July 29, 2007

Hey Everybody!

Just got back a few days ago from the west coast leg of the tour. It was quite an experience and definitely reaffirmed my belief in time travel. Every week out, I would think of where I had been a week or even a few days before, and it would seem like SO much more time had passed. That’s because we really crammed some giggin’ n livin’ into such a small space (that, and a whole lotta miles). Yet now, in retrospect, it seems like the whole tour just whizzed by! I definitely got back before I left, and I am much younger than my older self. Yep, time travel.

First stop was San Diego, and our very first performance was a live TV shoot for the “Good Morning San Diego” news show. We got to the studio, got set up, and were ready to play in 20 minutes. Then, they came back from commercial, interviewed Patrice in front of the band for a couple of minutes, then we played live. Ended up coming back and taking the show out at the end. All that after 2 days on the road.

After our 9:00 a.m. TV gig, we had plenty of time to kill, so we had some awesome Thai for lunch, and headed for the beach. On the way, I noticed a friend of Patrice’s, named Dominic (sp?), from Austin. He is one of those souls who just walk the earth - more like David Carradine than Jules, after he quit the business. He walked right by our bus just after we parked in a residential district, and I just happened to be looking out. He didn’t even know it was us inside the bus and just kept walking. I told Patrice and she went and got him. He had made his way out to California, and had been in San Diego for a couple of months. He had no idea we were going to be there. He spent half an hour talking about what he had been learning in his ascetic travels and the physics of the universe. Okay, so, what are the odds of that synchronicity...? Spent the rest of the day on the beach - a block from where the gig was that night. As far as the gig went - veni, vidi, vici baby! You stay classy, San Diego. And thanks for stoppin’ by... But mostly stay classy.

The next day was LA, but on the way, we had to stop and do another TV show, this one taped for a later date, so it was much more laid back. Just the director of the studio/host of the show and his engineer. Click on the link below and scroll down to “06 30 07 Rock Guest Patrice Pike” to see it:


We played a couple of songs, Patrice did an interview, and we hit the road again. Hollywood was that night.

By the way, I would like to express my thanks, yet again, to all my friends who came out and supported me that night in Hollyweird. It was overwhelming, and we had a really good show, so it was an event I will never forget. THANK YOU - YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. (:^) Plus, it was such a blast hangin’ wit da Pancho’s homies afterwards. You guys rock as hard off the stage as you do on.

We had a day off in LA, and I got to hang with some of my bestuses friendeses, including Kim, Reggie, Kimo, and Paulina. Backyard cookouts, drinks, and Talladega Nights. Can’t beat that for some fun! Dear tiny, 8 lb 6 oz baby Jesus in your golden fleece diapers... Way to go, Dad, you made that grace yer be-itch... Need I say more? How do you top that? Well, you get up the next day and head to paradise...
We drove up the coast to Santa Cruz, then up into the Redwood part of the mountains, to one of the most magnificent homes I’ve ever seen. The owner is a promoter friend of Patrice’s named Michael, and he invited us to come stay at his house for the evening. This place is sprawling, beautifully designed, and is located up in the Redwoods, on the top of a ridge looking out over the ocean some 20 miles away. The best thing about this place - the art! Oh my God. I have never seen that much cool art (mostly Eastern) in one person’s home before. Tres Cool.

We ended up doing a little impromptu concert for some of Michael’s friends, all acoustic with bass and percussion. Wow. It would have been cool to have it captured on video or tape, but it was almost too special to be experienced more than once for those who were there... including us. Gotta take a memory in the moment. And then there was Brad (drummer) and me on the 40-ft rope swing...

