A certain musician I know is a legend. He's a legend for many reasons, but principally for what happened back in July 2012 when the Allen Stone Orgasmic Noise Orchestra played the Late Show with David Letterman.
A celebratory mood’s in the air. In early 2012, we’re grinding big time, barely making ends meet, and then, all of a sudden, WHOOSH, we’re here, there and everywhere, opening for giant bands, playing on national TV, frantically trying to adjust to whatever "this" is. And, make no mistake, we have no idea what "this" is.
The night before our Letterman taping, in the spirit of being generally overwhelmed all the time, we’re tossing back sake like it’s post-marathon gatorade. It’s New York and we’re excited and everything's new and holy shit our dreams are coming true and then I woke up at the hotel.
At some point post sake apocalypse and pre coming-to at the Brooklyn Comfort Inn, drunken calamity befalls a certain musician I know. It's uncertain exactly what happened, but the end result's a gnarly gash above his lip and endearing embarrassment. Naturally, we're all laughing like insensitive hyenas. As we pile into a van bound for the Ed Sullivan Theater, there's every conceivable excuse for a mere mortal to crumble. These shows are weird enough without temporary disfigurement.
But, like I said, this certain musician I know is a legend.
Upon arrival at the theater, he doesn’t head straight to makeup, wordlessly point to his upper lip and, within 15 minutes, come out looking good as new. Absolutely not, what with that lacking improvisational flare and all. Instead, this gem of a human disappears into the costume shop down the block and emerges with the most ludicrous fake mustache that’s ever existed in human history. It looks like a wounded, wet Yorky’s clinging to his lip. With a maniacal confidence, this certain musician I know grabs Letterman's production manager and says “don’t show my face.” Which, of course, is not-so-secret code for “literally the first close up’s going to be me rocking a fifteen pound fake mustache, sunglasses and (if memory serves) a trucker cap” Genius. Kaufman-esque. It's on YouTube.
The lesson here, aspiring musicians, is yes, preserve a modicum of professionalism or whatever but, really, why didn’t you become an accountant? Because this shit’s really, really fun, and things matter a whole lot less than you think.