Paul Rogers American and Canadian Club Tour

Notes From The Road

- Chapter Three-


Hello Campers...

If I remember correctly we left off on our way to Annie's in Cincinnati. We drove through beautiful woods with the Ohio River right next to us. It was a beautiful day, about 88 degrees, with a lot of boats cruising the river, and an airport about a half-mile away. To say I didn't want to work that day is an understatement. I pictured our boat in the river water skiing and flying over the countryside in a little Cessna.

Alas, parking the bus turned out to be a real challenge for Doug. We weren't told that there would be a swap-meet in the parking lot the day of the gig so Doug had to thread-the-needle with the bus BACKWARDS! As usual a great job. You know, it's amazing that people won't move even when they see a great big piece of stainless steel coming toward them. "That guy ran over my box!" exclaimed one swap meet seller. He didn't bother to move it as he watched the bus backing down the narrow opening between vendors. Thankfully, it was empty.

Annie's is a typical midwest club, low ceiling, a strange shaped room lined with bars but with one important difference. A great staff. Few clubs really delivered what they promised. Annie's was one of the ones that delivered. Recently remodeled due to flooding from the Ohio River, which runs directly behind the club, Annie's was completely underwater last February (1997). A brand new sound system greeted me. A Yamaha 4000 console and a new set of Turbo Sound speakers with Crown Macros for power. A real nice system for a small club.

We went on at midnight, which gave the band a little too much time to drink. It's hard to get a good sound if the band doesn't deliver. Not bad, just not as good as I had hoped, especially with the system I had. We finished at about 1:45am loaded the truck, got the band on the bus, which took some time because there was another bar next door that served Guiness, and left for a 246 mile drive to the Rock & Roll Capital of the United States, Cleveland, Ohio and "The Odeon". (Sorry, there's no link for The Odeon. They went out of business in 2006.)

Well, let me see...where to start. Passing the buck at The Odeon has been raised to a new level. No one, and I mean no one, would make a decision or take responsibility for one once it was made.

Who's going to be our runner?" I would ask for example.

I don't know...ask him". So I'd ask the other guy.

"Can't say...maybe he knows" pointing to yet another person.

"Who's our runner?"

"Hell if I know, did we say we'd have a runner for you"

"Well, yes, other wise I wouldn't be asking for one!"

"Well we don't have a runner". Finally an answer!

"Well then, how do we get the band here from the hotel?" I'd politely ask.

Hell if I know" the club manager would bark. Maybe he'll pick them up" pointing to yet another person. This basic question/answer thing went on for virtually every subject: sound, monitors, lights, lunch, dinner, ticket sales, beer, start time, everything. Its a wonder that a show can happen there, and I must say that despite the buck passing, the show went unbelievably well. The band played their asses off. Paul sang brilliantly. And what an audience! The house was packed. Cleveland audiences are the best. They LOVE rock & roll. Throngs of people greeted Paul and the band outside the club and they signed everybody's memorabilia happily.
One guy outside had a picture of Paul that he had taken in 1978. I showed it to Sid (the guitar tech) and he said, "Why, I remember tuning that very guitar". Sid has been working on the road for a long time and was with Bad Company in the early days, a really wonderful and talented chap. We all got on the bus with smiles on knowing we had all done a good job, we had rocked the house. Doug fired up the bus and we all headed for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a day off in downtown Pittsburgh.

Not much to do in Pittsburgh that we could see. Steve and I walked around town looking for some breakfast or lunch. Nothing, that looked interesting so we went back to the hotel. I went wandering alone around town and found a really wonderful record shop. The first level was filled with the usual fare, new releases etc., but I also found a great used CD area and an amazing LP area. Vintage LP's, as well as new. Downstairs, was a great big room filled with all sorts of music magazines. I found an area there that had every issue of High Times magazine, Guitar Player, and Musician in addition to many European releases. What a find. I didn't surface for hours.

