A Barking Dog Blog retired on Aug 17, 2008. There have been a few special edition posts since. In these pages you’ll find true to life tales of big time show business. And some small time, too. I hope it’s as enjoyable reading them now 5-10 years later as it was when I first lived/wrote them.
This post has been a long time coming and I probably should have done it a year ago. Much like Barton was interrupted while staring at the keys of his Underwood at the Hotel Earle by Charlie Meadows, I’ve been doing much the same but in suburban digs in Las Vegas. Next month I’ll celebrate my 3rd year year in the city of sin and circus shows. I suppose much in the same way that an inmate celebrates that final walk to the electric chair. It’s not quite as grim as Ben and Sera make it out to be, though in my original apartment behind that hotel that rocks hard it certainly could have been. It’s a cold, soul less place that extracts a toll on many that call it home. To me it’s nothing more than a company town, a place for old roadies to go and become part of the corporate machine where mediocrity and low profile are rewarded over risk, skill and expertise.
I’ve had a great time doing A Barking Dog for the last five years or so, however infrequent it’s been over the last year. This post for me marks the end of an era, the last post of A Barking Dog. The stories were true to life, at least how I remembered it to be afterward or how I saw it those times when the posts were in real time. Some of the people weren’t exactly pleased in the way I protrayed them. Bummer, I called it like I saw it. Which is one of the reasons I decided to stop posting. I’d like to keep this gig until either I retire and move to some Del Webb gated community (I’m almost old enough..) or until Ambi and I figure out how to get those couple of acres of land either in Nor Cal or the PNW and start our organic produce farm, with of course, a race shop.
My current corporate overlords, while not as hard core and tight assed as the first place I worked on The Strip still wouldn’t appreciate some of my observations. On a pretty frequent basis I have a “you gotta be fucking kidding me” moment, at which point I turn to one of my colleagues and say “you gotta be fucking kidding me”. It’s an interesting mix on The Strip of audio types. Not a lot of rock guys and not a lot of guys that have done big time stage mons. I think there might be a dozen of us with most of those at the big time music gigs or rooms in town. The production show crews while they have bands and monitors, don’t have a lot of real monitor guys. There are a couple of guys that can do it pretty well but there are also many guys that think they are a lot better than they are. The bands for the most part know the difference. They need rock mons in a theatrical production show environment and a lot of the kids on the mon desk weren’t born when some of us started doing mons or playing in bands. They need real monitor guys on real monitor consoles and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. It’s no wonder why some of the younger, higher caliber guys spend a year or two on The Strip then hit back out on the road. I don’t blame them but for an old roadie like me that wants to wind down and spend the back nine of the career working with cool, high tech stuff from the creative angle (these days I’m doing a fair amount of mixing both FOH and mons) back on the road isn’t really a good option.
For a quarter century I based my life on getting the next gig and getting a bigger gig. I had some success and a couple of failures along the way. I had a good run. Just like A Barking Dog. It had a good run, though belabored over the last year or so. At one point there were about 15,000 people a month reading. Now it’s time to turn out the lights and go into archive mode.
Like Shakey says, it’s better to burn out, rust never sleeps.
Thanks for a great run, gang. We’ll see you around…