For a busy musician, the gig is perfect. “It’s freelance. You make your own schedule. It’s not as rigid as other office jobs. The flexibility is great. If I need to go on the road, or if I wanna take off a week to record, I can do that. As long as I’m not abandoning clients, there’s no one telling me I can’t.”
Every so often, the job is a boon for her career. “The business of real estate can be pretty dry,” she concedes. “Except that you’re making people happy because you’re finding [them] a place to live. You’re bringing satisfaction to people.”
Fairchild sometimes gives CDs to her clients, a couple of whom have attended her shows. One even “helped out greatly with a donation toward my next CD. He was really generous and threw me a chunk of money. That was nice.
“I tell my clients I’m a musician, and they seem to want to talk about that more than they talk about real estate,” says Fairchild. “People light up when you tell them you’re a musician.”
And though she likes the work she does, Fairchild considers herself a musician first and foremost. “I feel like I could make a living with my music. I’ve just chosen not to be performing all the time. I’m a songwriter, mainly. If I could make a living selling songs I would never do real estate again.”
At the same time, she finds her day job influencing her music in subtle and telling ways. “I actually have a lyric that I never would’ve put in there if it wasn’t for real estate: ‘Put my heart in escrow.’ When my co-workers come to see me, they think that’s pretty funny.”
John Barmon is not a musician. But he did once run a club on Lansdowne Street. Close enough. He’s an actor. And I’m including him here because his character in Caddyshack is one of the most wonderfully repellent roles in cinematic history.
You know him: Spaulding, the pudgy, pushy, petulant teenage grandson of Ted Knight’s imperious Judge Elihu Smails. Barmon spouts some of the best lines in a movie full of them. “Ahoy, polloi. What did you just come from, a Scotch ad?” “Turds!” “You gonna eat your fat?” “Double turds!!” “I want a hamburger . . . no, a cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake. . . . ” And, of course, the scream heard ’round the pool: “Doodie!!!”
Off the set, Barmon is one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet. And in the years since hanging with Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield in the hot Florida sun, he’s become a successful agent with Coldwell Banker in Cambridge.
Until his appearance in the forthcoming The World’s Best Bad Golf Tournament, Barmon had not appeared in a movie since Caddyshack. He’s happy with a low-profile life, but he’s also happy to talk about his legendary star turn.
Over lunch recently, Barmon regaled me with tales from the set. Dangerfield “was a very odd duck” who used to get so nervous that he’d sweat through a dozen shirts in the course of a take. Bill Murray? “Great guy. Very quiet.” Ted Knight was beloved: “Total professional, a consummate actor.” Chevy Chase, not so much. “Chevy became everybody’s non-favorite.”