Saturday, March 31, 2007

Show Day in Los Angeles

What an ugly way to start a day, getting up at 5:30 in the doggone morning. Meeting Blaine in the lobby at 6:30 so we can be at the venue by 7. After, of course, stopping at the crackhouse, er, I mean Starbucks. Gonna be a long one today.

First person I run into at the venue is Sherry, one of the regular LA runners. Cool chick. Last time I saw her, she was my runner for 2 days of R. Kelly shows last year at Universal Amphitheatre.

The catering company today is Culinary Underground, who was the tour caterer out with us on System Of A Down during 2005. Two of the guys from that tour, Justen and Jeremy, are with this particular crew today. They're both going out on the Killers tour in a few days. Not the best catering company out there, but super nice guys.

Guess who showed up at the show tonight? Here, I'll give you a few hints:

If you guessed Salma Hayek and her two, um, friends, you win. She was very pregnant, and I'm sad to say that the baby was not mine.

Finally make it back to the hotel around 1am. Blaine tries to rally a couple of us for a drink at the hotel bar, but it's completely overflowing with L.A. "beautiful" people, as it's one of the current "it" bars here in Hollywood. All the shakers, movers, actors, musicians, and posers you could ever want. It's called the Stone Rose Lounge and is owned by Rande Gerber (Cindy Crawford's husband).

One of the advantages of being a guest of the hotel (which ain't cheap, believe me - even with our group rates, we're paying nearly $300 a night per room) is that I get an automatic "pass" on the velvet rope. Problem is, I just don't like drinking in places like that. Velvet rope, my ass! And the music drives me fucking crazy: boom-sss-boom-sss-boom-sss-boom-sss-boom-sss-boom-sss-boom-sss-boom-sss…

Off to bed…

Friday, March 30, 2007

Day Off in Los Angeles

Forgot to post an entry from March 3, when I threw a party that involved rock n' roll, hard liquor, blood and one of my neighbors. It's available for you to read now. Worth going back for, I promise...


OK, so this is what the view looked like yesterday from my hotel room. It's a great view of the Hollywood Hills, where all the movie stars and rock stars live. You can see the famous "Hollywood" sign to the right in the second photo.

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Here's what my view was like today, when that big ol' fire you saw on all the national news channels was raging like a mofo and trying to burn down LA. Again, the "Hollywood" sign is visible to the right:

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In this shot, you can see that most of the smoke has now gone white, which means the firefighters have almost put it out:

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It was kinda weird watching CNN on the TV in my room and seeing fire footage being shot with cameras mounted in helicopters that I could see out my window.


My day started about 8, when I rolled out of bed, checked email, and then wandered down the street to Borders. They weren't open yet (it was only 9:15), so I went and sat outside at Starbucks, had a drink and a scone, and read the LA Times.

After that, back to Borders to cop a magazine, then back to the hotel.

Went to the hotel gym around noon to check it out. Gotta be the best gym I've ever seen at a hotel and believe me, I've stayed at one hell of a lot of hotels. Hit the treadmill - walked about 3½ miles, and ran 2½. Felt great! Grabbed a sandwich across the street and ate it in my room while watching Wednesday night's episode of "Lost."

Putzed around the room all afternoon, took a few calls, made a few. Got an email about possibly doing tour accounting for the John Legend tour, but I’m busy. Never fails that every year after I get a gig, they all start popping up. Also got a call from Chris Daughtry's tour manager, who wanted to check my schedule to see if I could come work for him. When it rains, it pours…

Not going out tonight, because Blaine and I are heading over to the Staples Center at 6:30 tomorrow morning. Stay in, websurf, blog, and watch TV. In bed shortly after 11…

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Day Off in Los Angeles

My busdriverman Mike musta been hammer-damn-down coming down the mountain, because when I woke up at 6am, we were already sitting in front of the hotel.

Grab my stuff and go upstairs for a bit. I have an awesome room at the Sofitel in West Hollywood for the next 6 days, and the Beverly Center (shopping) is directly across the street. Within 3-4 blocks of this hotel are about 6 million different restaurants of every ethnicity you can think of.

Wally (the LD) and I meet in the lobby at 8 and head out to do laundry. About a block into the walk, we stop at (where else?), Starbucks, for a fix.

