Less Than Total Recall

Another wild weekend of travel and hot gigs.  Here's what I remember:

Wednesday:  Knowing that I would basically not be home for anything until Sunday, I stayed up late Tuesday night tying up a bunch of loose ends.  Unfortunately, that meant that I only got about three hours of sleep before it was time to get up and run downtown for a commercial shoot.

Yacht Rock was invited to rework our original song Can't Wait for Summer and star in a commercial for the Atlanta Streetcar.  I believe they're trying to have it finished by the end of June.

I was asked later where we went on the streetcar, and I really have no idea.  We traveled the 2.7 mile loop, but I kept falling asleep when the I wasn't directly involved in a shot!  Groups of extras and a couple of band members got off at a few of the spots and shot things outside of the train.  Here's my bit at Woodruff Park.  It was, I guess, a nice break from enduring questions from people who had no idea who we were and why we were there, or--even worse--the frat boy who engaged me in conversation by saying, "I played saxophone in eighth grade."  I never now how to politely respond to super dumb shit like that.  I suppose, "Me too!" would've been effective.  Later in the shoot, he followed up with, "I always preferred alto,"...like I care.

photo by Peter Olson

Enough of that!  We finished up just after noon, changed and ate lunch, and then piled in the van for our trip to Sea Island for a private show Thursday night.  Dinner was in Pooler, GA.

Thursday:  We spent the night in Brunswick, GA, in a hotel right off I-95.  It's safe to say that we all slept pretty late.  I went for a run before we headed off to Sea Island.  It's already too hot!

Lunch included a nice spread of our usual backstage fruit, trail mix, and beer, plus BBQ.  We all signed this guitar (a door prize at the evening's big event) on the way out to the stage.

Golf carting to the stage!

Here's the view out the back of the stage.  Low tide was very stinky.

Off the front of the stage:

We were set up in an area right off the driving range.  At the time that we began setting up, the winds off the ocean were pretty strong--so much so that wind noise kind of wrecked everybody's monitor mixes.  Later on (after a brief sprinkle of rain), things calmed down quite a bit.  By nightfall, the ocean breeze and the temperature were perfectly agreeable.

photo by Peter Olson
After sound checking ourselves, we rehearsed with almost all of the guests (Eddie Money declined the invitation).  Everybody else:  Mickey Thomas and Stephanie Calvert from Starship;  Steve Augeri from Journey;  Peter Beckett and Ronn Moss from Player; Matthew Wilder; and Robbie Dupree.  

photo by Peter Olson
 Sterling came by to hang around off the side of the stage.  Great dog!

Pre gig picture with most of the guests.  Neither Eddie Money nor the Starship guys hung out with us.

photo courtesy of Matthew Wilder
A little backstage warming up.

photo by Peter Olson

I was doing well until we got to Matthew Wilder's Kid's American.  In between the last double chorus and the outro sax solo, there's sixteen measures of groove.  I got excited about trying to mow down front row of people and left those sixteen measures out, and as soon as I laid into the first note, I knew I was wrong.  The only thing to do was keep going.

The only other songs that worried me were the Starship songs Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now and Sara.  I didn't lay an egg on either song, but neither is comfortable, even after a couple of weeks of working on them.

Eddie Money appeared side stage during the Starship songs.  He was in pretty good form for his songs, and we got another dose of his jokes/stage banter, which Greg mentally filed away for use on Yacht Rock gigs.  Eddie's only Spinal Tap moment was that he thought we were in Jacksonville, and made mention of it a couple of times.  In his defense, it was probably a lovely night in Florida, too.

photo by Zach Wetzel

Here's my best story from this trip:  we finished the show and people from the audience began to congregate off the side of the stage for pictures.  A drunk girl came over and asked a few of us to sign her chest.  Monkeyboy almost ruined it by insisting that she expose more boob, declaring that he was unwilling to sign her neck.  No nipples or anything, but she pulled the front of her sundress down more.  Awesome.  David B Freeman sliding off her right boob and into her cleavage.  I gave her the Sharpie back, and we turned around and took several photos with the stars and various guests.  Three minutes later, I stood up (I'd been kneeling in the photos), turned around, and there she is again.  "Do you want to sign my boobs?"  "Hell yeah!"  So, David B Freeman right across her left breast.  Bam.  Here's your Sharpie.

Load out:  we made a big pile of gear, and then it was loaded into wagons pulled by tractors.  Zach met them at the trailer and packed everything.

I have no explanation for this, but it was funny at the time.

Friday:  back on the road, back to Atlanta.  We did our annual show at the Druid Hills Golf Club--always a very relaxed night.

New gear!  Mark Cobb's new butt kicker showed up.  For those who may not know what this is:  the green box is an amplifier.  Kip and Zach send him a low frequency signal (mostly coming from the bass guitar and kick drum), and the amplifier shakes his drum throne so he feels it much more than he would be able to if only using his in ear monitors.  This is a brand new system.  It looks fantastic.

This gig...I had a hard time getting going.  The whole first set, I was mentally about a half second late.  Maybe I was still a little burned out from the night before.  The second set was better.  Good crowd, and Druid Hills is always nice to us.  I went home with a boatload of bananas.

Saturday:  after a good night's sleep, it was time to get going again, this time to Lake Lanier for a show in Gainesville.  Nick was out, so Greg Lee rotated to the lead singer position and Rob Henson subbed on bass.

But first...another new keyboard stand!

This is the stand we (Bencuya and I) used in Iowa last month that we both liked.  It has the same features as the stands we currently use, but the construction is much better.  I think we have a winner!

I drove an hour and a half to get to the gig, and Kip advised that in a half hour, the weather would get bad.  Correct!  The deluge almost washed us off the stage.  I had set up most of my stuff, but there was enough of a warning to get almost everything back in its case before the storm hit.

The storm was over within ten minutes, but because it blew water everywhere, we had to take everything off the stage and let the local crew attempt to dry it.

After a second, less powerful shower, the crew attempted to once again dry the stage (there was no way we could lay in electricity down with that much standing water).

In the mean time, we waited.  Pete suggested that we try and play with less gear so that we could clear the stage quickly if another thunderstorm popped up unexpectedly.  It was a tough call--the organizer guy was definitely not happy about that option.  Ultimately, we decided to go for it with full gear, but quit early if the weather threatened again.  The local guys came through with a drum kit so that Mark Cobb wouldn't have to risk any of his gear.

Monkeyboy took his in ear monitors home Friday night and forgot to bring them, so he used Pete's regular old headphones.  I think he might have liked this option too much!

Here we go!  We played 8-9:30 PM--one regular set and a short second set.  The setting was pretty cool--this was the setting for the Olympic rowing and kayaking events in 1996.  All of the tables were full (even with the earlier thunderstorm) and maybe twenty boats were tied up behind us.

When we finished (but before the encore), about half the people booed us.  I'm not sure if that was a "Don't stop now!  This is amazing!" boo or a "Y'all haven't played a long enough second set and you're pussies about the weather!" boo.  Regardless, we packed up and got away from there in record time.  I hope it poured after we were gone.

Here's a brief article about the show:  http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/m/section/6/article/117330/

We have a slow week ahead.  The next gig is Saturday night in Duluth, GA:  http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/entertainment/duluth-concert-series-features-three-bands-one-place/article_f10e27fc-9c74-56e0-910e-05bc449db4cf.html

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