NOTHING MATTERS: My Pandemic Year In Music (Westword 1/5/2021)

Clay Rose (left) of Gasoline Lollipops playing a livestream show with Adam Perry earlier this year.
Photo by Mikayla Sanford

by Adam Perry for Westword 1/5/2021

Since my daughter’s birth eleven years ago, music has always been one foot in, one foot out for me. Leading up to the pandemic, I regularly played local shows, booked and promoted concerts for numerous Colorado bands, interviewed notable touring musicians from David Crosby to Anderson .Paak, and covered the Denver and Boulder scenes for Westword, going to as many exciting shows with my girlfriend as possible. But I wasn’t willing to leave my daughter to hit the road hard.

Holding down a nine-to-five paralegal gig in veterans’ disability law and being the best dad I can prevented me from diving into life as a full-time drummer, a longtime dream I’ve given up twice. The first time was when I quit the Yawpers in May 2012, just a year after we’d debuted for maybe ten people as an acoustic trio at the No Name Bar in Boulder before quickly signing a record deal and beginning to tour frequently. The second was when I left Gasoline Lollipops in May 2018, after a sold-out farewell show at the Bluebird Theater, transitioning from serving as the GasPops’ full-time drummer, booking agent and publicist to working behind the scenes and enjoying chances to fill in at great venues like the Gothic Theatre when talented young Kevin Matthews, the group’s new drummer, wasn’t available.

It was a happy balance. I had the time and resources to be with my wonderful daughter every week and also maintain a romantic partnership I treasure while participating in Colorado music, an outlet I consider as important as oxygen. The pandemic took that balance away…and fast. Not only was the therapeutic aspect of playing live shows gone, along with the priceless (and nearly ceaseless) social connections that come with being part of a music scene, but I also lost a major portion of my income.


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