The coin laundry is another 4 blocks walk and is great for a few reasons. It's huge, it's clean, and there's only 2 other people there.

I'm back in my room by 9:30 with enough clean clothes to finish the tour. I'll actually be shipping some stuff home next week, because when we passed through Raleigh a couple of weeks ago, I grabbed a few extra things and now I have too much stuff to fit in my suitcase. (Note to self: buy a cardboard box.)

So now I have the whole day in front of me. What to do, what to do?

We're off today and tomorrow in LA. Show at the Staples Center on Saturday. Then more days off on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I've all the time in the world to do whatever I want, yet I have no idea what I'm gonna do. Sevendust is at the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd. on Sunday night, so that's a possibility. Plus, I can walk there in about 12-15 minutes.

A bunch of folks have rented cars and one rented a Harley for our stay here in LA. I'm too cheap to do that, so I'll just do whatever I can walk to, or be driven to through the kindness of others. Woulda been nice to import a friend from back home to hang out with while I'm here (hint, hint…). If you're reading this, you know I'm just rubbing it in kidding, right?

Had lunch with Dennis, Blaine, and Dale at Chipotle across the street. Went to Kinko's to drop a FedEx off and to buy that cardboard box. Then back to my room, where I putzed around and eventually took a nap.

Called Dennis around 7 – he said come around the corner; they were just walking into the Grand Lux CafĂ© for dinner. The Grand Lux is one of those restaurants with a HUGE menu – I guess they figure if they offer every food on the planet, you won't have a reason not to eat there.

Dennis was with Bob Goldstein, owner of MSI (Maryland Sound, Inc.), our PA vendor. Worked out great for my cheap ass, because Bob graciously picked up the check. I've known Bob's son Todd for a few years. He was Hall & Oates tour manager forever but has now left and is with Seal.

Dinner for me was the BBQ Salmon, which was damn good. That and a few Buds just made my day. Blaine called and joined us about halfway through. He'd kinda overslept on his nap.

After dinner, Dennis and Blaine were going over to the House of Blues on Sunset, then to some other club to see something that didn't sound real appealing to me. Bob wasn't going with them either, so Bob & Bob (me) called it a night and walked the two blocks back to the hotel. I watched a little TV, and even stayed up for Letterman. Had to see Rosario Dawson, cuz Dawson is awesome! In bed around 1am…

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Show Day in San Jose

Up at 7:15 and immediately call Deb, our travel agent. She's pissed. I jump in the shower while she investigates WTF happened. Turns out the idiot night auditor took it upon himself to cancel our confirmed (many times), late-night-arrival rooms when we didn't show up in what HE considered a timely fashion. And I will guaran-fucking-tee you that he was the asshole sitting in the little office cubby just behind the front desk last night at 1am while Matt, the nice-enough desk clerk, was trying his best to take care of a couple of tired, pissed-off roadies. AND… he could hear every word of the conversations taking place between Matt and us. Asshole. Asshole. Asshole.

OK, so anyway. Deb got us the correct rate and major apologies from the staff when I went down to check out around 8:30.

Jump in the mini-van (OK, we were calling it "the short bus" by then), stop by Starbucks (damn, damn, damn) and drive the 3 blocks to the gig.

Oh yeah, it was a GREAT hotel, other than the reservation debacle. Real hip rooms, great design and furnishings.

Jump on the (real) bus around 11:30 for the 6-7 hour drive to LA. Should get there just in time for morning rush hour, which you probably know from watching TV and movies, is pretty bad. Off we go…

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Show Day in Sacramento

Both Blaine (the Live Nation accountant) and I live on band buses, which are gonna "base" here in SF for a couple of days. Because we need to be at the gig at 8am and our buses (with band members) don't need to be there until 2 in the afternoon, Blaine rents a mini-van and we leave the hotel at 6am (ouch!) to make the 80-mile drive to Sacramento for today's show. Ain't going nowhere without hitting that damn Starbucks down the street from the hotel, though.

Gonna be a long day. Because tomorrow's show is in San Jose, there's no point in us driving back to SF after tonight's show (80 mile), only to have to leave at stupid-o'clock again in the morning to drive to San Jose (50 miles south of SF). Instead, as soon as settlement is over, we do a "runner" and take off about 10:45, just before the show finishes. From here to San Jose is 122 miles and with light traffic, we make it there just before 1am.

