We’ve just done our final gig at Blue Mountains festival in Australia, which went really well, as have all the gigs. It seemed as if the audience really enjoyed our sets, although there was one notable exception: a lady at our final gig who accused us of being sexist and chauvinistic.
I’ve not listened back to the recording of the gig yet, but no doubt we’ll feature it on The Young’uns Podcast when it returns in April, however I will give you the basic outline of what happened, and why this seemingly lone woman jumped to her conclusion.
One of the mic cables for my accordion seemed to be playing up, and so the stage manager came onto the stage during the set to fix it. I was in the middle of saying something and then she just appeared by me and knelt down to change the lead. I’d obviously realised what she was doing, but, becoming distracted by her sudden presence next to me, I forgot what I had been talking about. So, I changed tack. I turned to her and said something like, “I appreciate your enthusiasm but if you wanted a date with me you could have just waited until I got off stage.” The audience reacted well to this, and there was a good bit of laughter. I then turned to the audience and said something like, “she’s clearly keen, I mean, she’s kneeling at my feet.” Again, the audience responded with a good amount of laughter. There weren’t any audible tuts or hisses, or sounds of disapproval. The stage technician transferred the cable, and left the stage, and I took the opportunity to thank her and all the fabulous festival sound team. The audience applauded. Then, just as she reached the bottom of the stage steps, I turned to her and shouted my room number at her, and told her to be there for 8pm.
It was just a spontaneous bit of add libbing that occurred in the moment, and I think it was better than there just being an awkward silence while the lady made the changes. The stage manager didn’t seem to be upset or annoyed as far as I could tell, but there was one lady who rebuked us after the gig.
“You wouldn’t have said that if it was a man,” she said. We informed her that we probably would, after all, many people who’ve watched us over the years have assumed that the three of us are gay, or at least one of us is, and there used to be quite a bit of homoerotic banter during sets. In fact, Sean once pointed out that I was probably massively impairing my chances of becoming acquainted with any interested female fans, because I’ve most likely convinced them that I’m gay due to the things I’ve said on stage. Obviously, being the kind of pioneering, innovative, constantly evolving band that we are, the homoerotic banter is a bit old hat and not really as prevelent as it maybe once was. So I can therefore tell you that Sean’s hypothesis was incorrect, and it turns out that the reason female fans don’t approach me and declare love or lust is simply due to ambivalence, or perhaps even revulsion. And I meet thousands of eligible women in a year’s worth of gigging, which makes the general disinterest even more acute. Obviously I am being self-depricating for mildly comic effect. Yes, that’s definitely what I’m doing.
Anyway, the point is that I probably would have said the same thing to the stage manager if it was a man. But of course she didn’t believe me and didn’t accept that as an argument. I was surprised that she could listen to our songs and the things we said between them, and still come away with the view that I was sexist and chauvinistic. We sang Sidney Carter’s John Ball, about the priest who was viewed as a radical and executed for daring to say that all men and women should be equal. That was the very last song we sang, and the bit with the stage manager came right near the start of the gig, so she had heard an hour’s worth of our songs of equality and justice, and still came away with the impression that I was sexist. Perhaps she thinks I just pretend to care about these things for money, and I let my true colours inadvertently show themselves with that spontaneous ad lib with the stage manager.
Unless the lady wasn’t really complaining, but actually flirting with me, and maybe I missed all her cues, like I missed all the cues from all those other ladies who I assumed were disinterested. In fact, maybe the whole ambivalence thing that most women adopt towards me is also an example of flirting. Maybe all these women are going away from our gigs with broken hearts, because of my inability to pick up on their cues. In fact, they often get so disheartened and forlorn that they end up having to get off with someone else in the room, just minutes after talking to me. I mean, I must have hurt their pride so much that they fell into despondency and had to lower their standards by going with someone else, who’s obviously not as attractive as me, but at least it’s someone to fleatingly take away the pain of being rejected by David Eagle. To all those women who wanted me, then thought I was rejecting them and consequently ended up having sex with someone else, possibly marrying them and having children with them, I am truly and deeply sorry. It’s taken me all this time to realise what I’ve been doing, and I apologise wholeheartedly for fucking up your lives. Man, I feel like such a prick.
It’ll be interesting to hear the recording back. I don’t think I did, but maybe I called the stage manger “love” or “dear”, which are terms that might be taken as patronising, but I am pretty sure I didn’t. Nor did I pat her on the head in a patronising manner when she’d fixed the cable. Nor did I make any stupid jokes about the fact that she was a woman trying to solve a practical problem, and a woman’s brain couldn’t possibly carry out this task properly, and it was bound to go wrong and then we’d only have to get a man to step in and do it correctly. I didn’t say anything like that, because that would be stupid and clearly sexist. All I did was make a jocular reference in the moment, suggesting that the lady had bounded onto the stage in order to procure a date with me, which was clearly not true, as she was fixing a cable, as everyone could plainly see, and everyone knows that fixing a cable isn’t a sign of sexual interest, unless … hang on … Have I done it again?
It could be that the complaining lady has had bad experiences with sexism and that’s why she was maybe a bit over-sensitive. Or maybe you’re reading this and you are shocked by my ignorance and bigotry. Feel free to let me know your thoughts and leave a comment below. Obviously comments from men will be replied to first and will be given more weight than those from females, but that’s not sexist, it’s just common sense and logical, but you women wouldn’t understand that because you’re brains aren’t logical, are they?
Well I best leave this Dollop here, as I need to get in the shower and prepare myself just in case the stage manager took my invitation seriously.