Boulder, CO – “Next Stop, America” – February 18, 1999

There aren’t enough days in February!  I’m running on empty trying to juggle shows, placate my boyfriend, and find new bandmates for a tour that’s only 2 weeks away. I’m more than a little exhausted. 

This weekend I played a masquerade ball at The Foundry with The Women From Mars gals. It’s an honor to be part of this band of local, badass, musical babes who perform monthly to benefit breast cancer research.  Backstage, before the show we painted flowers on each other’s cheeks, picked out feathered masks to match outfits, and sprinkled each other’s hair with glitter.  The night was juicy with feminine energy and it was heart healing to be surrounded by my mountain sisters: Wendy Woo, Jude, Nicole Jamrose, Liza Oxnard, and Libby Kirkpatrick.

It happened when I was onstage. I was singing my guts out, celebrating my womanhood, and embracing the crowd when I saw my boyfriend get sucker punched in the eye near the back of the club.  I don’t think I gasped audibly but it was a shock.  He yelled at me about it as I tried to pack up my guitar after my set, as though I’d had anything to do with it.  I didn’t have time to argue.  I was late to open for James McMurtry at The Fox.  I left Kipp with a rapidly blooming black eye in a haze of gold glitter and partridge feathers. As I apologized for leaving he yelled after me “It’s obvious music’s your priority and I’m last on your list!!”  I hated to admit it to myself, as I pulled out of one club and headed to the next, but he wasn’t wrong.  I’m moving so fast these days that the Roadrunner would have a hard time keeping up. 

I don’t know how it happened but miraculously, we managed to patch the gaps in our sinking band.  Chris Dellucci, recently unaffiliated after Zuba broke up last month, agreed to be our sound man and HE IS AWESOME!!!!!   Not only is he talented at amplifying the individual ingredients of a band, he delivers a holistic musical meal to an audience. If that weren’t enough, he insists he loves driving vans! and doesn’t mind taking late-night, long stretches behind the wheel. 

The morning ‘Dellucci’ agreed to go on tour with us, I took him out to breakfast at Dot’s Diner. Over cheddar-soaked hashbrowns, he unfurled a road map. On it, he’d marked his favorite vegetarian restaurants around the country in black Sharpie.  Together we traced highways with our fingers, agreeing on routes that took us passed interesting road side attractions and cultural activities. Finished with the map, Delluchi slid a rubber band around it’s coiled waist and hauled a “Fairfield Inn” directory the size of a phone book onto the red lanolium table top. He said he had friends who could get us deals on hotel rooms for us for $45-60 bucks a night. “I can also advance shows if you want!” I nearly died and went to heaven.  I can’t overstate what a win Chris Dellucci is for our band.

Chris Dellucci, Soundman Extrordinare

On Saturday Brian, Kenny, and I auditioned guitar players all afternoon.  Four of them were contenders and following our last audition, Brian, Kenny and I, convened in a crowded bathroom to discuss our takes.   Disinfectants and mops hanging by a string to their poles, threatened to topple at our every move.  Brian sat on the toilet to give Kenny and me more room and started stretching his exhausted forearms.

“What’da’ya think?” I whispered as we huddled in the privacy of the cramped space.  It might be MY band but we all have to have a say in this choice.  We’ll be living in tight quarters for months on end after all, and it’s no good, my hiring someone I like, that might piss another player off and make him want to quit.  

“I thought that first guy had a good pocket,” said Brian. 

Kenny chimed in. “Yeah, I thought the first guy was good but that guy out there now, the kindergarten teacher, Chris, is that his name?”

“Yeah.  Chris Soucy,” I said.

“Yeah, Chris Soucy.  He’s the one.”

Chris had been awesome.  He was solid in all the right places.  He came to the audition prepared with all the songs memorized, a great sense of rhythm, little to no ego, a stellar attitude, and the willingness to climb in a van with a group of strangers to travel the country for little money and no promises.

“I agree,” I said, relieved Kenny and I were on the same page about the kindergarten teacher.  With one hand on the nob, ready to seal the deal, I raised my eyebrows, “Bri?” There was hardly a moment to spare.  With Brian’s buy-in, the band would have itself a new guitarist.

“Yeah.  He’s the one.”  Said Brain

I threw the bathroom door open with a smile. “Chris.  Quit your day job.  You’ve got the gig.  Can you start rehearsing right now?”  And with that, the Sally Taylor Band ship was afloat again and pointed toward the west coast.  We rehearsed all night.

