I was opening for Pavement on a four-band bill, playing first at a long since defunct venue called Sideshows by the Seashore in Coney Island. Gerard Cosloy asked me if I wanted to play a show. I hadn’t really thought of playing live before but I said OK. I asked my friend in NY who plays arena rock guitar to play with me. I wanted a big sound to fill the room. He was my Brian May. The sound check was the part I was most nervous about, since that was the first time I’d been on stage with a guitar and voice and mic and monitor. There were a few people in the club already, friends of the bands and label people and other people. The soundman said, “go ahead.” I closed my eyes and went through a song. Kept them closed for the whole song. When I opened them the club had completely cleared out. Even the soundman was gone! (He’s supposed to stay and make the adjustments you ask for until you’re happy with the sound). My guitarist, Tim, said “fuck them, man, they don’t know your music.” A bit later when Pavement did their sound check, the people were back in the audience bobbing their heads and clapping. It was a formative moment for me as the audience looked like utter fools. Monkeys. Chimps. And that was just the sound check! The show was great.
Bill Callahan on the first show he played. (via markrichardson)