“Stage fright” makes you remember how you had to play that screechy-violin solo in “The Sound of Music” in high school, but even a classic rock legend like Gregg Allman copes with pre-show anxiety.
Allman (who rocks the Palms’ Pearl Friday night) says self-critical musicians worry they’ll be inadequate, and that goes for him, too.
“That’s why people have stage fright, like I do every night,” Allman, 67, said.
It starts like this:
“In the afternoon, about 4:30, you get a little on edge, because you think, ‘What if, what if, what if I’m not good enough?'” he said.
His thought process makes him think:
“You’re doing a song that you’ve done before, but you’ve never done it like you’re getting ready to do it.”
The moment the show starts, ease comes.
“After you do ‘one-two-three-four,’ it’s over, there’s no more stage fright,” he said. “The downbeat of that first song, you’re flying then, man.
“My heart sings when I get onstage,” he said.
Afterward, he wonders, “what in the hell was I sweating so hard for?”
“But the next day, it happens all over again!”
Allman was last in Las Vegas to receive a lifetime achievement award for songwriting from BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.), the royalty and music publishing organization.
The Allman Brother is an original caretaker of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame classics “Midnight Rider,” “Ramblin’ Man,” “Melissa” and more.
Allman learned to cope with anxiety by listening to Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and other blues greats.
“You can’t take it too damn serious,” Allman said. “I knew a lot of those old guys, and from what Muddy told me, he said, ‘Man, you just gotta get up there and relax, and let it ooze on out, because it’s in ya, and it’s gonna come out.'”
The ultimate cure for Allman’s anxiety is the very thing that causes it. Music.
“So many times, throughout my life, I’ve wished that everybody in the world had something like that to turn to in times of need. A passion, like music, to say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. So what? So all this stuff is happening. Let’s take a break from all this worrying.
“Worrying has never put a dime in a man’s pocket. I think it’s maybe ran up a bill, on account of he had to pay for his ulcer. But worryin’ ain’t done nothin’ for nobody.”
LENA DUNHAM GETS SUPPORT FROM A ‘FULL HOUSER’
Lena Dunham of the generation-defining HBO show “Girls” recently pulled out of Twitter, because she got tired of being America’s second-most unfairly maligned target of hate speech, behind President Obama.
It’s not that Dunham and Obama (and now Caitlyn Jenner) don’t deserve fair criticism. But how would you like to regularly be called a #@#* $*#&@)( #*@*Q(?
Dave Coulier (the comedian who doesn’t curse onstage and who you know from “Full House”) totally gets Dunham’s reasoning in the face of rabid tweeters.
“Not everyone is strong enough to have a filter where you can separate the good from the bad. Where is the line? Everyone has a different line,” he said.
Coulier, performing stand-up Friday-Sunday at the South Point hotel ($15-$25 tickets), joked that he can’t even use the word “Michigan” on Twitter without someone replying, “I hate Michigan!”
“You can post the most mundane thing, like, ‘Here I am having a glass of wine with friends.’ They’re like, ‘Alcohol is bad! It killed my mother!'”
Coulier tried to tell his 24-year-old son what it was like in the days before social media.
“I said, ‘You know, when I was a kid, we didn’t have apps. My favorite “app” was going to the playground. You go to the playground, you get everything. You can add a friend, you can delete a friend, you can leave a comment for that friend right to their face, you can give someone a thoughtful thumbs up. You can share a pic with somebody by pulling it out of your back pocket.'”
Jokes aside, he thinks it’s a “crummy time to be a kid.”
“Not only do you get physically beaten up on the playground now, you get beaten up mentally and psychologically in this social media landscape. That’s just creepy to me.”
Fortunately for Coulier, he’s a comedian, so he can roll with the punches.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Coulier said. “I’ve been ‘dead’ a few times on the Internet.”
QUICK ELF NOTES
I’ll be talking about writing on “Talk About Las Vegas with Ira” (Ira David Sternberg) at 8 p.m. Thursday on KUNV-FM (91.5), www.915thesource.org. Sternberg doesn’t like it when I use the word, “I” in print.
Come say “hi” if you see me at Friday’s big foodie event, M.E.N.U.S. (Mentoring and Educating Nevada’s Upcoming Students) at Mandalay Bay Beach. It’s a fundraiser from the Epicurean Charitable Foundation of Las Vegas for hospitality scholarships. Thirty restaurants will supply food from Joel Robuchon, Stripsteak, Tao-Lavo, Aureole, Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House and others, as TV anchor Jason Feinberg emcees, and Strip performers entertain. It’s not cheap. Tickets cost $500.
— Doug Elfman can be reached at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman. On Twitter: @VegasAnonymous.Like Neon Las Vegas on Facebook: