The Grind is what happens when I am in search of the next awesome show.
The Grind is moving amplifiers at 2 a.m. after playing a show that none of my friends attended.
The Grind is hours spent wondering why I do this.
The Grind is not being paid for making other people money.
The Grind happens.¬† Often.
Fortunately, there is The Grind’s happy twin, Bliss.
Bliss is sitting around a table with friends singing songs.
Bliss is getting paid to perform.
Bliss is when a friend tells me that she likes one of my songs more than everything else.
Bliss is Chewbacca (my cat) sitting on the couch next to me while I type this.
Bliss is performing on stage with my band while dozens of friends, visiting from all over the country, sing and dance on the floor below the stage.¬† I work for those moments.
Most nights start out as Bliss With Infinite Expectations.¬† That is, as I drive to a gig I think, “Maybe there will be 150 people there, and they will all applaud wildly at the end of my opening number.”
But most nights end as The Grind.¬† A few golf claps.¬† Maybe a free beer.¬† If I am lucky, I will have a good conversation with Jim or Ryan.
The Grind isn’t all that bad.¬† Sometimes it is nice just being in The Game.¬† The Grind is part of The Game.¬† The game is what my old friend, Deb, called, “Look at you!¬† That’s so cool!”¬† Deb doesn’t know about The Grind.¬† Most don’t.
Last night at Dubliner Pub was definitely The Grind.¬† It was The Grind x 10.¬† Many thanks to Jon and Colin for the golf claps!¬† I returned the favor.¬† They got more applause than me, though – probably on account of their well-chosen cover songs.
Cover songs are The Devil.¬† At least that’s how I was raised.¬† I would have gotten kicked out of the house if my high school band played a cover song.¬† So goes it in a house that values creativity, I suppose.
Liana also told me that she experiences The Grind.¬† She experienced it after opening for Black Eyed Peas and also after opening for Pussycat Dolls.¬† I doubt that Black Eyed Peas and Pussycat Dolls experience The Grind.¬† They are in Bliss, too busy being loved by sheeple (thanks, Noah for that term!) to see The Grind.¬† They lock him out behind three layers of beefy security guards.
Jake from Semisonic also talks about The Grind, at length, in his book.¬† I highly-recommend his book.
The good news is that The Grind has as much to teach as Bliss.¬† And I learn equally from both.¬† But Bliss makes me smile, and The Grind makes me frown.¬† But I can’t have one without the other, I suppose.