Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tradition? I Don´t Need No Stinking New Years Gig

It´s true. Who needs it? Sick of the game, anyways.

The oh-so-fabulous NYE (that means new year´s eve to all you rookies) gig has become a thing of the past, I fear. Used to be that, traditionally, NYE was the golden goose for musicians (amateur hour for everyone else.) As a general rule, one would expect to make about triple of what a normal Saturday night gig would be. Pay the rent in one night, and all.

As a general rule.

That´s changed now. A lot of places are just eliminating live music altogether (thank you, karaoke, Rock Band, and recession.) Other joints are just trying to manipulate, wanting to pay you just a bit more (maybe) in exchange for doing an extra set.

Or two.

Mainly, though, places that will still hire players are offering the standard wage (50 bucks and a chicken sandwich?) Ok, not that bad, but for some, it most certainly is. It may be again for me someday, too. Who knows.

This is my second year in a row for having the night off. Almost unheard of in this biz. Nevertheless, this is the state of affairs in my world.

And I´m not the least bit fazed.

See, I´m Europe. Spain, to be precise. I´ll be staying in Madrid, for the most part, near Anton Martin (a barrio.)

Mui fantastico!

(Just to get it out of the way, the weather is great. I hear that there´s about a foot of snow in Chicago, so I´m very well off. Today in Seville, where I am spending just a few days for New Year´s, it´s about 60.)

I decided, very early in the year, that I´d be in Spain for much of the winter. It was gonna be Jamaica (mon) as usual, but a little bird convinced me that Spain would be the tops, since we were there earlier in the year. So with some planning, saving, and having resigned myself some time ago that New Year´s was not going to pay many bills, like usual, I decided that I´d bag the idea of gigging, come here, hang with some very good friends, and do it as differently as I ever had done.

So that means there´s no having to haul my gear through the snow (did you say 12"?), not having to deal with the horrible driving conditions, and not having to play music that you can chew your steak to (wonder if I´d even get one of those steaks. My gut says nay nay nay.) I´m not gonna have to worry about drunk drivers everywhere, police check points everywhere, and I won´t have to bitch about being underpaid.

What a relief.

Instead, I´ll be having cerveza and tapitas and pescado (?) and jamon.

And then 12 grapes at midnight.

There is a tradition here ¨en España¨ that when the clock strikes 12, you must eat 12 grapes before the end of the chimes (can you imagine an entire country glued to the tv or radio or church bells? Me neither, but I´ll let you know.) This, naturally, will bring you good luck for the rest of the year. If you fail to eat them, then watch out. There may be a surprise visit from ¨el diablo¨(ok, I made that part up. But you never know...)

Now that could be a pretty nice new tradition to start.

Feliz Año Nuevo.

So it goes...

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