The next day took us to the gig. The Metropol. (There's no link for The Metropol because they went out of business in October of 2003. Read about it here). A two-story cement building with a bar upstairs overlooking the dance floor where my mixing equipment was set up. The PA was WAY to big for the club and because of it's size, it didn't cover very well. Two huge cabinets on each side of the stage; one on the floor and the other about 8 feet in front of the other and 5 feet higher (help me!). There we're hot and cool spots all over the place. I was mixing on a platform that was about 3 feet in the air, staring right down the horns in the right PA stack. It was really bright and honky, but the floor was really dull, Paul and the guitars could hardly be heard, so during the show I mixed really bright and loud, ouch!! A rather small crowd didn't help soak up any of the reverb in the room either. The only redeeming factor regarding Pittsburgh was a great dinner. We found a wonderful Caribbean restaurant with a great atmosphere close by that served Alligator on a stick. Delicious. There's none of them in Southern California, sounds like a good investment to me! After the show I raped the dressing rooms for every bit of food and drink I could find (I found a case of Guiness in cans with the "widgets" in them...umm good). We bid a fond (?) farewell to Pittsburgh and drove overnight (again I got to see none of the countryside) 305 miles to New Brunswick, New Jersey (The Garden State?) and 2 days off.

Now if you think Pittsburgh is boring, you should spend some time in New Brunswick. We stayed in the, now, run down Ramada Inn just about 10 miles from nowhere. Just taking a shower was a real challenge. It took almost 10 minutes to get hot water to my room and when it arrived it was short lived. Once in the shower it was a constant battle between being boiled like a lobster to being one that has been flash frozen! Constant water temperature adjustments was the only way to survive. What a great place to spend 2 days off...Not! We walked and drove for miles to find...nothing of interest. We set out in separate groups to reconnoiter the area and reconvene at the hotel to share what was hoping to be some news of something to do...nothing; no cinemas, a very small (by California standards) shopping mall for some very boring shopping. We found a rather bland Indian restaurant and a rather good Thai restaurant where Paul, Steve and I enjoyed a wonderful meal and some good conversation. The only thing we all did was laundry, laundry, and more laundry. Two weeks worth times 12 people! The washing machine was working 24 hours a day for the 2 days we had off. We were taking shifts, some as early as 2am, to try to get it all done. There was only one washer and dryer for the whole hotel.

Lets see...the gig..."The Birch Hill Night Club" (night club??)(Sorry, can't find a current link for this one either. Seems they closed in October of 2003). A dirt road greeted us (Doug, Doug!...calm down. Yes we might get the bus a little dirty...I'm sorry you just cleaned it. Nobody told me it was a dirt road!) leading through the woods to the club. Another "interesting" place. The large grounds around the club looked like some kind of a resort. Beautiful trees, several volleyball courts, 5 swimming pools and several hot tubs. Outside bars flanked all the pools. All the trappings of a nice time (if only we spent our 2 days off there). A small stage didn't allow us to use our drum and keyboard risers so the band set up right on the stage, not necessarily a problem, nor was it the first time this had happened. The real problems started when I cranked up the PA. None of the "professional" sound techs provided me by the club seemed to notice the tremendous amount of distortion coming from the PA. I traced it to blown high-frequency drivers. Still the "pros" couldn't hear it (help me!!). The manager of the club said that over 30 top name bands had come in there and none of their sound guys had complained about it (boy would I hear that a lot on this tour).

"Well, I'm terribly sorry that they can't hear. I can. Please replace the blown speakers! I'm not doing the show unless there fixed".

"Well they can't be fixed" said the manager. So I told the crew to "Pack it up boys...we're outa here". I looked at the stage and everyone on the crew was smiling (Rick's on a raid again) and started to pack up our gear.

"Hold on, you can't do that!" yelled the manager. It was now time to play production manager.

"May I call your attention to page 7, paragraph 3 of the contract signed by you, where it says 'A first rate fully functioning PA system will be provided by the club.' Since yours is not fully functioning you are in breach of contract and we are not obliged to comply with any of the other terms of the contract, like playing tonight!" What do you think?? Not bad for a non-attorney. I was just hoping it would get my speakers fixed. Well you wouldn't believe how fast those speakers got fixed! A quick voicing of the system and we we're off. The Birch Hill shares the same wall with a disco next door. Their sound system was bigger than mine and they started just about the same time Paul did so there was this continuous booming coming through the walls. Really annoying.

We went on at 12:00 midnight and the band played a really great and energetic set, unlike the last time we went on at 12:00, the band remained somewhat sober. The crowd was great, loud and extremely drunk. Especially the 3 guys right in front of the mixing console (You can see one of them with the cap on the left hand side of the photo) They kept telling me to "Turn It up!". It was already loud. It's true, you know, you can't hear when you're drunk.

It took us a long time to load out because the stage hands were also...drunk. The runner was also, well...really drunk, so we had to have the drivers shuttled from the hotel via cab. Doug, of course, loves cabs...NOT! We finally got back to the hotel at about 3:45am, got a little sleep and set sail for New York City and "Tramps". (Sorry no link. I think they also went out of business).

