Truck Stop Troubadour Volume 7- I Ain't In It For My Health, Either

A couple of years ago a lady from North Carolina updated her Facebook status referring to Pharrell Williams hit song.  The screenshot shows a time stamp of 8:33 am and says, "The Happy song makes me so HAPPY."  About a minute later she was dead in a mangled heap of metal and glass on the side of the interstate.  A poignant tale, but the main thing is she died happy.
On Friday I got up at five in the morning and went to work.  I worked until 5pm and drove to the Pilot truck stop to take a shower and change.  I was at The Baldwin Winery at 7 and played until 10 pm.  I got four hours sleep and woke up at 3 am to go to work on Saturday.  I left my day job at noon and played the winery again from 1pm-4pm, ran home took a shower and then drove to the Rondout Yacht Basin and played again from 7pm-9pm.  I got four hours of sleep and my alarm got me up at 3am.  I worked again til noon and played again at The Baldwin Winery from 1pm-4pm. I sat down Sunday evening to begin writing this when the dispatcher from my job called to tell me I had to be in at five am--ALL WEEK.  That doesn't really sound too God awful until you do the math and realize that you need to be up at 3am everyday if a shower and eating something are on your list of priorities.
This begs the question, why does a forty six year old man run himself into the ground?
Anyone who has ever played music and made money at it has to understand me in a visceral way when I say that I never turn down paying gigs.  As a matter of fact, I can't even remember turning down ones that didn't pay--unless, of course, it was to take a paying one.
It reminds me of that part in the Levon Helm autobiography when Robbie Robertson was trying to convince a very angered Levon that breaking up The Band was a smart move.  He had this litany of sound business arguments and when he finally brought up the point that the constant touring and road life wreaked havoc on their bodies, Levon spat back in disgust "I'm not in it for my health!"
This weekend as usual I was on the work schedule for 5am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday.  The opportunity came up yesterday to play Saturday and Sunday afternoon at The Baldwin Winery.  Couple that with a gig at Diego's in Kingston on Friday night and The Rondout Yacht Basin on Saturday night and I'm staring straight down the barrel at another really exciting weekend.
I'll be honest. I committed to Baldwin Winery before I had the shifts covered at work but that's part of my strategy.  They say if you want to conquer the island you need to burn your boat when you land.  So I burned the boat. And you can be rest assured, I will be there at 12:30 both days to set up.
I have no problem taking care of my body.  I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't eat meat, I don't take illicit drugs and I exercise every chance I get.  But I also have no problem going on three or four hours sleep for days and playing two hundred songs over the course of a weekend.  I ain't in it for my health, either. 

1 comment

  • James

    James Endicott NY

    Props !

    Props !

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