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Showing posts from July, 2008


This is a picture of the Spa Motel lounge sign, sadly demolished about eight years ago in order to build a new police station. The dB's stayed at the Spa whenever we'd come to Chicago to play. It was not what you'd call a luxurious place; in fact, it struck me at the time as being somewhat iffy in its clienetele (many paying hourly rates). But the nice folks there, Boris and his mom, always had room for us, and that's where we parked and slept and partied when we were in town. The lounge was always pleased to see us. We were comparative regulars among the touring bands who came through the Spa. We closed the lounge down nightly, as befitted young rock gods like ourselves. The cover band from the bar across the street would come in and give us a hard time, which we always looked forward to. Some of the stuff they'd say ended up as lyrics to "Huey, Dewey and 'Louie, Louie'" from Paris Avenue . One time through, the band we were opening for (

Tractor Pull, Waukesha, WI

I like how the crowd is enveloped in the cloud of black smoke after the tractor is shut off. Nobody seems to mind.

Rained Out

Last night, about five songs into our set at the end of a ribfest in Des Moines, the deluge began, and we had to cut the show short. It was the kind of storm that kept our tour manager watching for tornado warnings. He knew we probably couldn't do the full 90 minutes, and we were begged to heed his request to stop, "only if I really have to do it." The tour manager actually tried to stop us before the fifth song, but he couldn't get the band's attention. By the time the song was about halfway finished, tarps were coming out over amps, guitars were being dried and stowed, puddles were forming under the Leslie speaker cabinet. I spent the last minute and a half of the song with an opaque tarp over me and the B-3 and piano. Another tarp fell between the Leslie and the microphones, so the song was finished on piano only. I made a mad dash to the bus where I stayed and watched marble-sized hailstones pound the rear view mirrors for a couple hours. I

R.I.P. Jo Stafford

Wednesday evening, Jo Stafford died. She was one of the first people signed to Capitol Records after singing with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra for years. Jo was a member of the Pied Pipers, a vocal ensemble that backed up Dorsey and Frank Sinatra. Her beautiful, pure voice and her innate connection with the lyrics she sang made Jo Stafford one of the finest singers of her time. Jo Stafford's other career was as part of a duet, Jonathan and Darlene Edwards. "Jonathan" was Paul Weston, Jo's second husband and a noted pianist and arranger. Jonathan and Darlene were created as casual entertainment for cocktail parties. Jonathan played piano with great gusto and lots of flubbed notes and timekeeping while Darlene sang off-pitch, usually within a quarter-tone sharp or flat of the written melody. They tackled (literally) so many standards on their albums that it's hard for me to hear "Dizzy Fingers" or "I Love Paris" without cringing in anticipati


Hampton Beach, NH. The school bus is there to collect supplies donated by fans for Hootie's foundation .


Today is a day off from the tour. We are in a hotel outside the New York City area that ordinarily caters to the touring trade, which means they have parking for multiple buses and semis around the place. Manhattan is not really conducive to large Prevost beasts trying to negotiate tight streets and aggressive cabs. So we park outside of town, close enough by train if you want to get into 'town'. If I was going to Manhattan, I'd need to not buy anything. Trying to keep a tight purse this summer and save as much of my per diem money as I can. A trip to NYC without a bagful of cd's on the way home to look at is not as much fun for me, so I'm staying put in New Jersey. It also gives me the opportunity to spend money here at the hotel, as they have a coin laundromat somewhere in the vast building. I've been out long enough to need to wash clothes, as I have not brought out a steamer trunk full of costume changes. It's not dire yet, but never pass up a h