Chicago, IL – “Rollaway” -Shuba’s – May 16, 1999

We woke up to a hurricane in a Chicago suburb that came off the lake. It was my turn to take the rollaway last night. Each night we book two rooms at The Fairfield Inn. They all look 100% the same which is both unnerving and comforting — We play at a different venue every night but come home to the same room. Our rooms are divided into “the snoring section,” housing Dellucci and Brian (this is also where MJ gets smoked), and “the non-snoring section,” the room Soucy and I share. Kenny is the floater.

Our accommodations provide us with four beds and one rollaway which, we take turns in. The rollaway is a guaranteed bad night’s sleep. These beds are notoriously squeaky, rusty, broken medieval torture devices.
Often, though we’ve requested an extra bed months in advance, the hotel will have forgotten to leave one in our room. That’s too bad for the designated rollaway-er who’ll usually fall asleep on a filthy carpet waiting for staff to bring up their sleeping arrangement.

There’s a song, a take-off on The Grateful Dead’s “Roll Away the Dew,” that we sing each night in the interval between when Delucchi secures room keys and the ding of the elevator which opens to unfurl us onto the long tongue of a hallway where we drag bags in search of room numbers we only vaguely remember —

KENNY: “Was it #307 & #308 or was that last night.”
SOUCY: “That was last night.”
BRIAN: “Shit.”
SALLY: “I’ll go ask the front desk again.”
DELLUCCI: “No, it’s #418 and 19, we just got off on the wrong floor.”

Sometimes check-in is slowwwwww. The front desk attendant is absent doing something untoward not expecting a band to show up late night. We park our butts on the curb outside and start to hum our rollaway tune.

The Rollaway Theme Song

This is all to explain the crinkled state I found myself in this morning, groggily dragging my ass downstairs in only my orange oversized John Forte T-shirt, no pants, no shoes, mascara gathered like tribal war paint under my eyes, to fetch the guys coffee in the lobby. The woman at the front desk was very surprised to see me in this state.

Back in the “non-snoring” room, I slurped my coffee loudly hoping to “accidentally” wake Soucy and Kenny who were slumbering like two quiet cherubs in their cozy, non-rollaway beds but I slurped in vain. When the guys finally did wake up at 11:30 they wanted to do yoga, which meant moving most of the unglued-down furniture onto the beds and then modifying downward dogs and warrior stances to navigate the air conditioner, TV, and bedside table.

Last night was a late one despite our early gig. We opened up for Richard Buckley who was great (but I was already a fan). We had an hour set. My voice hurt from the night before, screaming at that unplugged show at Thai Joe’s, but I managed to belt out a couple of notes for an attentive full venue.

On The Jukebox

Shuba’s is a fabulous place to play. The staff is unapologetically hip and the ones responsible for keeping us up so late. We basically closed the bar down laughing and listening to tunes on the badass 70’s rock jukebox. I especially enjoyed the free photobooth where I got to take pictures with the band and some of the audience members. We’d jumble behind the red curtain and I’d shout expressions between flashes.

  1. Sad (flash)
  2. Busy (flash)
  3. Happy (flash)
  4. Goofy (flash)