Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 06-17-14

Not until the festively plump mature female begins to croon…

Tuesday. I got traffic on my mind. Not really. It just fits. And I like music. This here journal entry was supposed to be completed Sunday morning, en route to our fair home called Nashville, but we got a little sidetracked. In a complete anti-climactic “I am your father” revelation at the beginning of this journal entry, our bus broke down on the way home. Yep. That was us on the side of I-81 for untold hours, waiting for, well, anything to help us get home. Our den mother, Gordon, found us a rental car, and we made it home about 7PM, only 6 hours late. That beats getting home days late. So now that you know why this is being published today, let’s back up and talk about how we arrived at this precarious position.

Day 1 found us on a foggy Northeastern beach town, known as Dewey Beach, Delaware. The rain on the way in made things not as pretty as I had hoped, however, water is water, and even a stormy harbor is better than no harbor at all. Our gig was at the in-famous Bottle & Cork, a legendary rock room nestled in the middle of the touristy beach area. With occasional rain, lots of fog, and some cold-ass water, we were not exactly ready for Beach Blanket Bingo Part Deaux. But we did manage to find the frozen custard stand (vanilla on top, watermelon chip icee in the middle, custard on the bottom), a big ass menu board, a big ass rooster, and later that night, a bunch of rowdy beach-goers that made out show a hot, sweaty, wonderful mess.

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And shades of things to come. In the attempt to leave, somehow our engine block shifted, with one of the belts rubbing a hole in a rubber air bladder. This is under the heading of ‘no bueno’.  But that’s not what killed the bus.

Day 2 we were in the historically significant and wonderful little town of Leesburg, VA. I could live there. Downtown had no McDonald’s or Walgreen’s, or anything else corporate for that matter, and that will be important later on. The town housed the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence during the War of 1812, and with the amount of historical homes in the area, I could spend a summer in Leesburg exploring. I did some walking and found Gen. George Marshall’s house, some wonderful Victorians, and this really cool gate and entry on a shady street full of 18th-century homes. It was a good day so far – about to get better.

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I remembered that I hadn’t sent a Father’s Day card, so I set out to find one. Remember that lack of corporate stuff from earlier? Well, that means no greeting cards, either. After visiting 2 stores, I was directed to a third, which was a jewelery store. I bought a ‘Happy Birthday’ card, and scribbled out ‘Birthday’ and wrote ‘Father’s Day’. As I was leaving the store, I noticed some aviation pictures on the wall. I stopped at the door, where above it hung a large display about the 5000th B-17 to roll off the assembly line. A voice rang out from the back of the store : ‘Have you ever been in a B-17?’ ‘Matter of fact, yes’, I replied. ‘And this past week I was in a Ford TriMotor. Want to see pictures?’

Before I knew what was happening, I discovered the store employee I was speaking to was a former B-17 radio operator who flew 17 missions over Germany at the end of the war. Oh, and he used to have dinner with George C. Marshall. As we spoke, I turned to his coworkers and said ‘You realize you have a treasure here, right?’ They knew. And I was richer for the experience.

The Tally Ho Theater was very good to us, and a shout out to Michaelis for opening the show in Delaware and Virginia, and for bringing their dog to the dressing room so we may all have a little therapy. Hope to see them down the road somewhere. And bring the puppy.

Back to the bus. That afternoon the bus was hit by an ambulance, knocking our driver’s side mirror off. That was fun. Later that night, in complete rock-star fashion, we have to call a service truck to jump start the bus so we can get to Atlantic City. And with no electricity, that meant no air conditioning as we went to sleep. Oh, those summer nights. But that’s not what killed the bus.

I awoke a few hours later in Atlantic City. The first thing I do in the morning is open my maps to see exactly where the heck we are. I was happy to see the big patch of blue so close to my little blue dot. As a former beach resident, this makes me happy.

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We managed a run on the beach before showtime, and I can now say I have been on the Steel Pier, which now is a bad carnival dream. I’m sure the kids love it. The view is pretty decent, and anytime I’m outside is a good thing.

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Opening for us was Lyndsey Highlander, who has a top video right now on CMT pure. We’ve done a few shows with Lyndsey, and it is always nice to see her on the bill. The show was one of our better ones in a while, pulling out ‘Save Tonight For Me’ as an audible, and visiting with lots of friends before and after the show. If you were there, then you know…

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So then we start for home. It was business as usual, then all of a sudden, somewhere along the Va/Tn border, we lost power, and the driver had to pull over immediately on I-81. Not fun. We were miles from anyone who could service the bus, and also miles from a rental car company. As it turns out, the computer was faulty, having nothing to do with any of the other issues with the bus (which we should probably look at), and it will be back in Nashville shortly. So that’s what killed the bus. AND I missed the Blue Angels at the TN air show. I still managed to salvage dinner with my wife, and we opted for a movie, celebrating an ‘almost’ Father’s Day.

My Monday was spent relatively unplugged, as we had a lot of catch-up to play, so here I am, plugged in and ready for the world. Whatcha got for me?

I’ll leave you with a little something to think about, and it’s going to sound strange, coming from me. As someone who benefits from people coming out to see shows, don’t get the wrong impression at this statement. Treat your family and friends with the same reverence and enthusiasm as you would celebrities. Don’t ‘blow off’ lunch or driving to see someone because it’s a hassle. If you’d do it for a stranger you admire, you should do it twice for someone you love.

See you on the road.


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