In telling the story, I conveyed the importance, experience and euphoria of this event. This band crafted my childhood and life in a number of ways. At the point in my life when my sister first introduced me to this band’s music, I was an angry, seven year old ward of the state with no definite home and an abusive foster parent. One of many. But that’s another story. Their music was discordant, over distorted and angry, which I felt I could identify with. Then, the lyrics. With songs full of self depreciation, disenchantment with life and the like, I was enthralled. Their music was a non-violent outlet for all the crap that I had stewing inside, which was a nice alternative comparatively to my constant black eyes and split knuckles.
When they came to town, I was in a very different place, physically, emotionally and location-wise. By this point of my life, I had a stable and safe home (which my girlfriend and I own), a happy little son and had come to grips with a number of my demons, so it was a strange look into my past. All that aside, these guys still rock.
Then there’s this guy.
Mark Arm. Front man of Mudhoney, executive member of Sub-Pop Records, in person, just drinking his gin and tonic next to me, no one really noticing. I started chatting him up, holding back the tide of fanboy “squee-ing” as best I could: talking about his favorite shows, preference on musical gear and recommendations for pursing music, to which he gave me the best advice I’ve ever heard.
“Don’t worry about ‘making it big’ or ‘getting big’ or any of that shit. Just focus on playing music. Do what you love. Play loud and suck. That’s what we did. If people like your stuff, that’s cool. Ask them if they have a house you can throw a concert at. If you get noticed by a record label and they offer you a deal, that’s cool. But don’t forget: you got into music for the music.”
I was taken aback for a second. But such sound advice is to be expected by someone who coined the word “grunge”, rocked the 80’s and 90’s and now has a job with the record label responsible for it all. As he finished his drink, he told me it was time for the show and that I should swing by the green room after the show. I didn’t take him seriously, but after the show, I figured there was no harm in trying. As I rounded the corner, he saw me, pushed the bouncer aside and handed me a beer. Just like that, I was in the green room. I wasn’t a pretty girl in 6 inch heels or any big business rep. Just some kid who grew up on their music and there I was.
Coincidentally, this band was responsible for me finding out what brand of guitar I had. (see “About Me” post)