The Launch Pad, Albuquerque, September 4, 2014
I expected a huge crowd, but there were only about twelve people in the club when I walked in. In fact, I tried to time my arrival to miss the opening band altogether but they hadn't even played yet. I was also surprised to see Weirdos singer John Denney sitting alone at the merch table. I introduced myself and initiated some harmless small talk about stuff like the long-defunct LA and OC clubs where I had seen the Weirdos in the previous century. I don't like small talk and I'm not good at it. Anybody who knows me also knows that I'm much smarter in writing than I am in real life.
I cut to the chase. Why not? Nobody knows me here and I don't care who knows what a geeky record dork I am. I'm not an autograph hound and I think that the very idea of an autograph is stupid, but we're talking about The Weirdos here.
I asked him, "Would you mind if I brought in a record for you to sign?"
"I would be honored," he said. What a nice Weirdo.
When The Weirdos first took the stage, some random drunk guy began heckling them. I think this guy just wandered in off of the street - he didn't look like the rest of the crowd consisting mostly of aging hipsters, punkers, and record geeks. The drunkard loudly proclaimed that bearded bassist Zander Schloss "looked like Cheech and Chong" - not Cheech, not Chong, but Cheech AND Chong.
"Who are these Weirdos?" he asked no one in particular.
I tried to look away, but I was too slow to avert his gaze. He got right in my face and said, "You know the Weirdos?"
No longer fluent in Drunken Idiot-speak, I answered him in a just-as-obnoxious, smarmy, condescending tone, "I don't know them personally, but I know their music."
I can be such a jerk sometimes.
A few songs later, Mr. Drunk Guy was a convert. He staggered up to me, got in my face again, and shouted, "These guys are AWESOME!" Then he went right back to heckling.
The Weirdos have survived generations of hecklers. This guy wasn't even a blip on their radar.
In actual Record Weirdo News, I did my dealer thing at the most recent Albuquerque Record Show. The local weekly rag had run a nice piece about it and there was a larger-than-normal turnout. I sold a lot of stuff. I did better than my previous times at the ABQ show even though I didn't have anything really good to sell.
I met a man from Dallas who said he used to live down the street from Gene Vincent. I believed him because I wanted to.