Monday, July 28, 2008

A different planet, a new set of stressors, but the same old rock and roll.

The first five months of my year were spent wrestling with demons, and in truth, I’ve been playing catch-up ever since.

The one thing that amazes me about my period of dazed detachment is that a fair amount was still accomplished through the numbing haze. If it is possible for one to be functionally depressed, that was in fact my state -- not that I can remember all of it.

Exactly how did the deaf, dumb and blind boy orchestrate Gravity Head? He got by with a little help from his friends.

Having crawled out from the pit and embarked once again on something approximating a life, my professional experience during the past two months has been as intense as at any single time in the past.

On one hand, these are hard times for our business. Every imaginable cost is up. On the other, recessionary periods are bar none the best time to put the pedal to the metal and leap forward … and this we’re trying to do.

NABC started a while back with an empty shell of a building downtown on Bank Street, and we’ve been building a brewery and taproom there from the ground up – and that’s good, because it can be designed and the new business launched to eliminate the dysfunctions of the past. It’s also bad, because every single item must be factored into the business plan, then acquired, and organized, and arranged.

But there’s tremendous adrenalin in knowing that you have the opportunity to take something you’re already proficient at doing and boost it to another level. It’s isn’t the money. It’s the creativity and the achievement, and while there are times when the obliviousness of the slacker lifestyle seems appealing, that’s what weekend trips to the beach are all about – not that I ever indulge.

Back in 1997, more than a few people couldn’t figure out why the rock group U2 would seek to tour the planet’s stadiums with a mirror ball and gigantic lemon onstage. The answer, of course, is the same as to why dogs lick their balls: Because they can. In the 16 years of my involvement with the pub, much of what I’ve done with the beer program has been exactly that. Why have 30 different bottled lambics, four sour ales on draft at one time, month-long fests with 50 strong beers on tap, or a $60 Scaldis Prestige on the list?

‘Cuz I could (and can) get away with it.

There’ll always be time to scale back to an acoustic set, or be normal and have a manageable operation, so always go full bore while you’re able. I’m looking forward to repeating the process of excess at the Bank Street Brewhouse. Apparently, it’s the only speed I know. I’ll have to ask my therapist about that one.

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