Been doing it pretty much even through the pandemic. Never stopped. Usually you wear a mask getting in, keep your distance, the hosts usually wipe everything down between artists, you use your own mic, and no problems. When you are at a table, eating or drinking, you are usually with your friends, people take their masks off. As well as the people in the audiences. Tables are spread out, and there is plenty of social distancing. If there are people you don't know, you keep your distance, fist bump, wash hands continually, keep alcholo wipes with you. There are no records of anyone getting anything from performing or even working in resturants, bars or venues.
We've had no one get anything from performing. Just got back from Florida that is very open and very successful. No problems at all. I do have friends that have performed all over and they have the same story. No problems at all. All the venues have pretty much set up for it. Some have plastic partiticans, some limit the amount of people on stage at any time. Have had friends who have played nationwide with the same story. Have had more problems over the years getting colds from other performers. But on this, no problems at all.
It's so different in PA. I noticed some places opened up for music a month ago. PA doesn't want to open things up completely until there's 70% vaccinated of those 18 and over. I don't know how they're going to know for sure.There's plenty of places that look like they're operating at full capacity. A family member is a bar manager - and she said they're still not allowed to operate to capacity yet. Most places have the mask required sign(like the venue where I performed) - but don't enforce it.
There is a lot of hype to force the fear factor so as to have control. Freedoms slowly eroded, especially from Christians and churches. Where I live we have to wear masks right through a service but restaurants and lounges can take their mask off once they sit down.
One of the more interesting things to me in all of this, has been people that either contacted me or I talked to privately who were Doctors and Nurses, as well as researchers. I asked a few people if they thought it would be safe to perform, etc. back at the beginning. And they all said almost the same thing. They went through the whole "social distancing, wash hands, alcohol wipes, stuff we've all had drummed into us, etc." and then there was always a "I can't really say this, because it would be my job, but this is really overhyped. There are great dangers with people with other issues, cancer, heart disease, etc. elderly are very much at risk. But most people have almost no or little adverse problems. And these numbers are way out of line with the truth. this is politically motivated and has a LOT of things that are not right."
They also said that some of their problems were having people being laid off because of not enough people at hospitals to work. This had a 98.98% chance of survival, for most people and the majority of the 200 or so people I know that have had it, had just that. Cold of flu symptoms or really no symptoms. But it affects so many people so differently. My neighbor is a medical researcher. He and his wife got it. He had a small headache one day, she was in the bed for five weeks. And the three people who I know personally who died of complications from Covid, one had a several year battle with Cancer, was a chain smoker for 40 years, one was a 65 year old former professional wrestler with a history of heart attacks and strokes, and the third was a 91 year old man with two terrible falls, hitting his head, two brain surgeries, and one that resulted in him going crazy one night and pulling the tubes out of his head. They all were claimed by Covid, but I just don't see it that way. But again, thats only my opinion.
I don't get into the political stuff because i'm not a doctor, I was not there, so I don't know. Just saying what I was told. But they are all people with no reason to lie, and were all people I trusted, as well as from different areas of the country. But I never had a problem with performing or going out. I felt I needed to on many occassions to keep our bars and resturants open. I didn't get nuts, many things have changed and I don't mind that. WE don't hug as much as we used to, fine, we use mostly our own microphones, fine,.(like I said, I've gotten colds before from other writers) and almost all the things that I do are in the "FEATURED WRITER" slot, where I perform solo. So I really don't have to share the stage with anyone. I never had much of a problem, but that is also my deal. I'm just really not scared by many of these things, because if you keep common sense about you, you generally are okay. I recently had ALL medical check ups from top to bottom and am strangely enough in pretty good shape. So I just didn;'t go the "SHUT YOUR LIFE DOWN" thing.
Many of the people I know, are now performing, I'm seeing venues open up, was in Florida last weekend and its wide open. I hope it will continue, and I think people will approach many things differently which are for the good. Hey, if it just makes more people wash their hands and not cough or sneeze on someone, I view that as a positive.
One other thing that I've done for years that helped. If you go to a drug store, they have these small alcohol pads that come in individual packets. For years I;'ve kept those with me and usually have one in my palm when I get on stage. I just very quietly wipe the mic, (even my own) and any place I'm going to touch down. Is real easy and does fine. Since I rarely sit down and don't really touch anything, It all works for me.
