I'd like to share something with you.A little known food that is unique to the working musician.Now, I'm not talking your Rolling Stones, Madonna, or P. Diddy, I'm talking the sideman. The sideman is a working musician of various levels of recognition that backs up name artists, records in the studio, plays on TV shows, travels in every imaginable touring situation, plays bars, and yes, weddings and corporate events.
I'm talking about the "bandwich".Simply put, the bandwich is a catered lunchbox meal with a generic sandwich,Lay's potato chips, and apple, potato salad and a cookie.All foods are wrapped in cellophane.This is the lowest form of catered meal for the working musician, several notches down from what the guests at the wedding are eating, exponentially so.The bandwich is specific to American functions, namely the elite.Mexicans, Armenians, Persians, Italians, etc. will give you the food that they are eating, unless they are very Americanized. The guy that books you at the Beverly Hills hotel will give you the bandwich, make sure you don't talk with any guests, and that you enter and exit through the loading dock.
The bandwich has such a negative connotation amongst the musician community.A lifetime of less than human treatment in a nice fancy box. Two hours rehearsal, four hours of music, one and a half hours drive, and the bandwich.
This last weekend I lucked out.I met a friend at Mariscos Chente on my way to play a wedding at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach for a magnificent feast along with a bunch of wines she brought. When I arrived at the green room in Newport Beach and saw the bandwiches all in neat rows, I thought HA!! You didn't get me this time.I showed up happy, fed, and sated.My fellow musicians were not so fortunate.I had to watch their sour expressions and long faces as they had a sad and bitter dining experience.
So, shame on you Balboa Bay club, Beverly Hills Hotel, Four Seasons, and Hotel Coronado! And, may those of you who start your new life as a couple together by giving the musicians bandwiches, may karmic justice intervene during your honeymoons.
I've got a better idea. Have someone pick up some tortas, cemitas, banh mi, subs from a decent Italian deli,or let a taco truck pull up and give us $5 vouchers each.It'll cost even less and give us our dignity and put a smile on our faces so that we can play Brick House, Get Down Tonight, Sweet Home Alabama, You Shook Me All Night Long, Old Time Rock n Roll, and Proud Mary with gusto.
The loathed catering meal lunchbox
The bandwich strangely flavored by excessive exposure to its cellophane wrapper
The bland and loathsome bandwich