Im rarely starstruck. Theres the occasional, Oh shit, I traded him on Madden or What reality show is she from again? but otherwise, Im oblivious to a persons celebrity status.
Recently, I was having drinks at Common Market, shooting the shit and blowing a Tuesday night, when a friend of mine came through with some dude Id never met. We started talking about music, bands and playing styles, but I felt myself slowly pulling away.
Years of covering music for CL has desensitized me to people telling me about their band or their album. Seriously, everybody has a band or an album. While some are really good and are destined for modest success and decent followings, for the most part, its in one ear and out the other. So when this guy started talking about his band performing all over the place, I was essentially tuned out. That was until he said something about meeting ?uestlove, the iconic, afrod drummer from The Roots. That made me perk up.
Apparently his band wasnt doing hole-in-the-wall gigs, or little, local shows. He was talking about performing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Lopez Tonight. I smelled bullshit but wasnt about to call him on it.
After catching a solid buzz on the patio, we walked through the alleys by The Penguin, past the little cab company, across the CVS parking lot, to Elizabeths Billiards. On our way, he explained to us how he ended up in Charlotte and how good it felt to get a break. The whole time I was thinking, hes cool but he cant be serious. How many local bands are getting that kind of national attention?
A few Kamikazes in a drink I highly recommend if youre ever at EBs we both proved to be equally terrible at pool. Our mutual friend started telling me about how legit this dudes band really is. His manager is fucking Randy Jackson, he laughed. Now I had to do some research.
My sobriety and my Blackberry werent in sync right then, so it was later that night when I Googled his band, Paper Tongues. Holy shit! He wasnt lying. Every detail checked out. Sure enough, he was their bass player. Randy Jackson was their manager. Theyd been on Lopez and Fallon this year. What blew me away even more was their album had been in the Billboard 200 where it was described as Phoenix-meets-Beastie Boys. And from Charlotte? Thats crazy.
In my defense, nobody jumped out and recognized him, but I guess you never know who youre drinking with in Plaza Midwood.