Many of you have asked if the members of Hot Pink Hangover have day jobs, or if music is our full-time gig. This band is a full-time job to be sure, but sadly, it isn't paying enough yet to support us (unless we all significantly reduce our standards of living) so for now, we'll need to keep grinding out the hours at our non-music jobs...
I met Davey Hazard 3 years ago at work. We'd pass one another in the hallways of our building, barely making eye contact. I'd throw him a hostile sideways glance and he'd saunter past, head down, the sleeves of his sweatshirt clutched in his hands, as he wandered off to put out whatever fire he was being summoned for. Eventually he found out I play guitar, and mustered up the courage to ask me if I wanted to jam sometime... If you'd care to find out how that went, you can read about it here. Davey and I are employed at a public elementary school in one of the more affluent suburbs. He works in our school's Special Education Department and I work in the Health Office, posing as a school nurse. Some of the kids even call me "doctor" which I think has a nice ring to it... Doctor Danger. Anyway, Davey is really good with the kids. When you see him at our shows, bounding across the stage, sweat dripping off his furrowed brow, and slamming power chords into the ether, it might seem surprising that his days are spent calmly de-escalating and educating some of our more challenged youth. He comes into my office occasionally- pretending to have a tummy ache, and we briefly talk shop and I sometimes recommend he try a chamomile enema for his belly. It's nice being able to check in with him during the day and to see him walking the halls... because now he knows that my hostile glance is just part of the package and he doesn't take it too personally.
Danny Rampage was a corporate whore when I met him. He worked in package design, making visually striking retail garbage for consumers to gaze upon in stores and then toss away once their cereal boxes or deodorant tubes had been depleted. Don't get me wrong- I love money, and Danny was making a fair amount of it... But it seemed unfair to witness such an intelligent, personable, and talented guy be bound to these dreadful of 5-9 constraints. He was miserable most days, knowing he was contributing first-hand to the growth of the plastic island. Danny wanted to spend more of his time working on the band. When he made the choice to go down to part-time for a small, local start-up, as a social media marketer for one of his old band-mates, I was cringing, but supportive. I imagined our vacations would be reduced to modest days at Como Zoo, gazing at lethargic animals and feeding the pigeons. Positano would be but a flicker in my lazy eye... I'm the first to admit when I've been wrong- and I was. Danny tends to quickly become an asset wherever he inserts himself, and he has a way of making his career flourish just by being his tenacious and competent self. He's learning some great tricks of the trade at his day job, (which he is able to transfer over to Hot Pink Hangover) and we are seeing the results of his efforts with regards to our growing metrics.
Our dear Lenny Renegade probably has it the worst of all of us. Not only does he need to rise at the crack of dawn, many times after a late night gigging, but he has to deal with some pretty rude clientele- and do so with a smile. Lenny is a cook and cashier at a yuppie cafeteria. One would think that the early risers of Minneapolis (donning their suits & ties, driving their luxury automobiles to a job where they make six figures) would be ready to greet their service staff with kindness and gratitude. Nope. We hear horror stories from an animated Lenny of ill-tempered business men throwing tantrums if the Swiss cheese on their breakfast sandwich is slightly askew. Nonetheless, Lenny very rarely falters from his polite and benevolent demeanor even in the most harsh of customer service catastrophes. It sounds like between the dodgy higher-ups and the entitled patrons, we cannot start making our millions soon enough so we can get our Renegade out of the kitchen and onto the stage full-time.
I'm one of those musicians who has never taken the scary first step of quitting her day job. I was mortified by the idea of how that could go if I didn't make the right connections or perform the right sexual favors. When I was a young waitress, I was pulling in so much money, I didn't even know where to spend it, since my rent cost a pittance and I shopped for nearly everything second-hand. My gigs were small potatoes in comparison, and I liked the security blanket my job provided. Living paycheck to paycheck and having to busk for my next meal (so far) has not been in the cards for me- and that's okay. I'm no Jewel, squatting in a dilapidated old van with my mom, and singing for my supper. I'm a poser nurse with a pink wig, playing in a rock band, but I've still got ambitions that include fame and fortune. It will be a sad day when I throw in the towel and stop trying to be a rock star. We all need something to live for after all.