Life Of A Gonzo Music Journalist: How A Kind Gesture Led To Free Queens Of The Stone Age Tickets

I know what you’re thinking; the photo above isn’t Queens of the Stone Age. No, it’s The Marilynds.

For the first time ever, these two polar opposite musical acts will share space in the same article, making internet history together.

Yes, this is a tale of happenstance and timing for a rogue Nashville doctor of journalism. And it all started with a run-of-the-mill coverage gig for a show this past Friday night at NashHouse Southern Spoon and Saloon (a separate article will be out on that).

Usually when a cell phone falls to the floor directly in front of you, instinctually you make the effort to bend over and pluck it out of harm’s way. It was this one thoughtless gesture that led to a succession of compensated beers and french fries, former Miss Maryland sightings, free Queens of the Stone Age tickets, and good ol’ human connection among strangers- something that may seem hard to come by these days.

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It was this gesture that led to life being lived the way it should- taking chances.

The Marilynds

The man who dropped his cell phone was a Wisconsin tourist named Jim, who had likely polished off a few Old Fashioned’s (his drink of choice when I arrived), prior to my arrival to the barstool next to him.

This led to hearty conversations which included the perils of Broadway, doomed relationships, the Green Bay Packers, ketchup, God, and on and on. After revealing my duties of coverage and displaying my scrawled upon notepad, he mentioned his daughter-in-law was performing the following day at The Twelve Thirty Club.

She is one half of The Marilynds, two sisters and former Miss Maryland winners who look like Kacey Musgraves impersonators- in fact one’s name is Kasey, and the other Lindsay. The duo appeared on Season 22 of The Voice, earning the coveted chair swivel from both John Legend and Camila Cabello, ultimately choosing Legend as their “coach.”

The Marilynds on The Voice

6:30 came around, and there I stood behind the long rectangular bar waiting for Wisconsin Jim. In their colorful matching outfits, the girls got ready on stage with their backing band of young Broadway hustlers, while the place bustled with thirsty Saturday night patrons.

Wisconsin Jim would soon find me, introduce me to his son, the husband of one of The Marilynds, along with their parents, and from there, I basked in the strong sisterly harmonies of the duo. Lining the walls of the elegant Twelve Thirty Club were numerous screens of NFL preseason football games (Bears vs. Colts) and UFC matches. It was a very masculine setting in that regard no doubt, as the former pageant winners would serenade through a string of notable cover songs.

After a California Love pizza pie from Slim & Husky’s at Assembly Hall, I made my way to my car, which was a good mile or so away (I’ll do what I need to do to avoid parking downtown). But halfway there, I decided I’d pop over to the ticket booth at Ascend Amphitheater to see how much Queens of the Stone Age tickets ran for. Before I could get an answer from the bespectacled older woman, I heard a voice next to me.

Queens of the Stone Age From a Distance

“Hey man, you need tickets?” The guy said, as I figured he was trying to peddle some to me.

“I was just seeing how much they were.”

“Well I’ve got two extras if you want them.”

And just like that, the kind gentleman, or Brent from Louisville, emailed me the tickets (shout out to Top Hill Recording Studio). I called a friend who Ubered there to join me post haste, rocking his cutoff Motorhead shirt and rearing to crush $15 Miller Lites.

This seemingly small but delightfully random chain of events proved yet again the power, joy, and mystique of taking chances and embracing the unknown. It’s living to live, not to simply exist. You can’t help but wonder how the universe leads you on certain paths no matter how big or small, and what that path may lead to. You simply never know if you don’t put yourself out there. It may just lead you to Josh Homme drunkenly talking shit to security guards and delivering some cold-blooded rock n’ roll.

Maybe it created a butterfly effect, maybe it was fate, but one thing’s for sure: it was just another night as a gonzo music journalist in Music City.

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