I have neglected you. So much has happened I barely know where to begin. It’s going to have to be just the highlights.
Amos quit the band in December. That’s a loss. His voice completed The Goddess Lakshmi sound.
“What I don’t understand is why he quit the band now. Why wouldn’t you wait until the album release?” Kosi said.
“Yeah.” I said. “Especially since it is at a club called The Bitter End. It shows a considerable lack of poetic judgment.”
We had many good times together. Even though he and the first Jeff seemed to hate me by the end of it. Down in The Pink Monkey Room at The Harlem Flophouse after every gig at Paris Blues for a year and a half. I ‘ll never forget him screeching at me in an intoxicated rant about my deficiencies as a bandleader. It was my birthday.
The funny thing is that most of the recent progress we have made was because of their complaints. I was perfectly happy playing weekly gigs at PB. We were getting paid. Do you know how hard it is to get a steady paid gig in New York City? And we were playing original music.
“We have to record. We have to play in Brooklyn.” was their mantra.
“If I knew how to become famous I would do it, if only to stop your complaining.” was my rejoinder.
Now we have two albums. We have played all over Manhattan and Brooklyn. I have cracked the code on getting bookings. I have even booked us a tour.
We played The Bitter End. That was key. Even if they have mostly shitty acts nowadays. The list of greats that have been on that stage is staggering. It is the Carnegie Hall of downtown. Put that on your resume and the bookings will come. The bookings out of town that is.
The booker turned out to be a jerk. He had approached me to play there.
“I love your music.” He told me over the phone.
We were able to name our date. I wanted a Saturday night at 8pm. I picked Valentines Day.
I had sent them a few emails looking for a gig in the past year and had gotten no reply. Then out of the blue he contacted me, wanting to book our band. He had “discovered” us on the internet.
“Should I tell him I already emailed him like three times?” I asked Kosi.
“Nah. Just let him go on believing.” She said.
He stormed onto the stage as we were setting up to play. In front of the entire audience he demanded I pay him for the advance tickets I had sold, before we began.
“Ok. No problem.”
It was forty bucks. The place was jammed. They were making money hand over fist. The other acts were excellent. Everyone was having a great time. 20 covers from us was not enough for him. He wanted more.
“Just because we are good doesn’t mean anybody likes us.” I wanted to tell him. I mean, if you are reading this you have really gone way beyond the amount of attention we normally get. Even my mother, who just learned how to cyber-stalk people, doesn’t read this. If you are reading this then I congratulate you. (unless of course you are Kosi) You are somebody different. In a world where everyone seeks sameness that is brave.