I Am a One-Man Band

Eli Terry plays many parts.

I am a one-man band.

With a harmonica positioned in front of my mouth and the six strings of my guitar in my hands, I am my band’s harmonicist and I am my band’s guitarist. With a bass drum strapped to my back, I’m my band’s drummer. With these cymbals tied to my knees, I’m my band’s cymbalist. With these two tiny bells taped to my nipples, I’m my band’s nipple bell player.

onemanbandWith all of these instruments I have to lug around, I’m also my band’s roadie. Most roadies aren’t too reliable and the one in my band, which is me, is no different. I constantly forget to plug in the lead vocalist’s microphone and, boy, does that make me mad since I’m also my band’s lead vocalist. This naturally causes heated arguments between the two of them and looks of concern from people that witness the confrontations.

I’m my band’s biggest fan. And I mean I’m a real fan of my band. Since the beginning. I’m not one of these new bandwagon fans. They’re always clamoring for the mainstream hits and wandering off for beer when my band gets into the deep cuts. I can’t stand them. In fact, I dislike a particular new bandwagon fan so much that I often sneak into his home, put on his clothes, make eggs, and walk around like I own the place.

I’m my band’s new bandwagon fan and I own that place.

I’m my band’s lead vocalist’s new girlfriend. I’m quite a firecracker, but I bring out the best in myself. Now, I know what you’re saying. “You’re your lead vocalist’s new girlfriend? Doesn’t that cause tension in your one-man band since your band’s lead vocalist’s new girlfriend also happens to be your band’s drummer’s ex-girlfriend?” I agree, it’s a pretty cliché situation I’ve gotten ourselves into. But I must admit that I’ve been fairly cool with myself and I realize I was friends with me before this, so I can work it out with both of me. In the end, I just want me to be happy. And as long as she — which is me — doesn’t get inside my head and become a Yoko to the band, then I guess I just want me to be happy also.

I’m my band’s official autobiographer and I’ve granted myself unprecedented access to the details of my band’s largesse with charities both home and abroad.

I’m also my band’s unauthorized biographer and I’m exposing a lot of hard truths that everyone in the band (up to and including only me) would rather leave unsaid. For one, the mental instability of my band has led me to believe —

Excuse me, that’s enough of that. I’m my band’s lawyer. This serves as a cease and desist to my band’s unauthorized biographer — herein known as me/myself/I — to halt all inquiries into the alleged mental instability of ourselves and our one-man band.

I’m my band’s manager. For the most part, I’m a great group of mes. Do I get out of hand sometimes? Sure, I’m a one-man band, aren’t I? And don’t get me wrong, I could do without some of the assorted hanger-ons, like myself and don’t get me started on myself, but overall I keep myself running smoothly. That’s what a great manager does. Also, I get me drugs.

I’m my band’s drug counselor. My band has a massive drug problem.


Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Archives

Eli Terry lives and works in New York City. He is on Twitter. He writes short bios.