November 14, 2010 by Tommy Link
This is really just a means of dealing with some anger right now, though I sincerely hope I’m not alone as performer who’s bothered by this. Maybe I’m just not as good at taking it in stride.
I can’t believe how oblivious some people can be towards public performances. They come, they sit in front of me, they sit close to me, and they hold conversations as I perform. Loud conversations, which I can hear. And the louder I play, the louder they talk. They act is if someone just turned up the volume on the radio, and I might as well not be there. In many cases, it’s not so small a place that you could go away from the stage. Other times, there are even separate rooms. Still, for some reason, I’m supposed to believe that someone is actually interested in what I’m doing as they stand or sit 10 feet away from me and blather on about who knows what.
I understand that bars are generally louder places, and even though I don’t understand why the some of the least interested people end up so close to the stage, I go into bar expecting that kind of noise going on. But coffee shops!? How can somone not have the decency or sense? People are willing to sit and hold a conversation at the same volume that I’m playing, and then they have the nerve to clap at the end of the song, as if they listened to any of it!?
I suppose it just comes down to why I do what I do. Don’t get me wrong, me being incredible moody right now has a lot to do with it, and I may look back on this days later and regret writing it, but I’m not the type of performer who performs to please himself. I want (and have always wanted) to play for the people who want to hear it. I don’t get any enjoyment out of being background music, even if I’m getting paid. It’s as simple as that, really. If you want to hear me, I want to play for you. If you don’t, then I don’t want to.