LOS ANGELES, CA – Just before the Counting Crows took the stage at the Greek Theater on Sept. 25, guitar tech Ben Frinds entertained a crowd of 30,000 fans with a riveting solo performance.
As a member of the Counting Crows stage-crew, Frinds is not scheduled to perform, but after tuning guitars and testing the Counting Crows mics, Frinds took time to play 3 songs, including one of original composition.
Although not listed on the bill, Frinds performance was a standout to several of the audience members.
“The guy was amazing! At first we thought he was just some jackass setting up the Counting Crows equipment but then he busted out with ‘My Generation’ and a song he called ‘Taste the Fear of My Passion.’ I mean I only came to get high, but this guy’s music was great,” concert go-er James Hanerd said.
While the crowd seems to be responding well to the musical antics of Frinds, the bands themselves are a little unhappy with him.
“At first it was really annoying. He would always tune the guitar and then just stand there and play songs…long after the guys working the board told him to stop. But then the crowd started to get into it. Most of the time the crowd just gets all pissed off and they throw shit at him. Last month he got hit in the head with a bottle… that was really funny. But he never gives up, you gotta give him that much,” Adam Duritz, Counting Crows singer said.
Frinds says he will continue to perform as long as there’s a crowd.
“Man, when I get up there on stage, the music just hits me, and I can’t stop,” explained Frinds. “I mean, I used to open my set with ‘Ironman’ then go straight into ‘One,’ but then I started to mix it up a bit, throw in a little flavor for the kids. I’d throw in a Dylan or a Bowie, and get this, one time I even did a funky, hip-hop version of ‘Thank God I’m A Country Boy.’ That one was great, I only got hit by two bottles during that one. Sure most of the time I get booed and made fun of but it’s worth just to look out into the audience and see that one kid. That one kid that thinks I’m cool.”
Despite rumors, Frinds said he has no plans to record or headline his own tour.
“My first job is to get Counting Crows ready to perform. Only then do I take my turn. And I always try to keep it short. I wouldn’t want to overshadow the Crows, man. They fuckin’ rock out. I’m just a simple guitar tech who tries to squeeze in my fifteen minutes,” Frinds said.