Chris Soucy, Guitarist (formerly known as kindergarten teacher)

Who knows what the future has in store. All I know is we’re ready for our first national tour. America, here we come!

….But first, a few more gigs in Colorado to test drive new songs and get our road-dog sea legs under us.

Boulder, CO – “Losing MORE of my Band” – February 4, 1999

Dang!…I lost another guitar player yesterday and a soundman to boot. 

I met up with Greg Mcrae at “Robb’s Music,” the store I visited when I first moved to town to tare “LEAD SINGER WANTED” tags off local band fliers when I was still living in my car.  Together, Greg and I ambled to “Sandy’s” for coffee.  He was predictably heavy, like an overcast sky and I was anxious and overcompensating and filling silences with uninteresting antidotes.

The truth I was trying to dance around is that Greg, while a great sound engineer and a stand-up guy and, frankly, a total trouper for filling in for Jeremy since his departure, is not a great guitar player.  Honestly, he’d be the first to admit it.  But it didn’t lessen the blow when I asked him last week if he’d be willing to continue with us next tour as our sound man instead of guitarist.  I understood his disappointment entirely and felt terrible I’d leaned so heavily on him the last couple of months only to banish him from the spotlight. I’m sure he felt the transition was a demotion and his sideway glances confirmed my suspicion.

Sandy’s was alive with busy waitresses whiping their hands on soiled aprons and taking orders with sharp pencils and pursed lips. Caffeinated teaspoons clattered like dull swards in caffeinated beverages.  Claiming a booth, I showed Greg a list of shows and venues booked for our first West Coast tour starting in March.  He slouched against the hard, orange, pleather seat and in a harsh, detergent-like voice said, “$350 a week?!?” 

“Yeah, I mean, I’m losing money on the tour,” I chewed on my words and rolled a bit of napkin between my fingers to abate my anxiety.  I didn’t mention I’d already asked around town about the going rate for a touring sound engineer and everyone reassured me my offer was a great deal).

“These venues suck,” he didn’t look up from the sheet.  With a smudge for a pair of lips and a sigh of resignation, I said, “That’s what we’ve got.”

“I mean, I might be more interested if these were better-sounding rooms but these’ll just suck.” He punctuated the last word like a frog catching a fly.

“You know man,” I said, hoping I sounded more sympathetic than pathetic, “I don’t want you to do it if you’re not psyched.  I mean, the last thing I want on the road is someone who doesn’t want to be there.”

“–The truth is,” he cut me off, “I’m thinking about getting out of the music business altogether.  I think I might try to get a real job while I still can.”  He squinted at the inked tour dates like they were tea leaves that might tell his future. 

We sat in silence for a sip or two before he put the paper down.

“But maybe I’ll change my mind, who knows.”  

He stood up and chucked a buck on the linoleum. My racing mind straddled two tracks.  The first track had me convinced: “I’m done.  I’m going to have to cancel this tour. I can’t find a guitarist AND a soundman in less than an month.”  But the other track reassured me, “This is a blessing in disguise.  All of this is happening for a reason.”

Los Angeles, CA – “Take Another Little Piece of My Heart Now Baby” – January 28, 1999

I awoke with my insecurities screaming.  My nighttime demons haven’t visited me in quite some time and I feel their abuse more intensely as a result.   Without Kipp, I have no one except my pen and journal to console me. The last resident in this hotel room smoked cigars, I’m sure of it, despite the “Smoke-Free Room” signs plastered everywhere and the sweet-stale stench adds insult to injury.

In the dream I just arrived from, I’d been on the phone with my lawyer finishing up a conversation when I “by the way” -ed him.

“By the way, Fred, what’s up with that movie soundtrack we were going out for?  ‘Anywhere But Here.’  Did the producers like Mom’s and my song “Amity” for it?” Pause.

“Uh…..” said dream Fred, “we didn’t get it.”  My dream heart felt soggy.

“Really?  We didn’t get it?  I thought it was a done deal.  Do you know why they passed on it?”

“Yes,” Said Fred “but I don’t think I should tell you…” I woke up feeling guilty, exhausted, and frantic.

I lie in the dark, holding my breath, eyes shut thinking about the audition I have tomorrow for the role of Janis Joplin.  After my ego-petting-zoo experience playing at the Hollywood Bowl with Dad, I somehow wound up with a movie agent despite my disinterest or talent.  Nevertheless, Rick Ax, having seen me perform, insists I have natural talent and sends me for auditions whenever I noncommittally roll through town for music-related things.  I’ve read for “High Fidelity,” “Coyote Ugly” and “Three Kings” and nothing has ever come of it, and never before have I cared.  But… playing Janis in a movie depicting her life would be something else.

