Doing battle with daily dragons

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Musings of a Rock Widow

I’ve sought refuge in the family house this evening as The Rock Star is at one of the few gigs that I can’t attend. I’m sitting here in my pyjamas, procrastinating in the going to bed stakes. I know if I don’t find my way there soon, BoyRacer is liable to walk in suffering from excessive alcohol intake and I’d just assume be on the other side of a sturdy door when he does. He’s not a mean drunk or anything; just incredibly loquacious. Plus, he’s going to make toast on the Aga and someone’s got to be up in order to put out the fire.

So here’s the question I’ve been pondering this evening to keep my brain alive while watching Van Helsing on DVD (Yes, we own it, but it was only a fiver, so you can stop sniggering, thank you very much.): Does it go without saying that when you get a number of performance personalities in one space that there will be conflict?

I shan’t go into the specifics behind my thinking. That’s the problem with a supposedly “anonymous” blog. While I’m fairly sure that the techno-savvy to seek out this electronic missive is beyond the wit of many I know, I can’t be entirely sure, so I’ll keep this discussion in the abstract.

On second thought, screw it.

The Mis-spelled Band, since The Rock Star became entangled in their clutches, has spent 70% of it’s time making decent music and the other 30% bitching about one another. This is, I’m lead to believe, not an uncommon state for both professional and amateur groups; indeed, in many of them, the percentages are entirely reversed and the whole thing collapses in upon itself in a whoosh of bad feeling and stale whisky.

I’m not talking about the major, sleeping- with- the- drummer’s- wife kind of Motley Crue type transgressions. I’m talking about sniping, bitching, backbiting and general surliness. You’d be forgiven, at times, for believing them all to be a bunch of teenage girls, albeit with a lot more body hair.

The Rock Star likes to think of himself as the “Barbecue” guy. In Almost Famous (one of my Top 10 Films of All Time and almost as important for anyone in music to see as This is Spinal Tap) as the singer and lead guitarist of the band Stillwater have a blazing row over the group dynamic, their bass player, when asked his opinion replies, “I don’t know man, I just wanna go get some barbecue or something.” The Rock Star is totally that guy. It’s my belief he’s one of those people in performance without a natural “performance personality” and therefore, much more immune to some of the nonsense that goes with it.

This phenomenon doesn’t seem to be limited to music by any means. I spent a summer living in a house with 14 other actors and for the only time in my life, took up smoking just to calm the insane urge to murder most all of them in their beds. Why should it be that the very force that binds creative people together and produces exceptional art also turns them in upon eachother?

Anyone care to speculate?