Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 10-20-11

Words. So powerful, so meaningful, yet sometimes so idle. We speak to pass the time, to convey our needs or wants or emotions, and to help. As soon as you say something, it can either float away like a wisp of smoke, or hang in the air like a humid New Orleans afternoon. It all depends on you: kudos if you have taken the time to choose your words, or shameful if you have just started speaking from the middle of nowhere. Often times, the latter can lead to problems, hurt, or lead to general backtracking. My thought for you this fine day is to choose your words carefully. I, of course, will not follow this in the next few paragraphs, and probably spout off some things I shouldn’t. Or maybe I’ll stop and think before I type…

It’s really funny what sticks with you after a long period of time. My ‘former life’ in King Konga took us to some great places, and the foundation laid by that stretch of touring has helped pave the way for this chapter in my life. A couple of days ago I found myself in Dallas, which, as I recall, King Konga only visited once, as part of a Lucky Strike touring promotion. We played Deep Ellum Live, and it wasn’t terrible, but we were not the hometown favorite in that particular competition. It’s all good. I revisited Dallas a few years later with Course of Nature, and proceeded to burn up the monitor, literally, at the Hard Rock. Again, not the greatest of times, but I didn’t know that until later.  I have since been back a few times, and each time, attempt to stick to my mantra – Get out and see something! This time was no different. My shoes were a-wandering.

We were playing a corporate event at Gilley’s, which basically means that someone spends a lot of money to put on a great party. I mean, they hired Phil, so it has to be good, right? They also hired the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, which I am sad to report that I did not see a one of them. There were a dozen. I saw none. Crime, right? Not really – it was quite funny, however, their ‘handler’ had them – all 12 – holed up in an opening act dressing room, isolated from the band. ‘Stay away from those band guys ladies’ the pre show speech went ‘not only have they chosen to be vagabonds as a profession, they lack moral fiber and direction. A lady possesses both of these.’ Yeah yeah yeah. My degree is better than yours, Miss Ballbreaker. Either way – I was in Dallas, and took advantage of the morning.

I had to get out and find a head cleaner for my video camera, but it seems this is not an everyday item, so I found myself all over Dallas. Our driver was awesome, and J-Dawg was along for the ride. After a couple stops, we found Dallas’ first In-n-Out Burger. Sorry California – that was the best burger your establishment has ever made for me, in any location. So not only did I get the head cleaner, I had lunch, treated the driver to his first In-n-Out, and then I saw Dealy Plaza. This is where it got interesting.

I am quite sure there are a lot of people who claim to have seen Kennedy assassinated. At one time it was said there were so many pieces of the Holy Cross floating around Europe you could have made several crosses, so trying to be a part of a significant historical event is nothing new.  The sad part of the events of Nov 22, 1963 are that there are still many open questions about the day, and the days after. No one is standing around saying ‘I think that John Hinkley came from over there and shot Reagan’. No, this shooting was unique, and so deeply unsettling. As Jeff and I walked the grounds, he gave me his theory, and I was just in amazement at the location. It was haunting.

We then started talking to a gentleman who says he was at the event. He showed us a grainy picture of himself standing on the street as the limo went by, and says he was 13 at the time. The strange thing is that I believed every word he said. He saw the umbrella man. He saw the puff of smoke on the grassy knoll. And he says there were 4 shooters that day. I stood in the exact spot Zapruder did when he shot his video. If you have been to Dealy Plaza, you may have experienced the same things I did. Like many Americans, I am interested in the assassination, and hope that one day all evidence will come out, although that day will never come.


But Dallas was just this past Tuesday, and I am supposed to keep you all up to date on things.  Last week was a run of acoustic shows.  I played one – the pajama jam in Roanoke, which was a good time.  I mean, when you are one of a dozen guys in a room with 500 ladies wearing pink pajamas, it can’t be a bad night.  We played with the talented Hunter Hayes and Casey James, and I was honestly going to wear pajamas, but I couldn’t find my Cookie monster shirt that Tommy bought me only hours earlier.  Curses!  The next day found us in Atlantic City, NJ, which I found much cleaner than when I visited with my Dad about 20 years ago.  It was a toilet then…

Our contract said we were at the House of Blues on the Boardwalk, so naturally, I got up and walked around for a few.  It turns out we were at the not-as-scenic Harrah’s, but my room view was pretty nice, and I came out on top at the blackjack tables, which helped my average for the year.  I think we are done with the casino shows, so I was glad to end on a high note.  Before the bus moved, I snapped a couple of pictures from the Atlantic, including the remains of the biggest horseshoe crab I have ever seen.


I started this whole entry with the sentiment of choosing words properly.  Even in a brief email, your words can have lasting impressions long after you have thought about it.  We have all said things we may want to take back later.  As I get older, I find that listening is more enjoyable than talking sometimes.  And when you find someone you can just hang out with and not say a word, then you may have found the one.  And my reason for starting this entry with these thoughts?  I think it stems from the new George Harrison documentary that was just released.  Kind words are always in fashion. Use them!

Tonight the bus rolls on to Kansas City then Chicago.  My jackets are packed, and I am anxiously awaiting a new video camera to be delivered today.  We start shooting the next video this weekend.  So bring your hearts and your party shoes.  Love is alive!

Use these next few days for you.  Practice breathing.  Not panting.  And respond rather than react.  I know it’s a lot to swallow, but you’ll get it.


See you on the road!


CRAP – I almost forgot my obligatory clock picture.  Now you can go.


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