04.08.05 – Farewell Pasty

He’s not dead. Just dead to us. After 6+ years on the road, Pasty’s calling it quits. He wants to live in a house without wheels. He wants to sleep in a bed, not a coffin-sized bunk. He wants someone else to push the strobe light button during the crazy bongo man moment at the end of The Airplane Song.

A little history, if I may…

Michael Corcoran was 17 when he first emailed our band. We had just changed our name from “Gus” to “Guster” and launched a website. Michael became one of the first Guster Reps, helping us distribute Parachute cds to his friends when we couldn’t get them into stores. His Guster-given rep name was “Pasty” — a name we assigned him before we ever met him. And when he approached us after a show at the Wetlands in New York City in 1995, he had fair skin and white eyebrows and we knew there was something karmic about him.

Michael got accepted at Villanova University, where he began booking our band to play in the dining hall while taking over the live bootleg trafficking responsibilities at guster.com. We played Villanova every year — sometimes twice a year — until Pasty graduated, and then we never played Villanova again. Michael spent a few miserable months as an accountant after graduation and then called me about helping us out on the road in 1998. We were still touring in a van, but we needed someone to help carry our gear and sell our merchandise, so Pasty came along.

Soon after he joined us we got the opening slot on a two week tour with Semisonic (surely you all remember “Closing Time”), which earned us our first upgrade to a tour bus thanks to tour support from our record label. Highlights from those formative two weeks can be seen on the Guster Too Hot For TV video, at the bottom of the multimedia section of our website. When 1999 came around we recorded Lost & Gone Forever, and we made Pasty our tour manager even though he was only 23 and had no experience. It was one of the best decisions we ever made.

1999 was a big year for us. Pasty moved into our apartment in Somerville MA with us. We put his face on the cover of our first rep-only EP, “The Pasty Tapes Volume 1.” His popularity soared. At Woodstock ’99, Pasty convinced a bunch of wayward Playboy models roaming the backstage parking lots that they should “party on Guster’s bus.” Again, his popularity soared. (This is where the Behind The Music voice chimes in with “it was like Sodom and Gommorah” even though it wasn’t anything like Sodom and Gommorah).

The Pasty Tapes, Volume 1

Pasty taught himself how to do lights while we were on the road and helped us take the live show to a whole new level. When Pasty realized that I was watching Mets games through pitch-by-pitch text updates on the internet, he made a phone call and got the MLB Satellite TV package for the bus. Most of all, Pasty put his heart into his job the same way we all did and it showed. He was there for just about every big moment our band has ever had. We’ll miss him. It feels weird to write him a “farewell road journal” because he’s been in the studio with us just about every day in Nashville and he’ll still be working with us on the management end of things. But “Seth” is our new tour manager starting this week. That’ll take some getting used to.

I know a lot of you got to know Pasty over the last 6 or 7 years, so if you’d like to send him a note I’m sure he’d appreciate it. Even if it’s just to say “you wouldn’t let me tape the UConn show, you prick.” I set up farewell_pasty@hotmail.com. So, Michael, if you’re reading this, the password to your new email address is the same as our password for the Guster Wireless Internet system when we’re on tour.

Farewell Pasty!

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