life goes on

It was around this time last year that I learned someone who I thought was one of my best friends and music buddy (he was on the same DIY label with me too) was basically using me. Using me to book us a tour that was over a month long, and for whatever reason he didn’t feel like he had to hold up his end of the agreement. He constantly made excuses as to why he couldn’t do simple things we had agreed upon such as keeping the booking spreadsheet up to date, sending me updates, posting to promote the tour, etc.

Let me be clear when I say that this is something we agreed on before the booking ever started. I sent this dude detailed emails about how I like to book long tours, complete with screen shots of spreadsheet examples, booking email examples, how i conducted booking calls, etc. etc. I went out of my way to be very clear and honest and he agreed countless times that he would do the same thing.

Long story shorter (at least at this point of the story) due to the lack of communication in his band (and I believe, his failures as a band leader), they dropped off doing the tour with him, which I do not blame them for in the context of their dynamics. He was really bummed about having to do the tour solo, and I tried to be positive about it, reassuring him that we could still do the tour as two solo acts, joint forces for some duets, and basically kick ass, plus we only had to split the profits two ways now, so that was a plus in some ways. I tried to be positive and reassuring, and supportive. I had literally spent countless months and hours sending emails, calling people, making flyers, updating websites, researching venues and I wasn’t about to back out on something I had dedicated a big chunk of my time to. 

His actions at this moment proved to me that he did not feel the same sort of responsibility. Eventually he let me know that he was pulling out of doing the first string of shows that we had booked, about a week long, starting with me meeting him in NYC and us traveling back south to his hometown. (This was originally going to be a tour with his trio and me opening solo until they backed out of the tour all together.)

Keep in mind this was about 2 weeks before our first date at the end of September. I was fucking upset, I tried to be rational and keep a cool head. His main reason, straight up, was “I didn’t know it was gonna cost a lot of money to drive to NYC, the tolls are really high.” I nearly shit a brick when I heard these words leave his mouth. I once again tried to be reassuring, telling him that he would be paid back in full for his fuel and toll expenses from the tour profits, off the top, before I saw any of that money.

I then asked him why didn’t he consider that at the beginning of this entire booking process? That making note of these sorts of things was really important and one of the first things to consider. He didn’t really have an answer but he should’ve said something along the lines of “Because I’m irresponsible and I want people to do all the work for me.”

It also became clear around this time, that he had anxiety about playing solo, which is understandable for someone who had been in a band for a while, and if in a different context (he was awesome at booking and communicating and being honest) if that were the main reason for him not wanting to do the tour, I probably would’ve been upset, but more understanding, and took it from there. But that wasn’t the case.

I got off the phone with him, so upset, but still trying to keep it cool. I immediately called one of my best friends (and a mutual friend of ours), who i have been touring with in some capacity off and on for a handful of years. I have been through some shit with this guy, touring and off tour, and I can always count on him for rational advice, a good laugh, and to be there whenever I need him. This guy is totally my road dog and had been up to date on the entire process of booking this tour, including the drama before my friend decided to pull out of tour. Anyway…

So I call my best friend, and he asked me a really hard question, he asks “Look, if he is pulling out of this first week of tour, who’s to say that he won’t pull out of the entire month of October in the same fashion?” 

It was that question that really made me realize that this was all a fucking joke to this guy, that I could no longer trust him to uphold his end of the agreement and do this tour with me. Needless to say i felt very hurt and fucked over. I asked a handful of other people with touring experience and they all said the same thing: do not go on the road with this person, this is the tip of the iceberg. 

So I wrote him a long email. I told him how I felt and how he had hurt me. I thanked him for offering to use his van as our tour vehicle but reiterated that it wasn’t enough and he had agreed to other responsibilities in the beginning. I tried to not be super emotional or pissed about it via email and to try to keep it professional, but I told him he was the most irresponsible and unreliable musician I had ever worked with, and that is not a lie. 

Do you know that I never even got a reply to that email? No apology. I texted him telling him that I sent it, he said “okay, a year has gone by, and I have not spoken to him since. I remember at one point before I kicked him off the tour that he tried to give me a half assed apology, one that was followed by him making excuses again. “I’m sorry BUT…” and we all know that is NOT how to apologize to someone for being a jerk.

So with two weeks left before I left for tour and lost access to a laptop and was gonna be on the road fairly constantly, I scrambled and it worked out somehow. I cried just about every day after kicking him off tour as I tried desperately to find someone to do dates with, who was willing to drive their vehicle. The plan was to use his vehicle as our transportation, and while I understand that is a HUGE thing to lend to a tour, we had agreed beforehand that his responsibility didn’t stop at that.

I am so lucky to have amazing friends, because I found people to do part of that tour with:

- My RVA friend drove us to NYC and Baltimore and the other shows on that first weeks stretch in his van and wouldn’t accept as much $ as he was owed for it because he wanted to help me out.

- After that my friend who I had just met months prior, who lived all the way in Berea KY, drove all the way to Richmond to meet me and do a one off show in Cleveland the following night. After playing a gig, I took ADD medication (a proper amount to be awake) and we drove to Cleveland through the night, got there and went to sleep at 6am. Woke up at 3pm, ate hot dogs, played the gig and drove all the way back to Richmond. Then he got his car and drove back to Kentucky. what the fuck, amazing.

