Backstage with They Might Be Giants

Curiously, my brother has never seen the movie which George C. Scott brilliantly portrays an “insane” savant, who delusionally believes he is Sherlock Holmes.  He knows it is a classic, he has just not gotten around to it yet.

He did generously give a dozen tickets to me for his most recent show in Cville promoting the Join Us album.

We loaded Mother Ship with communards and their outside friends and partners and ultimately arrived with 17 of us at this show.

One of the many fond memories from this event was how i was able to make it work for Evan who is 12.  He had never been to a concert before and he joined us at the last minute taking the place of someone who, as often happens with communards, bailed at the last minute.  Turns out the opening act was Jonathen Coultain, who sings Code Monkey and is one of Evans favorite performers.

Sadly, i am not especially fond of my brothers music.  I will however happily concede he is a great performer.  He is funny and dynamic and innovative.   Especially if you have a weak spot for sock puppets or accordions.


People quickly see the family resemblence with John Lennell on the left, you brother is on the right

After the show about a dozen of us went back stage, which was small and equipped with various beers and juices.  My brother and i spoke in a friendly animated way – which is our class training, of course – to be chatty and conversational with everyone.

My brother described his as an industry in free fall, that there new album had done fairly well, and it was a tiny fraction of what a successful album sold 10 years ago.  “T-shirt, concert gigs can fill the coffers?” i asked.  My brother confesses it barely adds up.

And he splits his time between NYC and his country home in the Catskills and he has to keep track of when he is in each place and must spend less than half his time in Manhattan, or pay the extra 2% city taxes.  And while he was not in the 1%, he has a new Manhattan condo in one of the fancy parts of town.

My parents assume when my brother and i were growing up that i would be successful financially, and they worried about my brothers fortune.  Turns out their concerns were misplaced, now i make less than $3/day, and he makes platinum records.

And i would not trade places.