet to do and I was very conscious of the time. I knew that we needed to move it along in order for everything to work out.

The gentleman behind the wheel was somewhere around fifty years of age. He stood about 5’8″ and weighed approx. 250 lbs. He wore faded blue jeans that looked as though they hadn’t been washed in a while. Under his navy blue autumn-like jacket he wore a couple layers of clothing to stay warm.  His untamed salt and pepper hair stuck out from the navy-blue cap atop his head. He had a full mustache only slightly darker than his hair color, and the couple day’s growth of stubble on his face and neck made him look like he hadn’t gotten much sleep in a while. The car’s interior was nearly identical to the one I had owned years ago. The only obvious difference was a cell phone that was affixed to the front of the dashboard between the two front seats.

Our conversation was light at first. We discussed the weather, and I recapped the events of the evening for him. He seemed to me to be a gentle man. His nature was friendly, and I got the impression that he was somewhat intelligent. I decided to ask him about his passenger earlier. “Was that your girlfriend with you before?” I asked. “No, that was my daughter,” he replied, with no change in demeanor. “She’s only in town until Sunday and then she has to go back to school. I’m trying to spend as much time as I can with her because I don’t get to see her often since my wife and I separated.”

My stomach turned. What an asshole I was! Shame on me for judging this person before knowing anything about him. Here I was making him bring home a family member, someone he loves, just to help save my sorry ass. What makes me think that my needs are more important than his? Maybe we could’ve squeezed everything in. I didn’t even try. I just thought from his appearance that he didn’t know what he was doing. Who was I to judge?

My attitude changed immediately. The negative feeling disappeared and my attention turned to what this man was about. Of all the possibilities, why was he chosen to be the one to help me? Why was he so easily willing to drive a complete stranger such a long distance during a snowstorm and sacrifice the limited time that he had with someone he loves? How is it that he could do this without fear?

I continued the conversation by asking about his daughter. He told me that she was going to school in Florida. She was the youngest of the children that he had with his ex-wife, who moved away from the area some time ago. He said that he never got to go down to visit her because he was always working. He owned the taxi company and he was the only driver. He said that he worked every day and was on call for sixteen out of twenty-four hours. The car was more a home to him than anything, in addition to it being his office. And the small town that he lived in didn’t require anything more than his and the other company to provide for the residents.

Turning the attention away from himself, he asked me about the reason that I was going up to the resort. He seemed genuinely interested it what my job was, so I started to explain what I did. It didn’t take long for me to realize that he had no concept of something I was completely used to. For all he knew, I could have been playing a venue the size of an arena. It was clear that my world was totally foreign to him. But he was very curious. He asked all sorts of questions ranging from how I got started to what kind of music I played and everything in-between.

I found myself getting an enhanced appreciation for the gift I had by sharing it with this man. Every word flowed with ease as I swam in the joy of recounting the last 16 years of my life. And to convey this to a person who was obviously interested, and never had known anyone who had done anything remotely close to what I do was fulfilling. He went on to tell me about his brother-in-law that played a jazz instrument. He spoke in great detail of the one time he got to go see him perform, giving me the impression that that was the only time he had seen live music.

It wasn’t long into the trip before his cell phone rang. He seemed to recognize the voice on the other end. He explained to the caller that he had to drive out of town and didn’t think that he would be back for a couple of hours. He apologized but assured that he would be back to help out later if his services were still needed.

The snow had started to taper off a bit after a short while. There weren’t very many cars on the road and we were making decent time thus far. I was constantly looking at the dashboard clock to try to determine if we would make it in time for the show. The roads were bad but not impassable, and the Chevy wasn’t having a problem maintaining the speed limit even with a full load.

Our conversation was non-stop, like I was talking to an old friend. I was very interested in his life, what he did and what it was like to live in that town. He told me a few stories about people that were regulars and how they rely on him for transportation. I felt that I was seeing things through his eyes. I didn’t care anymore about what I was supposed to be doing or how I got where I was. I felt that I could gain something from this situation. Something valuable.

The phone rang several more times before we got off of the thruway. Each time he politely explained what he was doing and that he would return to town later. Every caller seemed to be someone that he knew. With some he stayed on for more than a few minutes, talking about his daughter or other common acquaintances. Each time he hung up, we continued where we left off in the conversation, with him not missing a beat. All the while we were keeping our eyes open for signs and/or landmarks so as not to stray from our path.

After one particular call, he seemed disturbed. I asked him what was wrong. He went on to tell me of a problem that exists in the scarcely populated town.

Apparently, the local police force was overrun with cops. Many of the natives didn’t want to leave home and pursue a career, so a lot of the guys in town opted for a job in local law enforcement. If you didn’t own your own business, there weren’t many other options for work. The town is nowhere near any metropolitan or industrial areas, and you don’t need a college degree to become a cop.

Problem was, there wasn’t enough funding from the local government to pay these people. He explained of some political goings on that were involved hampering the issue. So where to get revenue? There wasn’t too much crime in this town. There weren’t any expensive jewelry stores to rob, and if you killed anyone you would likely be sent off to a federal prison.

Weekends were this man’s busiest times. The locals would venture out to the bars and get good and tanked rendering them hazardous drivers. Quite a bit of his business was picking up the partygoers and bringing them safely home. He seemed to be proud of this and really cared that he was helping people.

