Boulder, CO – “Jeremy (Guitar) Quit” – December 4, 1998

Jeremy (guitar) quit the band yesterday.  I called to give him a van departure time for our gig at The Double Diamond in Aspen tomorrow.  I could hear him over the phone beating around the bush, his feet shuffling and kicking at a snow bank in his backyard.  After some hemming and hawing, I insisted he tell me what was going on.

  • He told me he was broke (despite a $2,500 sound system he just bought himself).
  • He told me he lives in a crack den (the condo I rented on his behalf in central Boulder.  Not a crack den)
  • He told me he wanted to move to New York with his brother and “play the scene.”  I don’t think he knew what he meant by “play the scene” but he made it sound cooler than what I was doing for sure.

I was torn between resenting the hell out of him and feeling deeply relieved.  He’s been a headache since he arrived in Boulder and his departure will gratefully put an end to my babysitting and tippy-toeing around him. Still, I must acknowledge, The Sally Taylor Band will be losing a great talent in him when he goes.  My big takeaways from my experiment hiring Jeremy are the following:

  1. All that glitters is not gold.  It is better to hire a talented, loyal player than a brilliant self-centered one.
  2. Don’t trust a promise made by a guitar player hiding behind mirrored aviator sunglasses and
  3. Mr. Jeremy probably just needs some good antidepressants and a little dose of grow the fuck up. 

I told him lightheartedly to just concentrate on making it through December with me and then he could do whatever he wanted.   I let him know what time and place Moby was leaving from in the morning.  More hemming and hawing ensued and I could tell he wanted to say more than his ego could afford. “For the love of God Jeremy, please just tell me what’s on your mind.” Awkwardly he said, “I’m gonna make my way up to the gig tomorrow in my own car.”  

“Why?” I asked.

“I might want to bring some friends,” he said. I suggested he bring them up in Moby, ” That’s why I got a 15-passenger van.” I said

“Well,” he said, “I might want to leave after the show.”

“You want to leave Aspen after the show at 2:30 in the morning to drive 4 hours back to Boulder?!?!”

“I might,” he said. I had no more fight in me and relented, “OK, but this is a big show for us.  Please be on time for Soundcheck at 5 pm.”

I hung up with a sign telling myself “Better things are on the horizon.”  I can’t explain my optimism, but the future feels tingly from here, like a newly brushed set of teeth.   I say this even though all the songs I’ve written in the past month are crap and now I have to find a new guitar player.