Now, New Yorkers, as you know, are famous for their attitude. We were not to be disappointed. "Tramps" is a very small club, not the smallest club we would play on this tour however, and once again, had a pretty low ceiling. The sound system and the guys in charge of it, however, were tops. This was completely different than the production manager at the club. When I advanced the gig, I asked if certain things could be made available to us and was told "Absolutely, no problem". Lies. All of them. No dinner, no runner, no merchandising person, no beer. What!! No beer. Now you've crossed the line!! Look out Tramps...I'm off. As luck would have it, the guy I advanced the gig with was safely in the Caribbean. No wonder he agreed to everything. After some very, well, excited conversation, with the "acting" production manager, who looked and acted like he had been awake for about a month, I got what I needed and what was promised. We ate at the restaurant next door, got a runner, and most importantly, the beer. "Tramps-the Restaurant", by the way, is a really nice Cajun place with spicy food and typical New York waitresses. Might I suggest the Blackened Salmon. Excellent!!

The New York show went off without a hitch. It's amazing how that always happens. A huge and boisterous crowd greeted the band. After squeezing through the crowd to get to the mixing area, I cranked up the PA and rocked the house. A surprisingly good system for such a run down club. As usual the band locked in and gave me a great show to mix. Load out went pretty much as I had expected. I couldn't find the stage hands that we we're allotted and our crew was not at all happy about that. After some digging down stairs I found them sitting in an empty room drinking beer, our beer, and sent them to the truck. After that, the load out went really quick, I, at least, have to give them credit for that. When Paul and the band left the club, a large crowd met them at the bus. After signing all their stuff, everybody climbed aboard the bus. Moments after that about 10 cop cars with lights and sirens blaring poured in from every direction. A huge street fight had broken out about 50 yards down the street in front of another club. We high tailed it outa there and left New York for a 247 mile drive to Frederick, Maryland and "Xhale". (Looks like another one bit the dust. Read about it here).

The club "Xhale" is located in a small, strip mall in Frederick. On the outside you can't really tell that there's a club inside. We entered from the back and walked into a really nicely decorated large room. Large imitation stone like structures ala Stonehenge were all around. Every little area in the large room was decorated in a slightly different way but it all worked together very well. We also noticed that the place didn't smell like a bar. There were about 5 people scurrying around cleaning the floors, walls and tables. Steve, the owner of the club, introduced himself to us and showed us around. Now this is how a club should be run. When you're traveling like we were, simple things, like showers, become a real hassle. Steve, the owner, had taken the time, and at his expense, to get us a couple of hotel rooms at a hotel near the club. A very nice thing to do seeing that "Tramps" in New York had no showers and we were all quite dirty. After we had all taken showers and returned to the club, refreshed, the staff asked us what else they could do for us! Well lunch would be nice. Out came the menus, pitchers of Coke, ice tea, lemonade etc. We had lunch and went to work, clean and fed. Simple things can make the difference between a happy crew and a cranky one!! And, believe me, it's much easier to deal with a happy crew.

The club had a speaker system already installed, but had no mixing gear so that all had to be brought in. And again, was first rate. A great effects rack, nice compressors and, for the first time on this tour, a really nice reverb unit. Finally I could add reverb without cringing. A loud and lively crowd of 1285 people shouting requests to the band had filled the room to capacity. Paul and the band delivered a fabulous show, sang lots of requests and did 2 separate encores. After the show we drank some beers, shared some road stories with everybody, drank some more beers and said good by to all, stumbled into the bus and waved goodbye to Frederick, Maryland and "Xhale". We steered a straight and narrow course onward and upward, literally, due North, 472 miles, and another nine hours on the bus, to the land of "Cheers", Boston, Massachusetts.

Here was another chance to see where we were. I got up at about 8:00am to take in some of the country side. Paul was already up and also at the front of the bus enjoying the view. What a beautiful ride. For as far as the eye could see, colorful trees, lakes and streams lined with trees in full Autumn colors. I had only had about 4 hours sleep and was really tired but it was worth it. The combination of fatigue and wonder of what was coming ahead for us created a great space for contemplation. My thoughts wandered.

We had a day off when we got there, which was really nice because we were all starting to get fried. Doing 2, 3 or even 4 shows in a row on the arena circuit is not quite so bad, but on the club circuit, where everybody has to do so many jobs, can be really tiring. We stayed at a hotel quite a way out of town and even further from the gig which was actually in Cambridge, Massachusetts, home of Harvard University. I didn't understand why we were so far from the gig. Hotels were available in Cambridge within 2 blocks of the gig, at a lesser cost. Travel agent screw-up I guess. Anyway, I digress.

