Shinybass journal entry 07-03-14
Are we ready for the celebration of our nation’s 238th birthday? Are we stocked up on Red, White, and Blue cupcakes? If not, then pick some up – and bring some to me. The wife is in the ‘craving anything I can put syrup on’ stage of her pregnancy, and I think cupcakes fall into that category. And who wouldn’t want syrup on their cupcakes? I suppose it’s better than syrup on the dog. Which is just a mess.
And speaking of mess, we are going to get right into the week that was, and I can shed some light on why this country is so great.
Our first show of the run was in the sleepy town of Lancaster, OH, just a stone’s thrown from the college town of Columbus. We played a bar called Mickey’s, where they set up and outdoor stage, and sold beer, etc – basically a big parking lot party. Setup was easy enough, and that left some time for the band to explore. My handy wikipedia search told me of a summit nearby, and I convinced two of the guys from the bus, Jefferson, our keyboard player, and Jay, our social media guru, to go for a run and explore. The summit was in a park 1.5 miles away. So off we went.
The run was mostly uphill, as you would imagine, and for that reason, it sucked. Plus it was hot. That sucked, too. When we finally reached the observation area of Mount Pleasant, that did NOT suck. The Native Americans used to camp up there, and now teenagers use the private rock formations to try and get to second base. Which I am sure the Native Americans did as well, but with less tweets. The entire town of Lancaster lay below us, and I could have spent another few hours exploring the surrounding trails.
If you are headed that way, look for the carved wall (like the one I am dangling from above), and that will lead you to the ‘Devil’s Kitchen’. If you walk PAST this wall about 40 yards, there will be stairs. Found out about that little nugget of information too late. The staff at Mickey’s was top-notch, and we had a great time playing.
The next day we were dropped off at DFW (Detroit) for a very early flight to Los Angeles. Here’s where the weekend got fun. The FAA and Congress got together and passed a LAW, not a suggestion, but a LAW to allow musicians on board with their instruments if there is overhead space. The hitch is that there must be space on the plane when you get on board, in other words, bags can’t be kicked off for guitars, but if on first, guitars can kick off bags. Now, I won’t go into details about how poorly run the whole process has become, simply because the CEO is hearing from myself, but it was tense. And folks, your underwear is NOT as important as my bass. I use it to make money, which allows me to feed my family. Your bathing suit is just fine under the plane, and the chances of my bass coming back OK is much less.
But as you see, we were in a happy mood regardless.
After a long flight with little sleep, we were finally in Los Angeles to play the Walt Disney Theater in downtown LA. This is not a theater from the theme park. This is where the Los Angeles Philharmonic performs. The architecture is simply stunning, and the theater itself is amazing. The local crew was top notch, and our backstage was filled with great friends and new friends, ranging from Debbie Dunning from Home Improvement to Josh Doughtery, whom you’ve seen in 50 commercials and movies. The LA crowd was insane that night – probably one of the more raucous evenings that venue has seen. The obligatory after-party ensued, even with a 4:30 AM lobby call the next morning. Ouch.
After catching a couple hours’ sleep on the flight home, we made it out to Taylor, MI, for the last show of the run. Detroit is in such disarray with the city going bankrupt (twice), and the crime problems. The spirit of the people, however, will continue to push the city into better territory, and hopefully will get people moving back to town, allowing the city to thrive again. Detroit is one of those true American cities, the underdog, and American likes the underdog.
Detroit is also home to Skeeto, my brother from another mother. We played together for a few years in King Konga, and seeing him is like time stands still. Always good to see you, my brother.
After the show in Taylor, I was ready for a shower. It had been a long weekend, and nothing is better than a long shower, then a nice 8-hour sleep on the ride home. If I had known this were in the room, I would have had housekeeping fill it up in advance.
So there you go, America. Our little lives in a nutshell. Day 1 – the ability to jog where ever we want and climb mountains : America. Day 2 – the ability to board a plane and fly from coast to coast with little hassle and the latest in gadgets : America. And Day 3- A city’s fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude : America. No matter what your political, religious, or musical beliefs may be – remember. This here country, as screwed up as it is sometimes, is ours. And a wonderful, wonderful place. Have a safe and happy 4th of July.
See you on the road!