I lied to Randy last night at his gig and told him we couldn't hear him practicing in the livingroom above our heads. I didn't want him to think he had to stop. Truth is, I love hearing music through the floor - especially when someone we like is playing it. He is also not hard to listen to. Through the floor it sounds like a cross between Johnny Cash and Charlie Brown's teacher.
Last night was his first gig playing out. He'd been invited onstage to sing a Cash tune from time to time, but never played guitar. I'm not a trained professional, but I thought he sounded great, singing and playing. My favorite part was watching him be nervous before his set. I don't know why I got such a kick out of this. Watching people suffer unnecessarily is not usually my thing. Maybe because I knew he'd be great and had nothing to worry about. I should know - I've been listening to him through the floor.
A friend of mine from one of the local radio stations met us out. She's one of those people who's recognized out in public just by her voice. Someone at our table recognized her within seconds. I tried to make Randy Even More Nervous by introducing him to my radio station connection and telling him she had come especially for him. But he was too busy mentally chanting "do not throw up on audience, do not throw up on audience..." to hear me. I wonder when people stop being nervous. When they're playing stadiums? And when they play stadiums, do they realize how many people are watching them?
Maybe I enjoyed watching him be nervous because it's a vicarious thrill watching someone push himself to the next level. To do something he was afraid of, and win. And not throw up on the audience in the process.