I found myself at a small hole-in-the-wall tavern in a sleepy beach town watching the guys from Enuff Z'Nuff perform. The audience consisted of mostly men and I could count the number of women on fewer than ten fingers. That's ok because the bartender was a sweetheart who kinda reminded me of Elvis, the crowd was friendly, and the band members were relaxed and consistently interacted with the audience.
After the gig, one of the band members walked over to me and invited me to the after party, along with several others. There was a gathering of roughly ten people and I found myself seated at a table with Dan Hill (drummer) and Tony Fennell (guitarist). I took the opportunity to ask the boys what they liked most about being rockstars. I half expected them to say "booze, drugs, sex, and more of all of the above." However, to their credit, they were gentlemen and actually gave a serious answer.
Dan said that he still can't believe that he's living his dream and that he has to pinch himself most days. He continued by stating that meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds, and seeing how these people live, has been the most exciting part of the journey. Tony reiterated this and said that living in America (he's a Brit, in case you weren't aware) has been simply amazing. Chip Z'Nuff sauntered over about this time and asked what we were discussing, and he chimed in with a similar answer by stating that the diverse people he's formed relationships with has been the best part. I suspect that had I been a man asking the question, the guys' answers would have been a bit more colorful. But as I mentioned, they were generous hosts who asked me about my life, where I obtained my Southern drawl, what bands I'd seen recently, etc.
The after party evolved into the after-after party at a different location and this is where I spent time chatting with two women (one of whom attended college with the band's other guitarist, Tory Stoffregen), and these ladies turned out to be incredibly cool, grounded, fun chicks. In fact, we're getting together this weekend for brunch at the beach.
At the after-after party, one of the band members mentioned that he doesn't have a solid relationship with his teenaged daughter, and the despair was etched deeply into his face as he spoke. I explained to him, gently, that he's an absent father and that his daughter resents him for it. I expounded that I was not judging him in the slightest, that I understood his job is incredibly demanding, but that teenagers are not equipped to view situations from all angles...that all his daughter knows is that her dad is not around very much and that she feels abandoned by him. The poor guy walked over, gave me a big bear hug, and whispered words of thanks in my ear. He is clearly in immense pain over the situation and does not know what to do about it.
I explained to the heartbroken musician that his daughter may come around with time, to which he responded, "When? When she's forty?"
Well, yeah, it may take that long. But as a father, he should never, ever give up trying to heal the relationship with his little girl. She pushes him away because she's angry, but deep down, she's a scared child who wants what all of us want...love, acceptance, support, and understanding.