Shinybass journal entry 08-01-17

Happy Wednesday!

 

Here we are again, a few friends just huddled around a glowing screen of some size. Some of you are at work and reading this (SHAMEFUL – ok, not really), some maybe on your phone while driving (OK – REALLY SHAMEFUL), or some are just getting the day underway, and you have cozied up on the couch with some covfefe and a scone. And if you have time to bake scones, then SHAMEFUL.

The long and short of it is that we’re all together, bound by a simple truth: we have seen the sun one more day (until the eclipse on the 21st). What will you do with today? Seek out this wonderful world and try and make a small difference? Better yourself? Finally get the laundry done or change that AC filter in your house (you are welcome)?

Before we go on, this entry won’t have much music in it, and you might get lectured. If you want to read another bass player blog that might have some musical insight or fun touring info, check out (or just subscribe to) my friend Nigel’s blog at www.nigelknopmusic.com/blog I’m not steering you away from my blog, I’m just priming you for the weeks when I may not be in search of the world’s largest ball of twine.

First, this week, I am taking some much needed time off with the family, which means I won’t be on the next run up to the Northeast. I will miss you all, as I love New England in the summer, alas, I believe the bus shall return as the leaves change and usher in yet another beautiful autumn. After this week the band is off the road for a couple weeks, so I will probably be writing some bass gear-centered entries as opposed to travel stuff. You have been warned.

But let’s get you up to speed.

This week we had one show, but it was half a country away, so we have to leave a couple days early in order for the driver to get rest. This can be a bit of a downer, but we like to stop in locations that give us options to spend our money. This time we stopped in Kansas City at the outlet mall, which allowed us to see Dunkirk in IMAX, and take advantage of Back-to-School sales. Dunkirk is amazing. I have not seen a film that holds the audience with an iron grip for a solid 90 minutes. It’s just amazing.

And my new shoes are pretty cool, too.

But what else is there to do on a day off? It’s really what you make of it. We don’t have the luxury of a car, but there is a fancy electric bike and ride services, so if we really want to get out, it’s doable. We also sort of have to pick and choose our events. If there’s a cool band in town, I would try to see that, but mostly I stick close, try to eat healthy, workout, and get some constructive creativity or work in. It’s kinda boring, really. Next time would someone loan us a boat?

So the next day we wake up in Dodge City. We got the heck into Dodge. I pull up my trusty History app, and much to my dismay, I don’t really see much, even though I know Dodge City has a little ‘Old West’ history, so after my gear on stage was properly set up, I had to investigate.

Here’s the skinny: Dodge City was a rough town, known for processing buffalo and drinking. The Boot Hill Cemetery really isn’t THE Boot Hill Cemetery (the real one is a few miles away), and although the main drag is named for Wyatt Earp, I think he was a shady lawman. That’s just my humble opinion. The ‘historic’ places really aren’t, which is the sad reality of most historic locations. (Ever notice the plaque will say ‘approximately 500 yards to the south stood…’, which means they paved paradise and put up a parking lot).

I visited the Boot Hill museum, with the replica of 1880’s Front Street, and learned a lot about a time period that is just not in my wheelhouse. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the period; I think Hollywood may have turned me off to it, with so many ‘Westerns’. It seemed as corrupt a time as ever as we expanded west, and being environmentally sensitive, I shudder at the atrocities against Native Americans and animal populations in the name of the almighty dollar and Westward Expansion.

I am an eternal optimist, and I hope that when we go to museums we take something away – even one small thing – that makes us think about our future. Obviously it’s not in anyone’s best interest to slaughter whole populations, whether human or animal, nor is it decent to build a museum ON TOP of the Boot Hill Cemetery (which is what they did). Again, I respect history in hopes that we try not (but inevitably do) repeat it. And again, they built a museum on top of a cemetery. Just sayin’.

Jake and I had a great runner for this gig, and we asked where the best Mexican place was for dinner. We were taken to El Corral on the main drag, where I had not only the best restaurant salsa ever, but the best fajitas in my life. If for some strange reason you find yourself in Dodge City, then please check this place out.

So we head home on a long stretch of highway, which was once a path, then a wagon trail, then eventually the highway. I have my teeth, healthcare (at least for now – right senators?), and a comfortable coach in which to ride, and snacks on the way. It surely beats the hell out of driving a prairie schooner with a sack of jerky and pickles with my 2 mules walking behind as we find a place to homestead. And in the middle of summer. Again, hoping we take something away from our visits – this one is an even deeper appreciation for those that forged the path.

So I leave you with some things to think about. First, please be kind and caring to my substitute this week. Second, please try to get outside and enjoy this great summer. When (not if – see what I did there?) you go to a museum, then try to take something away from the experience. And recycle. We can’t necessarily change the world, but we can change our little corner of it.

Here endeth the lecture.

 

See you on the…

 

 

 

 

 


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