And of course the hotel has fucked up. They have no records of our reservation. Fucking morons.

The only non-smoking rooms left are junior suites at a rate of $239/night. Yowza!!!! Glad I'm not paying for it, but we were supposes to get a rate of $129/night for regular-sized rooms. Off to bed by about 1:30…

Monday, March 26, 2007

Day Off in San Francisco

Up at 7am, hanging in the front lounge with Craig the drummer all morning. Pull up to the Ritz-Carlton in downtown San Fran around 1:30pm. Walk 3 blocks to Starbucks in the rain, getting soaked. Damn junkie!

It pissed down rain all day. Might have to order room service for dinner because there wasn't shit to eat within a few blocks in any direction and I don't feel like getting completely soaked again for chow. Maybe the rain will stop at some point.

Which it did around 6pm. I found a little sushi joint around the corner. Sushi Rocks or something. Had a certificate in the window declaring it San Francisco's best sushi restaurant of 2004. Another announcing this as their third location. All I can say after eating there is that I wish I had some sort of time machine, because this sure as hell ain't 2004 anymore. Average at best. I can think of at least 5 places back home in Raleigh with better bait than this.

Back to the room after dinner and just chilled out in my room. Had to see "24" ya know…

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Show Day in Phoenix

Up early, around 6am. Shower, check out, throw my stuff on the bus. Hang out at Starbucks for a couple of hours, then a runner comes to pick me up at 9 and I head over to the gig.

Blaine fills me in on the other night. They did all go to the strip club, but only after driving me back to the hotel, about ¾ mile away. I'm told that some idiot in a car nearly ran my drunk ass down when I stepped down out of the Hummer (What Hummer? When did I wind up in somebody's Hummer?). Blaine smacked the guy's car (that's how close he was), breaking his wristwatch in the process. I wandered up to my room under my own power, and off they went to the pole parlor.

I can only imagine the shape I'd have been in if I'd gone with them. Woulda come home trashed and empty of cash…

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Day Off in Phoenix

Woke up at 6am.

Still drunk.

Still wearing all my clothes.

I have no idea how the hell I got here.

Got up and went to pee.

Went right back to sleep in my clothes.

Woke up at 3pm.

Felt like shit.

Laid around all day long.

Got not one damn thing done.

Finally got up to shower around 11pm.

Back to bed at midnight…

Friday, March 23, 2007

Day Off in Phoenix

Finally got in bed last night around 1am. Up at 6 to leave the hotel by 7:15. We've got an 8:45 flight. Should be in Phoenix by 9:15 to enjoy 2 glorious days off.

Rooms aren't ready when we get to the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, so Blaine, Dale and I go sit next door at Starbucks for an hour. Then go across the street to the Apple Store and an open-air restaurant where we grab some lunch.

When we get back to the hotel, our rooms are ready. Lay around most of the afternoon, then me and Blaine head over to the Half-Moon Sports Grille to watch the Carolina game. We grabbed the last 2 seats at the bar and started drinking in earnest. Shots of Crown and beers. I'm the only UNC fan in the entire place – everyone else is hooting for Southern Cal. I can't call 'em USC, because I'm from Columbia, South Carolina originally and that's the REAL USC. So anyway, I'm all alone in cheering for the Heels, which just makes me holler all that much louder whenever they score. It was great, because in the second half, they came back from 16 or 18 points down and eventually won by 10. Whoo-hoo!!!!

All this time, me and Blaine are just slapping back shots and beers…

After the game was done, Dennis and some of his buddies showed up. We were wearing out the music trivia game sitting on the bar when somebody came up with the great idea to go to a strip bar. Might as well just take all the money out of my pocket and set it on fire, because if I go there, I'm coming back broke. But at least I had the presence of mind to say no; I'm just going back to the hotel. And that, my friends, is the last thing I remember…

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Show Day in San Antonio

We pulled up to the hotel at 3:45am. I had a room waiting for me, but chose to stay in my nice, cozy, cool bunk. Never could go back to sleep. Got up at 7, went in and showered, re-packed for my flight tomorrow, and called to have a runner get me around 9.

