For decades, the rock concert drum solo has meant booming sales for beverage vendors and busy nights for lavatory mop-men. Rather than snooze through twenty minutes of inane, percussive pitter-patter, a large percentage of restless concert goers would wander towards the concessions area with two things on their minds, draining their kidneys and immediately refilling them. This has historically meant big business for the sellers of beerish beverages and cancer-friendly soft drinks. But, as attention spans shorten and sequencers become our insipid robotic rock stars, little space is left to showcase the talents of rock ‘n roll’s C-student.
Although the exact cause of this decline in artistic grandstanding and pud-pulling is still being debated, the powers that be are focusing on its economic impact. Yes, even sonic torture coupled with constipated facial expressions has a price tag on it. A veteran vendor of piss-grade beer who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity due to embarrassment over his employer said “I’ve been selling beer for Schitz for over four decades so I’ve seen it all. The Iron Butterfly days were the best. I mean, nobody wants to lose their buzz sitting still listening to that Tarzan shit. From the beer stand it sounds like a bunch of heifers stomping on fire ants upstairs. So, all them people would come running to me and to fill up on Schitz. I felt like a rock star myself in those days with all these people yelling for my attention. It was like I had the power or something. These days, nobody buys beer once the concert starts. It’s crazy. I don’t know, maybe they don’t want to miss anything because nothing is worth missing anymore. That or people are trying to be healthy these days and that’s bad for business. Selfish pricks. Whatever. Point is, I used to make a helluva lot of money selling beer. Well, not me personally. I still make minimum wage, but yeah, I used to sell a lot of beer. These days I do a lot of busy work. Wiping things down, stacking cups, pulling cups out of the trash, rinsing cups, recycling cups. Stuff like that.” The unnamed veteran of two thousand concerts has not yet gotten a response to the transfer he put in for in 1979.
The downturn in masturbatory, self-indulgent skin beating has clearly created a ripple effect across the American marketplace. In fact, the beverage industry is only the first in line to feel the financial fallout. Annual income reports from P-Gon, the world’s largest manufacturer of urinal cakes practically mirror the beverage sales dip. The parallel makes sense as most processed beverages are formulated to wreck havoc upon the body’s normal excretory processes resulting in spastic over-activity, gradual ersosion and a side dish of stank. Jorge Elstereotypo has worked as a restroom attendant at various concert venues since 1983, “Mang, I used to install new cakes like three times a night in every pot back in the days of The Grateful Dead. Ha, ha. Those two drummer bands were mucho bueno for this business and all us Pee Guys. Throw in a hippie slapping bongos and el pooper would become shower of gold to me. I know some people just come in to fix hair or snort borax but they always figure they pee anyway. Remember, it’s always good to wring out the kidneys.
Remember, I tell you this.” Acknowledging the change since those days of yellow gravy, Elstereotypo added “Last few years, boss-man just gives me night off for some concerts and have me come in early next night to install cakes and mop up after the missers. Man, people can miss… the mirror isn’t even on the same wall as the urinals. But yeah, I’m down to using only 2 new mop-heads every night. You know, people think this is an idiot’s job but you really need to study the flush pattern to understand good cake installation and set-up. Those things don’t line themselves up, you know. You can’t just throw them in there and hope the water doesn’t miss them.”
Even the personal injury industry has suffered from the fading of the drummer’s spotlight. Since many fans used to pour at least 3-4 beers down their gullet during an average prog-rock drum solo, they haven’t been nearly drunk enough of late to cause as many deadly accidents as encouraged by the legal industry. Even health services have seen a decrease in failing biology and crumbling body parts. Their profits have dropped right along with the sales of the tanker-sized Pepsi products that used to be sold mid-show as Stick Men attempted to prove their importance to other band members. Forty nine year old, Ian Deciwatz is a lifelong fan of live music that can attest to the fact that things have changed “It really does suck. I mean, I like to see a guy smacking his penis against a snare drum as fireworks go off behind him as much as the next guy but the point is, I used to count on that break about fifty minutes into a concert so I could slam some warm piss and go to the bathroom. These days you don’t get that chance, anymore. It’s not fair to the fans and it’s especially not fair to the corporations.”
According to a recent survey, record numbers of cowbell-drivers are currently in therapy and receiving treatment for depression. It would seem that those few minutes alone on stage each night really meant a lot to them despite them being the least recognizable member in any band ever. Music supply retailers are reporting record returns on drum risers, giant rotating turntables and exploding gongs. No drummers were available for comment as they were likely in retreat to reevaluate the practicality of their chosen career paths.