Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 06-15-11

Well, here it is…


June.  Like the Ides of June.  Serious and for true.  This year is half over  –  no, wait – still has over half to go – and man, what a half a year it has been so far.  First, I changed jobs.  Second, I started a vegetable garden.  Third, and most importantly, I found a great brand of red wine that is not only cheap, but they sell it in large bottles.  But I digress.  I can’t believe what a difference a few short months can make in someone’s life.  And the only reason I bring this up is because I was home this past weekend.  And when one returns home, the inevitable life questions come up : ‘So, how are things?’ ‘Are you liking the new gig’ ‘You got that $25 you owe me?’, etc, and to be honest, the last half of 2010 was a miserable one for me.  The details are best left to speculation, but I will say that my smile is once again real, and my vision is clear.

But before we get to the new, let’s jump back to the old.  CMA Fest.  Riverstages.  10 AM.  Actually, the first picture is from about 9AM (we arrived at 8)  It was really, really nice not dying onstage this year.  Past years, we started at 2PM, only to want to die somewhere around 2:08.  I have no idea how the country music faithful do it year after year.  But we are glad you do.  Without you, we would not be able to hire a crack staff, like the 10 or so stage hands trying to ‘Raise Phil’s Piano’.  Much like the fabled Mt. Suribachi photo from Iwo, the count is not entirely accurate.  There could be a dozen stage hands on this one.  Fast forward another hour, we step on stage and this is the scene that greets us.  Love it and THANK YOU!

And this whole ‘sizing to scale to everyone’s computer crap’ is just that.  I think centering is the new left justification.

After our show, you know what I did for the next 8 hours?  Nothing.  I mean, I packed and did some laundry, but it felt really good to do nothing at all.  I think I was soaking in the silence because I knew I would be gone for a little while.  So we were on the bus that night up to a private function.  That is actually a very witty play on words, because we performed for the US Army’s 236th Birthday celebration, which was also broadcast on Armed Forces TV all over the world.  Talk about being in a roomful of brass.  It was really an honor to be involved with the whole event.  Happy 236th!  You don’t look a day over 200! Another perk – the venue was on the Potomac, and we could see the Washington monument in the distance. Of course, that’s not in this picture.  I’m not that clever.


Day 3 on this magical mystery tour took us to Norfolk, Virginia.  This is about as close to a hometown show as I could have asked for.  From the stage, I could see Portsmouth Naval Hospital, where I was born about 135 years ago.  I had my parents in tow, friends from junior high ( you would call that middle school now ), and a whole lot of wrong notes.  If you were at the show, you understand, but if you weren’t, then you missed two violent musical mistakes.  Let’s just say we promise to actually play some of the right notes next time.  But to mess up that bad in front of family is actually OK, because Momma still loves you no matter how bad you mess up.


Here are a couple of shots from the morning walk.  Hell, I was up at 7 (wonder why).  I don’t get home very often, and so I was sort of soaking it all in, even though I have walked the sidewalks of downtown Norfolk countless times.  My walk included hitting serious historical landmarks.  General Douglas MacArthur is buried in Norfolk, and there is an excellent museum dedicated to his life not far from the waterfront.  A second, and only slightly less landmark is Littman’s pawn shop, where about 27 years ago, I plunked down $110 for my first bass guitar.  The place looks (and probably smells) the same.  There may be a petition to include Littman’s on the Segway tour.


After sweating out at least a gallon of liquid in Norfolk, I was off with my Dad for a few days of vacation in an undisclosed location in North Carolina.  Upon my return to Nashville, I was greeted with hail, no tomatoes, and a small melon about the size of a racquetball.  Could it be the cantaloupe finally showing it’s face in my garden?  Will there be fruit after all?  I mean, seriously, this garden has yielded 3 strawberries, a jalapeno, one serving of green beans and 3, count them 3 sugar pea pods.  And a shit ton of lettuce.  That’s the only redeeming quality here.  Otherwise, there would have been a nice cedar box fire a month ago.  I’ll keep you all posted for the cantaloupe update.  I may even start a facebook page for it.

So get ready – we are shooting a video this weekend.  Well, I say ‘we’, but Phil is, and there’s not really a band scene in it, but I will go by and weasel my way into some sort of cameo.  If I looked better in a bikini, then I am sure I would make the cut.  It’s for the single ‘Let’s Get Together’.  I will be shooting behind the scenes stuff either way, so I can share some of the work that goes into a video production.

Thanks for your patience in this weeks’ entry.  I didn’t really want to write whilst on vacation, so here I am, sacrificing my Wednesday evening for you.  I know, the things we do for art.  Enjoy the rest of  your collective weeks, and to quote Gen. MacArthur  ‘Where’s my pipe?’


See you on the road!






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