The Meming of Music: And other scary October ideas

Okee dokee folks… There is a meme that I see from time to time that reads, “A musician is someone who puts $10,000 worth of gear into a $500 car to make $50 at a gig,” or something to that effect. First of all, I don’t know any local musician who has $10,000 worth of gear. Second of all, where do you find a $500 car these days? If there was $10,000 worth of gear that needed to be moved you would need a truck or a van, not a car. The $50 part is somewhat accurate, but that depends on where you play and what type of performance you are giving. Basically the meme is just telling you that musicians spend their money on gear, drive shitty cars and don’t have cushy incomes. This is resonating with me right now because I am a musician who needs to buy a new vehicle. Well, not new: used. When the hell did used cars with 100,000+ miles on them get to be so damn expensive? $10,000+!!! I know this will make me sound old and cranky – well, I am – but when I was young, a car over ten years old with that mileage would be $100. And the cars were simple: none of this computer stuff that would put the Apollo space capsule to shame. I like simple! 

When I started writing the Roots Report, almost 20 years ago. I had a truck that didn’t have heat and had holes in the floor. I used to write about freezing on my drive to gigs. I have had a couple of trucks since then and my current conveyance is one that a good friend of mine fortunately sold to me for a great price. Eight years have passed since that transaction and the truck is now twenty years old, going on 200,000 miles, and is, unfortunately, rotting from beneath. Like Neil Young (and Rust-Oleum paint) says, “Rust Never Sleeps.” 


So now I am shopping for a truck and my head is spinning from the obscene pricing on used vehicles. I NEED a truck, not necessarily for $10,000 worth of gear, but because I need to tow the two trailers for the RI Folk Festival. I guess I will have to start playing the lottery and crossing my fingers. As for the meme at the top of this story, it should really read “A musician is someone who takes a beat up old guitar and puts it into a $10,000 car they can’t afford but that is all that was available for sale and the musician is now in debt and will only make $50 towards that car payment at their next gig.” Read on… 

Back in the ‘70s (I know I start a lot of sentences like that lately), one of my favorite albums was Fool For The City by Foghat. They were a great arena rock band and I saw them in concert a few times. It’s been a while since they have been out rockin’ but they will be taking a “Slow Ride” to the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket on Oct 15. I spoke with Foghat founding member Roger Earl. Listen to that interview here. For more about the show and others, “Ride, Ride, Ride” to

October may be the month most people like to do spooky things but this October seems like it is geared more towards the funny stuff. Some of my favorite comedians are hitting area stages this month! Ryan Hamilton who starts off his special, Happy Face by talking about his face, “I look really happy all the time… crazy happy… I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say, ‘Wow, that is inaccurate.’” He has one of the best comedy specials on Netflix and will be at The Comedy Connection in East Providence Oct 20 – 22 ( 

I have had many conversations with comedian Paula Poundstone over the years and I have her scheduled for a podcast in advance of her show at The Narrows in Fall River on Oct 22. Paula’s stand up shows are always hysterical and she is always a very entertaining interview guest. Watch for that! (

Taylor Tomlinson also has two really funny Netflix specials – Quarter Life Crisis and Look At You. If you haven’t watched them, do so and then check her out live at Veterans Auditorium on Oct 8. Finally, Fortune Feimster, of “Last Comic Standing” and “The Mindy Project,” will also be at The Vets on Oct 23. (

If you didn’t follow Randy Rainbow over the past few years and watch his Drumpf skewering, musical parody videos, then you missed perhaps the only levity during that time. Randy is bringing his Pink Glasses Tour to the Providence Performing Arts Center on Oct 21. ( We don’t need more scary, we need more laughter in our lives! 

Down in the far-off corner of the state, the East Bay town of Tiverton, the Tiverton Four Corners Art Center will be presenting the Autumn Concert Series. Coming up — Oct 15: Mark T. Small; Oct 16: Spindle Rock River Rats; Oct 22: Atwater-Donnelly Band; Oct 29: Day of the Dead Halloween Bash. For more, square root to:

When you click on the Greenwich Odeum‘s website it reads, “We’ve got some good shows coming up!” And that’s no lie! There is always something great going on at the Greenwich Odeum. Glen Tilbrook, Almost Queen, Christopher Cross, Livingston Taylor, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Rocky Horror, The Tubes, Judy Gold, Tab Benoit, Stanley Jordan, The English Beat, Judy Collins, Jamie Kennedy, The Smithereens… and the list goes on. If you haven’t been to the Odeum yet, I just gave you many, many reasons to get there! For more, “Ride Like The Wind” to:

I am back to adding podcasts, so please listen! You can find my concert photographs here. There are recently posted pix from the Ringo Starr show at PPAC.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.