At The Coop

At The Coop

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I Don't Care Who You Think You Are...

          Interesting night tonight at the “The Taste OF TSAI” event. I was scheduled to go on at 6:00pm with three other writers for an hour. One of the writers showed up with an extra (and unannounced) guitarist in tow. I had never known her to need an accompanist before, but suddenly there were five guitars and only four direct inputs for the PA. Only three of the mic stands had booms on them, making it difficult to hold a guitar and sing in the mic at the same time. We decided (with the blessing of the person organizing the event) that the best way to handle it was for half of the group to play the first half hour and then the other half play the second half hour. It seemed like a good solution for making the best of an awkward situation.
          At the end of the first half hour, two people left the stage. The accompanist stood up there tuning his guitar while the emcee talked and we tried to get set up for our half hour. Then the emcee announced us and added “Accompanied by Accompanist”. That was news to me, so  I turned to the guy and told him that I would rather that he didn’t play on my songs. (He doesn’t know them, and I’m used to doing the solo thing.) Steve (the other writer) said he would prefer that I go first, so I did. I started with “My Dog Jesus”, since there were a lot of folks there who had never heard me before. Then Steve did a song.
          When I stepped up to the mic for my second song,  Accompanist said “I’m doing one now.”
          I said “Really?”
          He said “Yeah!”.
          I unplugged my guitar and walked off stage. He started playing. The soundman (who was already having issues with Accompanist) asked me what was going on. I told him I got booted. I was ready to pack up and leave. Nina told me that she thought it looked bad, and that I should get back up. The soundman went looking for the organizer, who came up to me and asked “What’s he doing up there? He’s not on the bill.” I told him what had happened, and told me “Oh, no…you need to get back up there.”
          So I got back up and played “Dickel, Strait & Jones”. Steve did another song. I got ready to launch into my third song.
          Accompanist goes “I’m going to do another one.”
          I said “No. you’re not. You’re not part of this round. You weren’t invited, and your name is not on the bill. You’ve already taken one person’s slot.”
          He acted like I had spit on him. “I’ve already taken one person’s slot?” He unplugged his guitar while telling me “You’re a real jewel, you know that?” Then he stormed off the front of the stage while shouting “You don’t ever have to worry about me working with you again!”
          I stated that he never was working with me in the first place, and that he had crashed the round.  He flew through the crowd to wherever his guitar case was.
          I was pretty torqued at that point, so I decided to do a happy song, and told the crowd so. I launched into “What’s Not To Love”, and of course I had the wrong harmonica in the rack. Swapped harps and kicked it off again. Roared through the song, and took my bows. I was headed to the green room to put my guitar in the case, when accompanist walked by me in the crowd and says at the top of his lungs “You’re a real dick!” I kept walking.
         I was in the green room putting my guitar up, when he comes in and accosts me.
        “You’re a real asshole! You should never say on a mic that somebody crashed a round.”
        “That’s exactly what you did. You weren’t invited. Your name was not on the bill.”
        “They told me that I was going to accompany her and then be in the round.”
         I asked who “they” were.
        He told me "they" were the writer who he was there to play with and the organizer.
         I said “That’s funny, because the organizer asked me what you were doing up there.”
        He reiterated that he thought I was an asshole.
         I told him he needed to go look in the mirror.
        He turned away,  shouting “Go fuck yourself!” as he stalked out of the green room.
         I found myself wishing I was the kind of guy who would stomp a mudhole in somebody who acted like that, but fortunately I am not.
        Accompanist was in a one-hit-wonder band in the ‘60s, and hangs around Nashville pretending to something he’s not, all the while pretending to not be what he is…a self-aggrandizing opportunist. He sure hated getting called on it. I hated that I brought that drama to an otherwise fun event, but somebody had to say “That ain’t right!” I guess I got nominated. I sure didn’t enjoy it.

Addendum...because a lot of people have asked and/or wrongly assumed the identity of the perpetrator, it was NOT my friend Gary Talley. He has way more class than that. And besides, The Boxtops had more than one hit.


  1. Some nominations you just don't want. Sorry you had to deal with that ego.

  2. You got back up on stage and performed well despite the crap. That's professional.