Pre-Gig Thoughts: Beards and Promotion

In just a couple of days, the proverbial rubber will hit the road.  We will pick a spot in the restaurant of the Capitol Bowl, set up our equipment, plug in, and play.  We will extend ourselves with two sets which include five (really 7) new (to us) songs.

For the last few days, I wondered if we were going to sport a new look for the upcoming Sunday performance.  The band practice photos, which Becky took recently, revealed that I was the only Lava Pup without a beard.  My clean shaven face is a combination of not being very hairy in the first place and a semi-tribute to the surf bands of the 1960s.  Those bands generally were made up of teenagers who did not have facial hair.  Zits, yes; beards, no.

The rest of the Lava Pups, however, can grow facial hair.  Glenn has had a beard off and on -- mostly on -- as long as we have known each other.  Last Sunday, both Paul and Don showed up with beards. 

That sent me through our old photos.  Okay, my powers of observation really suck.  Don has had a close-cut beard for most of our gigs.  Paul’s growth is new.  But he had a beard when we recorded our CD.  He appears to be a “winter beard” kind of guy.

Initially, I wondered whether we going to turn into a garage or surf version of ZZ Top.  Ironically, the only member of ZZ Top without a beard is Frank Beard.  Oh, yeah, his Beard dates back to birth.  Would I have to change my name to “Billy Beard”? 

But beards are not our schtick.  Today, Paul showed up at the Doghouse clean shaven  again.  “I was hoping to bring on Winter, but the beard was too itchy.”  The name “Billy Beard” remains available, and I am glad.

Plus, Billy Beard did not appear in any of our promotional material.  We hung posters around Sacramento and West Sacramento for the upcoming gig.  We announced the event on Facebook, this website, and other sites and calendars.  No mention of Billy Beard.  Too late to change.

Yesterday, the Sacramento News and Review hit the newsstands.  We have had the good fortune of having our gigs listed in its music section before.  We, therefore, emailed an announcement along with a photo.  That is on our promotion check list.

I eagerly picked up the News and Review and turned immediately to the music section.  Nice article on Ross Hammond’s new CD.  Other articles.  Gigs to attend.  Listing of venues and events. 

Nothing about the Pups.  Disappointment!  A promotion bust!  Oh, well . . . .

But, as Paul and I practiced today, Becky announced that she just had received an email from Glenn.  Our gig was listed in The Ticket insert of the Sacramento Bee.  In The Ticket?  Huh?

So we looked.  Beer Week on the cover.  On page 4, the Lava Pups' gig was right next to an appearance by the English Beat.  In “The Line Up” -- "The Bee Picks" -- "The best things to do."  Wow!

And all that Becky could say was, “How did I miss this this morning?”  My response was, “In our wildest dreams, we never would expect to be listed there.”  And I thought, “From promotion bust to the ‘legitimate press’ in less than 24 hours.”

But I could not publicize the publicity.  Becky said, “You’ve put too much on Facebook already.”  Oh, well . . . .

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