Another day where I never leave the building.

Got an email and a phone call about tour managing the All-American Rejects for about 3 weeks in England. Turned it down. Woulda been cool to double-dip, thought. I was available on the dates they needed me, plus I'll be on retainer from this tour at the same time. Let's see, that comes to how much per week????

Not worth it – I hate tour managing and won't do it anymore if I can help it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Show Day in Houston

Ah! The first day of spring – how beautiful is that?

Not too, at least not in here. I've been 60 feet underground in downtown Houston since 9am this morning. Our show today is at the Toyota Center, the "enormodome" arena here. All the birds and flowers and sites and smells will have to wait for another day.

Man, if I'd have been at home, I woulda been on my front porch or back deck drinking something cold and refreshing.

Can't wait to fly home April 8th. I'll have 5 weeks off (PAID!!!!!) at probably the prettiest time of the year.

If you're reading this from anywhere near Raleigh, ya gotta come over for a drink…

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Day Off in Houston

The bus pulled up to the hotel around 4am. As everybody was grabbing their bags and heading in, I asked Mike the driver if the bus was going away to park up elsewhere and he said it was parking in a lot right across the street. So I went straight back to my bunk to go to sleep. Why in the hell would I want to go up to a hot room that wouldn't be cool enough to sleep in for a couple of hours?

Finally woke up around 8 and schlepped my stuff to my room. Got changed and went down to the hotel gym. Walked about 6 miles on a treadmill and lifted a little. Back out to the bus to eat the Chipotle burrito that I got as aftershow food last night. I don't like to eat after shows because it's just too late at night, but if there's a day off the next day I'll sometimes order aftershow food to save for lunch the next day. I can be such a cheap fucker!

Hung around the room the rest of the day. Worked a little, caught up on email and such, read a couple of newspapers, and downloaded and watched last night's episode of "24."

Walked a few blocks for a Subway sandwich around 7, which I ate in my room rocking out to the Stones.

In bed around 11:30…

Monday, March 19, 2007

Show Day in Dallas

Since I live on a band bus and it doesn't go the venue until after 2pm, I called the production office and had them send a runner to pick me up around 8:30. Drove over to where the bus is parked (about a mile away) and load my bag into the bay, then head to the gig.

It's one of those days where I never leave the building. Until 11:30, when we head to the bus to go to Houston for tomorrow's day off.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Day Off in Dallas

Woke up around 8. Sat up front with my driver Mike for a few hours and got to know him.

Made it to the hotel, dropped bags, grabbed some Chinese food a block away and made it back to my room and only missed the first 27 laps of a 325 lap race. Not bad.

Of course I fell asleep in the middle of it and missed about a hundred laps. Dang!

Grabbed a shower and hit Trinity Hall, the Irish pub across the street, for a couple of drinks, then back to the hotel for TV and dinner. Out by midnight…

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patrick's Day - Show Day in Atlanta

Not much to report. Long drive to Dallas tonight. Hope to get to the hotel in time for the NASCAR race tomorrow…

Friday, March 16, 2007

Show Day in Raleigh

Greg Howard was kind enough to take me out to the RBC Center this morning so I didn't have to have a runner come get me.

Saw a bunch of friends at the venue today. Skully was the crew chief for the local stagehands. I also knew some of the runners.

It was cold and pissed down rain all day. Head to Atlanta at midnight.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day Off at Home

I decided against getting the rental car today. Too much hassle. I'll deal with fixing the car when I get home in a few weeks.

Tonight is Kim Mac's 50th birthday dinner. Paige gets reservations for us at Vivace, a new foofy restaurant at North Hills. I can't believe they don't sell Budweiser. I immediately hate the place…

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Day Off at Home

Woke up on the bus around 7:30. Grabbed my stuff and jumped into a cab to head to the house. I have a dental appointment today at noon to replace a filling, then I'm gonna head back to the hotel to pick up Blaine, the Live Nation (Clear Channel) accountant to take him to the coin laundry at Cameron Village. I offered to let him do his stuff at my house, but he wants to do several loads all at once.

After dropping him off, I swing back by the bus at the hotel to grab something and sure as hell, my damn car dies. WTF!!! Won't crank, so I call a tow truck to haul it down to TAO Auto, the Honda specialist who works on it. Also called Enterprise, but they're completely sold out of cars today. Good news is that I can get one tomorrow morning.

