Sid Lives

November 7, 2013

Hey all, 

So I used to carry gear and sell merch for this amazing band from Buffalo called The Fucking Hotlights (google ’em) and they had the most amazing manager. Real cool guy (if you don’t mind being shouted at a lot) from Utica, NY, who came to one of their shows and used to be in the biz and just loved it, apparently, enough to come out of retirement. I helped him and them when they went on tour and I just found some of his old booking/promotion e-mails. I doubt he even knows my name at this point, so I think it’s kosher to post some of them here. Even if not… it’s just pure gold. (Some names redacted due to a a level of profanity and weirdness I’m not sure they’d be cool with.) Enjoy. xo JD

Dearest Ms. ****,


Greetings from something called the Buffalo Tourist Lodge… I am not from the area, though I have stayed with friends and family in and around the city several times over the years… I am not sure if you have ever seen the Tourist Lodge in your travels (I can only hope you’ve made the right decisions in your life that would keep you away from this horrid place), but needless to say this is the last time I will book a room in an unfamiliar city without first seeing a decent, recent picture of the lodging space. In fact, I am unsure if this is even a legal, working, fire-inspected hotel and not some organized crime front that I had the misfortune of stumbling into, short of cash and options; I used to be able to tell a mob-sham from miles away, but through the years my senses have dulled, my business has changed, I have turned over a new leaf, and I no longer have my finger quite so close to the pulse of the underground as I did so long ago. Yet here I am, sheltered in your city from the inclemency of the season, if not so protected from man’s barbarity.


I am writing to you out of desperation and frustration and several other “-ations” I have yet to find time to verbalize. Ms. ****, I am a talent manager (the aforementioned new leaf, overturned). I came to actively work in this business late life (I am 43 and feel a bit like a Ph. D. student who suddenly decides his true passion is for the sea), but I have worked in and around different aspects of concert promotion and rock ‘n’ roll management from the time I was about 8 or 9 years old. At that time, you had to know quite a different set of people in order to get your band booked or played than you do today, but alas, it appears there will always be gatekeepers. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to alert your magazine’s editorial team to the band I am working with, the band that drew me out  of semi-retirement and pressed me into full-time rock work. The band is called the Fucking Hot Lights (crude, perhaps, but vividly accurate). I am not in this for money; I have money enough to survive for the time I have left. An old business associate turned me on to this group of young Buffalonian men and asked that I shepherd them a bit as a return favor to him for good services done to me many, many years ago. I have tried to do him this kindness by contacting your editors and asking that they send someone, anyone, to one of the boys’ shows. Though your social calendar has made mention of their concert dates, there has been no word, no photograph, no review dedicated to these boys. I have reserved guest list spots for ******** reporters and/or photographers at no less than three (3) Fucking Hot Lights shows, with no result, no appearance, no reply even. 


I don’t want to seem as though I am blaming you. We have never met or spoken before, and I don’t believe any of my previous attempts to contact the magazine were directed towards you (though I can’t be sure; some days the e-mail load is so heavy I send my mother 3 messages asking how she’s doing before I realize I actually have to be there, physically, in Utica, to operate her computer and answer my own questions for her… ah, how the mind betrays us when we need it most). That said, Ms. ****, I have reached the end of my patience with this process. I am writing to you one final time, in the hopes that your spirit be moved by a man, an outsider but a lover of Buffalo, trying to promote the future of your city and its arts – a man ignorant of the right people, the right crowds, the right parties – a man, simply put, who has given the remainder of his life to the arts, and not just any art, but the uniting, democratic, big-armed hug to the world that is embodied in a ridiculously talented rock ‘n’ roll band, Buffalo’s native sons the Fucking Hot Lights.


The boys are playing at Merlins this Friday with Raunchy Sex & The Cool Kids (I have no knowledge of either of these bands, and cannot speak to their quality, but the boys assure me they’re a good time). As far as I know, doors are 7ish with a modest cover, likely around 5 or 7; I don’t remember the exact details off the top of my head but I saw the show mentioned in a Merlin’s ad in your latest issue, so you should have all the info you need. I will put ******** down for two guest spots. If no one shows this time, I will be forced to end the band’s relationship with your  publication and move them on to greener, more professional pastures. If you could pass on one message to your bosses who have thrice denied me, it should be this (and keep in mind, none of my anger is directed at your fair personage, specifically; as I have said, we have not met) — this: “ROCK ‘N’ ROLL DOESN’T BOW TO THE PRESS, BUT VICE VERSA. WE PULL THE WORLD ON ITS AXIS BEFORE YOU AND WE WAIT FOR NO STRAGGLERS. OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS– DON’T BLOW IT.”


I apologize for the coarseness of my words, but I am a man moved by urgent forces. Wishing you well and a happier Monday than the Tourist Lodge has so far afforded me,




Sidney Selleck

Manager, The Fucking Hot Lights