by Jeff Laughlin



Set up bongos

Unless you are a drum-specific act, Latin American, Paul Simon’s backup band or covering Santana’s early work, stay away from the bongos. You cannot bore fans any more than with an ill-timed bongo solo.

Mention the city you are in

Are you from here?Does your family have roots here? Did you attend one of our many colleges or universities? Do you have ideas about the Florida Street extension? Then leave us out of it.

Name all the members of your band

Unless they played with James Brown or Bruce Springsteen, only special guests should be mentioned. Like Bruce Springsteen — if that dude comes out while you are playing, I’d like to know about it. Otherwise, the guitar work needs no crediting.

Set up for two hours

Hurry up, man. It’s hot out here and the water costs my paycheck.

Reference Woodstock

This ain’t Woodstock, playa. The dude wearing a Hendrix shirt playing after you was born 20 years ago.

Ask that we hold up lighters or cell phones

It’s pretty well lit out here. When you play the slow jam, we’ll take care of the crowd stuff.

Talk about how drunk you are/were

If you thought water was expensive, you should see the beer prices. How is the line so long? Are all these people independently wealthy? And we all know the performers drink free, so we know you are ahead of the game already.

Be “jammy”

Personal choice: I like my songs cohesive and less than 8 minutes per instrument solo.

Be condescending about your choice of cover songs

We all liked Johnny Cash. We all know Johnny Cash. It ain’t that impressive that you do too.

Wear all black

The temperature alone should mean your artistic side should bow to your intellect. Put on a V-neck black shirt at least. You look terrible.