So that's my deal. Hope you all are doing okay. MAB
Performed last night. I do it about twice a month, usually at the Commodore. That is the HOLIDAY INN on West End, right near Vanderbilt stadium. It is a good venue seven nights a week, with open mics that anybody can play on most of those nights. It is always a good place to see a variety of writer/artists, usually about 25 a night. I'm normally the feature, which is in the main slot around 8:00-8:30. Since so many of our venues have closed, the Commodore is one that I've tried to support since they powered through during the Pandemic. A few weeks ago, there was a new district manager, who has taken over and wondering if they were going to do away with wrtiter's nights completely. You see, Vanderbilt University has bought the hotel and they are deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. Apparently, he came in a few nights that I happened to be there, (bringing in my friends, many who are future members of ALCOHOLIC ANNOMYS...JUST KIDDING!) but he seemed to be impressed with what was going on, the show and the customers who spent money. So we seem to be safe for now.
Across the street from there is THE LOCAL, which has some REALLY good entertainment from songwriters seven nights a week, so going to those two places can really give you a feel for whats going on here.
The next time I am up is Thursday the 20th, where I'll be performing there. A really fun one will be Sunday, June 6th, where I'll be sharing the stage with Jimmy Payne. Jimmy wrote "WOMAN...(have you got leaving on your mind...) which was a huge number one for GARY PUCKETT AND THE UNION GAP. I have a blast with Jimmy, who is one of the last "old legends" still going. He loves it when I play mouth trumpet on his song. "Da da da da da da daaaaaaaaaa" It;s a hoot. That will be a great night because the host, DEBI CHAMPION is celebrating her 15th anniversery there. Should be a star studded night.
As I have mentioned to you before, yo uwould be welcome to stay in our guest room if you don'[t want to drive back or have nother place to stay. ?Would always be interesting to meet my online nemisis, lol! Actually it would be quite fun to show you my town the way I've tried to describe it. I think you'd get a different sense of it being here. But if not, I'll continue to play throughout the summer there and other places. And when my buddy Jim Parker starts back with his songwriter series at the VON BRAUN CIVIC CENTER, I'll be back down that way. So hope we can link up sometime.
That's understandable. I've got a family reunion in Guin this weekend and am hoping there will be gas. Pretty sure it will be fine. You should be between 80-100 miles up. Unless you have a real gas burner, should be up and back on one tank. I go twice as far to Birmingham and still have a little less than half tank. So you should be fine, but like everything we just have to see as it gets here.
Hey Craig, "Tony" (Japov) moved to the Huntsville area a couple years ago. He's talking about coming up to Nashville next week. Be the first time we ever met face to face. I'm from Birmingham and have done quite a few things in Huntsville. One of my favorite shows to be on is JIM PARKER'S SONGWRITER SHOWCASE SERIES, which is a first class show held in Von Braun Civic center amphitheater. He's had to pause it due to Covid, but I hope it's coming back soon. Great great show.
The conversation basically is about live music in the current times, which has been tough. But still going on, some places more than others. Glad you liked it. I like these conversations too. Keeping it on music. A great thing.
Ha! There’s more water in North Alabama than Atlanta metro area. Used to frequent Wheeler Wildlife refuge as a teen. You must be talking about Point Mallard golf. Anyway, I’m in western Carolina now. Live venues are Chevelles, Chop House and North Georgia fairgrounds, among others. I remember when Elvis played the VBCC in 1975, three times maybe....
One of my best friends from childhood lives in Huntsville. We stay in touch and visit in person now and then. I used to see him every year in Bham before my parents died. He has promised me a tour of Florence and M Shoals when I get back over that way to see him. I dont know when that will be but maybe you can find us an open mic where we can go embarrass ourselves.
You know, what you should do, is find a little local bar, talk to the owner and see about setting up your own writers night on one of their slower nights. Doesn't take much. Small PA, or sometimes they already have one. Post something on Facebook/Twitter or some of the other forums like Linked In and local "Next Door" type places. Post a small flyer on bullitien boards, of just at the venue. Believe me, you'll get PLENTY of people that you never knew were around you. If you want some suggestions, message JIM PARKER on Facebook. He's been doing it for around 20 years and can give you some tips in that area. The problem is never getting people. It;s getting people who don't play the most depressing stuff in the world, go on for 15 minutes per song, think it's a cover karaoke night, think it is a RAP ONLY night, or want to get mad at anyone that doesn't embrace them and actually HECKLE the audience. But usually by posting a few simple guidelines, you can head a lot of that off.
Sometimes you gotta be proactive and do it yourself. Can't wait around for someone else.