“I’m telling you Joe, live music is a shell of its former self.”
Bobby stared straight at me, a dribble of spittle hanging from his lip.
“And I don’t mean because of COVID; it was hanging by a thread even before that. Lots of little venues had stopped wanting to book anything new. They wanted you already established and at least semi well known, how’s that for a chicken or egg problem?, or they wanted you for nothing but cover songs. Sweet Jesus, how many versions of Free Bird do they think people want to hear?”
It was a rhetorical question. When Bobby gets into a rant, there’s no stopping him. Good luck trying to get a word in.
“And how many semi well known bands break up before they make it big? They used to work their way up touring with the big headliners, but warmup bands have almost gone the way of the telephone booth. I don’t know what happened there, maybe promoters started taking a bigger cut of the ticket sales by cutting way back on the warmups.”
“There used to always be warmup bands. The Suicide Commandos would warmup for The Ramones or, damn, Muddy Waters for Eric Clapton.”
“And sometimes more than one! When I saw The Clash over in St. Paul, they were warmed up by The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers. Must have been the late seventies, maybe early eighties.”
He got quiet and gazed out at the lake.
Even Bobby needs to breathe.
Links to other responses to @mariannewest’s prompt can be found in the comment section of Day 1195: 5 Minute Freewrite: Thursday - Prompt: stiff fingers
Pixabay image by Papafox