How To Pay For College

PITTSBURGH — “When I was going to Art School in Pittsburgh my roommate Mat and I got jobs working ‘security’ at a few venues around town. I quoted security because we were not. I’m not sure why they kept us around, we didn’t actually do anything. They must have just enjoyed how much we enjoyed it. In fact they would give us a list of shows for each month and let us pick which we wanted to work. Which of course was whatever band we wanted to see for free.

A lot of weird things happened for us at that job. For example I was born in 1980 and somehow was once Alice Cooper’s backstage security.


Well, for about half the show. Some guy was hovering around Alice’s door talking about how much he loved him. I looked directly in his eyes and turned around to get a drink of water. Needless to say that man got into Mr. Copper’s dressing room that night and then I was moved to another part of the venue. It was well worth it because that guy probably still tells the same story too. Another time we worked the Blue Man group, Mat and I again were in love with what we were doing as our college jobs and would show up early sometimes to just walk around. Which is how we saw the Blue Man Group without their make-up and learned by loud, French swearing that we were not suppose to either.

At a venue where Dashboard Confessional played was also a college sports complex. During their show was a weekend long Girl’s Volleyball tournament. My post was backstage as usual and the girls teams walked by it to get to their matches. As a 20 something male I watched the tournament more than the doors. A roadie was also participating in this activity and we struck up a semi-creepy bond. He explained how he loves college volleyball because his wife played and he got into the sport. chris-carrabba--large-msg-117904455635We talked music, touring, and laughed at the thought of groupies. After a while of this I saw him try to walk into the artists door and when I went to stop him he explained he was Dashboard Confessional. No one could believe me I had no clue who that guy was and that I thought he was a roadie when I got a talking to at the end of the night about not fraternizing with the stars. At this time Dashboard was huge, for what about a month or two?

I would have to say the craziest night was at Pittsburgh’s equivalent of Nautica where Carrot Top was playing. Mat and I decided we would work it so we could laugh at it and not with it. When we showed up we found out the show was sold out which made no sense to us and proceeded to laugh at how stupid people are. We learned that C.T. plays there once a year and it always sells out, our boss explained that he was500full one of the funniest comics to see. We continued to laugh and lose respect for them. This was when they said that’s it you two are working the front Mosh Pit area. Seeing as how this is a comic we didn’t understand why they would need security there. Our boss and his wife actually moved two chairs for us to sit in and watch the show, while being paid. About ten minutes in I laughed at a joke, I put my head down in shame.A few minutes later I laughed again, this time I looked over at Mat to see if he saw me; he was laughing. We both enjoyed the evening to no end. We try to talk about it from time to time. “How could we laugh at Carrot Top?” To this day I’m not sure if it was general aura of a crowd, was it because we had such low low expectations or was he actually funny?

UGH, now I don’t want to think about that time anymore. Remind me to tell you about trying to score with Lisa Marie Presley when she opened for Chris Issak.”

Dave Ralph

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