Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 08-28-13

We’ll sleep at some point…


Good afternoon!  I am typing from my secret bat cave, which is not really secret nor a cave, but as men we like to think we can escape reality for a few moments by making our garage or storage shed look like a sports bar and call it a ‘cave’.  I negotiated (actually quite easily) with my wife for my ‘man cave’ to be in the basement level of our new home, and as I started thinking about it – she decorates the whole house, and I get one corner.  It’s for the best.  As I think about it, my Farah Fawcett poster from the 70’s would have made a poor choice for our entry way.  And I may have stated this before, but take heed soon-to-be-husbands: All that crap you have been hauling around thinking it’s ‘worth something’ or ‘cool’, well, lose it.  It’s not going to be displayed anywhere in the house.  Just accept this fact and move on.  You’ll be much better off in the long run.


What we do, which is travel a LOT, play music, make a few dollars then go home, is hard.  The glory and status of being a ‘rock star’ is reserved for the true rock stars, who somehow don’t really need the money, yet they tour to make more money.  We, as hired sidemen, are not traveling for our health, and the best part of the job (aside from playing music for a living) is the occasional excursion that lets us take advantage of being in a remote town for a few hours.  (If this is your first time here on shinybass that was a bit of insight – if you read weekly you know that a hotel room or buses are my least favorite places to spend any down time.)


But as hard as it is for us, our women-folk back home have it even harder.  They have to guard the keep in our absence, and maintain relative sanity as the usual ‘man-things’ get left up to them.  I feel pretty helpless when I get the call about a massive spider hindering the afternoon’s festivities, or that the dogs were sprayed by a skunk.  Another helpful hint for the touring musician: Marry a strong woman.  You need the support on the home front or else it’s all going to go to hell in a hand basket.


And speaking of hell, our first show of last week’s run was in Charlotte.  I don’t have anything against the QueenCity, per se, but in my dozens of trips to town, I’ve never really had a good time.  I don’t like NASCAR, (although the Hall of Fame is VERY well done) I think the music scene needs help, and I can’t find a decent restaurant to save my life.  Someone in the area please help fix all this for me.  I am willing to go see any band or eat anywhere if you think it’s worthy of the trip.  Our show was at the IN-famous Coyote Joe’s, set up by local radio as an appreciation for local first-responders. I can get behind a show like that.


We made record time loading out and boot-scooted down to Sarasota, FL for a show at the White Buffalo.  This club has it’s act together.  They are not only very nice, have a CLEAN) dressing room, but the food is incredible.  After being spoiled at lunch, we were dropped off at Siesta Key for a couple hours of beach time before sound check.  I didn’t mind the distraction of green water and being surrounded by little sea creatures before I had to get back and get sounds with a soggy bathing suit and sand in my shoes.  Like I said before – touring is hard.


Our beloved drummer Brock took the big plunge (as in marriage) during this run, so we had a sub drummer handling his duties for the weekend.  Our version of ‘Mick Shrimpton’ for the weekend was Jake ‘the snake’ Caldwell, who used to play with Phil a few years back, so it was easy for him to fall right back in.  Playing with a new drummer puts me on my best behavior as well, and he and I had no problems locking in.  Our load out ran very late, and normally it doesn’t matter if we run a little behind, except we had a 5 AM airport call to get up to Syracuse for the NY State Fair.  So with all of us on about 3 hours’ sleep, we boarded a couple of connecting flights that put us in Big Orange country.


The New York State Fair is a massive undertaking.  The grounds are enormous, and there is a little something for everyone. We had a lot of time to kill, so after sound check, we napped, explored and ate.  Napping was the order for the afternoon, since none of us were on a full tank. (or full deck).  Our show started out fine enough, but then about 4 songs in, we had uncontrollable feedback coming from some unknown source.  It was enough to stop the show, which pretty much sucks for our audience.  With a little trouble shooting, it turns out that our sign language interpreter for the evening took off her headphones that were also connected to a microphone, so there was a constant loop of feedback as long as her headset was on.  Of course, we didn’t know all of this until much later.  It was a first for me, that’s for sure.


Our flights were booked for the following morning, but instead of Syracuse, we flew out of Rochester, 100 miles away, so we arrived at the hotel somewhere in the midnight hour.  After unwinding, I finally settled in for 6 hours of sleep.  After the night before, this was like heaven.  The flights home were easy and uneventful, and I was happy to be back home.  Oh, did I mention that the bus left at midnight?
So I was home for all of four hours.  In that time I had a list a mile long to conquer, and of course it didn’t get done.  Again, the glamorous life, right?


I am finally caught up on my sleep, and trying to figure out exactly what I want for dinner.  I know – huge problems here.  Whatever you are having, I hope it’s home cooked.  I could go my entire life and never eat at another food joint with an ‘s at the end.


Thanks to the die-hard fans who made the shows great, and for our new fans for getting behind ‘Love is Alive’.  Every little bit helps.  Next stop – the left coast!
See you on the road!




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