Salt Lake City, UT – “All Right” – Zephyr Club – July 12, 1999

If you’re Mormon and live in Salt Lake City, there are some guidelines to follow. You can’t wear make-up, drink caffeine, or liquor unless you belong to a certain drinking club (of which The Zephyr Club was thankfully a part). And strangely enough, you can’t make a left-hand turn. Nowhere in SLC is there a place to take a left. I joked that the city planner’s philosophy must’ve been ‘if you’re not going left, you must be all right.’

After our long journey from Seattle, we arrived exhausted and circled some blocks, passing near The Zephyr. But without being able to turn left, we couldn’t quite get there. “Big Ben, Parliament,” we’d quote Chevy Chase in European Vacation as we took the next right, watching the venue grow smaller and smaller.

“Big Ben, Parlament.”

When we finally arrived, we were delighted by both the size and the sound of the place. Entering The Zephyr felt like entering a hug—warm, welcoming, and enveloping. The staff even helped us load in, which was a far cry from our recent handful of gigs where the staff had barely looked up to acknowledge us. Suddenly, inside The Zepher, it didn’t matter that we’d had to take the left-hand tour of the Mormon City. We felt like we were home.

While the boys slipped out for food, I retreated back to the hotel for a moment alone to shower and warm up my voice. It’s a rare, precious thing to have a second to oneself on the road. Sometimes I just want some space, but most times, it’s not an option. I’ve discovered a couple of ways to find alone time while on the road:

  • A short walk around a city block (after determining it’s a safe neighborhood).
  • Ear plugs—this is my favorite and most utilized space maker. I slip them in when we start a drive, and it’s like I’m in my own little sonically protected room.
  • A long “shower.” Sometimes I just say I’m taking a shower, close myself into the bathroom, and sit quietly on the sink in the dark. I’m not meditating. I’m just feeling the lack of movement around me.
  • Writing a song—there’s something about holding a guitar and tuning into Source that makes you invisible. I find that when the guys see me writing a song, they leave me alone and even tippy tow around me. It’s adorable.
Sally’s Favorite Space Makers on the Road

Back at The Zephyr, I asked the bartender for a strong cup of coffee and excused myself to put makeup on in the dressing room. But when I opened the door, a couple of old salty dogs sat there uninvited, doing lines of coke and drinking our beers. They yelled at me, “Hey, get outta here!” and kicked the door shut in my face. When I asked the staff who they were, I was told that sometimes drug addicts sneak in to be rebellious where they think God can’t see them. They were promptly removed.

The show was fabulous. Maybe there’s some truth to the philosophy that if you never go left, you’ll be All Right. A fantastic band opened for us, and the drinking club filled to capacity. It was undeniably our best gig of the tour. We were endlessly grateful for the confidence boost it gave us before we headed home tomorrow. It’s gigs like The Zepher with–big energy from the crowd, camaraderie with my bandmates, respect from the staff, and a feeling of accomplishment after making it through a strand of uncomfortable shows – that make it all worthwhile.

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