I stare at the space between my blanket hem and a crooked sprinkler in the blue-grey ceiling, clutching my anxious rabbit of a heart.   I imagine myself in a casting director’s office trying to mimic Janis Joplin, an impossible task if there ever was one. As I read the lines, everyone starts laughing at me. 

“Sorry, sorry,” they apologize not being able to help themselves, “Please go on,” they insist before exploding into uncontrollable hysterics again.

I turn over, nearly taking out the Aztec-patterned lamp on the bedside table in this wretched downtown Hollywood hotel. I’m hoping to shake the night demons but they come at me from a new angle: Music.   

I hear people saying, “I don’t hear the hit.”  “Where’s the single?” I’m desperate and sad and letting everyone down.  I’ve gotten way over my head.  I feel trapped.  I’ve got to get out of here!!!

It’s noon:30 when I wake up again, slightly hungover. I splash water on my face and answer the door when Scott Sax, my writing partner from Warner-Chappel, knocks.  He drives the demons out with his funky suit jacket and Puff Daddy hat and his sweet, cool, funny vibe.

Together, we partially write, two songs, “All This Time,” and “March Like Soldiers.” He is a lifesaver. I am honored to get to write with him. Thank GOD he came when he did.

Los Angeles, CA – “Snapshot at a Quarter Century ” – January 6, 1999

It’s the day before my 25th birthday and my moods are as tropical as a pina colada.  I cannot stand the way I feel in my skin.  I look fat and bloated especially when I smile which makes me frown and feel worse.  My eyelids feel too heavy to open and my hair feels like straw.  

The fact that it’s a glorious day and I’m in a green Mustang convertible, sipping a mocha frappuccino outside a Starbucks on Sunset Strip just proves that happiness is not contingent on external circumstances.  Joy is an inside job. 

Let’s see, how can I summersault myself into a different way of metabolizing this moment….

I’m wearing my tight red sweater.  Golden, shoe-string braids hang lightly over my shoulders. The breeze is cool on my cheeks and life is actually pretty sweet.  I mean fuck it,that my new barrettes flew out of the window as I cruised down the 10.  Fuck it that my pants feel tight around my waist.  I am a totally powerful babe and pitying myself for being a woman is not, and has never been helpful.

There, that’s better.

Dad called while I was grabbing breakfast at “The Firehouse” in Venice.  Over an egg white omelet and hot coco, he congratulated me on making it to a quarter century.

“You’re half my age and you’ll never be younger than half my age EVER again!” He reported enthusiastically which I thought was a very dad-like calculation to have made.  I thanked him for inviting me to this life and letting me tag along for a while on his.  He liked that.

“That’s a good thing for you to say my Sal.”

Aspen, CO – “Post-Gig Gifts” -The Howlin’ Wolf – December 29, 1998

We’ve played The Howling Wolf two nights in a row.

My audience is so generous.  People shower me with unmerited gifts after shows.  Some give me pot, some mushrooms, some validation, some drunken hugs, and sometimes someone gives me pieces of myself I thought I’d lost for good or didn’t even know to miss.  Sometimes it’s a photograph or the recollection of a summer day our paths crossed at a county fair.  These are the most precious of post-gig gifts. The true benefit of celebrity affiliation is that people collect pieces of your life you didn’t know to make precious in the moment. Here are a few such gifts.

Vail, CO – “Pre-Famous Faces” – Garton’s – December 21, 1998

On Garton’s walls, hang pictures of bands playing on its stage before they were famous.  A barely recognizable 23-year-old Sheryl Crow with what looks like a blond poodle glued to her head rocks out from an unpresumptuous black frame.  A framed, faded press clipping reads “Dave Matthews Band plays Gatrton’s,” and shows what looks like a picture of a glorified high school garageband.  There are many other impressive pre-famous faces entombed in glass and unimpressive frames bolted to Garton’s walls.  I felt grateful to be among such a crew of musicians.

The show was a huge success.   I managed to sell 40 CDs! and finally (phew) made a profit ($100 bucks) on a gig alone. 

