Mill Valley, CA – “Fluffernutters” Sweetwater – March 24, 1999

I woke up on Delucchi’s sister’s floor.  We’d made it to the Goldengate bridge just after midnight last night and while Chris’ family had retired before we arrived, they’d left the lights on, food on the stove, and futons on the floor with unrolled sleeping bags in lollypop colors.   I hit the pillow hard and woke only due to the racket downstairs.  Brian and Delluchi’s dad were one-upping each other’s drum skills on dualing samplers in the basement.  It wasn’t the drumming so much as the two of them yelling over their deafening headphones:  “Listen to this.”  “No, no.  Listen to this.” “What?”  “What’id you say?”  “WHAT?” they shouted over one another.

It’s a luxury to wake up in a home.  People who open their houses to bands are a rare breed.  I don’t know if I’d be so brave.  These folks (The Delluchi’s included) don’t appear to balk at 6 loads of laundry, the rancid baked-on stench of smoke and booze that follows bands like a bad habit, the inevitable din of instruments unshethed and played at all hours of night, the inside jokes a band has formed which alienate everyone not in the band, the depraved voracity a band has for food and comfort and space that they can’t help but devour like a pack of wanton dogs straight from the pound. 

A band on the road becomes a beast with a mind of its own. 

Sweetwater was a warm blessing on a rainy day.  Its spiced, honey-colored wooden walls, floor, and stage glistened in the dampness.  Downstairs, the green room featured old newspaper clippings, vintage posters, and stickers from all the “greats” who’d played there before us.  I sipped a cold coffee from a leaky paper cup and toured my musical heroes on the wall; Elvis Costello, Jerry Garcia, Huey Lewis, John Lee Hooker, Ritchie Havens, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, Sammy Hagar, and Carlos Santana. Soucy came with tape sent from the bar to hang our own poster beside the rest.   What an honor.  Who knows, maybe in 30 years time, we’ll have blended into the history here.

The audience was generous, attentive, and plentiful, and “Actress” went over particularly well (despite Kenny losing his pink wig at the Gallaxy Theater gig in Santa Ana). 

I was delighted to run into an old babysitter, Jane Hogan, who was now shorter than me but otherwise, unchanged.  Jane was one of Ben’s and my favorite sitters. She used to host “Pig Outs” for us when we were lucky enough to spend the night at her family’s house in Cranford, New Jersey. She reminded me of her “All you can eat Fluffernutters.” I wish she’d brought one with her.

When unexpected old pals like Jane show up at gigs, it makes life like one perpetual surprise party.

Reader interactions

4 Replies to “Mill Valley, CA – “Fluffernutters” Sweetwater – March 24, 1999”

  1. I loved Jane… Your memory snap shots are a great way to see the tapestry of life

    1. Thanks Lizzy! I love jane too. I love thinking about her in the context of fluffernutters too. Let’s eat some together next time we see her. Shall we?

  2. Bill Pressler April 4, 2024 at 2:32 pm

    At the urging of a FB friend who is also a fan of your Mom’s music as am I, I just signed up to get these reviews from you. I knew the name “Jane Hogan” right away! I wrote your Mom a drunken fan letter when I was in college in 1979 and Jane replied in a handwritten letter. I wrote two or three more times and she always replied, but I think I was wearing my welcome out! (Totally understandable!). Too funny! I had tickets to your Mom’s second show in Pittsburgh with my girlfriend on Oct. 4, 1980, but you know the rest. My wife (different girl) and I saw your Mom at Blossom in Ohio with Hall and Oates in 1995, and well, she blew me away. (I’ve seen your Dad four or five times, mostly there, as well. I like your Dad’s music but I LOVE your Mom’s music! 🙂 Plus, I like that one has to work a little harder to read about and especially, see your Mom give a concert back then.)

    Also saw your Mom at the Palace Theater in Cleveland in 2005, with you and Ben. I enjoyed the show more than even the Blossom show a decade before. Your version of “Boys In The Trees” was sublime, as was Ben’s version of “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be”. Your Mom seemed to be having fun that night and I know the next night’s show in Indy was cancelled so considered myself most-blessed! I remember you and Ben signing autographs in the lobby after the Palace show; we walked past you but there were a ton of people wanting autographs.

    Thanks for listening to the ramblings of a married 65-year old retired accountant and grandpa who’s been a big, big fan of your Mom’s music for over fifty years. With respect,

    1. Wow Bill, you really are a fan. I love that you loved how hard it was to see my mom play in concert. It’s like being a bird watcher and finally getting a glimps of a Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

      Your tales of concerts past and the letter exchanges with Jane are hysterical.
      Thanks for sharing your stories, and above all, thanks for being part of the fabric of this musical family. Here’s to many more shared tunes and reminiscing of the good ol’ days!

      Thanks for signing up to go with me on my little road.

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