In 2013, we spent a month in New York, playing in town twice a week and then running around the Northeast in between. All 17 of us were staying in a townhouse in Ridgewood, Queens, very Real World-style. Many band members had just graduated college, so it was our first time seriously on the road.
By the time we got halfway through a month of rehearsing, drinking, partying, and – no kidding – running naked across the rooftops, we had solidified our role as the worst "family" on the block. Trouble is, whenever we left or returned to the house, we were usually dressed all in black (as is our band uniform), so no one could really tell us apart. That meant even the gentlest and quietest members of our group were catching it from moms with strollers who thought we were all wild trash bandits, an image not aided by the nonstop stream of "magic junk" that kept being acquired from the street and brought inside.
We tried to get our act together, but it was too late to escape the vortex of bad living.
I'll never forget my phone conversation with our landlord as we drove away: "Yeah, the basement is still kind of flooded, I'm pretty sure the neighbors all hate us, and oh, I was just informed that both toilets are clogged. Sorry!"
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