She’s With The Band

Written By: Emily O’Neill

On a recent Saturday at the National Underground, the Texas-style music venue in the Lower East Side, I ran into Becky, my old friend from college.

“Don’t look now, but I’m dating the drummer!” she squealed. “Well, one date. But he did invite me here tonight.”

While I’m not known for being a willing ear or a frequent dispenser of good advice, my immaculate heart couldn’t resist reaching out to my dear friend. And so, to my surprise and the sheer disbelief of my closest gal pals, I managed to dole out my first practical tip for evading heartache: to take that one last shot of tequila and then run.

Judging by my actions of late, it seems that I’m a bit common-sense disabled. Coupled with the indisputable fact that I’m a lightning rod for unwholesome men, the consequence is that I recently found myself on the fourth and final date with the semi-famous drummer of a legendary band.

Rather than indulging in my usual routine of sulking and harping on what might have been, I’ve set out on a goodwill mission, devoting myself entirely (at times I exaggerate) to warning women about the perils of dating men with star-studded hearts. Although peace, love and drugs seems glamorous to those of us who were captivated by the rock n’ roll world of tour buses and “band-aids” illuminated in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, dating a musician is right up there with attacking Israel on Yom Kippur or the Treaty of Versailles. It’s just a really bad call.

As with all relationships, being in the eye of the storm renders you incapable of seeing the danger around you. This is especially true when it comes to men in the music industry since they are, by definition (mine, probably not Webster’s), purveyors of bad-boy status. Emitting high levels of untamed masculinity and confidence, musicians are undeniably aphrodisiacs in themselves. Case in point: I received a voicemail from Becky yesterday. “Why didn’t you stop me? All he talked about was himself!” she screamed. “All he cared about was HIS needs! He’s the Bill Clinton of the band world!”

Alas, the stereotypes about band dudes seem to be true. Ask anyone who has dated a musician and they will confirm that their guitar-strapped Don Juan was narcissistic (“His ego is so big he doesn’t even realize he’s balding”), financially irresponsible (Why am I supporting him?”), impervious to criticism (“He thinks he dumped me!”), and has a sincere aversion to growing up. Essentially, they are male versions of me.

Of course, I am not referring to men who were once members of their high school marching band, attended the Juilliard School, or spent years preparing to become an orchestral player for the New York Philharmonic. Seeing as it’s not cool to put time, effort, or energy into anything these days (look no further than the hipster craze and the paperless post trend), these accomplishments are the epitome of nerdy. Rather, I am talking about rock stars who learned early on that the easiest way into any in-crowd is through unstructured, uncivil, and slightly out of control behavior. These men were probably not known for their good grades in school, and they sure won’t be earning A’s in my book anytime soon.

Being up close and personal has its perks. But when it comes to members of the band, I will be opting for the cheap seats in the back.

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