Let’s see, what next? Oh yeah, we woke up the next morning, Brad and I went for our 2nd hike of the stay, then we left for the San Francisco Bay Area. It was the 4th of July. Plans? Drive to Oakland where we were parking the bus for our day off, at the house of yet another friend of Patrice’s. Then, Brad and I took off for San Fran, baby, where we spent the 4th on the back of a party yacht in San Francisco bay.
We stayed for fireworks, but those guys had been really partying all day, so it started slowing down, and we left. We somehow managed to catch the last subway back to Oakland, but almost got in a gang fight on the way. Ho yeah... I counted 6 guys and their two girlfriends - recipe for testosterone disaster. I wasn’t paying attention, but somehow they got into an altercation with Brad, and were starting to get in his face and squaring around on us. Since no words had yet been spoken directly at me, I was somehow able to quietly, ever-so-ninja-like (kinda like Sara the clairvoyant of Team America), redirect the energy by simply grabbing Brad around the shoulders, turning him around and walking him off. I think we were gone before they knew what happened, because they followed us for a while, but tapered off. KEE-YAAAW!!!!

The next day found us at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, by suggestion of our gracious Santa Cruz art collector Michael - thank you for that...
That night we rocked San Fran with our friend Guy Forsythe from Austin. The next night we played Lake Tahoe, and then it was on to Quincy, Ca, and the High Sierra Music Fest.

Wow. High Sierra. Two and a half days of a huge music fest. We played twice on a couple of different stages (I think there were 6 or 7). Jammin’ at night. Les Claypool killin’ it on the big stage on night number 2. Meeting new friends - Hi Donna. Hope to see you at Burning Man. Thanks for the enlightenment... Oh, and by the way - all of this in 100+ weather during the day, with really no AC to speak of. Didn’t need it. Sweat is a great cleanser...
Next up, a day off in Reno, and kind of a small bummer - we were trading out bass players. John Thomasson, the guy who had been throwin’ the low-end, had to fly out to honor a prior commitment to another artist, and the new guy, Glen MacGregor, was flyin’ in. Brad and I bowled, and we all stayed up way too late in the hotel bar with both guys, just hangin’.

Next, a quick hit in Arcata, Ca, then on to Ashland, Oregon for late night playground rope-pyramid climbing and reindeer watching. A quick shout out to a couple of new friends - Jenna and John, and an old friend whom I hadn’t seen since the early 90’s - Ron Sherman.
Friday the 13th found us on a day off at the Eugene Country Fair in Oregon. A huge, artsy-craftsy-hippy-foody-music-y... thing. We got there really late, and were supposed to get kicked out, but someone grabbed Patrice and we all hid out in the camp where they make the maps until dark and all the human “Sweeps” came thru and kicked everybody out. Then... the REAL fair started. All the vendors and performers and behind the scenes people came out to play. It was amazing - a completely different world than during the day, with great music, great food, and a lot of partying.
Next, we played a really big club in Portland. More great food and great new friends. Then on to Seattle.

Day one in Seattle - got there just in time for sound check, had some more great thai food, and kicked Seattle’s butt. Day Two, went downtown by the Space Needle, performed for an Arts Magnet type performing arts school for advanced kids, then grabbed a ferry across Puget Sound, and had a seal watching-dinner-on-the-wharf / Jaws-watching-pool-party at the house of an all girl AC/DC tribute called Hells Belles. Ho Yeah. What a night that was, I can tell you.

Then it was up and off to Denver, where we rocked it in Brad’s home town. The Soiled Dove Underground. What a great club - really nice stage, and the sound was amazing there! Thanks to Rhett, Danielle, and everyone that made our stay there a rockin’ affair.

The last 2 stops in Los Alamos and Santa Fe were pretty uneventful, but they both rocked. The Los Alamos show was an outdoor summer concert series, and the sound was amazing there as well. After that show, it was Team America night on the bus. Yep, we had 2 virgins for that showing. The next morning, after an amazing sunrise, it was off for home.

So there you have it sports fans, my tour diary blog from the July west coast swing.

We are off for a couple of weeks, then we will do the Bay Jammin Concert Series in Corpus Christi (should be a couple thousand people at that one - in a huge outdoor amphitheater on the bay), followed by a hit at world famous Antone’s in Austin, and a Ft Worth gig at the Rock Yard (yay, another show in my hometown backyard...rockyard) on August 18th. Then we will head back to LA for the LA Women’s Music Festival on August 25th, and to Yosemite for The Strawberry Music Festival on August 30th. Stay tuned for further details on those adventures. WOOHOO!!


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