It's Friday the 13 and superstition says today is unlucky...dun dun dun! A Gallup poll conducted a few years ago found that about 25% of us are superstitious about knocking on wood, 13% about a black cat crossing our path, 12% about walking under a ladder, 11% about breaking a mirror and the number 13 makes 9% of us uneasy. So a good chunk of us believe in those kinds of superstitions but what about charms like a gambler's lucky dice or maybe...a guitarist's lucky pick?
We all know musicians can be...well...a little...quirky. Performing live can be a nerve-wracking experience and the challenge of entertaining a room full of folks can lead musicians to develop some pretty unique pre-show rituals, which are basically superstitious in nature.
Some might keep a specific, lucky item on them while they play, wear a certain pair of shoes or drink a certain kind of booze beforehand. What's key is that the musician notices that he or she did something that coincided with a desired outcome making that something a necessary precursor to the performance.
For example, today, I learned that Robert Plant irons his shirts before performing, saying "I find ironing helps get me in the mood before I perform. I always have an ironing board in my room before I go on stage." What? That's not very... rock & roll...but whatever, it's Robert Plant.
On this first Friday the 13 of 2012 (there will be two more!), we talked to several local musicians (some based here and some born here) to see if they had any weird, pre-gig rituals or just any superstitions in general and here's what we found out: