Shinybass journal entry 08-06-12

I had a dream this morning.  It was an awful dream about a friend of mine, then I woke up suddenly, gazed at the numbers ‘6:01’ on my alarm clock, and remembered I had a 7AM appointment downtown.  I wrote it on my ‘analog’ calendar on my desk, but the new iPhone was not informed, so Siri be damned, I jumped in the car and headed to the big city.  I am only ten minutes from downtown Nashville, and I am never home to have to worry about this thing called traffic, so seeing a logjam on the loop was foreign to me. Then I received a call from my appointment, and he said I may need to alter my route because there was a TV show being filmed on the roundabout at Music Row.  So let me get this straight – you are going to schedule a full TV production during rush hour in a key hub of the area?  Oh wait – you are from Hollywood?  Well sure, Mr. Producer!  By all means – the streets of Faber are yours.  For those scoring at home, the taping was for an episode of ‘Nashville’ on ABC, and the scene I witnessed was a bunch of young girls in cut off shorts and red tops.  One could have been Hayden Panettiere.  Needless to say, I bought some breakfast, pulled a blanket out of the car, and missed my appointment altogether.  Matter of fact, I am still here, blogging from my iPhone.  Jokes. Just jokes.  I did what every self-respecting middle-aged man would do: watched from the 5th floor of the parking garage in a white late-model Ford Van with no windows…

A couple months back, I was visiting my friends in Sister Hazel as they were working on some new material in the studio here in Nashville.  They have made it a point in the past few years to make family a priority, so on occasion, one of the band members will have to miss a show.  They had a show booked in the middle of Jett’s annual family vacation, so I was asked to fill in.  I always love playing with the band, so I jumped.  I asked where and when, and they told me a street festival in Alabama.  Hmmm, I said.  WE’RE playing a street festival in Alabama that day.  Connect the dots, (or count the dogs Shawn), and fast forward to Saturday, August 4th (which is now flashing back – try to keep up), and I am playing both sets at the Main Street Music Festival in Albertville, AL.

I will not lie and say internally, I was torn. Never do you want to piss off your boss, but Phil is so cool, he doesn’t let anything ruffle him.  On the other hand, I would be helping out my friends of 15 years, and seeing them is always fun, yet I would sort of be on stage all night.  Again, that’s not a big deal – I just had to schedule my eating and rehydration a little better than normally, and whereas I usually have a quiet calm before our show, I was sweating my narrow ass off in 90 degree Alabama summertime with the Hazel boys.  After the sun went down, the scene cooled off considerably, making the second set better on the temperature front, but it was easily midnight before I stopped sweating. Both sets went great, and I will try to answer the pressing questions you may (or probably may not have).

Which bus do you hang out on?  Well, since Phil’s bus was lost to a blowout and subsequent trek through Illinois woodlands, the choice would be obvious.  I actually didn’t spend much time on Hazel’s bus – just to talk some music, and catch up a little bit.

Did you get tired?  No – When you start out playing in band, it seems like the less popular you are, the longer you are forced to play.  I have done my share of 3 and 4 set nights, especially in the early days of King Konga, so 2 75+ minute sets aren’t that bad.  And why is it that you have to play longer when starting out?  I guess because it’s quantity over quality.  I’d rather play 5 great songs than 35 crappy ones any day…

Did everyone get along?  I did introduce SH to Phil in between shows, and had that semi-awkward ‘past/current girlfriend meeting’ moment.  It was all good.  Sister Hazel fired me immediately after the set, which made the set with Phil go much smoother, so I could just focus on one musical path.  Again, jokes.  Everyone was great, and there was even casual talk of doing something like this again, but next time I would like Jett to be there so I can actually enjoy a) WATCHING the Sister Hazel set, and b) the peanut butter pie that was in catering.  I had to refrain, for peanut butter pie, extreme heat and jumping do not mix.

With my ‘Double Duty Radcliffe’ routine over with,  my wife and I enjoyed some late-night hospitality from the good people of Albertville, who kept a restaurant open for us, and shared some of their better wine offerings.  Then it was off to Hotel Scabies for a few hours of recovery before heading back to Nashville.  As we drove past the Sunday-boarded-up town of Guntersville (thanks Bible belt), I spotted a sign for Cathedral Caverns state park.  I jammed the brakes and made a hard right turn, taking us 10 miles off the beaten path, where we found a quaint little lodge at the opening of a huge cave.  Well, sure I’ll throw some money down to climb into a hole.  I bought a pet rock once, which proves I’ll buy almost anything.  Hopefully we get more out of the cave than rocks.  Oh, wait…

The caverns were pretty impressive, and more so that the original owner bought the cave in 1952 for just over a $400 down payment, and also bought the 150 surrounding acres.  When the state opened the park in 1987, I am quite sure the owner was in the Caribbean after making 30 years of money from the hole, and then the government throwing money into the hole.  Kind of like it always does.  It is worth the price of admission, and neat to learn that the cave was once used by Native Americans and men trying not to get drafted during the Civil War.

There’s your post-game wrap up for the week that was.  Congrats to the Olympic athletes, winners and not-so-winners, just for being there.  You are better then I, especially at that whole ‘running fast’ thing.  And if you need a little more from last week at Osh Kosh, check out this little gem…

Here’s to a great week ahead and hopes that you conquer all your inner caves. Or something…

See you on the road!



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