The band stayed up late, long past closing time. Long after the audience had gone home and the bolts on the doors had bit their mechanical locks. With the staff and bartenders we drank wine and played pool and a handsome guy named Dax from LA flirted with me and I let him. When we left the club at 3:00, Dax carried my guitar down to the van to say goodnight. He kissed me a little goodbye too.

The band condo was a refrigerator with beige rugs to hide beige stains and cigarette burns.  Out of three rooms, I got the one with the king-size bed.  With an unexpected 5th wave of energy, we gathered out in the living room, perched on the arms of tweed couches and rummaged through plastic swag bags generously left for us from the staff at Garton’s.  We traded each other chocolates for granola bars and Advil for Dentine. I found a pair of black sweatpants in the closet and put them on.  It was cold and I didn’t care whose they were.  We fell asleep one step ahead of the sun. The next afternoon, on our way back to Boulder, the boys bought me floor mats for Moby for Christmas.  They’re the best.

Breckenridge, CO – “Camp-Smoke-A-Lot-A-Ganga” – Joshua’s – December 19, 1998

I slept amongst moth balls last night after our Breck show in our sound guy, Howard’s basement. Howard is probably the nicest guy I’ve ever met but his windowless, cement, cellar walls reminded me of a prison cell. I fell asleep to The Door’s, singing “This is the End.” Plumes of ganga smoke made phantom, puppet-like shadows against vibrant red and orange hallucinogenic posters stuck to the wall with masking tape.  In the night, the cold crept between the felting in my supplied wool army green blanket like an unwelcome lover. As I struggled to recall the events of the show earlier, I regretted taking that final hit off of Howard’s Alice In Wonderland-looking hooka pipe.

The drive to Breckenridge had been breathtaking I recalled, with arrow-sharp switchbacks, each offering a new angle on a jagged sky.  Silent mountains stared disappointedly down at us like overdemanding parents wondering what to do with a wayward child. 

Zuba, Kipp’s band, played Joshua’s the night before and we choreographed a meet-up at the Frisco “Loaf & Jug” to exchange Zuba CDs for my best friend Nisa.   Colorado Bands are constantly crossing tracks through the mountains. Occasionally we ask favors of one another like “Hey, we sold out of CDs last night at the venue you’re playing tonight.  Can you sneak into my ol’ lady’s shack on 12th and Pine and pick up a case of 30 for us.  Try not to scare the dog.”  or “Our bass player’s girlfriend’s sister’s hairdresser needs a ride from the gig in Vail to Telluride.  Can you swing by Eagle and grab her after your gig in Aspen?”

Early for our rendezvous with Zuba, I peed between two cars in the parking lot.  We slow-strolled “Loaf & Jug’s” isles, loading up on chocolate-covered pretzels and machine-milked mochas.  The sun was riding the horizon low, like a cowboy in a tired saddle.  We kicked at dirty islands of snow parked between 18-wheelers as we waited for Zuba to appear.  When their rust-red van pulled next to Moby their band poured out like crinkled socks from an overstuffed drawer.  We exchanged hugs, recent gig war stories, and a case of Zuba CDs for my best friend Nisa.   Nisa looked adorable in her ironic polyester Lily Pulitzer pants, fuzzy orange sweater, and butterfly hair clips.  Our bandmates mingled for a tailgate smoke and a coffee then, once again, we were ships in the night.

Kenny, Nisa, Brian & Friends

After soundcheck we grabbed all-you-can-eat linguini at “Rasta Pasta” and Howard took us back to his place “Camp-Smoke-A-Lot-A-Ganga,” where we all got naked and took an epic hot tub under newly hung stars surrounded by a playground of untouched snow.

The place was packed when we got back to Joshua’s to play at 10:00 PM.  Annoyingly, no one had been collecting money from the door so by the night’s end, we only broke even after paying Howard and our bar bill.

I think it’s fair to say our first set was…. hum….. challenging. There was a distinct split between audience members who might be future fans and those who just out to get piss-stinking drunk. Our second set was much better and Howard said we’d gotten a great response for our first time in Breckenridge. He reassured us, “Breck’s listening crowd only comes out to Joshua’s about twice a year and they came for you.”  It made us feel better.

