Shinybass journal entry 07-02-13
Get rich quick!
Good morning! It’s Tuesday, for those of you scoring at home. The bus arrived mid-morning yesterday from our last show of the run, which throws my whole creative drive a sinking slider on the outside corner for a called strike three. If I don’t get on it in the morning, I don’t get on it. I’ve tried afternoon blogging, and it’s just not quite as exciting as morning blogging. Next stop is midnight blogging, but you’ll probably just hear a bunch of jazz jokes and arcane 80’s movie references. Maybe I should hone up on my 60’s movies and change things up a bit.
Today’s lesson will be taught in short bursts, which is how I learned them, not unlike blows to the head from falling cinder blocks. The theme for today is “How to be rich’. This is not even close to what you are thinking, so if you care to be wealthy beyond your imagination, read on (and no, this isn’t a religious advertisement, this is just simple perception). To start this journey, we must start in Milwaukee (cue transitional harp music…)
The first show of our run started at Summerfest, where Phil has performed more than any one else – 12 years(!) – and I have been fortunate enough to play 3 of them. Seeing the die-hard fans year after year is great, but the energy bouncing off 15,000 people is infectious. and our show ramps up as a result. Having that kind of event to look forward to makes me the luckiest boy around in the first place, but my journey into wealth began earlier that afternoon, in several locations. First, my editors from Premier Guitar let me tag along for a ‘Rig Rundown’ of Mike Campbell, guitarist for Tom Petty. So in the early afternoon, I was walking around Tom’s stage, checking out the vintage gear and standing where very few have stood. Pretty incredible. A couple of hours later, we visited the best Italian food (and owner) in the world at the Calderone Club. The owner, Geno, is a longtime friend of Phil’s, and he stays friends with Phil’s band members, even after they have moved on to other touring acts, a true testament to the good guy he is. Geno took me in the kitchen and showed me one of his recipes, which I’ll cook for you all for the housewarming party. It’s the old ‘give a fish, or teach a man to fish’ syndrome – he has taught me something I will cherish, and the gift was not only free, but the knowledge made me that much more wealthy. And on top of that, Geno’s friendship, along with many others, makes me rich. Sounds corny, but it’s really true.
And the ’58 Triumph was just an added bonus, if any of you are looking to get us a housewarming present. And I even like the color.
The Summerfest show was all I hoped and imagined. Then the Calderone Club opens up at 1AM for yet another round, this one of pizzas and red wine as the perfect nightcap to a perfect day.
Chicago was on day 2, and as any Rand-McNally Road Atlas owner will tell you, the drive isn’t that far. We rolled off the bus to a chilly day, and our schedule read that we were playing with Gretchen Wilson for the St. Patrick’s Worlds Largest Block Party. I wasn’t looking for the party – only sun. The first order of business was food, where we dined at the Greek Islands Restaurant, an amazing place that is now on my ‘highly recommended’ list. After a shower and sound check, I found myself in the mood for a walkabout, with no rhyme or reason, just a walk. Walking in Chicago is different than walking in NYC – in Chicago it seems that the world is yours. In New York, the world is yours, but someone is right behind you ready to pick it out of your pocket. As I walked the streets (in my Pittsburgh Baseball shirt, no less), I just took in the beauty all around – the architecture, the people, the vibe, and again, felt like these parks, these flowers were mine – without the maintenance.
The sun did come out, and our show was a fun set. I then gathered Jefferson (our new keyboard player), Brock, and one of his friends, to meet up with some other friends at Burnham harbor for a night cap and to watch the fireworks from a boat. We were dropped off at the wrong location, so we had to walk past the Jimmy Buffett show (and the thousands of revelers), then take a water taxi to the other side of the marina. So in our misdirection, we were treated to a free concert, a free boat ride, and the most beautiful night time skyline I have ever witnessed. Again, rich without trying. Big thanks to Tim and his whole family for making us welcome that night. Good friends, and good times.
Next stop – Steubenville, OH, the City of Murals and home of Dean Martin (and a mural OF Dean Martin), for a pre-July 4th show at the high school stadium. Hot then rainy, then hot again. Such is life in the Midwest. Lots of Pittsburgh fans around (we were only 40 miles away), so it was a plus to get the final score while on stage. Sunday shows are welcome (any shows are welcome), but the Williams shift to my work week hits when we arrive back home on a Monday rather than a Sunday. In our arrival, however, we were greeted by two resident deer. I snapped this right before mama snuck up behind me and shot me in the ass with an arrow, yelling ‘Now you know how it feels!’… And on a side note – I DON’T hunt.
Seeing, touching, breathing, realizing, understanding, and appreciating. These are all ways to genuinely appreciate what you have, where you are, and your relationships. You can feel rich without trying – that park, those trails, that beach. Just soak it all in, and enjoy every bit of sunshine that is being offered to you. No matter what is going on in your life, 5 minutes of slowing down, leaning your head back and breathing can make a all the difference. Just don’t try this at work and fall asleep…
Next stop for the wandering minstrels is Prince Edward Island, Canada, for a show with Little Big Town and Kenny Chesney. Although I love LBT because they are always nice to me, I am more excited about getting to a part of the world I have never visited before. Oh, the places you will go! Thanks for all the support, and for making Phil’s single pop on the charts!
See you on the road!!