LOOK AT LIFE / COCO HAMES

 

Stop her if you’ve
heard the one about John Mayer and the red umbrella before….

 

 

By COCO HAMES

 

 

 

Once in New York,
at Mercury Lounge, we played a show with our friends the Friggs, and during
soundcheck, the engineer goes, “Oh, by the way, John Mayer is doing a
secret set after your show.”  And we were like, “Why?” And
the always friendly engineer said, “He does that sometimes.”  So
we said, “Okay, well… he’ll be saddling up on the butt-end of a raucous
punk rock night, but whatever.”

 

It was an awesome show, Debbie Harry was there, Little
Steven Van Zandt was there, and we brought our new album to the mean streets of
the LES. And I say mean streets because some punk ass teenagers decided to use
some Bond-level pneumatic lock exploder to break into the van, but guess what,
morons?  If the band is in the venue, PROBABLY so is their gear. 
Idiots.

As it goes, I didn’t MEAN to heckle John Mayer, but it kind of, like,
happened.  I mean, for the most part, I don’t really have a problem with
him or people like him. They suck and are super boring, but I don’t, like, sit
around fuming with hatred for them. I just don’t listen to their music. I carry
on with my
struggle-to-get-up-in-the-morning-demons-are-out-to-get-me-trichotillomaniacal-Franzia-soaked-punk-rock
life, etc.

But what a douchebag! He just kept telling these boring twatty stories, and I’m
like, dude, you are on another planet, no one here has a sailboat, what the
hell are you talking about?  What is this? 

 

 

 

 

Back in my solo country days, a boyfriend once told me not
to tell boring twatty stories up on the mic, and while he was a total dick and
READ MY DIARY, it’s advice I’ve pretty much adhered to, because I don’t know
about everybody else, but I don’t go see a show to hear your holy boring
self-important stories unless you’re Bob Dylan. And John Mayer is not Bob
Dylan.

 

So he gurbled into the mic, “Let me give you some advice…” and I
couldn’t help myself, it just slipped out, I said, “Please don’t…”
and I was cracking up. I was like, whoops that was loud, that always happens to
me, I am always that guy, we should go back downstairs.  And he got
totally flustered and was like, “Yeah, well… You’re, like, you’re a
red umbrella in, like, a bunch of black umbrellas…” And this guy behind
me shouted, “What does that even mean?”

I was just dying laughing. I was like, we gotta get out of here before I engage
with John Mayer, I don’t even care! Because you know, if I HAVE to fight
someone I will, trouble and I are just good friends, but in general, I’d rather
not.  Or I would… I just thought it was so funny!  I’m like, dude,
if what you’re going for is, like, a red umbrella in a bunch of black umbrellas
means I stand out because I’m not like your fans, or anyone else in the room, I
mean… you’re right?  Thanks for the propers?

Anyway, my friends kept egging me on to keep hassling him, but I — being super
smart and savvy — said, “Y’alls, I know people like him, and they ALWAYS
travel with bodyguards, especially when they go slumming, and I really can’t
deal with bodyguards.” 

 

 

So they called me a wimp, but as John Mayer slummed his way
out past my merch booth — big black bodyguards fore and aft — I still win!

 

 

 

*****

 

 

Blurt “co-co-editor”
Coco Hames fronts The Ettes – Hames on guitar, Jem Cohen on bass and Poni
Silver on drums – whose latest album
Look At Life Again Soon (Take Root) is still a hot item-but look out for a new
EP,
Danger Is, on April 7 (already out digitally, www.myspace.com/theettes), and a Dan Auerbach-produced limited-edition
single this month. And catch ‘em at SXSW, too.

 

 

 

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