We caught a shuttle bus from the hotel to the closest subway or "T" station near the JFK Library and Museum. For those of you who have never been on a subway or "tube" as the Britts call it, have never experienced easy commuting. Stops everywhere. We could literally get anywhere we wanted in town, even to the gig, if necessary for only 85 cents. Jimmy, the drummer, Jaz, the bassist and myself climbed up the stairs and out of the subway in central Boston. Across the street in one direction was a beautiful park with large trees, leaves in full Autumn colors. Jimmy, Jaz and I walked through the park chatting and came out the other side to find "Cheers". Not just any Cheers, but "The Cheers". Well, what we're we to do. I noticed they had Guiness on tap. End of conversation. We got a table, some Guinesses and some incredible food. Of course we had to have some New England Clam Chowder. Wonderful! Is it time for lunch yet? Across the street from the "T" station in the other direction was a series of streets that were closed off to cars. Street venders were all around selling different things. Guys with plastic paint buckets of various sizes were all over the place playing different rhythms which blended together to create one great big groove. The sounds of people talking and laughing along with the sounds of the street drummers bouncing of the buildings, made for an amazing atmosphere. I really enjoyed it. The three of us split up to do some shopping and I wandered alone. After taking in more of the sights and sounds I enjoyed an amazing sunset with the buildings of Boston in the foreground and the trees in the park silhouetted against it. I just leaned up against a lamppost on the main street and took pictures. I hope they come out. All my memories of Boston from all my road trips here are like this. A really wonderful old town.

I take the "T" back to the hotel, turn on the tube and drift off to sleep...it's 8:30pm. An early night, the first one in quite a while.

Cambridge, Mass. is really beautiful town. As we neared the gig, we drove over an old stone bridge with a beautiful lake under it. Colorful trees were all around reflecting in the still water with groups of people rowing in crew boats. You know, those long skinny boats with about 5 or 6 people in them rowing with long ores...stroke, stroke...Harvard you know. Amazingly beautiful.

We arrived at the gig, oh yea, we're now at "The House of Blues" (No link again. The Cambridge House of Blues did it's final shows on September 14, 2003. Read about it here). This is the original House of Blues. The very first one. When we arrived we found the club on a very small street. Most would call it an alley, but in Cambridge its a street. The house production manager greeted us and showed us where to park the bus. Now one of the things during this tour that have been somewhat constant is that when I would ask a club what the load in was like, most of the time it was fairly similar to what had been described. In this case it was COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Well not completely. I was told that there was about a 40 foot - level push-in right to the stage. Well, the 40 foot push-in part was right, but the 2 flights of narrow stairs seemed to be missing from the original description. When I asked why I wasn't told about the stairs the response was, "You mean I didn't tell you about the stairs? I'm sorry about that". This didn't make me feel any better or make the job easier. Fortunately, the club had several extremely large individuals to help.

This House of Blues is a small club...a very small club; it holds 250 people if you pack them in like sardines. The room which is on the 2nd floor, had an open beam cathedral ceiling very much like a large living room. The mixing area was up another set of circular stairs which led to the dressing room. Just off there, was a small room with the lighting and sound consoles. Chris, the lighting designer, and I had just enough room to stand but this would be the first time we would both sit during the show. The biggest problem I had was that what I was hearing didn't relate at all to what the crowd down below was hearing. Real boomy and weird not to mention much quieter It was important that the band arrive at a proper balance without the PA first, I just filled in the gaps in the sound.

 

 

During sound check and the show I must have run up and down the stairs 50 times. Not a bad workout! The stage was almost big enough to fit our gear. We had to overlap everything. The drums were in a cubby hole on stage-right slightly hidden by the bass gear, and the guitar rig was in front of Paul's piano. This made for an interesting lighting problem for Chris. After sound check we were invited downstairs to the restaurant to pick anything we wanted from the menu. Ahh...the Jambalaya. Wonderful. The place had the same type of decor that the House of Blues in L. A. has only better. Lots of original paintings were hung throughout the restaurant.