The police didn’t agree. He was taking away the one thing that was a sure-fire way to suck out money from the law-abiding citizens. If there are no drunk drivers on the road, how are we supposed to make any money? You can’t make a living from giving out a speeding ticket here and there. So what do they do?

They harass the cab driver. The one person who is doing the right thing. He is the problem. They give him tickets for anything that they can think of. They tell him that he is not allowed to pick up the patrons from a particular bar. They basically make his simple life a living hell.

What an injustice! To protect and serve? All I could think about was the pain that this man must feel. Here is a man that has no hidden agenda. He just wants to do his job and live his life honestly and he’s being singled out. Yet he seemed to be calm about it…as if he was just turning the other cheek and was just going to continue to do what he does.

As we drove around the back of the mountain, we talked more about events that had happened where he was given a hard time. I envisioned each scenario as though I was living it myself. I wondered if the cops would eventually run him out of business and squash the only thing that he lives for on a daily basis.

The phone calls died down now that we were far away from his normal territory, but there were at least ten before the trip was through. The snow had just about stopped as we slinked up and around the mountain. The roads didn’t really seem that bad at all, perhaps because we took the longer way.

The breaks in conversation lasted a little longer, as we had been in the car for over an hour. I studied each house that we passed on the way, wondering about the people who lived there and what their lives were like. The houses were spread far apart, and to me it seemed an odd place to call home. I tried to imagine what it would be like if I ever met any of those people, knowing full well that I probably wouldn’t.

Until our arrival, I stayed absorbed in the stories I had just been told. Even with the knowledge of all of the injustice in the world, I couldn’t believe that a person with such a good heart could be persecuted in such a manner. And to see how greed and power affect one single person was sobering and humbling.

We pulled up to the venue at 11:40, ten minutes after the band was supposed to start. I grabbed a couple of things from the car and hurried into the club telling him that I would be right back to unload the rest. I headed directly to the stage area in hopes of finding someone from the band to let them know I was there.

The dance floor was packed. The huge PA speakers on either side of the stage were thundering with the steady, hypnotic beat of modern dance music. The colored lights were flashing back and forth on the otherwise dark crowd, revealing many different faces and expressions for only a split second.

The first person I ran into was the roadie for the band. He urgently followed me out to the car to help me with the rest of my stuff. After making a couple of trips I went out to tip the driver. I almost didn’t want to leave him. I shook his hand and suggested that he go spend time with his daughter. He smiled politely and went on his way.

I fought my way through the crowd and hurriedly set up my stuff on stage. I ran upstairs to our room to get changed. There I ran into Bailey and Amy who were all made up and dressed to the nines, ready to go on. It was decided that Amy was going to fill the vacant spot left by Kelly, who didn’t brave the elements. She didn’t play keyboards but she could sing, and the band was hired to have pretty girls on stage. I thought this was good, because I knew that Amy was a lot of fun.

I quickly groomed myself as best I could and got changed. There was no time to waste. I couldn’t think about anything. I had to be on stage now. The floor shook with the pumping bass from the blaring music two floors down. I was the last one to leave the room, so I locked up and dashed downstairs.

When I got up to the stage, I found a beer waiting for me on my amp courtesy of the roadie. I strapped on my bass and quickly checked the tuning. All of the band members were on stage and ready to go. The set lists were written out and I didn’t have the option of being unsure of any of the material. The review I had started at the beginning of my trip was a distant memory. It seemed like days or weeks had passed since then. I just had to trust my memory and experience to get me through. But I wasn’t at all worried. My mind was still soaking in the events of the evening.

There was a positive energy in the room. Everyone seemed to be having a great time and the band was eager to play. I basked in the moment. I took a couple swigs of Bud and started to flare my fingers all over the fretboard of my bass in an effort to warm up. My hands glided with ease as I ran over the main lick of the first song. I jumped up and down in anticipation. Amy smiled at me and joined in my exuberance as the band was announced.

Smoke poured out from behind us as the stage lights flashed on. We tore into the first song. The rush that I felt was incredible. Every note sounded like a symphony. The whole band was on fire. I couldn’t contain myself. I jumped up and down and spun around like a little child on a playground without missing a note. Every beat had a universe with which to live in.

Suddenly I was in this world that I was so familiar with but felt I had never experienced before. I had just spent the last five hours in a completely different environment, and now this felt like an alternate universe. I was elated. The crowd was screaming, dancing, and singing along. Chills ran up and down my spine with every breath. There was no feeling like it that I had ever had before.

The whole night was flawless. We were having a great time, laughing and goofing around on and off stage. Every note I played was smooth as butter. The band performed as though we were seasoned veterans with years of history. Everything was perfect.

I never asked the cab driver his name, although I thought about it several times during the ride. I would have given him a million dollars for a tip if I had it. But if I had a million dollars, I would likely not have met him.

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  1. You get to wear sunglasses indoors without anyone questioning your sanity.
  2. Your office attire consists of leather jackets and ripped jeans.
  3. The only deadlines you have are for getting to the gig on time, and even that’s a stretch.
  4. Your job perks include free drinks, adoring fans, and the occasional hotel room trashing.

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Tired of scratching your head over Facebook’s mysteries? Frustrated by the lack of response when promoting your shows? The solution is here, and it’s time to take action!