Working-Class Heroes

Who would endure anonymity, uncertainty, and unhappy lovers to make a scant living? Freelance musicians, that's who.

Now that he's clean, Rinta is back with Avancé, arranging the music for its third album, and freelancing with Brass Monkey, Pamela Rose, and the Franco Brothers. "[Perazzo] saved my life," says Rinta of the intervention. As to how prevalent drugs are in the scene, he says they're available to those who want them. "In clubs, that's just the lifestyle. People go to party and drink."

There are also more mundane -- but no less treacherous -- challenges that await the freelancer. Finding time for a relationship, for instance.

"It can be tough on my girlfriend," says Kyle of the freelance life, "because we really have to work hard to pick our spots during the week where we can enjoy private time, when she's not working and I'm not out on a gig. And during the months I'm really busy, it essentially negates my social life."

Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.
Joe Kyle: From chopping meat to practicing his chops.

Details

Joe Kyle performs with the Waybacks

Friday, June 15, at 9:30 p.m.

Plough & Stars, 116 Clement (at Second Avenue), S.F.

Tickets are $4

751-1122

The Waybacks

Saturday, June 16, at 8 p.m.

San Francisco Free Folk Festival, Roosevelt High School, 460 Arguello (at Geary), S.F.

Admission is free

287-9095

Michael Rinta plays with Brass Monkey

Saturday, June 23, at 9:45 p.m.

Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck (at Ashby), Berkeley

Tickets are $6

841-2082

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Then there are the last-second pleas from bands you've never met and certainly never heard before -- for gigs that can be unexpectedly transcendent or utterly horrific.

"It happens all the time," Kyle says. "You find yourself thrust into a situation where you have no idea what the music's going to be like. But some of the fun is showing up completely unaware of what's about to happen. Just show up and introduce yourself, and find yourself looking at four or five humans you've never seen before. And you're expected to plug in and turn on your amp and begin playing music, and it's supposed to be good. That's when the freelance thing can be really magical. Sometimes you'll enter into a situation like that and create fantastic music just based on a common understanding of a musical form or a common nomenclature. It doesn't always work out that way; sometimes you'll enter a nightmarish mistake of an evening you wish had never happened. You just shut your eyes and grin and make sure you gracefully decline offers with such individuals in the future."

Kyle, who is about to embark on his first tour in years with the Waybacks, is more than willing to put up with all the freelancer hazards. "I had no idea this was where I'd end up," he says. "In 1988 my experience was pretty much limited to sitting around a stinking room with a beer-soaked carpet with a bunch of friends, just hacking out crappy blues tunes. I never envisioned I'd be making a living at this 10 years later."

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