why so nervous, neal?
how neal earned his nickname.
In short, “nervous” was a nickname given to me by a frustrated bandleader. Two years out of music school, I was eager to sacrifice my stifling position in retail management to go on tour as a professional musician, with a charismatic guitarist who, although a few years younger, seemed to be making a name for himself. Two months of rehearsals produced a band that was both tight and energetic, but during the long drive toward the first two-week long engagement of the tour, I was given the news. A series of events initiated by a bar fight rendered most of the band unavailable for the tour.
“It’s just the blues. We’ll pick up new musicians along the way,”
was the indifferent solution awarded to my concerns.
And that’s how I was introduced on stage during the gig I hoped would be my big break into a career as a professional musician. Despite my apprehension and embarrassment, the tour was a success. Of course, there were other bands to join once that came to an end. Apparently, they had all heard the story. My reputation had preceded me in ways I had not anticipated.