Sunday, June 10, 2007

Thoughts on "the chair incident"

One of the comments by Andy L on Steve's blog yesterday or the day before made reference to "the chair incident" and got me pondering it again. I remember thinking while reading Andy's account of that incident "oh no, that's a bad decision."

Steve is fantastically creative and talented, and he does actually care about his fans on a much more personal level than many artists do. And certainly there have been times when he has very successfully made arrangements for various fans to be put on the guest list for various gigs. However, counting on him to always make such arrangements is risky. If it doesn't really matter if you get on the guest list or not, and he offers to put you there...well, go for it. But you have to realise he might very well forget what he promised. It's not an intentional slap in the face, it's just that type of thing isn't what Steve is good at. When he is touring his job is to turn in the best performance he can every show. That's it (and maybe do interviews and some of the driving). He sucks at the logistics part of touring and so it's not something he does.

Steve laughed at me in Chicago because I had tickets to every show I went to (I actually didn't end up using them but I had the damned things!), but I'm not going to ask Steve (or any of the others, but obviously Steve is the one I'd be most likely to have put me on the list) to get into their shows for free. I have two reasons for that. The first, and to me the most important one, is that how he makes his living and I will not ask him to just give me a part of his livelihood, no matter how small. Make no mistake he has been very generous, giving me several items I will always treasure (a couple have come later than the ones I ordered though! -- yes, I buy copies of anything he gives me which is or becomes commercially available), but they are offered by him, I never ask for them. The second reason I don't ask (and the one that is related to the topic of this post really) is that I'd be afraid he would forget! I tend to have quite a few social anxiety issues and would be absolutely mortified if I went expecting to be on the guest list and I wasn't there. And I know Steve, especially in the confusion and general unsettledness of a tour, is apt to forget, no matter his intentions. You also have to remember this is a guy who had to call a locksmith to open his car door when he locked his keys inside, only to find when the door was finally opened that the keys had been in his pocket all along. And he did that twice. So I buy a ticket.

As far as the chair itself goes -- if there is something you need for your health, you can't depend on someone else, you have to do it yourself. For years my mum couldn't stand for long periods of time (and what was long for her got shorter as she got older), so if we went somewhere where seating was dicey, we would bring a folding chair with us. My aunt (who has down syndrome) also can't stand for a long time and can't walk long distances or on uneven ground. So I bought a wheelchair for her. It's good for her to walk some, so I don't always use it, but if there is a chance I'll need it, I haul it out and pack it into the car. Is this a pain in the ass? Yes!! But it has to be done, so I do it. I have noticed that many people who have never before had medical problems tend to resist doing things like this because they don't want to feel like invalids. If it's your health, you can't depend on someone else to do it for you, you have to do it yourself. Maybe that sounds harsh, but if Andy or someone in his family had thought to bring a folding chair or rent a wheelchair, he and his friends and family, would have all enjoyed the show a whole lot more.


Blogger veleska1970 said...

i agree on the two issues you brought up here~~i wouldn't ask steve or anyone else i know, for that matter, to "give" me anything~~i'm certainly not entitled, and like you said, that's how they earn their living. an excellent example is this past weekend~~my sister-in-law's a real estate agent, and she found us a house. our expected closing date is july 10th. i will pay her in full at that time. i never expected her services to be free, just because she's family.

and as for the other issue~~you're dead on right about that one. you can only help someone or be helped so far, but sooner or later you have to do it yourself. it's not that people are careless or thinking only of themselves~~not at all. it's just that we all get busy and have a lot going on.

2:31 PM  
Blogger eek said...

You are buying a house? That's great!!! I'm so excited for you! Looks as if you are going to be busy moving and settling in this summer. :-)

I have known families where some members do expect people like your sister-in-law to just give them their services for fre because they are "family" and it does cause a lot of resentment and trouble.

5:36 PM  

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