San Diego, CA – “Rock The Casbah” -March 19, 1999

The Casbah is an institution.  It’s a 175-capacity venue with a tall stage in a tight space which makes me feel like a bat wrapped upside down in a cave.  All the great West Coast bands cut their teeth at The Casbah.  Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins were both routing through here just 8 years ago.  Clearly, it hosts an eclectic group.  This week on the roster: Queens of the Stoneage, Nashville Pussy, and…. Us?

We rolled into town on a red carpet of concrete which emitted an intoxicating heat and tarlike perfume as we loaded our equipment into the club and Nisa went to find us iced coffees.

Never a man to miss an opportunity for a cultural experience, Delluchi scored an invitation to the Taylor Guitar Showcase and, between soundcheck and show time, Rick Fagen gave us a tour.  Laser beams cut seamless guitar faces into fragrant ancient woods.  Technicians with ancient wisdom maneuvered hammers as delicately as if they were paintbrushes.  The cacophony of luthiers is a music all its own.  It takes approximately 7 days to birth one instrument and, like all living things, a lifetime for it to settle and bloom.

Rick slid guitars into our hands to see how they sounded when played through our souls.  Even Kenny got to hit on an acoustic bass. Much to Brian’s dismay they did not make “guitars for drummers.” But he was happy to walk away with a bag of Taylor swag.

As magical as the Taylor factory was, I’ve been sneezing like mad since we left. I must’ve been allergic to something in there.  I was already in danger of losing my voice after a cough I picked up after the Garton’s show.  This is exceptionally unlucky as we’re playing the famous Troubadour in two days… Please voice hold on…