 

 

 

After dinner we waited while a private party finished up and the opening act "The New Meanies" did their thing. The "Meanies" have been traveling with us since the beginning of the tour. A great bunch of guys from Winnipeg, Canada, traveling in a Dodge van with a (OH NO NOT A...) trailer full of gear. When Paul went on, lots of tweaking, running up and down the stairs and then let it go...the band’s mixing tonight. The show sounded much better than I had hoped (If they keep this up I’ll be out of a job!!). The band actually kept the settings we had arrived at during sound check for most of the show. After the show we all sat up in the dressing room for quite a while and tipped more than a few Guinesses (as you can see, a common occurrence). We were all talking about the tour coming to an end. We we’re all really tired. Two more to go. We packed up the dressing room, I loaded the bus with food. However the club refused to give us any beer. Oh no, here we go again. The club manager told me that he couldn't’t give us any beer because he could loose his liquor license. "WHAT!! You mean I can’t carry a case of beer to the bus?"

"That’s right", he said. I asked him how he got beer to his home. He said that he carried it.

"Exactly" I said. After a pregnant pause, he said, "I see. Follow me". and got me a case of beer. And just think, Harvard University, a higher education institution is just a few blocks away. Well, it’s time to leave Cambridge but before we got out of town, now mind you it’s 2:30am, our path was blocked by a marching band in full march and costumes with trumpets and tubas blasting away! Now we’re from out of town, but this seems like unusual behavior. What exactly goes on at Harvard? Anyway, all other unusual occurrences aside, it’s time to navigate directly to sunny New Haven, Connecticut and "Toad’s Place".

As we rolled into New Haven, home of Yale University, a light cold rain greeted us as we unloaded the truck. The first rain that we had seen on this entire tour. Lets see...Toad’s Place. A very historic venue. Just about every band ever to play in America has played Toad’s Place. A large room painted black with a good sized stage protruding into it. The house PA was an old horn loaded mono system with Ashley amps, crossovers, and equalizers. Someone told me that Ashley gear hadn’t been made since the mid ‘70s. The system makes lots of noise but has very little punch; a very slow system. The staff there was average. They seemed to disappear when you most needed them. The runner we were given said that he needed to do some runs for the office that would take about 30 minutes so I let him go. That was at about 11:30am; we never saw him again! Someone from the office had to go pick the band up from the hotel.

The band arrives and we do a sound check. We had a lot of fun; laughing and joking; lots of yelling back and forth between the stage and the mixing area. For the first time I told the band that it sounded really bad in the house (not really, but it made for a really great wind-up). They couldn’t tell if I was kidding or not, so I let them think I was serious just long enough to let them get nervous about tonight's gig. It didn’t last long. Someone on the staff at the club came by when I was talking to Geoff (pronounced Jeff), the Guitarist, to tell me how great he thought it sounded. Geoff just stared at me. I knew the band would be on my ass after the show, and I wasn’t disappointed. I took a continuous flow of shit from the band later that night. I was out numbered. There’s only one of me and 4 of them, but I did my best to hold my own.

After sound check several of us took off for dinner, walking down the street until we found somewhere to eat. Someone noticed a Mexican restaurant across the street. I tried to remind them that they shouldn’t eat Mexican food East of Arizona, however I was out voted and in we went. Was I about to be surprised. A nice gentleman with a deep Mexican accent greeted us and brought us some great salsa and chips, asked us what we wanted to drink. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I love Dos Equis. Well I had found a new home.

Dos Equis ON TAP! You don’t see that very often in L. A. restaurants. An excellent meal and a quick walk back to the gig. We we’re running a little late because we weren't used to going on at 8:30pm. This would be the last night that the "Meanies" would be with us. After their show, we all met in the dressing room and bid a sad good buy to them. The ending of great experiences together can be tough, but we all exchanged numbers and addresses and I’m sure we’ll be in touch. I’ve got some great photos to share with them.

Paul and the band came out and just blew the house down. The band locked into the pocket in about 2 bars and off we went. What a great show. The crowd went wild. Screaming requests at Paul. Really noisy and boisterous. I think East coast audiences are the greatest.

After loading the truck and the band signing a ton of autographs we we’re off. Doug steered a course through the narrow, misty streets of New Haven and took us to Providence, Rhode Island and the last gig of the tour.

Providence (different link) is a beautiful old town, like other towns on the East coast. Those of us that live on the West coast don’t get to see "old". A building built in the 1940’s is old by our standards. Many of the buildings in the cities I’ve visited are nearly 200 years old. But if you want old, go to Europe, but that's another set of Notes isn’t it...maybe next December!!

We played at a place called "The Strand"(The Strand has been renamed Lupo's) . A theater built around 1920. Somewhat run down, but it still has lots of charm and reverb! Cement floors, ceilings and walls with a balcony that overhung most of the room causing very severe flutter echo between the floor and bottom of the balcony. A 70 foot high stage wasn’t helping the sound on the stage either. Jerry, our monitor mixer was pulling his hair out. The room had an RT of about 1.5 seconds! Not an easy room to get a good sound.

