Saturday, August 21, 2010
Rob & Tony at the Midnight Rodeo 8/19
Rob Baird was pretty good. It was (again) a pretty empty bar though you can't really tell from my stellar photography (Hey, I've FINALLY figured out how to at least TAKE the damn things in the dark). Large bar with the oval dance floor but hardly anyone on it. I’m now beginning to understand, when people talk of the chain typa bars. You can’t tell one from another once you get inside. They are modern looking and really big and pretty nice. But just non-descript. Back to Rob. I REALLY liked his EP/CD (thanks to Angela-Marie Lampton giving me a copy a while back:)). I really dug his songs (faves this night was “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and “Crash Hard”) and voice. This show was just the opposite of most things I’ve seen on my trip. I loved the music from the CD but the show was pretty boring. His band was really tight and good musicians but it just didn't have the energy that I’ve seen from the other Texas bands. I’m glad he’s out there playing all of these gigs. Rob seems to work hard and I’m guessing the shows will only get better.
My night had ended up with a long conversation with a bartender who was in the Army (“artillery”) for 12 years. Tony was a good looking guy (who looked pretty dang young to be 41) with a pretty calming disposition. Not like somebody who’d seen combat in Saudi, Bosnia, Somalia, Panama, Cuba & Iraq (not that I’d have known what those people would have looked like anyways). Scattered thoughts that I remember. He had two kids by two different wives, an 18 year old son and a really beautiful (he’d shown me a pic) little 5 year old girl with long blond curly hair. He’s raising the 5 year old by himself. I asked if the mother was helping out. He said that her mother wasn’t in the picture because she was probably “still stripping” and “still on meth” and given that she was probably best not being in the little girl’s life. Didn’t know where the mother was. He was a cop for a coupla years. I was like “that’s probably a good transitional job from being in the military” and he was like “no”. Guys who’ve seen combat suck at being cops. For example, he’d stopped a drunk driver. The guy was really drunk. Tony thought that somebody who’d drank as much as he had drank probably had had a LOT of bad shit happen to him. Compounding that with a DUI was not going to make things get any better. That don’t work in the police world, I guess. I had these preconceived notions that I couldn’t really pin down when I’d ask something about military, his past, etc…. I wouldn’t get and answer I’d expect or could predict. His parents were both military people (as were a lot of others in his family) and had told him (going into the Army) that he’d end up killing a lot of innocent people including women and children. He said knowing that “going in” made it SO much easier for him during that time and looking back. He don’t drink but takes 3 meds daily to help him sleep and cope. I’d heard that some people find a way to put the combat stuff behind them. He said that those people didn’t experience the death (paraphrasing, of course). His disposition made me believe him. He currently goes to local school (Howard) in premed, I think he said. I asked him why he bartends. It helps him to maximize his time (not sleeping much), raising his little girl during the day, make a living, having a social life. You know what? He coulda made all this shit up but I’m a REALLY skeptical guy who believed him. There was a lot more than this but I’m boiling it down as best I can. I learned a lot last night that made a helluvu lotta sense to me. And on we go to another show....