This piece originally ran back in October of 2014, and Pencilstorm management is reprinting it now to encourage all of our readers to travel to the Ohio State Fair this Saturday, August 4th, to see the mighty Cheap Trick open for Styx. (And let's face facts, it's gonna be an early night for ya, NOBODY in their right frickin' rock & roll minds would stay for Styx's entire set.)
The Watershed show opening for Cheap Trick at the House Of Blues in Myrtle Beach, S.C. last week went great, there'll be various blogs about different aspects of the trip over the next coupla weeks, here's the first installment.
Tale # 1
Ricki C. - Classic merch moment: At a bar adjacent to the Myrtle Beach House of Blues where we're all kicking back after the show, Watershed drummer Dave Masica walks up to me with a "Why Isn't Cheap Trick in the Rock & Hall of Fame" t-shirt draped over his shoulder. He pulls it off, hands it to me and says, "That guy over there wants to buy this, but I didn't know what to tell him, or how much they cost. I told him to talk to you."
"Where did you get this?" I ask Dave. (We had WICTITR&RHOF t's at the show, but weren't selling them. We brought them for Colin to throw out into the audience as prizes during a quiz in the middle of set-ender "The Best Is Yet To Come.") "I found it on the floor of the dressing room," Dave answers. I shrug my shoulders, walk over to the guy and charge him 20 bucks for the shirt we normally sell for $15. (I had come up $10 short on my merch totals that night according to Watershed road manager extraordinaire Michael "Biggie" McDermott, and figured this was my best shot at turning that deficit into a surplus.) (By the way, I probably came up short because I left Colin in charge of the merch table while Biggie & I loaded out the gear after Watershed's set and Colin gave stuff away.)
Later that night, at yet another bar, Colin asks me if I picked up his WICTITR&RHOF shirt from the dressing room and I realize that I have unwittingly sold the sweaty, crummy t-shirt Colin had been wearing most of that day to some unsuspecting Rick Nielsen fan, who thought he was getting high-quality Cheap Trick merch. Ooops. Open message to random drunk Myrtle Beach guy: I'll make it up to you someday down the road.
Tale # 2
Colin G. - So after we finished our set opening for Cheap Trick, I fight my way through the crowd to head out by the merch table because sometimes it helps to sell stuff if a band member is there bullshitting. Ricki C. uses this opportunity to jam me there alone while making sure Biggie didn't need help backstage. I suspect he was going to the dressing room to make a peanut butter sandwich, but I can't prove it.
Anyway, it's kinda slow because people are waiting for Trick to come on, but one middle-aged woman is slowing picking up Watershed CDs and very thoroughly looking them over. Eventually she looks up at me and asks, "Which one has all the songs I know on it?"
"Come again?" I reply.
"Which one of these CDs has the songs I know on it?"
This was a tricky question. See, with a band of our stature people usually know all of our songs or, as is much more likely, none of our songs. Thankfully, she could see I was struggling and added, "What's that one…..'I Want You to Want Me.'"
"Oh, that is a Cheap Trick song. That CD you are holding says Watershed on it. See right there? (I pointed to the big word Watershed on the front cover.) That means it's a Watershed CD, not a Cheap Trick CD."
"So you aren't in Cheap Trick?"
"No, I'm in Watershed"
Never mind I had just come off stage and was still wearing my Watershed Hitless Wonder blue jumpsuit
"Do you have any Cheap Trick CDs to sell?"
Colin G. - So now I am standing at the merch table with Ricki, Dave and Joe after Cheap Trick is done and it is mayhem. People are stacked three deep buying CDs, books, T-shirts, etc. and being good rock soldiers we are chatting with folks, offering to sign stuff and all that.
A woman leans forward and says loudly above the din of post show chaos, "Do you know who Richard Petty is?"
"Excuse me?" I said, not quite sure I was hearing her right.
"I said, DO YOU KNOW WHO RICHARD PETTY IS???" This time she said it quite loudly and seemed a little upset.
"Uh, like Richard Petty the race car driver?" was my unsure reply, spoken like a clueless Yankee.
"Yes, that one. You know, he told his sons that if they ever wanted to be famous they needed to write their names legibly so people can read them."
"You want me to sign my name more like Richard Petty's sons?"
"You already signed but I can barely read it. And you never even asked my name."
I mounted a weak defense: "Well, at least we are out here signing and being friendly. Doesn't that count for something? Besides, see that guy right there, he is an author and is really smart, I bet he will ask your name."
"Well, if you want to be famous and get on TV you better learn to write your autograph better, like Richard Petty's kids do."
Right then Joe O. leaned in and asked who he should sign this book to.
"Ha! Told you he would ask," I said, triumphant at the end.