Bahamas and Bacon

Here it is...the blog about our trip from Miami to the Bahamas aboard the Grammy Women Who Rock cruise.  It makes perfect sense that you would hire a band of seven dudes to take part.

Tuesday:

Got up super-damn early to fly to Miami to get on the boat.  This picture is before the door had closed.  I, for one, was asleep before we pushed back from the gate, and slept almost until touchdown in Miami.


I was awake, obviously, to take this cliched picture of the airplane wing somewhere over south Florida.  Behold the wonder of flight.  Check out all of that lower air pressure over the top of the wing, generating lift and keeping us from death.


We got on the boat with little hassle.  I saw the Indigo Girls in line front of us.  Amy had a baby strapped to her chest.  Emily was looking a bit harried in sweatpants.  That was it as far as contact with the stars.  I can't even say for sure that they were actually on the boat.

First order of business was lunch.  The seven of us really do eat with our phones out.  Usually it's happening in a shitty shopping center Mexican restaurant, though.


I ate that.


You can't see it, but Pete's on his phone.


I ate that.


The view from the port of Miami.  LeBron's house is somewhere out there, still for sale, I believe.


My cabin.



Nap time?


The Great Bencuya posing for the sail away.


Leaving Miami.  You can't see it, but there's probably quite a bit of porn being filmed in the buildings in this picture.


So...here we go with show #1.  Our first stage was in the Atrium (the lobby of this floating hotel).  An excellent slot to have because of all the foot traffic on the first night--it helps spread the word about us.

Not so great was the Nord Electro 2.  Far inferior to the Nord Electro 3 I use at home (and usually get on the road).  Boo.


Good first show!  We had a really good crowd of people walking by who stopped to listen.  I would even say that the room sound was not as harsh as it has been in the past.

The only hairy moment in this first set was the Love Boat Theme.  I had my chart, so it was pretty easy, though I play quite a bit of one-hand-EWI, one-hand-keyboard, which requires a review for coordination.




Wednesday:

I slept as long as I could.  Woke up and got some coffee inside me.


We were in Freeport, Grand Bahama for the day.  As soon as I realized where we were, I knew there was no point in getting off the boat.  The last time we were here, I had no cash for a cab, so I tried to walk to civilization/free wifi.  After an hour of walking to nowhere, I turned around and went back to the boat (another hour in the sun).  This time...no.  I had a single dollar in my wallet.  Not happening.

This Bahamas Celebration boat was in the slot next to us.  It must have hit something, as it was listing to port.  Wikipedia says they hit something coming out of this very harbor on Halloween.  The hole has been patched, but she still leans.





A panoramic view of the port.


My cabin.


Our second scheduled performance was Wednesday night in the big theatre.  Before us was Heart.  They sounded great.  Super bad ass.


Following them was Emmylou Harris.  Also incredible.


Then us!  Another great slot.  We didn't have a huge crowd at the outset, but it was decent by the end.

Nothing unusual about this setlist.  I wish we hadn't played I Wish, as I was tethered to my laptop on a MIDI cable with the EWI.  Pete was playing my keyboard and I was right up against him.  I'd guess it looks a little weird (like me playing EWI on the front line doesn't?).



I like the sound in here.  One of my favorite things is that when I step up to the front of the stage to play a sax solo, I can hear my horn in the PA, so I don't overblow.


Back in my room, the towel animals had arrived.


Thursday:

We woke up in Nassau.  I sent my son a picture of Atlantis, right off the back of the ship, since he sees the commercials for it at least twice an hour on TV.  It's right there!  This is as close as you're ever going to get, kid.


Panorama of Nassau.


Like Freeport, I've seen all I want to see of Nassau.  Just to double check, I got off the boat.  The area around the port is super touristy;  Hard Rock Cafe, cheap diamond store, Señor Frog restaurant, straw hat retailer, shady taxi cab drivers, drug dealers.  Check.

Later in the afternoon, the band got dressed in our finest polyester for a beach photo shoot with Will Byington (who does all the awesome shots on the boat).  Stay tuned for those pictures, which looked pretty fantastic when he scrolled through them for us on his camera.  We got all the way up to our chins for a couple of shots.

Thursday was our night off from playing, so we went to the Teppanyaki place for dinner--a boat tradition for Yacht Rock.  More rice for Dave, please.




Another towel animal in my cabin that night.


Emmylou Harris played again, this time in the smaller room.  It might have been the same set she'd played the previous night.  Still sounded great.  Her sound engineer deserves a raise.

I checked out Mindi Abair, smooth jazz saxophonist and vocalist on the cruise.


Some time after midnight, a few of the guys got up at the jam session to play We're an American Band.  Greg Lee on vocals.  I've never seen Nick with a Les Paul before.  Monkey was having some anxiety and exited the stage as soon as this was over.


Friday:

More relaxing, hanging out with The Great Bencuya, and later on Mark Cobb.  The girl in the picture has a great butt.


I saw Emmylou Harris one more time.  Why do older women wear long, silk robe kinds of tops?


Set #3 on the boat.  Rough start for Dave.


No excuses.  First tune, Greatest American Hero, I laid into the verse while the rest of the band was playing the intro.  I thought, "Why does this sound so weird?"  When it dawned on me that I WAS THE ONE SCREWING UP, I had no way to get into the introduction.  Instead I looked down at my hands like they belonged to someone else.

Of course, after the first chorus when it goes back to the intro again, I played the verse over it again, perfectly duplicating my first big mistake.  Nice going.  I nailed the synth solo in the bridge, though.  

Arthur's Theme and Lotta Love got cut, as did Doctor My Eyes, Listen to the Music and Two Tickets to Paradise.

The drummer and bassist for Heart sat in with us on Rosanna.  It was bad (I don't mean the good bad, either).  Not one you can fake your way through.





Thus our cruise ended.

didn't use either one!
 Saturday:

We had to get off the boat painfully early--a 7:45 AM call.  My phone kept saying that we were three hours behind, so I had to set multiple alarms (one of which woke me at 4:15 AM) so as not to oversleep.


The reason we had to boogie back to Atlanta so early?  More gigs to do!  It was time for the bacon gig in Druid Hills!

The ultimate show of self control--I only ate four pieces.  Pete had five.  Pete wins?  I had lots of garlic bread and salami instead.


This gig got a little 10 High-ish, with a breakdown and band intros during Brandy and a spontaneous performance of Steve Miller's Swingtown.  The crowd at this gig (our fifth time doing it) was really cool, so it was a good way to cap off the week.




It's almost mandatory that guests wear costumes.  Charlie's Angels were here, as were Ponch and John from CHiPs, Annie and Daddy Warbucks, and Scooby Doo.


No cops this time.  See y'all next year!

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