The Ying/Yang Theory, The Little White Lie, and The West Coast Tour

My roommate, RJ, and I have a theory, and that theory states that whenever God does something to lift you up, or make you extremely successful, he will also do something to crush all of your hopes and dreams. (And vice-versa… If your hopes and dreams are crushed, something will happen to keep you holding on…) This leaves you hopelessly needing Him, and continually humbled. We have no science to back up our hypothesis, but when I moved to LA and started landing great gigs, my car was broken into, and my laptop/guitar/ipad/expensive clothes were stolen. When RJ booked great gigs for acting, his car was towed on a technicality and he had to pay a few thousand to get it back.

Tonight was one of those nights where this theory was in full-effect. I worked a shift at sbux, and got a text from my buddy, Dave Yaden, (the most amazing and talented person I know… BTW…) which asked me if I’d be down to come hang out and plot a scheme that we’d been talking about for a while. I agreed and raced home from work, took a shower… (Ladies…) and got in my car to drive to Hollywood. I noticed the “check engine” light come on, but figured it was normal cause my “airbag” light has been on for about a month now. (I know… I need to get it checked… But I barely made rent last month… Back off!!!) I found the intersection that Dave told me to meet him at, and parked my car about a block away in a suspiciously open parking spot.

After getting off of my bluetooth, (I still haven’t paid my last “talking on the phone and driving” ticket… So I can’t afford another one…) I did a “double-check” of my parking job, and saw I wasn’t in the white lines. So I moved to back my car up… But… (Dun, dun, dun….) It wouldn’t start. I look up, and BOOM… There’s the sign that tells me, “No street parking after 6PM”. (Ugh…) So my car is broken down in an illegal parking spot. I figured my car was out of gas, since the gas light was on too… (I KNOW….) So I hail the first cab I see, text Dave, tell him I’m having car issues and I’ll be right there.

I buy a gas can, a gallon of gas, get back to my UNTICKETED car… (Whew)… And fill it up. 7 or 8 minutes has passed since it wouldn’t start, so I’m still doing pretty good at avoiding the meter maids… I get back in the car, and the car is making noise, like “verr,errr,err,err” but the engine is still not turning. “Great…” I think, “… This is not the right night…”

I call AAA and they send a tow truck. I don’t text Dave, cause I don’t need him thinking that the universe is trying to keep us apart…(The last time we tried to set up a meeting, I drove 4 hours from SD to LA, got sick, threw up, then drove 2 hours to a carls jr., threw up again, slept in my car and drove home…) And the tow truck driver arrives.

I get out of my car, hand him the key, tell him what happens, and he gets in my car, turns the key, and it starts. ( MY FACE ———–> :-O) I thank him for starting my car, mumble something about him being related to Mother Theresa, get back in my car and find a legal parking spot.

I run to the venue, and talk with Dave and Justin Trugman, (Award winning producer of Eminem, JoJo and a few other people who’s cd’s you definitely have…. Whoa…) who are having a great time cause they just got out of a writing session. They close the bar, and we walk to Dave’s car, part with Justin, (who is wicked rad, btw…) and drive out to 101 Cafe to do some research for our scheme.

We get there, and ask the waitress, who recognized Dave, (not because he’s an amazing singer/songwriter, but because he stood in line in front of her at Chipotle today…) and she tells us that the cafe doesn’t have internet. The cafe is attached to a hotel, (which I think is a Best Western, but I’m too lazy to google and fact-check) and we can see their internet signal. Dave gets the idea to walk into the hotel and ask the desk clerk the code and immediately books it… Leaving me at the booth with my thoughts and a glass of water.

He comes back and says, “No luck, bud. I told the guy that we were eating at the cafe, and having a meeting about ::AHEM:: A WEST COAST TOUR ::AHEM:: and needed to pull up “google maps” and he wouldn’t give me the code.

Now, you have to understand the biggest difference between me and Dave. Dave is a good guy. An “honesty is the best policy”, stand-up, all-american. Similar to a Charles Darnay. (Yeah, I just did a Charles Dicken’s novel reference at 5:02 AM PST.) I, on the other hand, am more of a, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission” sort of guy. I’m not as good looking or stylish as Dave, but I’m willing to bend a few rules, and “creatively find an alternative” by doing “not-so-savory” things. Sort of a Sydney Carton if you will… (Oh Snaps… 2 times…) (A Tale of Two Cities, people… Keep up…)

I look Dave square in the eye and say, “I have a plan…” His light brown eyebrow raises and I continue. “I’m going to go in and pretend I’m a guest…” Dave says, “I guess it’s worth a try? But go in the back way, and not through the diner…”

This spurred my imagination. I instantly became a B list celebrity, who had just gotten back to his hotel, and was “faded” and needed assistance. I walked to the back alley, and into the sliding door, looked the guy right in the eye and said, “Hey brotha, howzit?” He said, “Not bad.”

“Whoa… Where’s the elevator?” I replied.

“For which room?”

“Uh… Two oh… Uh…”

“Down this lobby to the left” he said and smiled.

I stumbled a bit and thanked him, and got into the elevator. I hit the button for the second floor and as I started going up started giggling to myself. I reached the second floor, walked down the halway looking at the room numbers and stumbling still… (In case he was watching me on the cameras…) and took the door labeled, “stairway”.

I texted Dave and said, “DUDE! I made it!!! I’m on the second floor, and the guy totally thinks I’m a guest!!! I’m gonna wait a few moments, and go back down!!!!”

I quickly took off my jacket and waited a few minutes, walked back down the hall, and pressed the elevator button. I walked back up to the desk, looked him in the eye and said, “Hey buddy, did they change the password for the faceboo… I mean… The internet???” He says, “Oh yes, here you go…” and hands me the slip of paper that I have attached to the bottom of this post.

I say, “thank you, I knew they changed it… Is it cause it’s Sunday?”

“I don’t know when they change it, sir.”

I reply, “Very well then… You have a good night.” And walk back to the elevator.

I hit the button, and it seems like an eternity passes before the door opens up. I look back and see that he is watching Iron Man on the lobby screen.

“Do you get to watch movies during your whole shift?” I ask.

“Yep.” He replies.

“I need to trade jobs with you!” I respond and the door opens to the elevator.

He laughs, and we exchange “goodbyes”. The door closes and I almost fall to the ground in laughter. I get to the second floor, go back to the stairs, put my jacked back on, walk down the steps and out the side door, down the alley, back into the restaurant and hand Dave the code. He and I both talk about how amazing that was for the next 5 minutes… And possibly the rest of our lives…

So we research for this WEST COAST TOUR for the next hour or so, and the desk guy walks into the diner, looks at both of us sitting there, turns around and walks away… I don’t think I’ve ever felt as guilty as I did at that second… But it was totally worth it.

Now I don’t know if me and rj’s “Ying-Yang” theory is correct, or if maybe my car breaking down has nothing to do with ME AND DAVID & DEVINE TOURING TO THE WEST COAST IN LATE AUGUST/EARLY SEPTEMBER, and is simply karma striking early, but I do know that tonight I will sleep with a huge grin on my face… And tomorrow, I will need a mechanic.

This is the Best Western Internet Code in West Hollywood

This is the Best Western Internet Code in West Hollywood

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About Josh Damigo

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his homemade EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident, Damigo retreated inward, and he ended up writing what would ultimately become his breakout debut, Raw. The album was true to its name and people noticed - Josh picked up two San Diego Music Awards for “Best Acoustic” and “Best Local Recording,” opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, Eric Hutchinson, and Matt Nathanson, and had enough money and momentum to tour the country a few times over. A few years after Raw, there was his third release, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Damigo spent much of year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his latest album, "Just Give Me a Call", available now, on Randm Records. From the up-tempo single, “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all.
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