~THE BOOK OF JOBBING~
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 Promised Land of Long Breaks, Hot Meals, and Undertime?
Have I not banished the dreaded Macarena from the Set List, and allowed thee to Solo 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 Tempi? And do I not pay you all equitably, neither overpaying the Chick Singers nor underpaying the Horn Players? And are there not Charts for the Horns, so that thou need not Fake Parts?
So why doth thou protest when I call The Slim Dusty Song, or The Peter Allen Ballad? 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 Walking Frames; Also do we fear the Bridesmaids with the Large Hair, and the Groomsmen with Cigars and Dishevelled Tuxedos; Also do we fear the Relatives from the Far North, as well as those from Western Australia, and from Melbourne; Also do we regard with Fear and Loathing the Function Organiser, and the Master Of Ceremonies; 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 Book, and he flung it into the Buffet Heaters; And he took his Bandstand, and he broke it over his knee; And he took his Red Bow Tie, and he rent it asunder; And he turned to the Function organiser, and he said, “Now you have no power over me, Minion of Evil.” And he turned to the Master Of Ceremonies, and he said, “I will leave by the Front 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 yours.”
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.