Shinybass journal entry 05-06-13
It’s not the destination…
It’s the journey. Not like new Journey with the dead-on lead singer, but like old school 80’s pre-Randy Jackson Journey. (Betcha didn’t know that, did you Idol fans?) I really don’t even know what that means. Maybe touring was simpler back in the 80’s, or maybe it was easier? I do know that before cell phones, we seemed to be able to roll with the punches a little better, since life does have a tendency to change on a dime. Back then, you called and said ‘I’ll meet you at the Mall at 8 – front entrance’. If you were early or late, well, that was it. Today if there is a minute discrepancy, there is a text. Then, if you don’t answer the text instantly, there is a flurry of even more ‘freak out’ texts. I don’t think people are any more late or early due to ease in communication, but I will say that the person-to-person communication process has declined dramatically. But as a feverish texter (ESPECIALLY making jokes back and forth with someone who is in the room) AND a person who has his phone out a lot – much more than I should when around other people – I am really trying to keep it all in perspective and not blame the technology, but the user. I like technology. I hate that I am sometimes, most times, all the time chained to it.
But because I am chained to it, I try to use my powers for good, not evil, so I take pictures. Then I share them with you. And the rest of the world on Instagram ( Shinybass is my handle, good buddy), or you can keep fishing in this pond to see some things that I won’t put on Instagram. Like miles of highway. Or food. Or highway food, since that’s generally what we get. So consider this a site for ‘bonus footage’.
The last few weeks have been a country-crossing blur, with the West Coast shows last week, then the New England shows this week. We went from 105 degrees to 45 in a flash, but then for some reason on Saturday, it was hotter in New Hampshire than in parts of Florida. Go figure. But from one week to the next things change, from the weather to the accents, to the hue of green in the grass. And New England may as well be the moon, because from Nashville, it takes a long-ass time to get there. But along the way, we do get to amble through my home state, which has some pretty scenery. Just ask the 3 other Virginians on the bus.
OK, so that picture with the cherry blossoms is actually from Maryland, but who’s counting? We had to take a breather during our trip to let the driver sleep, so we holed up at a Mall with not only a casino but a microbrewery. Tough afternoon…I actually spent the first 2 hours of the stop in the back lounge of the bus, on the phone with the bank getting approved for my home loan. Oh, the joys of being on the road. But I managed two great meals with a dear friend, who inspires me every time I see him. Not a bad day off at all.
The next morning, we woke up in a very different place. Strange accents greeted us, and lobster ran the streets like the Running of the Bulls in Pomona. (That’s a joke. I know it’s in Pumpernickel). We were in Portland. Not the Northwest Portland, but the Nor’easter one. And although the club was a rock room (low ceilings, small stage), the people were very friendly, the Haddock was exceptional, the Mexican food downright awful, and the sea and salt air a welcome burn in my lungs.
When we wake up each day, there is a sheet posted in the front lounge of the bus outlining the day’s activities and schedule. This is called a ‘day sheet’. We, as musicians, NEVER look at this document, because we are a) children, and b) lazy. So we ask the same questions 100 times. Like when is lunch, where’s the hotel, what time do we play, where the hell are we, etc. Well, I had no idea where we were on Friday. We played in Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts, which is a sleepy little seaside town with one of the best green rooms I have ever seen. The club sits on the beach. Literally. We sold out the show, and the sound of the ocean lapping the pylons beneath the floor made for a soothing pre-show chill.
Then we drove ALL through the night (about 100 miles) to Plymouth, NH, home of well, Plymothians, who came out to the Flying Monkey Theater in force to see the show. The town of 6000 is a beautiful little college/nature lover’s town that beckons the outdoorsy types and shuns the corporate stores. It doesn’t take long to roam the downtown which is located by the river (with an obligatory van), but if you do, you’ll find wonderful diners, bars, and of course, a candy/ice cream store that may or may not have seen our business.
For what seems to be a recurring theme in the North East, for the 2nd night of the 3 day run, drunk college kids were hitting the bus and trying to climb aboard. If you are ever tempted to board someone’s rolling home, be advised, you are trespassing. You know, the same offense that can get you shot being on private property…. And although that is an extreme reaction, you deserve the ass beating you will get if you try to climb on a bus without permission. As a testament to the level-headedness and general coolness of our boss, Phil quietly clipped his fingernails as the kids were all beating on the side of the bus, just saying, ‘They’re drunk, leave ’em alone’. I would have at least started throwing water balloons.
The bus had to drop the boys off in NYC (well, NJ, since we can’t take a bus into Manhattan anymore), and so I awoke to the skyline, albeit from a distance, and realized that it’s been at least 5 years since I have walked the streets of Gotham. I miss the city, although by the end of my stay I am ready to leave, I do miss it. I’ll be back, soon enough.
Your job this week, should you choose to partake, is to call or email your local radio station and request ‘Love is Alive’ by Phil Vassar. It’s a great song, and deserves ‘hit” status. That’s all the promo for now. I’m sure there will be more later.
See you on the road – A LOT – in the near future….