Part of the promo process of selling recordings is often doing television; this also usually means doing morning television. While you can’t always do the Today Show or GMA, you still have to get up at 4am to do Good Morning Omaha. By and large, music people are not morning people (unless they are still up from the night before). I mean think of the songs: “Night Time Is The Right Time”, “Rock & Roll All Night”, “Wait ‘Till The Midnight Hour”… you don’t often hear songs about getting up early and standing around in silence waiting for someone to have you play a truncated version of a tune you bled and wept for.

There are strange lines drawn between the layers of crew and band, backline and production, video and audio; none is more strong (or more vitriolic) than music and TV. It’s a strange territorial battle which comes from a distinct sense of autonomy on both sides. If a band visits TV, you are merely a segment and an annoying time consuming one at that. If TV visits a band, they often come in as if it were their production and the performance is only being done for their benefit. Does this assessment sound one sided? Go read a TV person’s blog if you want a different view.

For a lot of us who have done this for a while, we have friends in TV and have a cease fire agreement with them. We have different ways of doing things, we’re basically convinced that we’re in charge of everything and we do business together, kinda like the way we did with Manuel Noriega. I’m not sure we can get the TV people all in jail in Florida for the rest of their lives but I’m not sure I want to do that anyway.

Last night we did another rehearsal show and got back to the hotel around 10:30pm. Today we are performing for Good Morning America so that the viewing audience knows to buy the new CD and has some decent music to listen to over an English muffin and a coffee. We are in a unique position in two ways in that the artist is well known enough that we can have TV come to us at our rehearsal spot with a live audience willing to jam at 7am and that this band is so big, we’d never fit in their studio in a way that they would find acceptable or us either.

They loaded in a 6am yesterday to be ready for a 8:15am performance today. The caterers were serving at 4am, the sound turned on power at 5am and line check was done about 6:15 (well, we had to wait for the TV folks to finish up some voice overs and had to be silent for a bit). Our leader popped in at 7:04 to say hi to the early rising fans and thank them. We sit here waiting for a soundcheck to start.

In order for TV to work, they are very regimented in their use of time. They actually have schedules that have seconds marked on them sometimes. We only do that if we’re using a stopwatch to time the song so we can make sure we can fit into a TV segment (ironic? kinda…)

Did I mention that we also have to do a show tonight as well? I’m actually not complaining that much as I’m really glad we didn’t have to load out and I got about 4 hours of sleep. There are those who are not as lucky.

So, just remember when you see someone singing at you over your corn flakes that someone had to load into Rockafeller Plaza at 2am so you could hear that song. Or that band on Sunrise Spokane slept in the parking lot for 2 hours before smiling through that bad makeup. Hopefully they will get a nap later in the day.