Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 05-02-18

12 days. Almost 12 days.


The beauty of the gig is work. The bane of the gig is work. The best park of waking up is, in fact, the coffee in your cup. And then repeat until tweaked. (That would be a great shirt, right?) We love work in this business, and we also love being home. Sightseeing and new culinary discoveries aside, I think secretly, we, as musicians, wish we had one show a year in front of half a million people for a years’ worth of salary. Then we can Instagram how cool we are the other 364 days of the year.

But that’s not really the case, and the only time 500,000 people are in one place anymore is to protest. (Was Woodstock a protest? Discuss…) But even the best of the best, the Stones, McCartney, etc, still tour like mad to chase the dream. (Are they still chasing the dream? Discuss…) And what is the dream? So many questions. So many.

As a musical sideman, our dream is to not screw up. We want to play all the cool places, too, but at our core, our job is to not screw up. Not screwing up allows us greater opportunities to play said cool shows on which we should, well, not screw up.

That’s easier said than done. We’ve all missed notes, cues, pogo jumps (Jason Fitz from the Band Perry missed a choreographed pogo jump once, and now look at him – he’s been relegated to a successful career at ESPN in Bristol, CT.) and the road can take its toll, causing us to screw up.  It’s the seasoned pros that make the road what it is, with our intestinal fortitude and whatnot, keeping the dreams alive for…um…us?

Forgive my snarkiness this morning. The combination of caffeine and caffeine has me fired up. I initially started this post weeks ago, in the middle of the 12 day run, and I was waiting on the Northeast to thaw before I posted. Now that I see that won’t happen anytime soon, I decided to get moving and recap 12 recent days on the road in the vehicle we affectionately call ‘Home’.

When we leave Nashville at 4PM to start a run, we know trouble looms ahead. First: traffic. Second: it means we are driving a LONG way (usually we leave out at midnight). Connecticut was the first stop. A long way indeed.  At the end of the road: Infinity Hall, 18 inches of snow, and a great hang with friends afterward. And I managed to walk around this time. Yes, in the snow. I love the quiet calm of a snow blanket.

We then hit the beautiful Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY. I honestly don’t remember much about the day, except that I had a great room, had a workout, and watched the snow pile up outside yet again. I was looking forward to the next few days – DC, then NYC.

For the DC show, we stayed in Georgetown, and I grabbed a car to get my museums in. I almost like having the small windows to see things – a time crunch makes me focus on the day – and I took full advantage. I also walked the Georgetown neighborhoods, which are lush with stately historic homes and a mix of old and new money.

I woke up the next day on 42ndstreet in NYC. Like, step out, take a right, and in 2 minutes I was in Times Square. It seems we’ve been there a lot lately, and Jake and I had sushi at Black Sushi – a sweet, sweet place. Our show was again attended by friends, and I had a blast. I checked my fit app- over the past 2 days I walked almost 15 miles. Don’t threaten me with cold weather and history!

Then I crashed hard, for I had a 5AM pickup to fly out of LaGuardia the next morning to head home. The boys headed out for Boston (I think), and I was able to go home and be Dad and get some work done. My next flight was to Boston on Thursday, where the bus picked me up. I was glad they had a Dunkin’ in the terminal. NEVER show up empty-handed when the bus makes a special trip for you. (It’s worth the trip!)

We then did a flurry of shows through New England, from Shirley, Mass to Beverly Mass to Plymouth, NH to close things out. A couple of things were interesting about this stretch: First, I saw my first evidence of beaver in the wild. Sounds silly, I know, but I am a city boy. Like gnawed logs and everything. Second, there were an awful lot of churches in Beverly, and the houses on the water were amazing. And COLD, but I am going to walk your city streets and see what I can see. And the Flying Monkey is always a treat. (The early flight home was a treat as well…)

Which brings me to another point. If you EVER see a musician getting off a plane between the hours of 7AM and 9AM, that means we are probably tired, hungry, and probably grumpy. Approach with caution or coffee.

So there’s a little glimpse of road life. Lots of ice (and not the kind one would put in whiskey), lots of miles, and lots of scenery. I could probably call this entry ‘Ways to stay occupied’, which I think has been my modus operandi for years. I realize this entry is a little late, and the ice of the last few months is behind us ( I hope! ), and we are gearing up for a lot of great shows in the coming weeks, so I figured we need to get this journal back up and dusted off. Let’s rock, people. Let’s rock.





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