Shinybass Journal Entry 01-12-15
Connecting to disconnect…
I read a fascinating article (on my smart phone) about how to disconnect from your smart phone. Believe me, the irony was not lost on me. One thing that the article taught me is that as much as we want to disconnect, sadly, we are now all connected. Or is it so sad? It’s great to keep in touch, not great to hear you moan on social media. (Don’t worry – it’s been my sounding board as well…). I have pledged a couple things this year: No phone after 9:30, and no phone in bed. I also pledge to send more real mail and less email. So I’m going to need all your addresses.
We have officially jumped back into full-on touring mode, which means more connections with friends and fans, and less connection with family. Don’t worry – FaceTime is a life saver for us touring types. So there is another great use for the smart phone. I remember the time when I used calling cards on hotel pay phones to call family. And on a side note, have you ever noticed that cell phones sound pitiful compared to a land line? And there’s no fixing that. How ironic that the first order of business on the smart phone is the worst performing.
But I digress. The smart phone is my only portal to the world from our 40-foot rolling submarine, so if I complain too much, it will probably hear me and just up and quit. So I smile and nod and take the occasional picture to post on the Instagrams. This trip, however, I really didn’t give my camera much of a chance. We were in the grips of the Arctic Blast, and quite frankly, my outside time was rather limited.
Our first show was at a huge venue called Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, PA, named after Roy Rogers. Everyone has played Penn’s Peak, which has a beautiful view from the back deck. With the weather in full deep-freeze, I was outside enough to see the peaks and head back in. The green room is one of the best: spacious, not green, and with at least 5 TV’s. Thankfully none were on, and we were able to enjoy a warm, relaxing afternoon. Who needs all that outside time?
Our friend Matt McGloin from the Oakland Raiders and his family came out to see us, which was great. We also had a LOT of familiar fans in attendance. I guess they were chomping at the bit for us to get back out as much as we were. I love the big stages and the chance to sweat when it’s 10 degrees outside. Thank you, Jim Thorpe. The town. I never met the man.
A short bus ride North and we were at the Seneca Casino, a scant 80 miles from the Canadian Border. Does the wintertime routing surprise anyone? Not me anymore. I often wonder if our booking agent has a listing of natural disaster seasons and books us inside those windows. Tornadoes in Oklahoma? Send in the PV bus! Snow in Alaska, and a 36 hour bus ride? I’ve got your band! Seriously, we are always happy to be working. I just like to hear myself bitch.
The ballroom of the casino was massive. The PA was huge, and the crowd was pretty spectacular. I managed to get outside a few times that day, and the 5 degree weather wasn’t terrible at all. I was kinda longing for my snowboard. Or anyone’s snowboard.
OK, so when fellow touring musicians read this blog, they sort of roll their eyes, just because our lives are NO different than the hundreds of other touring guys in town who play music for a living. We are on a fancy bus that breaks down, we eat the same food, drink the same beer, and make fun of the same opening acts. (I say that because WE are the opening act). What I say here is nothing crazy, but for me it’s a treat.
Our promoter that night sat with us at dinner, which was at the Casino’s steakhouse. I’ve been lucky enough to have my share of expensive beef, and usually casino steakhouses are sub-par. Not this one. The service, food, preparation, and presentation were fantastic. So take a great meal, and pepper that with wonderful conversation, and it’s a fine event. The promoter worked with every major star from the ‘old days’ from Sinatra to Jackie Gleason to Robert Redford. Hearing his stories of our heroes was worth the price of admission. And these are stories that won’t be in any book or any tribute presentation. Love it.
So we rocked, we left. Story of our lives. I suppose all my journal entries could say the same thing. It’s the ‘in-between’ parts that I dig, and that I want to share.
I must say it is very flattering and wonderful to hear when someone asks about our boy. He is amazing, and I do miss him when I am on the road. Showing pictures makes it a little easier. So thank you for the onesies, the support, and for coming to the shows so Daddy can keep him in diapers.
Thanks for checking in, and I hope we are in a city near you very soon. Upcoming shows are NYC (hello Big Apple!), Connecticut, and then in Ohio. Come see us while the weather is good. Or something…
See you on the road!