The Casual Band Leader
Subject: And so it came to pass...
And so it came to pass, during one date, that
the Sidemen were assailed by doubts, and darkness
descended upon the bandstand. And the Leader turned
to his quaking flock, and saith, "My children, why do
you doubt me?
Have I not led you through the Valley of the Loading
Dock to the Great Land of Long Breaks, Hot Meals, and
Undertime? Have I not banished the dreaded 'Macarena'
from the set list, and allowed thee to blow on
selected numbers? Do we not play the correct changes
for the bridge of 'Girl From Ipanema', and do we not
play Motown selections at the proper tempos?
And do I not pay you all equitably, neither overpaying
the Chick Singers nor underpaying the Horn Players?
And are there not Lead Sheets, so that a semblance of
order may be retained? So why doth thou protest when
I call The Willie Nelson Song, or a Jimmy Buffet medley?
Are they not preferable to 'Achey Breaky Heart' or anything
By Celine Dion? Wouldst thou rather suffer Flung
Beverage containers or Scowls and Hectoring by the
Aunts and Uncles?"
And the Sidemen answered him, "But Father, we
look out into the Dance Floor, and we see The
Maelstrom; We fear the Youngsters with Pierced Body
Parts, as well as the Ancient Ones with Canes and
Walkers; Also do we fear the Bridesmaids with the
Large Hair, and the Groomsmen with Cigars and
Disheveled Tuxedos; Also do we fear the Relatives from
the Great Southwest, as well as those from California,
and from New York; Also do we regard with Fear and
Loathing the Party Planner, and the Room Captain; But
mostly do we fear the Bride, and Her Mother, who
ruleth the Earth, yea, even above you, our Leader."
And the Leader looked and saw that this was
true. And he took his Appointment Book, and he flung
it into the Buffet Heaters And he took his Baton, and
broke it over his knee; And he took his Red Bow Tie,
and he rent it asunder; And he turned to the Party
Planner, and he said, "Now you no longer have power
over me, Minion of Evil"; And he turned to the Room
Captain, and he said, "I will leave by the Lobby
Entrance"; And he turned to the Bride, and said, "Take
thy Whitney Houston CD and place it where thy Groom
may find it during your Honeymoon"; And he turned to
the Bride's Mother and said, "Thy Daughter is a
Spoiled Brat, and I hope that she soon Divorces her
Callow Husband and returneth to live with thee with her
three children for the rest of thy Natural Life;"
And he turned to the drummer and said, "The band is
And he went home and slept deeply and soundly, and
arose the next day smiling, and began making calls to
find work as a Sideman.