(While finding people to do these dates, I kind of realized I was gonna have to do something I never thought I was gonna have to do at this point in time, which was drive halfway across the country alone for the rest of these shows. in my shitty 1996 oldsmobile, that was given to me by my grandma under the promise that I wouldn’t drive it on the highway (LOL long story, she’s paranoid) I had never driven this car more than 40 miles at one time, and wasn’t sure it would even make the trip. My mechanic friend hooked me up with a cheap inspection and tire balance and told me he thought it was good to go. I don’t believe in god really, but I prayed to someone to please let this car make it to Texas and back and not explode. Grandma never found out I did this, please don’t tell her, she might have a heart attack even now)

- My other road dog, met me in Asheville and we did my string of shows out to memphis TN, in his car, and then drove back to Asheville where I picked up my car, took a deep breath and began my two week-ish excursion out to Nashville TN, Tulsa OK, Austin TX, New Orleans LA, Miami FL and then back to Richmond.

In addition to finding people to drive/let me use their car for some of the dates, I had to basically cut the amount of energy I was putting into booking in half while I contacted all the confirmed venues to apologize profusely for last minute changes and make sure I could still come play as a solo act (or with another solo performer in a few cases where I was traveling with friends) and to tell them my friend had “unforeseen circumstances” and couldn’t be on tour anymore. I was lucky in that none of the venues dropped the shows I had booked, but doing this left me with little time to finish emailing the other venues I meant to in order to fill out the rest of October. This left my calendar with gaping holes, costing me money in the long run. I didn’t make any money on this tour, I actually broke even which is insane, and if my friend hadn’t of generously given me 100$ for gas to get back to Richmond, I would’ve been in the hole for sure. I had also just released a digital album, and if people hadn’t of paid for that and downloaded it, I would’ve seriously been fucked.

I have a lot of feelings about this entire experience, as you can imagine. I learned so much about myself, trusting people, tour booking, driving long distances, surviving on the road by yourself in general. It’s been about a year since this whole debacle and I am not one to hold grudges generally but I still feel sore over the way I was disrespected and screwed over. I also can’t get over the fact that I never even got an apology.

I have learned that when shit gets tough you really find out who your friends are, as so many people came through for me at the last minute, restoring my faith in people in general and showing me that I am so fucking lucky to have real friends who care about me. I wish I could add this guy to that list of people, I really, truly believed we were on the way to an awesome friendship, that we would tour together and it would be so much fun. Losing friends hurts but I honestly don’t think he deserves my energy and I am not sure he ever did. 

Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far, I have been thinking about this stuff a lot over the past few weeks and needed to vent, as I’ve never really put the story out there before. I have avoided using names in this story, as it’s not my intention to publicly call this guy out, or tarnish his reputation, but you better believe that if people ask me about him, I tell them my experience if they are interested. I wish I could say that I wish him the best, but I don’t, and I know that is pretty mean but I don’t feel like he (or most anyone) deserves anything unless he works for it, which I’m not sure he ever will after a certain point. 

Onward….

centerofrestorativeexercise:

Free for download Disability Etiquette

A great resource for businesses, schools, organizations, staff training and disability awareness programs. You don’t have to feel awkward when interacting with, or when you meet, a person who has a disability. This booklet provides tips for you to follow that will help create positive interactions and raise everyone’s comfort levels.

if you lose the devil gets your soul

Never apologize for burning too brightly or collapsing into yourself every night. That is how galaxies are made.

iwriteaboutfeminism:

Michael Brown’s parents ask that there be no protests on the day of their son’s funeral. 

raideo:

spookyelric:

sphynx-prince:

yungcoochie:

bankston:

goodreasonnews:

amazingatheist:

I’m so glad to see the younger generation waking up to this hypocrisy. 

The homeowner at 22 one is killing me.

…………………….

This meme makes me so angry because it’s so on-target.

I am screaming

this isn’t even funny to me it just makes me want to find the nearest baby boomer and deck them in the mouth

I reblog this every time because it always re-ignites my anger.

I feel you sphynx-prince.  

(Source: seriouslyamerica)

5,000-year-old ‘transgender’ skeleton discovered

eversolewd:

raven-mistress:

transsuccess:

While this may not be one of our traditional success stories, this is quite possibly further evidence that we have always been here and that in and of itself is a success for our community.

transawareness:

Trans Female Skeleton


Archaeologists have discovered a 5,000-year-old skeleton which they believe may be the remains of a transgender person.

Men’s bodies from that age and culture are usually found buried with their heads towards the west and with weapons.

But this skeleton was found with its head towards the east and was surrounded by domestic jugs – as women’s bodies from the time are usually found.

At a press conference in Prague yesterday, archaeologists theorised that the person may have been transgender or ‘third sex’.

Kamila Remišová, the head of the research team, said: “From history and ethnology, we know that when a culture had strict burial rules they never made mistakes with these sort of things.”

The article also states that:

This is not the first time a skeleton has been found buried as a member of the opposite sex. One woman from the Mesolithic period, who was assumed to be a warrior, was found buried with weapons.

“transgender is new trend” go fuck yourselvea

Trans people have always existed.

postracialcomments:

Claims of drive by shooting that injured a woman is questioned by numerous people…and rightfully so.

Antonio French's Updates on Vine

whatwhiteswillneverknow:

This is the best way to see what’s going on in Ferguson without any media bias or filter. 

Hopefully, they are not trying to stop this man.