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.