Rock the hallsWritten by Keith Bergman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
So it’s four days before Christmas, and you still don’t have anything for the rock ‘n’ roll hero on your list. Last year’s tie with musical notes on it was a flop, although wrapping it in job applications may have been a little, shall we say, unsubtle. You don’t want to chintz out and get a gift certificate, mainly because setting foot in music stores gives you the heebie-jeebies (don’t feel bad, it does that to most musicians I know, too).
What to do?
If you’re lost, chances are so is grandma, Uncle Lou and your weird cousin who stunk up the futon last year. Get together with these people, pool your resources and go in on one big gift that’ll actually make a difference in your favorite rocker’s life.
After all, from a strict profit-and-loss standpoint, the rock game is more rigged than three-card monte and a Nigerian e-mail scam rolled into one. The obstacles are numerous — but so are the opportunities to help.
Does the band have a good van? Does it need four new tires, a tuneup and a non-cracked windshield? You could literally be a lifesaver by hauling that rolling scrapheap in for some much-needed TLC.
Has your proud progeny been able to record a demo yet? Studio costs have come down a lot in the past 10 years, but are still painfully high — and it’s very much a case of getting what you pay for. A good demo unlocks doors when it comes to booking shows, talking to record labels and securing management. No one’s greased my palms enough to make me recommend a studio publicly, but drop me a line if you’d like pointed in the right direction for your budget.
Does this hot combo have a Web site? Maybe you work with someone who could design one for them on the cheap, or host it in exchange for help on a project. Or how about you collar that photographer buddy who still owes you a favor from college, so the band can ditch that ridiculous digital-camera photo of the four of them standing against a brick wall like shmucks?
An intangible gift like a Web site, or one as practical as snow tires, may not seem fun or Christmas-y to you. Rest assured, if the rocker in your life has been doing this for any length of time at all, you’ll be the hero of the holiday. Most of the time, artists of all persuasions feel like it’s them against the world — and most of the time, they’re right. Showing your support for their crack-brained, quixotic dreams is the coolest thing you could do at this time of year.
Merry whatever-you-celebrate, everyone. Get where you’re going safely, take it easy on the pie and vodka, and if you’re a big fan of columnists who write run-on sentences, gifts of booze and drum sticks are cheerfully accepted, care of the home office.