This music business thing; it sure can create some serious whiplash of emotion. The tumult of good days and bad, the constant lurching toward opportunity and promise and the ever constant diet (albeit sometimes only a side-dish) of rejection and disappointment. What is the antidote for all this self-induced struggle? The kindness quotient! Specifically, the kindness of strangers and of friends new and old.
For this indie band and many others, there is a lucky number – a rescue ratio. For every uphill mile there seems to be at least 2 moments of gentle coasting. Coasting on the backs of those who believe in your art and your dream and even envy the wild abandon of common sense that we vagabonds embody and through our music, imbue. The kindness quotient is not some ethereal concept. It is real and it is powerful.
The kindness quotient is opening your home to a band. Hosts give up their beds for you (or at least kick their kids out of their beds on your behalf) feed you at their dinner tables, water you at their favorite taverns, all the while buying your tickets, your merchandise and your vision. The kindness quotient is finding that extra gig for you when the one “sure thing” falls through. It’s cajoling their friends to pay top dollar to listen to you in their living room. It’s encouraging your exploits and buffeting your missteps.
The best of the kindness quotient though, is the opening of their hearts to your music. The sharing of their own personal successes and failures and trusting you with that knowledge because you wrote a song that unknowingly told their story. The kindness quotient makes you kin to all strangers. It means that you can wash your ridiculously dirty clothes without worry of judgement or using your last roll of quarters. It is staying up late with you while you wax philosophical and wane reason and then waking up early enough to wake you up when you don’t hear the obnoxious alarm you set in their quiet, peaceful home. Above all, the kindness quotient is being your unflappable partner in protecting your most valuable asset. No, not your guitar, your iPad or your travel pillow….your forward momentum.
Thank you to the kindness quotient and all who possesses it and most importantly, share it!!
The band recently returned from a quick 5 day (nearly 3,000 mile) tour through upstate New York. Here is this week’s kindness quotient quantified. (click on the links for individual pictures)
(3) free places to stay
(7) free meals
(1) tour of a Maple Sugar Shack
(1) opportunity to pet a hundred Heifers
(1) opportunity to pet a sheep named Titania
(1) free game of basketball in the top of a barn
(1) chance meeting of an old friend from high school who happened upon our radio show on NCPR
(30) trips up and down stairs (as well as up and down a new cool elevator) and through a cold rain carrying our gear for us
(2) Gallons (or more) of fresh Maple Syrup
(2) spontaneous jam sessions
(∞) kind words of encouragement
View more pictures from the New York Tour on our Facebook page by clicking HERE
You are our fans, but we are YOUR band. A heartfelt thank you and a promise to pay it forward through our music.
Mark Elliott – Runaway Home
It’s the music that makes us smile”