Great job Pengy! Apology accepted
Thanks and thanks! Yay!
So... As I'm not in an active, performing band, haven't been on a stage of any sort in 18 years other than some open mic nights in 2004 (I think) and, aside from Monday night's karaoke with about 50 ppl in the room, had never performed this song live for anyone other than my buddy John whose studio this was done in, I guess you can imagine how my heart was pumping prior to getting up n' grabbing the mic.
But, what I'm sure no one would imagine is that I was a bit messed up a few times that day, hours before performing and that the rush of the mix of anticipatory adrenalin and nervousness all culminated in a full blown, perfect storm sort of hallucinogenic, detached from reality panic (terror more like it) attack about half an hour before doing the song
I haven't had an anxiety attack of any kind since quitting drinking n' smokin' pot a few months before 70K 2011 so was pretty caught off guard by where my mind went while sitting there in Boleros Friday morning. I'd felt some nervousness throughout the day as I went over in my mind what to say before starting the song. I know that ppl don't like to hear too much talking during karaoke so was trying to figure out how to explain wtf Your Boat Sucks means, describe the call/response aspect of the chorus, thank UMC and Dave and the forumites all while appearing calm, cool and collected which I knew I wouldn't be (I hate public speaking - much rather just sing or play guitar). My mind was already a little unsettled when I walked into Boleros and saw how packed it was but I just chalked it all up to the logical nervous energy, pushed past it and took a seat.
There weren't any seats I could spot with other friends/forumites so I grabbed one between the floor and the bar and was right behind Kate n' Ryan. I listened to a bunch of other singers, gave Kate n' Ryan my cameras to take footage for me and then went up and told Dave I was ready any time. He'd agreed earlier in the week that I could show up anytime and do the song within 10 minutes or so in order to not have to wait around for hours. But, I guess he forgot or had other things to contend with cuz it was another hour or so before I got called up. Well, the first half hour or so was okay and then came the fiddler...
Umm, that guy is killer talented and I totally appreciate what he can do but something about the particular pitch of that instrument combined with all the effects he runs it through was just the right thing to push my mind over an edge I'd forgotten was there lol...
I was already a bit uncomfortable with the sound of it all and how I was feeling when he started playing 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia'. Now, I've always really liked that song but for some reason it just struck me as some kind of weird thing at the time and left me feeling like something strange was happening or about to. I made it through that song and felt better once he'd finished but then he did Fade to Black.
Well, Fade to Black is a long time fave song of mine as I love the lyrics, the guitar parts and the solos but it also has an emotional connection as it's a song about death/suicide/wishing for death. So it sorta brought my head into the direction of some rather somber thoughts amongst all else that was going on. No biggie I guess but it was another straw on this gradually weakening mental camel's back so to speak...
*backstory* - In the fall of 2010, when I'd known you guys a while here but not yet in person, I'd spent much of the summer drinking every weekend and eating a lot of pot cookies as I didn't wanna smoke the stuff anymore due to the impact on lungs etc. But eating that shit is a very different high than smoking it and sometimes left me feeling 'too high' Well, I went to see Pearl Jam with a buddy of mind and had this harsh bad trip/anxiety attack where, long bad trip story short, I believed the moment of my death had arrived and that everyone around me and life up to that point was just an illusion/hallucination. It scared me shitless until it passed and was the crowning moment on the 'Drugs just aren't for me' life experience.
Unfortunately, it would seem that it opened some kind of window/door in my mind that may never fully close.
When buddy got about half way through Fade To Black, he started walking around the crowd and stopped to play for some ppl just a couple seats to my right. As he did so, most/many of the ppl in the room were staring at him (for obvious reasons). But then he moved closer to me and the combination of and exhausting week of little/no sleep, lots of self-conscious energy, the buzz in the room, the mess in my brain, the drawn out anticipation of getting up to perform, the sound of that freaking violin (lol) and all faces in the room being turned to me and bam... there you have what I would now term: Mental Health Perfect Storm 101
In that moment, I was convinced that I'd been given this entire experience (the cruise, the making of this song and some ppl really digging it, and being able to perform it as, essentially, the last piece of original music on the 2012 cruise), as some kind of send off gift to really go over to the other side and that buddy was 'playing me out' with one of my all time fave songs as I was surrounded by more super solid friends than I'd ever had all looking in my direction and smiling happily. Not a bad way to go to be sure but I'm not exactly READY to go haha. So yeah, I was like 'Fuck this' in my head and just wanted him to get the hell away from me. Eventually he did but the time he spent in those few feet near me felt like a damn eternity and as great as the memory of performing the song now is, the memory of that little trip is equally etched in my mind.
I could write more but have to run and get sushi now but really did wanna share this here. There are many here I trust with my most embarrassing truths and to those who might mock or judge, I'm not too worried what they think. I know I'm not the only one of our community that struggles with various weird shit from time to time and by typing it all out here it really takes a lot of its power away.
Before I run though, I really must add a HUGE thank you to Marlo!
You may not remember this all Marlo as you were pretty buzzed but you sat next to me about 5 minutes after all this happened and I told you I was very nervous and had had a full on anxiety attack just minutes before. You said the kindest most thoughtful and encouraging things and really helped bring me fully back to Earth. I'll never be able to thank you enough for that brief interaction but I felt very grateful in that moment and even more so now that I've reflected on it all. You said exactly what I needed to hear in that moment and I'll always love ya for that (as well as just how damn cool ya are to begin with
Okay... sushi time!