In Cleveland for opening night of the Good For The Jews tour, we check into an Extended Stay Hotel, which we booked through Hotwire for $56 a night. Our room has one queen-sized bed. Switching to a room with twin beds costs us an additional $15 a night. Wi-fi access costs us $5. If we want our room cleaned, that costs $5. Extended Stay seems to be the first a la carte hotel chain. I’m surprised the toilet paper dispenser doesn’t have a coin slot. The next morning, I notice a curly blonde hair on the bar of shower soap, which is weird, because David and I are brunettes.
In the course of the day, we get good news and bad news about the rest of our tour. I have an email from Dave Attell, a fantastic comic, saying he’s free to join the bill for our NYC homecoming show on December 23rd at the Highline Ballroom. But the club we’re playing in Boca Raton, Florida, has decided to not put the name of our band on their outgoing voicemail message, because they’re afraid they “might get some complaints.” Are they worried about a KKK presence in south Florida? No, they’re worried about complaints from other Jews. Jews who are unhappy about a band that’s called “Good For The Jews.”
Would Christian Scientists ever object to a group called Good For The Christian Scientists? Probably not; they’d just look at the name and assume that it was good for them. But Jews are ace complainers. My mother once canceled our temple membership because she didn’t like the lighting.
Our press coverage in Cleveland is three for three, with big writeups and photos in the daily Plain Dealer (“You should be as funny as these Jewish guys”) and the weekly Cleveland Scene (“gut-busting tunes”) and Free Times (“they have their tongues firmly in cheek”). Thank you, Jewish-owned media. Now you can go back to misleading people about those 9/11 attacks!
The Beachland has two rooms: the larger ballroom, where we’re playing, and the smaller tavern, where Jonathon Rice is playing. Rice is a fantastic songwriter signed to Warner Bros., one of the world’s largest entertainment conglomerates. He’s got a celebrity girlfriend and a huge marketing budget behind him. His hotel probably has free wi-fi. But we have something better: a good gimmick. That’s why we’re in the big room, and he’s in the small room. You won’t get far in the music business relying on “talent,” Jonathon.
On the other hand, he doesn’t have to deal with the peculiarities of playing for mostly-Jewish audiences. After the show, while we’re selling merchandise, a fan named Larry says he liked the song “They Tried To Kill Us, We Survived, Let’s Eat,” a deliberately inaccurate retelling of the Exodus story. He asks if we’ve heard of David Nachmanoff, a west-coast songwriter. Apparently, Nachmanoff has a song with the same title. “His is better than yours,” Larry says bluntly. Aw, thanks for that little dig. It’s almost like playing for family.