Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Doing Tommy's Laundry

Once again, I’m but a month away from five years of doing the promotion and booking at the Boulder Outlook, and that anniversary has me in full-on reflection mode.  But for this one, I don’t have to think back very far.

Something happened yesterday that got me thinking about all the odd little requests I’ve received over the years.  Tommy Castro and the Painkillers arrived at the hotel Sunday night, and played a sold-out, two-nighter Monday and Tuesday.  So, yesterday I run into Tommy at reception, and he’s purchasing quarters and holding a small bag of laundry.  Oh, and he had his bike with him, getting ready to take advantage of the beautiful weather we’re enjoying on the Front Range. 

Anywho, we talked about the show the night before, the weather, you know, just a brief catchup.  Then he jokingly asked me, “Hey, you wanna do my laundry.”  To which I replied, “Well, I do live to serve.”  We laughed.  Then he said, “Actually, do you think you could put them in the dryer for me while I’m out riding. “Of course,” came my reply.  Well, a woman beat Tommy to the hotel’s one public washer, so I said, “Just give me the bag. I can handle this.  Go enjoy your ride.”  So, about half an hour later, when the woman’s clothes were in the dryer, I found myself hunched over the washer, laughing hysterically at doing Tommy’s laundry.  Why is this so funny?  Oh, dear reader; have you any idea how many women would have LOVED to have been in my position?  Let’s just say I now know the answer to the age old question: boxers or briefs.  The answer can be had for a price.  I also know that Tommy can more than compete with me in the multiple-black-T-shirt department. 

It gets funnier.  After I carefully folded Tommy’s freshly cleaned clothes and replaced them in the bag, I walked over to his room (now THAT’S service).  As I was waiting for him to open the door, his bass player and road manager, Randy McDonald walked up to his room, right next door. He looked at me, looked at the bag, and before he could ask, I said, “I did Tommy’s laundry for him.”  The look on Randy’s face was WONDERFUL.  It was a combination of surprise and smug condemnation.  Right then, Tommy opened his door, thanked me while reaching for the bag, and then saw Randy.  And Randy’s expression.  Again, before Randy could utter a word, Tommy says, “Oh, shit!  Busted having my laundry done.”   I laughed for an hour!  And am now doing so again.  Randy is one expressive dude!

A few hours later, Tommy takes the stage and I realize, “Hey, I just washed that T-shirt!”  I know Tommy was very clean on stage last night.  And relaxed because he got to take a long bike ride, which is really the point of this. 

I more than understand what touring life is like, and time is the most precious commodity, and the one they’re always fighting to increase.  In doing Tommy’s laundry, I gave him the gift of time, and over the years I’ve done a lot of little things for musicians that make a big difference to them.  It probably took me all of six to seven minutes from start to finish, but Tommy got an hour-and-a-half bike ride on a beautiful day.  And now I have yet another story to file away for a rainy day when I really need to laugh.  I’ll never forget the look on Randy’s face, and any recall will be able to lift me out of any funk, reminding me that the little things we do for people come back to us in magnificent, unexpected ways.  Tommy’s clothes will need washing again in a few days, but I have this story forever.  I certainly got the much better end of this deal.  

~Honey Bee Sepeda~ 

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