The show was sponsored by the local radio station for their 25th birthday. There were 3 opening acts and a 20 minute video by "Yes". It takes a really good stage manager to get it right and right he did; smooth changeovers and a relaxed crew, very professional. Sound check was rough; without any people in the room to soak up some of the reverb it was really messy. We left after sound check wondering if the sound was going to get any better. We wouldn’t know until we got back from dinner and did the show.

We were guided by the stage manager to a favorite restaurant of his just a couple of blocks away. Union Station. A restaurant that sells only it’s own house-brewed beer and serves very good food indeed. Chris, Jerry, Steve & myself all enjoyed some of the local beer. Chris and I had a very dark Porter. Very much like Guiness. I remarked how much this didn’t taste like an American Beer. You’re right Chris chimed in. It turns out that the brew master at the restaurant is from...Ireland. Oh well, I thought beer in America was improving...I guess it’ll take more time for that to happen.

After dinner we went back to the gig to find a nearly full house. After the "Yes" video we went on. The band was ready for this to be their last show in America. We all exchanged hugs and high-fives in the dressing room before the show and went on stage with a "Mission from God" intent. They played with an enthusiasm that I hadn’t seen for about 4 weeks. Despite some technical difficulties with Geoff’s radio transmitter on his guitar...what a show. Paul, knowing this was the end, really let it all hang out. What a Voice! What a great way to end it. I still had trouble with the standing reverb in the room, but was able to deal with it somewhat. I got several compliments from regulars of The Strand who said it sounded excellent for that club. Thanks, I needed that. I wasn’t feeling very good after the show because I had worked my ass off to get it where it was and just wasn’t sure if I had done everything I could have to make it sound good.

Now it’s off to the hotel for some drinks. Well so we thought. In our excitement to go on stage, we had left all the electricials on the bus on without the generator running. What do you think happened now. Yep. Dead batteries. All of them. Oh yea, Doug was really happy with all of us for doing that. "What a bunch of wankers" he yelled as he was trying to jump start the bus. Have you ever tried to jump start a bus that uses a bank of several 12 volt batteries to create a 2500 amp 24 volt system for the starter. Yes I said 2500 amps to crank that thing over. Obviously we’re weren't calling AAA. Doug worked his usual magic and was able to start it using the generator, a 500 amp charger and some jumpers from the generator batteries. Doug is really good! Now that the bus was started, our next hurdle was to get all the cars out of the way so we could leave. Checking around, I was able to find the owners of the cars blocking our path. Doug was about to push them out of the way with the bus! We all met at the hotel bar for more than a few drinks. OUCH! I’ll never drink again!

As a side note, this morning I heard that the owner of The Strand was severely beaten while walking from another one of his clubs back to The Strand to say goodbye to us and is in the hospital. Our thoughts go out to him and we all wish him a speedy recovery.

A very late night, 3:30am, at the hotel and barely being able to crawl to my room last night left me with a real hangover, or should I say an overhang! As I type this, my head is pounding and I wish I had an aspirin. Our bus call for today is at 1:30pm, still it felt way too early. We all took group photographs, applauded ourselves for doing the impossible, a successful club tour of America with no fatalities (except our hair), and set off for Boston, the airport, and home!!

Hugs and kisses at the airport, a last good bye to Doug and the bus, I watched as the bus drove out of sight, silently wishing him happy and safe travels home. A last good bye to Paul, the band and the rest of the crew then we all went our separate ways. Thoughts of the tour kept coming at me like flash-backs as I waited my turn to check-in my bags.

Clearing security with my camera, backpack, and powerbook, I sat and silently and thought to myself while waiting to board the plane home, songs in the set still ringing in my ears. As I write this I’m at about 33,000 feet, chasing the sunset across America, drinking a beer and listening to Mike Rutherford’s album "Smallcreep’s Day" - a special album for me.

The beer has seemed to help my hangover.

Ed met me at the airport and drove us to our favorite sushi bar for dinner and some more beer, sake and laughs.

It’s good to be home!!

 

Thanks for the Music
To All, My Love,
Rick Hart
It’s not over ‘till it’s over!


Authors note: After I got home, I had intended to write an epilogue of the tour, but it never happened. Some things are better left alone.

I hope you enjoyed the "Notes" as much as I enjoyed writing them. Cheers!