Boulder, CO – “My Stomach Aches for my Mama” – December 17, 1998

I’m feeling sick to my stomach.  Perhaps it’s because of the severe intestinal flu that sent me to the ER for an anti-nausea IV in the middle of the night on Monday.  More likely it’s from the confounding questions my new booking agent, Cassy Burbeck needs answers to before he can start booking a national tour for me.  Casey wants to know: What’s my budget? What’s on my rider? Who’s in my band? What is my stage plot (what even is a stage plot?) Will we be ready in time for the Lillith Fair?  Where do I see myself in 6 months?  A year?  A decade?  I can’t imagine where I’ll be in 6 days let alone 6 months.  But I need a booking agent.  Booking myself is just the pits!  Venues stiff me and won’t call back to confirm the show beforehand.  Having booked my shows for three months now, I know exactly how much I’d pay not to have to do this job anymore, and when Casey says the going rate for agents is 10% of all gigs, that seems more than fair to me.

But my stomach still hurts, even after reconciling with my choice to hire Casey and answer all his scary questions and when I ask my stomach to tell me what’s at the root of its dis-ease an image pops up in my mind of my mama.  Earlier in the week, she was driving in her car, just minding her own business and was delighted when one of her songs came on the radio.  As she retold the story to me later in the evening on the phone, I imagined her bopping along to “You’re so Vain,” or “Jesse” or “Coming Around Again” as she threaded her way home, over backroads lined with puckerbrush and winter white slush on Martha’s Vineyard. 

At the end of her song, the DJ took a random caller who said “I saw Carly Simon at the anti-impeachment rally the other day and she looked awful.  I tell ya, I used to dig her when she was hanging around with James Taylor but she’s gotten OLD man.”  My mama recounted the insouciant caller with a New York accent.

“Yeah, her skin’s all wrinkly.” agreed the DJ.

“I guess that’s what happens when ya get old.” the caller theorized, “Your skin starts fallin’ off the bone.” They both laughed.  My mama cried all day.  I would too.  “It’s not fair mama.” I told her, “You’re sooooo beautiful! You’re timeless. You’re so talented. You’re a legend!” and I thought ‘why am I going into this profession?!?!

As I hung up I just kept telling myself ‘It’ll be OK. The work I’ve done on myself will spare me the worst of my ego’s weaponry down the line.’  But more than anything, I worry about getting hijacked by the spotlight and imprisoned by the applause.  Here are some exercises I promise myself to do to avoid the consequences of my future successes and failures.

  1. I’ll make fun of myself.
  2. I’ll make a point of enjoying other’s successes.
  3. I’ll separate my self-worth from my music’s value to others.
  4. I’ll never be jealous or bitter.
  5. I’ll never do anything just because it’ll “look good,” or “boost my image.”
  6. I’ll believe in everyone I surround myself with.
  7. I’ll stay curious and humble and trust my decisions.
  8. I won’t trust anyone.

I hope it’s enough. I’m sorry mama. It’s not fair. My stomach aches for you.

Boulder, CO – “Opening for Little Feet” – Fox Theater – December 13, 1998

I woke up on a sunburnt, brown, valore couch belonging to Charlie, a pal of a pal of a pal of Kipps who put us up after a late night turned into an early morning.  A river bent itself around the small timber-frame shack like a boa constrictor.  I noticed other lumps sleeping on other surfaces around the bright livingroom and registered them as musicians from various bands passing through town. Their instruments lay naked in various semi-precarious possitions. A guitarist was actually using his ax as a pillow. I picked at an unreasonable amount of dog hair in the blanket covering me, before realizing it actually was the dog’s blanket.  A golden retriever stared at me with hunched ears.  I imagined the inquisitive expression he wore pertained to my insensitivity having robbed him of his comforter overnight.

We opened for Little Feet at the Fox last night and the audience drank us up like a sponge.  Valiant fans shushed and shooed stray voices that arose to inadvertently distract them from earview.  They thought I was funny too and they laughed in tandem as I told only semi-funny jokes and danced around in gold and green shimmering stage lights.  I wasn’t even nervous.  But there’s nothing like a horrendous gig to make all subsequent gigs feel freeing and nothing could have been as horrendous as the gig in Telluride.

As I repositioned my sleep-kinked body to make room for the disgruntled dog, Charlie appeared in blue boxers and a head full of electrified hair.  Coffee in hand and lashes pasted shut he stole the space I’d just freed for his pup and muttered “I like you’re CD more than Alanis Morrissette’s” then, promptly fell asleep to open-mouth chainsaw the air with snoring. The other bodies sang along.

