Money Changers in the Temple of Honky Tonk

In Honky Tonk on 03/22/2013 at 12:58 pm

If you’ve ever been to a concert, you have a seen the Merchandise Table.  Filled with T-Shirts, koozies, hats, records/taps/CDs and various novelty items, this is the place to shop when you want to advertise your personal preferences without paying tax or shipping.

 Here are some tips for a successful visit to the Merch Table:

1.                          Bring cash, if possible, exact change.  Checks require daylight hours so elusive to musicians, and even with swiping technology,    debit/credit malarkey often descends suddenly and without mercy.

2.                          Purchase something, then hang around for a bit to see if the musicians will come by for autographs.  Take the hint if they don’t.

3.                          Bring your own Sharpie and watch it like a hawk.  Only lend out in exchange for tangible goods.

4.                          It never hurts to ask the person working merch if they would like a beverage.

5.                          While the ubiquitous underwear option may be tempting, do not purchase.  The material chafes, they are grossly overpriced for the amount of material, and at some point, you’ll have to ask if Willie Nelson’s mug on your intimates is an improvement.

6.                          Only accept ‘best album’ advice if the person giving is a Manager or Professional Merch Table Worker.

On that note, be aware of the different types of Merch Table Workers:

1.      Professional Merch Table Workers – these people work most shows, know how to setup a booth, run the machines, give quality recommendations, do fast math for change and either love doing it or fantasize about taking over the band in a haze of repressed anger.

2.      Groupie and/or Girlfriend – sometimes difficult to distinguish but groupie will be more excited to promote the band and will be dressed almost hipster like.  The girlfriend will be highly annoyed to be saddled with this duty and will give you stink eye in a perception of rivalry for attention.  She will be dressed more hipster than your uncool brain can comprehend.

3.      Manager – If this person is working, proceed with caution.  If they haven’t been with the band too long, they will be doe-eyed and fumbling.  If they have been with the band long, they will be distracted and on their phone more than working the table.

4.      Loafer – sometimes, when the person who was originally supposed to work the table doesn’t show up, someone random gets pulled in.  Usually someone who will talk to friends and flirt the whole night instead of taking money.

5.      The Musician – often found with opening bands, these people will tell you anything to get you to buy something.  Because they only get a portion of the ticket sales.  So buy something.

For best results, mix Tips #1 & #4 with Work Type #1 or undistracted version of #3 for highest likelihood of checking out the Green Room.


Now-you’ll-see-them-everywhere trivia: those stereotypical mail trucks are called LLVs or Long Life Vehicles.


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