Meaning, I’m being forced to blog .
(Really. I’m chained to the computer… someone please send help….)
You only THINK this is an exaggerated caricature….
As most of you know, my husband is a musician. And by musician, I mean it in every sense of the word, excluding ‘classical.’
He writes and records his own music, for starters. He’s successfully turned our home into the recording studio equivalent to the Batcave, (barring the Divorcizer– ask him about that one,) and he also plays bass in a fairly successful regional act, The Secret Post. (Fun fact. This was initially an ‘on the side’ project for him — but he’s practically as invested as the singer/founder of the group…..)
I’m not just being a braggy wife when I say they’ve been successful – they actually have garnered some international attention as of late. They’ve gotten radio play and lots of love from Greece fans, and were contacted by not one, but two record labels. (They announced today that they signed with the German label AF Music. Surreal, much?)
For some time now, Matt’s been hinting that he’d like to read a blog about ‘being a band wife.’ My reaction? Nope, nada, not happening. I like to keep my bitching on that front to a not so public medium. However, he’s kept at it, and a recent out-of-town gig – and the stories of shenanigans, and his fair share of female adoration – set off talks of a blog again.
So, here I am. Writing the blog that’s bound to get me ostracized. 😉 If I disappear, look for the guys in eyeliner, make them ‘fess up, okay? (Huh. Look at that, I actually started a blog back in 2010 about this exact subject. It has a paragraph talking about Excedrin, and a picture of a giant drum set in the middle of the living room… Eeks. Not a very positive tone at ALL, I’d say…)
Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure where to start. The term even annoys me. Band wife. There’s such a stigma attached to it. It’s practically dripping with stereotypes.
Think about it. When you hear the term band wife, what pops to mind?
A few things do for me… and I’ve had my fair share of time as both fan girl, musician’s wife, and now a ‘band wife.’ So, here’s what pops in my head when I hear the term.
- A ‘bitch’ type persona, who thinks she has all the rights in the world, because she’s dating a pseudo-rock star.
- A harping woman who loathes her husband’s career, constantly berating him.
- That woman at the concerts shooting daggers from her eyes at any of the female fans.
- That woman who thinks she knows EVERYTHING there is to know about the band, clubs, payment, sound, and whatever else, just because she attends shows.
Not exactly complementary images, right?
It gets better. In this case, Google isn’t our friend. I’ve seen ‘Band Wife Commandments,’ that for the sake of both our sanities, I won’t link to here. They anger me BEYOND reason. Here’s a gem, that I found on a bass forum. (However reading through the post, bless them, there are a few people that I could kiss their feet. It’s not all horrid! Woo-hoo. But the farther I read, more idiots, and the OP who thinks his wife’s issues come from being ‘on the rag’. Oh, geez… )
Additionally, doing a Google search, you find a LOT of blogs ran by “Band Wives.” It’s not surprising, really.
Realistically, there are only so many times you can talk to friends and family about some of the issues that come from being a band wife. At first thought, it may not seem like much. But trust me, there are some things that only people who have close relationships with serious musicians would understand.
- The stressed over the $2000 musical purchase your husband just made.
- The fact that no less than 6 women hit on your husband at the last show.
- Three of them, if you’re lucky, are diehard fans, and will likely be at every single show the band plays, from now until eternity.
- Facebook. FACEBOOK. I needn’t say more.
- Roadtrips to pick up a $3000 synth. Who gets to ride in the front seat on the 6 hour drive home…
- The makeup/outfits. This is ridiculously hard to explain to some older family members. Or, just family who thinks it’s feminine. I kinda just want to say, “Here. Come to a show with me. All these girls obviously don’t mind it…”
- Recording sessions. No WiFi/cell phones during sessions, because they interfere with the signal. Cats that must want to be featured on the CD’s. Cats that get very angry when you try to hush them up. Cat’s that pee on you, to express their displeasure…
I could go on, but you get the idea. Or, at the very least, you’re starting to. (My fellow friends/family of musicians are sitting there nodding. You know what I mean. You’ve been there. Can I get an amen or anything? )
So many times, I’ve been telling a story to someone, and it had to do with the music aspect of our life, and mid conversation, I could see the gears start to turn. Even when the stories are toned down, I still get the “I-love-you-but-I-think-you-guys-are-crazy-why-do-you-put-up-with-this” vibe.
We really are crazy, there’s not a better way to describe it at all.
And if I’m being completely honest, a good amount of this ‘band wife’ concept, really sucks. The most obvious being, the girls. Especially since on occasion, his uniform of choice involves makeup, and electrical taped nipples.
It really doesn’t matter whether the shows are local, or out of state, he gets hit on by someone, every show. Or, he has girls down in front dancing for him. (Yes, yes. This is probably karma kicking me in the you-know-what for my dancing at concerts. I’ve accepted this, and am over it.)
It’s really not so bad. I’m not worried about him cheating, in the least. Especially since I hear about all of it later. But it is a bit daunting to hear about all the pretty, artsy, goth women who are throwing themselves (not a complete exaggeration, but I don’t want to get too detailed.) at the man you’re married to. Especially when you’re sitting at home, plain, boring, and realizing you haven’t worn makeup in a week. Maybe more.
The worst part of all this? It may not make sense, but the absolute worst part, is that they aren’t national/known worldwide .
Well, if they were, then it’d be a bigger scope of people hitting on him. As things stand now, a good portion of the girls who hit on him, I’ve either seen before, or will see again. Some of them are in bands that travel the same circuits. A few, we even know somewhat personally. Which, is why I haven’t divulged any of the pickup lines, or personal details here. (I’m not THAT mean.)
Which.. on a side note. Ladies, just because someone is attractive – do you really want to take them home randomly from a club? It’s kinda a freebie with Matt, since he doesn’t wear his ring when he performs (Another point non-musicians may not understand…). But quite honestly? I’ve never seen the appeal of taking someone home you’ve JUST MET. They could be a psychopath. STD city. Impotent. You never know…
I’m getting off subject. Back to the topic at hand, and away from the girl-y aspect of it…
Another downside, (Boy, I’m just FULL of those…) is that life .. pretty much revolves around the musicians schedule. Budget too.
I’m sure things get a little more hairy when kids are involved, but we aren’t at that point yet. But things like band practice, show schedules, new instruments, strings, picks, maintenance, practice space fee, shows/sound checks, out-of-town shows (and the money needed to go to them), and countless other things, really can put a strain on things.
As much as it sucks, some of these things take priority over things that I’d rather put closer to the top of the priority list. Family events? Dinner with friends? Movie night? All subject to practice/show schedules.
Budget wise, we’ve put off a Valentine’s Day to help with band expenses once… we’ve rearranged budgets countless times to accommodate new purchases and practice space fees. It’s surprisingly not as bad as you’d think. The worst of it, honestly has been Matt’s personal purchases outside of the band..
No. I lied. There was that emergency bass and bass amp we had to buy.
God, that was a nightmare. Especially since we’d had a good amount of purchases he’d made, and I wasn’t happy with it. Long story short, we’d talked about things, and it had been agreed that no major purchases would happen until after X date.
Naturally, Murphy’s Law occurred, and he had to make a major purchase. Trust that I was anything but happy… but after a few long conversations (and admittedly, a bit of a guilt trip on my part,) I agreed it was necessary.
There’s more negatives, being alone at a concert while the husband’s off playing rock star, or entertaining yourself while the band’s out-of-town… but I’ve already typed 1500+ words about negatives. Enough is enough.
On a much happier note – knowing that someone you love has something in their life that they’re passionate about? That really can’t be beat, as sappy as it sounds.
As long as I’ve known Matt, he’s been involved in music – in some shape or form. I’ve camped out on a pallet outside the studio door for late night writing/recording sessions. I’ve heard stuff he’s written, and things he’s produced for other bands.
But seeing him actually perform – and honestly, be quite good at it? It’s insane. It’s hard to explain, but you can’t top seeing someone doing what they love, and having that radiate from them. Unbeatable.
Free concerts are always a plus, too. (What? You knew it was coming…)
The people are great. It’s an odd crowd, and not all of them are people I would have met of my own accord … but they’re a great group of people. Who thankfully, don’t mind having me around.
Another lopsided plus , is all the female attention. (What? Yup. I don’t claim to make sense.) It’s a bit of an ego boost to see people ogling the person you’re going to take home. I can admit that.
OH, and the makeup. Being a former drama kid, Matt’s no stranger to makeup – but I’d never been able to get him to wear any eyeliner or anything like that. Until, he started playing with The Secret Post.
Now, well, the boy’s purchases rival mine. ($20 lipstick? Sephora, shame shame!) But, as cliché as it is, I LOVE the eyeliner look on guys. The lipstick, I’m on the fence about. But eyeliner, yes please. 🙂
I’m really trying to rack my brain here.. I have a very antsy musician in the other room, sneaking peeks at me, waiting to read what I have written – I don’t want to disappoint!
It’s such an odd position to be in. I know a lot of wives can’t go – or just don’t want – to attend shows, whether it be because of kids, or personal reasons… but I really enjoy going. You learn a lot, whether you want to or not. I’m somewhat proud to say I have a decent handle on how sound checks go, the load out process, and a good amount of gear terminology. I could very roughly explain booking/contracts, bits of the recording process, and I’m fairly certain I could point out when certain band members make mistakes. Though, I’m still learning all The Secret Post songs. ( Don’t tell anyone, but I used to not care for the band. Matt liked them from the get-go though, and thankfully, before he joined, the songs started to grow on me. Lord, life would be hell if I didn’t like the band….)
It’ll be interesting to see if I can keep my mostly positive opinion, if things ever take off for the guys. It’s exciting, and a touch terrifying, that they’ve been signed to the German label. Realistically, nothing huge may ever happen. But, it could mean touring more. Which, obviously not my favorite. I better pick up a hobby. 🙂 Touring more, means more fans. Meaning, more girls. Also meaning, more recording. (Uh oh…)
ACK! It’s a vicious cycle – I can’t get away!!
All in all, it’s not bad. I don’t think I’d trade it for anything. It sure makes things interesting.
But, to be candid, I am NOT looking forward to the next recording session.
I FINALLY got decorations up on the walls in my kitchen/living room area, thanks to my friend, Alisha. She graciously helped me do that, and a few other things the last time Matt was out-of-town, doing the rock star thing. Unfortunately, they rattle . So they all get to come down the next time he records.
Which, I’m sure you’ll all hear about, be it on Facebook, or here. I’ll be grumping around about it, I’m sure.
Until he cuts off my internet for the recording session. that is. 😉