Telluride, CO – “You never lose your boyfriend, you just lose your turn” – The Fly Me To The Moon Saloon – December 12, 1998

We played the “Fly Me To The Moon Saloon,” a low-ceilinged, mine shaft of a venue tucked under the fluffy white skirts of Telluride’s main street. It’s known to book the best bands the state has to offer and It’s the first spot I ever cut my teeth (I played there solo opening for Acoustic Junction at Jazz Fest 1994 while my dad played the main stage). “The Moon,” as it’s known by the locals, is where I wrote “Red Room” and it is the “saloon” my Tomboy Bride “..walks in the backdoor” of in verse one. 

Telluride was home to me all last year and became the backdrop for many of my songs.  I named my album after reading a book by the same name by Harriet Fish Backus, a pioneering woman who came to Telluride at the turn of the century with her husband to forge a new life.  Tomboy is a ghost town now.  Its boarded windows and sunken roofs haunt Telluride from 3,000 feet above its ski bum head.  But once, it was home to hard-working gold miners who imported wives from places like New York and Califonia to tend their houses while they went off to extract ore from the mountains.  These new brides would be left for months at a time to fend for themselves 11,500 feet above sea level, under 7 feet of snow. 

I identified with these women when I moved to Telluride and Harriet (Hattie) in particular.  I fancied myself a modern-day version of her if I’m immodest, leaving home, venturing alone into the snow-covered mountains, wild-eyed at the mercy of the unknown.  I wrote the song “Tomboy Bride about Hattie, about us.  About all pioneering spirited ladies who dare to cut their own paths across the wilderness with fearless hearts.   

Here’s some backstory about Tomboy Bride’s chorus:

“With her long hair, waterfall down” references Bridal Vail Falls, a hike with a waterfall above town that looks up, like a lover, at the town of Tomboy.

“And her wild ways, wind through the town” is about the whipping wind that busts through Telluride’s wide streets straight through the continental divide. Getting hit with a gust is like a toast made to pioneering-spirited women.

“And her pipe smoke, clouds in the sky” is about clouds that sit on the town in the mornings and remind me of a smoking badass babe who doesn’t care who she offends.

“Please marry me, be my Tomboy Bride.”  These will be my husband’s lyrics when he comes to ask for my hand.

I’d been looking forward to the show for weeks. My local friends were coming and I knew the room like the bottom of a beer can but… No one told us we were playing during “Arizona Days.”  Once a year, the mountain runs a week-long “ski free” special for Arizonans,’  who are bussed into town, wearing Aztec multicolored blanket coats and leather Akubra hats.  With more style than grace, they dive straight down steeps which churn them up and spit them out at the bottom.  Local hospitals and bars are equally full of our southern brethren during “Arizona Days” and despite casts and splints, these people want to dance.  We, my friends, are not a dance band.

The wind was hollering when we arrived in town.  I was last out of the van and managed to lock my corduroy jacket in the back while trying unsuccessfully to unstick my static-clinging skirt from my unshaven leg hair.  Guitar in hand and teeth clenched I bent my head into the wind and headed toward the saloon. 

Backstage in the green room, I scrawled the lyrics to the song I’d written there, “Red Room,”  on the wall. When we took the stage at 10:15, we were greeted by a crowd who, unable to use us to dance too, treated us like we were invisible.  They smoked and smoked and smoked and got drunk and yelled over us.  Nobody listened and nobody cared we were up there. Often no one noticed a song had ended. 

At set break, I had to run into all the boys I kissed last year (which was a few more than I’d accounted for)  In Telluride, the saying goes “You never lose your boyfriend, you just lose your turn.”  As we took the stage for a second humiliating act, the manager, Rodney pulled me aside.

“I was just told you have 45 minutes left.  That’s wrong, right?!?!”

“No, I mean, yes, we do only have 45 minutes left,”  I told him

“No.  You have to have more.  Didn’t Kipp tell you?  You’re doing 3 sets – 45 minutes a piece.”  The idea of staring out at a sea of smoke and Aztec print and old flames and beer goggled eyes for an extra set made me want to tie my guitar strings in a knot.  Instead, I said, “I guess I could ask the boys to do a 30-minute jam.” My eyebrows lifted like crane wings over my incredulous expression. Rodney simply replied,

“Yeah, do that.  It’ll help cover your guarantee.” Ouch.

At the end of an ego-bruising 30-minute jam, Rodney handed me $300 bucks plus $105 we made in CD sales and charged us for the beer.  I need a booking agent.

On the ride home, we stopped at a Safeway.  I bought carrots, hummus, and Pons blackhead strips. The whole band got in on the act.  I love my guys.