The MTV Ink anniversary party next week reminds me that I've been at this job for three years now, and at PULP for another year, year-and-a-half, longer than that. It's a great job for a music fan, as you well know; some days are so cool, they're unreal.
The first assignment that meant anything to me as a music fan was an interview I did with Lisa Loeb, when she was in town for a (canceled) performance in '96 or '97. I was working for a fashion magazine (!) at the time, and one of the editors had managed to sweet-talk the organizers into inviting me to dinner with the band. When the performance was eventually canceled, because of some missing permits or whatnot, the guys in the touring band asked me to take them out drinking, and so we ended up in Malate. I can't begin to tell you how much that meant to me, knowing that a few months earlier I was obssessing over Tails, and then being able to actually meet and hang out with the people who were responsible for the music.
Lisa Loeb has been superseded by many other musicians since then, and the scene's replicated itself over the years. I've gotten to talk to or meet many musicians I've admired, and whenever I threaten to get jaded about it all, I remind myself what the experience would've meant to the 13-year-old me. Waiting for the Dawn at Starbucks for an interview? Well, I remind myself how it was like to be in sixth grade, hearing "Enveloped Ideas" for the first time, and thinking that it was the coolest thing ever. Reminding myself to hold on to that excitement nowadays, and forget that we're familiar enough with the band for Francis Reyes to make jokes about my height on air. On NU 107! Is that cool or what?
(And I also need to be constantly reminded, like Patrick Fugit's shy young writer character in Almost Famous, that the bands I cover are cool. I am not cool.)
It's somewhat of a miracle that music still remains so personal to us, despite it being a job. I like how the people we work with are music geeks through and through, music geeks first and foremost, music geeks now and forever. As the Lester Bangs character said in the aforementioned movie: "The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
4 days ago