Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm with the Band

So, I am ten years out from going on a first date, but I have plenty of friends who are still in the dating world.  (Okay, okay...most of my friends are married with kids, but I DO have a few single friends.)  When I wrote this post, my husband was like, “Most of your posts are, like, about you and your life.  I mean, it’s funny, but I don’t see how that has anything to do with you."  We’ve been married so long that he forgot about the time before he knew me--how sweet (obnoxious).  
Believe it or not, y’all, there was life before The Johnson Quartet, and I still remember what it was like to be “out there.”  So, consider this some free advice from a wise (sage-like, really) older sister.  
Every girl should have the opportunity to date a musician because musicians are like, rad. Here’s a guide to help you navigate life with a band man:
Lead singer: He’s one of those guys you go on a few dates with during a dry spell (possibly make out with him once after downing one too many martinis on the third date because it’s the only thing that can get you through his stories about his tiny dog) and then forget to call back because you have a lot going on at work.  He’s pretty, but there’s just not much substance.
Lead guitarist: He’s another one who seems potentially interesting, but on closer inspection is, in fact, not.  In the beginning, it’s so sweet when he plays that song he wrote for you (after the first time he saw you walk into the coffee shop) until you find out from the lead singer that he wrote it two years ago for his ex-girlfriend whom he still texts at least once a week.  (Her name is Mary, and your name is Carrie, so it was an easy swap-out.)  He can play a mean rendition of “Stairway to Heaven,” and you’re likely to have the pleasure of hearing him do so over and over and over and over during his episodes of brooding.  Don’t try to confront him about this inability to talk about anything other than music because most likely he’s not even aware you’re in the room.
Lead singer/lead guitarist combo: Run.  As fast as you can.*  You’ve got a lethal combination of the shallow self-absorption of a singer and the emotional breakdowns of a guitarist.  (I don’t care how talented John Mayer is--that guy is a egomaniacal whack job.)  Chances are he’ll be totally into you for about five minutes, but he’s not going to commit to anything when he has so many women throwing themselves at him.  Plus, if you get too close to him, it’s likely you’ll end up in a song, and not a nice one.  
*Exception: if the guy can also rock the harmonica, stick around for a little play at least.  I mean, it’s called a mouth organ, so it’s worth some exploring, right?  Of course, you’ll have to put up with listening to him talk about how good he is at “playing the harmonica,” complete with a list of women who can give excellent references, so on second thought, just pass.
Drummer: Oh, where to start with the drummer?  Get ready for the long-term.  He may not have much to say in the beginning because he really just wants to know all about you (“Tell me about your family.  What are your goals?  When can I see you again?”)  He’s got rhythm--so much rhythm--and knows (without having to tell everyone) that he’s really in charge of the band.  He starts things off (1, 2, 3...) and everyone else has to adjust to his timing.  Your quiet guy who makes you mix tapes and buys you books of poetry turns into an animal on stage, full of rage and strength and sexgod angst.  And at the end of the night, he walks right past the roadies, grabs you around the waist and carries you out of the club for everyone to see.  After three years of this, you think, wow, I think this could be the one, but another year in, you’re like, is this the one?  Another year in, you’re like, this is not the one.  The drummer is a loner at heart, musically logical and methodical, and would be completely fine with continuing this pattern of eat, drink, play, sit on the couch with his smart girl for the rest of his life.  You eventually realize, he’s always going to be chasing after one thing--the legendary drum solo, which leaves no room for him to focus on building his relationship with you.  Sadly, you have to walk away, even though you really don’t want to, because the monotony is painfully unbearable.
Rhythm guitarist:  Can we say rebound?  After your tough break-up with your drummer, grab the closest rhythm guitarist and spend a couple of months trying to feel better about “wasting the last five years of your life.”  (He really doesn’t even mind that you cry about this every time you drink tequila.)  He’s stable, steady, predictable, and dependable.  When you tell him you think things just aren’t going to work out, HE thanks YOU for the great time you’ve had over the last couple of months.
Keyboard player:  WTF, right?  I mean, we can all appreciate a goofy guy who makes us laugh in between more serious relationships, but how serious can you take him when he’s head-banging while tapping the keys with his delicate fingers?  And those jokes?  Yeah, his “sense of humor” is just not that funny.
Flautist/”percussionist”/tambourinist/any other rando: Occasionally, you run into one of these guys in the band, maybe because the rhythm guitarist is busy being a shmuck for some other rebounder.  First of all, don’t beat yourself up.  We all make this mistake sometimes.  And you didn’t “turn him” this way.  Think of it this way--every girl needs a best friend. 
Bassist:  Marry this guy.  How cute are those glasses?  And he even pulls off the paunch in some kind of awkward, sexy way.  Unlike the lead singer/guitarist, he knows it’s not all about him (he doesn’t even care about taking credit for all the songs he wrote, which are, of course, the best ones).  Like the drummer, he can feel the rhythm, but he isn’t chasing a solo.  An occasional spotlight bass-beat-down is enough.  Unlike the keyboardist, his sense of humor is spot-on, and he is an essential part of the band’s success (unlike the extra randos).  Like the rhythm guitarist, he’s dependable, but unlike the rhythm guitarist, he feels the funk.  And we all know the best kind of guy is the one you can always count on for being there for you in your worst moments and getting lowdown and dirty funky in your best.
A word of caution for anyone trying to navigate the world of musicians: don’t try to date musicians from the same band, and don’t overestimate your role in the band’s success.  No one likes the girl who breaks up the band--just ask Yoko.
You’re welcome, and happy dating!


  1. How can you tell if the stage is level? If the drummer is drooling out of both sides of his mouth.

  2. Where does The Rock of Love bus fit in? LOL!

  3. I think you should marry the guy who learns to play later in life.