Dear fans, This item of wisdom was forwarded to me by a certain Doctor, who shall remain nameless (but his initials are Lee Lowenthal). It was emailed to him, and according to the only attributions I could find in my exhaustive internet research, credit belongs to Steve Hashimo
THE BOOK OF JOBBING - PART IV: GOD CREATES SIDEMEN
"And so the great Leader Nebulon did embark upon a search for suitable Sidemen for his orchestra, and he could find none; for in those days there were not many, and those that he could find were already working; Some worked the Ark with the House of Noah, and some had the house gig at The Walls of Jericho. And many played behind the scat-singing team of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
So Nebulon did return to the Lord and saith, "Lord, there are many musicians, but no Sidemen!", and he rent his clothing. And the Lord did say, "Schmuck! Hast thou looked everywhere? Didst Thou call the Union?"
And Nebulon did say, "Lord, I have looked high and low, especially low, and only one or two could I find. What shall I do?"
And the Lord did afflict Nebulon with boils, saying "Leave me to think on this!"
And just to buy some time he did also visit a plague of locusts on Egypt.
And the Lord did summon a league of Angels, and sent them forth over the land, commanding them to find him some Sidemen.
And the Angels did go to the four corners of the earth, but the only unemployed Sideman they could find was one holy man in India who did play the horn with the slide.
So with great fear the Angels did return to the Lord with the bad news, and filled with wrath he was. "How can this be? At one time the world did teem with Sidemen, as dead oxen do with maggots!"
And the Angels did say, "Lord, many left the business, many have become idiots, and some have even become Leaders, and no Leader will work for another Leader."
So the Lord did cause drought for 40 days while he thought, and the answer came to him. He did recall that there was a factory, part of his Beasts Of The Field, Inc. division, that was in disuse. For it had been used to create Golems, for which there had been no great demand, and so He had closed down the operation. And He thought, We can retool, and start turning out Sidemen.
And so it was done, and the Sidemen started rolling off the assembly line.
But somehow a remnant of the Golem program remained, and the Sidemen did come out acting unpredictably. Some stammered and stuttered, some talked to themselves under their breath, and some would not bathe. Some refused to shave their beards or to have their hair shorn, and some refused to wear the Jobbing Toga. And some wore the Toga, but left them crumpled in their chariots in between Gigs, or slept in them, or wore Togas from eons past, with ruffles.
And some did not believe in maps, and wandered the land aimlessly looking for the Gig, and some did not believe in the use of the hourglass, and arrived at the Gig whenever they chose.
And some loved the wine of dates, and some loved the burning of hemp.
And some were created without ears, and some with knuckles where their eyebrows should be.
And some did worship the gods Trane, Jaco, Mahavishnu and Ornette, and mocked their Leaders.
And some did steal food from the buffet line, yea, even before the Guests had dined.
And some did try to lay with the Chick Singers, and some with the Guests.
And some did not Read, and some could only Read, and not Blow.
And some had no social skills, and some had no musical skills. And many of them were Dark, not in pigmentation of the skin, but in the Outlook on Life.
But every once in a while the line did produce a Perfect Sideman; One who followed orders without question; One who showed up on time; One who wore the Toga; One whose chariot always ran; One who Knew Tunes; But these Perfect Sidemen were few and far between, and besides, their eyes were glazed, and they were shunned, for they were Boring, and knew not How to Hang.
And soon the land teemed with Sidemen milling about, looking for Gigs, complaining and whining and arguing and occasionally stabbing each other in the back.
And the Lord looked down upon his work, and said, "It will do".
Your Truly, M.A.T.
Famous Frank's Open Mic Tips
To upcoming stars who wish to display their "talents", you will have instant success if you:
1) Show up with no equipment. The host band will be glad to loan you anything you need, including harmonicas, vintage guitars, and especially tambourines. Feel free to re-tune and/or rearrange equipment that doesn't belong to you. The host band may seem a bit upset at first, but when they see how they benefit from your superior knowledge, all will be forgivem and you will then be asked to join the band in a good-paying band leader capacity.
2) Let the club owner know you intend to drink for free, as you are entertaining his audience. (Some club owners carry the foolish idea that open mic jammers are full paying customers.)
3) If it is a Blues Jam, as it often is, make sure you insist on running the show and have no knowledge of the music. Your friends will cheer loudly as you take a group of loosely-knit blues hackers and turn them into a razor sharp, high volume, death metal ensemble. Remember, the louder the better! They can't enjoy you if they can't hear you.
4) Be sure to let the band leader know you have no intention of waiting for your turn in line to play. You also expect to display your talents with no less than the house band.
5) Tell everyone how much better they do the Jam at other clubs. Your candid remarks are always welcome.
6) If you see a microphone on stage not being used, seize the moment, jump onstage, and sing along with the current band. Vulgar language and tasteless jokes are always welcome. Don't forget to press the microphone right to your lips so everyone can benefit from your superhuman DNA.
7) When the evening ends, help yourself to a souvenir, a momento, or keepsake if you will, from this night of nights. Help yourself to a cord or strap od microphone. This is a small price to pay, after all you were the highlight of the evening.
8) When you are between performances, don't waste your time studying Pro Musicians at work. They are jaded and bitter from years of Pro experiences and you don't want their bad habits spoiling your show.
9) At the end of the evening be sure to let the band leader and club owner know that you were not treated with the dignity to which you've grown accustomed and you do not intend to return. This will gain their respect and guarantee you better treatment next time.
10) Never take the stage without a Budweiser in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Your fans will squeal with delight as you spill beer on critical electronic components, causing a great light and spark show. Remember, drunken front-men make the best front-men. If the bar doesn't serve hard liquor, bring your own. A well equipped singer has a well filled flask. Have the crowd join you in sing-alongs, dancing, and last but not least, a group puke. Crowd participation is the key; show them the way.
GOOD LUCK, AND KEEP JAMMING!