We played skater punk. We didn’t skate, but we figured if The Beach Boys could play surf rock without being able to surf then we could do skate rock.
So, when we were asked to play at the local indoor skate park we were certain our wannabe status would be blown before we said a word.
We said yes anyway. For the exposure.
Entry to the indoor skate park was five dollars.
The bloke on the door didn’t believe we were in a band. We were lugging various parts of a drum kit at the time so perhaps he couldn’t hear us properly over the clanging of the open hi-hats. Fortunately I knew the name of the woman who had invited us to play, so this was proof enough that we were indeed musicians. (It’s who you know, you know?)
He told us it would be twenty-five bucks for us to get in.
We laughed. There was a slight pause. He reiterated, backing up his maths ability.
“Five dudes, five times five. That’s twenty five bucks, fellas.”
He blinked at the five half-smiles beaming at him. Mike broke the silence.
“We’re… not skaters.”
The bloke nodded knowingly.
Danny added, “We wouldn’t normally come to a place like this.”
The bloke nodded just as a kid with a septum piercing pushed past us, flashing the admission stamp on the inside of his wrist.
I shouted to the back of his beanie: “Hey dude!” I sounded like a librarian. He turned around. “Can you get the manager to let us in, please?”
He nodded and wheeled his effortless way towards the woman with the clipboard on the other side of the park.
We didn’t have to pay.
Nobody clapped for us the entire night, even though we could tell they were totally into it.
But we didn’t have to pay. It’s who you know, you know? And it was good exposure.