I’m back in the US and currently running on a sugar and caffeine buzz so I can go Black Friday shopping at midnight, which got me thinking: You know what must be a cool job? Being a crew member of a popular band. You get to travel the world doing what you love, but you can also explore the cities you’re playing in without paparazzi following you. I know that life isn’t for everyone — all the nights away from home (wherever that is) and crappy hotels, but I think it would be fun. Why am I thinking about this? Because I sat next to the guitar tech for The Band Perry on my flight from London to Chicago.
I am really awkward when it comes to airplane “single-serving friends,” especially on a long international flight. It’s nice to have someone to talk to while you can’t use electronic devices, but when the movies start, is there a polite way to say, “Well, nice talking with you, but I really want to watch ‘The Watch’ now?” Luckily guitar tech guy and I didn’t have that problem. He was a polite Nashville gentleman who exchanged pleasantries as I sat down, but then put in his headphones. We basically ignored each other the entire flight until they shut off the entertainment for landing. Then we got to small-talking about why we were traveling. He said he had been traveling around Europe for business. It was only several minutes later that I asked him what line of work he was in. He said “music,” then explained that he fixes guitars for a band. And then I let several more minutes go by before I thought to ask him what band he worked for. After I told him I didn’t listen to much country music, he told me he was with The Band Perry, to which I responded something along the lines of, “Oh, I know them! I always get their songs wrong on SongPop!” (Like I said, I am awkward in these situations.) I then asked him if the whole band was on the plane, to which he replied, “Oh, they’re around here somewhere… some of them are wearing hats.” And then I realized the guy he had been talking to across the aisle was one of THE Perry brothers. When I told this story to my brother, he chastised me for not sneaking an instagram photo of him, which apparently is a must with celebrity sightings on planes and in airports. Whoops.
Looking back, I wonder if I should have handled the situation differently. Should I have volunteered my editing services when he said he was working on a book? Should I have asked for VIP passes to the next Cincinnati or London show so I can learn to like country music? I wonder if Hat Man Perry (who likely overheard our conversation) was offended that I didn’t recognize him, or happy I didn’t fan girl? Who knows, but at least I got a good Facebook status out of it when I got home.