In today’s world of cyber uber-overload and ‘free shipping’ everything I find it immensely satisfying to hand some kid sitting at a table in the back of a dimly-lit, fog-infused, sweat tasting room that will likely return to it’s true self as a bookstore/coffe shop co-op in the morning $40 for the t-shirt of a band I just found out existed 30 minutes prior.
In a world of online personalities where everyone remembers you by your avatar handle I cannot imagine myself scanning a QR code in hopes that sometime in the next 2-5 business days my band support uniform will arrive undamaged by the always faithful UPS driver. There’s something to be said about the small-scale operations of the timeless art of crafting a solid Merch Booth. I’ve run my share of tables and spent far more than I’d care to admit to the IRS at these wonderful carnivals of random band accessories.
On occasion you come across some extremely unique and clever items thrown out on the table. There was one band back in the early 2000s (For the life of me I can’t remember their name) who actually started selling squirrel skeletons dressed as members of the band. To this day I wish I had the spare cash to grab the whole lineup. I’ve seen the standard things like lighters, hats, drumsticks, hoodies, shoes, panties, and the never gets old t-shirt. But that was the first (and last) time I had ever seen someone use a corpse to promote themselves. The best part was, they were quite well-crafted.
Think about that… These five musicians sat out one day collecting at least 30 dead squirrels, boiled the meat and skin off the bones, painted, glued, and dressed these things. Can you imaging the time it took to put those together? Dedication is all I have to say.
Dedication is why most of these musicians get out on the road eating once a day, sleeping upright in a van, playing through injury, sickness, misery, and all of life’s problems that come with growing up. Being a musician on the road is far more taxing than just the stage performance. The show night is the reward for all the things that each one endured to walk out under those lights.
Although it may be few and far between when you get to see something as jaw-dropping as a dead squirrel 5-piece, you do tend to get to see some really neat stuff at these tables. The next time your at a venue, get invited to a show, or even maybe you’re just driving by a small-town show; Take the time and stop in for a few. Hit the Merch Booth and see what’s up. You never know what, or who, you’ll run into.
And Now A Word From Our Sponsors
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- Support Music. Shop At The Merch Booth.