Always Clap When the Song Ends – You Might Not Get an Encore

Usually, when someone says, “Boy, do I have a crazy story for you….” it doesn’t end up being that kooky.

I think you’ll agree this one is:

Last week my husband, Keith, and I went to see his friend Joey’s band. While we knew Joey, we didn’t know the guitar player, Terry.

Because it was the Fourth of July the gig had lots of competition and so, the crowd was fluid and distracted. Given that—and because, as a musician, Keith knows how great it can be to hear people respond when you play—we clapped, whistled and did some hollering each time they finished a song.

What’s nice is that when one person claps, others are reminded to clap, too, and things take off from there. 

(Please note: this is critical to remember the next time you introduce someone at an event: you start the clapping.)

Sunday night we learned that Terry had died.

Yes, Joey and Terry had gone to play another gig on Friday and Terry had had a fatal heart attack just before going onstage.

I told you this was a story that would get your attention.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, A few years ago I posted on a piece by Deirdre Sullivan called “Always go to the Funeral.”

The point she was making, which I wholeheartedly endorse, is that the biggest battle is rarely doing good vs. doing evil. More often it’s doing good vs. doing nothing.

This idea was really brought home to me when I heard of Terry’s death.

Because it’s easy to forget to clap for musicians– the same way it’s easy to forget to publicly acknowledge team members/co-workers/family and friends.

But the same way that the private acknowledgement I mentioned last week is so important, it is equally important to publicly acknowledge others’ efforts.

And while neglecting to do so rarely has consequences this dire, it certainly can’t hurt to start the clapping.