Fat Tuesday. Nope, not a week when you got a lot of adds on your record, but the beginning of the end in New Orleans. That would be The Gavin convention in the French Quarter. Many of us will be there trying to pretend we’ve really getting a little work done. Some will be putting on long faces in an effort to convince their bosses that they really aren’t having fun.
It’s all bullshit…the act and the convention. Everyone knows the only convention where you can really bond with those from the business is the Network 40 Summer Games III June 24-26 in Lake Tahoe. But that’s another Editorial…or is it?
This year’s Gavin convention is full of questions. The air is full of whispers and rumors of new mergers and further cutbacks. It’s hard to be merry when you don’t know what’s going to happen to your company tomorrow..or is it?
If you’re looking to hide or have fun (or maybe both), you can do a lot worse than New Orleans. So forget why you’re there…I mean, what is The Gavin, anyhow? No Bill…no Dave Sholin…no Ron Fell. Oh, but there’s David Dalton. What was the original question?
Dalton tolerates me like an English lord who has to have dinner with a wealthy Irish farmer. New money always pisses off old money…especially when there’s more new than old. If David’s nose was a little longer, he would’t even see me. David can’t help it. He’s English, for God’s sake. The English have no sense of humor. They believe things are “cute” and “quite nice” and may give in to the occasional tight smile, but they’ll never laugh. And certainly never at themselves. They’re too serious. Am I talking about the English or The Gavin? Is there a difference? What do I care? I didn’t read The Gavin when Bill was alive. I only go because Bobby Galliani gives me free passes. And that’s really a sham. It’s payola money he owes me from KFRC in the ‘80s. What? You think he managed to buy all those apartment buildings on the Atlantic local’s salary?
So, you’re wailing in New Orleans. Can I give you a bit of advice? Run!
There are only two things to do in New ORleans: Eat and drink. And there is no better place to do either. In New Orleans, the bars are open all night, so be careful. Take it from one who grew up in the Vieux Carre, there’s nothing comparable to having fun drinking all night, then opening the door to the bar and having the morning sun slap you right in the face. It’s the worst feeling imaginable. Now you know why Dracula lies down long before sunrise.
Body language is extremely important at The Gavin. Remember never to look someone in the eyes when you’re speaking with them. Always look over their shoulder for someone more important. It’s known as the “100-foot stare” in the business.
“The Glance” is extremely important. When approached by someone at the convention, always glance at their name tag since there’s no chance you’ll actually know who they are. Once they engage you in conversation, you can’t peek. They’ll be watching for it.
And let’s not forget the language required. Conventionese. Is this your first convention? You’re not familiar with the speech? Please, allow me to help you out. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find phrases (and the meaning) you’ll need to bob and weave your way through this, or any other, convention.
“When jagit in?” This means I don’t know you very well, I don’t care to know you any better, we have nothing in common and I’m only talking to you because I can’t find anyone more important…right now.
“Where ‘ya stayin’?” This means I don’t know you very well, I don’t care to know you any better, we have nothing in common and I’m only talking to you because I can’t find anyone more important…right now.
“Can I buy you a drink?” This means you’re really ignorant because nobody buys drinks at a convention except record people.
“Who does your stagers?” This immediately identifies you as a small-town PD. Even if you get an answer, you couldn’t afford it.
“Got any drugs?” This used to signify someone who was looking to score pot, blow or LSD. Now, it’s someone with an upset stomach looking for Zantac.
“How long is this award thing going to last?” This means you’re an amateur. Only those who actually win an award attend…and they’re told in advance or they wouldn’t show up.
“Want to come to dinner with us?” This is asked by record people.
“Mind if I join you for dinner?” This is asked by programmers, but it isn’t asked often since there aren’t many PDs at The Gavin Convention.
And the number one phrase that will be heard at The Gavin convention this year? “When are the Network 40 Summer Games?”
June 24-26 in Lake Tahoe