Fifteen minutes later, the car miraculously starts, so I head to the house, calling to cancel the tow truck en route.

Guess I'll just be doing stuff around the house today.

Paige calls and suggests that since it's so pretty today (around 80 degrees), that maybe we should eat dinner on the deck at the Ale House tonight. Sounds like a great idea to me!

Around 6:30, I walk the 10-12 minutes down the hill to the restaurant. The dinner crowd is Paige & Greg, Jeff-Mac and Foy. After dinner, Foy gives me a ride back to the house. He takes a look at my car and thinks it may just be a bad battery cable. Not too hard to fix, but not anything I feel like fooling around with tomorrow. After looking at the car, we head out to Northside for a beer or six. I leave Foy there around 11 and walk the 2 blocks back to the house…

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Show Day in DC

Wow! I kinda like this. On the drive overnight to DC, we swung by the hotel where everyone except me got off the bus and went into day rooms. Then the driver went to the venue and parked up. I woke up all alone and had the whole bus to myself. I like it.

Another sold out show, this time at the Verizon Center here in DC.

I was inside the building all day and all night, finally heading out to the bus around midnight. I've got the next 2 days off at home before our show in Raleigh on Friday.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Show Day in NYC

Madison Square Garden. Sold out show. Not bad. This guy can sell tickets. I'm busy as hell all day since I'm joining the tour 15 shows into it. Lots to get caught up on. One problem – I've been using Excel to do my accounting work for the last 14 years and as of today I'm having to use QuickBooks. Had to send the runner to the Apple store in SoHo to get the software and off I go…

Out to the bus around midnight to head to DC. I'm riding on one of the two band buses. Eight buses total on this tour. Josh's bus, 2 band buses, 4 crew buses and 1 bus for the support act. My bus is brand spanking new and has condo bunks, which means that there are only 8 bunks (4 stacks of 2) instead of the usual 12 (4 stacks of 3). So each bunk is taller. But because I’m now the 8th guy on this bus, there won't be a junk bunk for backpacks and such anymore. Sorry 'bout that, guys. Also, I've kicked the road manager Ivan out of his bunk because when I cut my deal with Dennis the tour manager last Thursday I insisted on a bunk in one of the front racks. I feel kinda bad about doing that to a friend, but oh well…

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Travel Day to NYC

Up stupid early because I couldn't sleep. Don't mind the extra time because Paige is picking me up at 8:30 for the drive to the airport and I'm still trying to finish a bunch of stuff around the house.

I'll only be gone for 4 weeks on this run, then return home for a few weeks off before going to Europe.

Flight to NY-LaGuardia was smooth. My driver was waiting at baggage claim holding a sign with my name on it. He said he'd have me at the hotel in time to watch the State-Carolina game at 1.

Watched the game in my room, then Dennis called and I had to jump in a cab and go to the Ritz-Carlton at Central Park South to meet with him for a few hours. Met Josh, Josh's manager, and a few other folks. Afterwards, went to dinner with Dennis and a few other folks, including Pari Ghorbani, a Warner Brothers person who used to work at Mammoth Records back in the 90's when I tour managed the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Back in the room by 10:30. Big first day tomorrow…

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Last Night at Home

Busy day again today. Tonight, Jeff & Kim and Paige and Nikki came over to watch the NC State game and have pizza for dinner. I hit the hay early – tomorrow's my travel day to join the tour.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Road Mode...

Lots to do today to get ready to leave town Sunday.

Oh, yeah, forgot to tell you – I'm going out on the Josh Groban tour. My buddy Dennis is the tour manager and he's so busy that he now needs a tour accountant to take care of the money.

I told him there's just no way I can get out the door in 24 hours time, so he agrees to let me fly out on Sunday.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Just Another Day (or so I thought...)

Got home from the gym around 11:30am. The phone rang a few minutes later and the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hello!
Dennis: Hey, it's Dennis. Can you get on a plane tomorrow?
Me: What?
Dennis: I said, can you get on a plane tomorrow?
Me: Are you kidding me?
Dennis: Nope!

So I got a gig today. I asked Dennis if I could just jump on a bus next week when the tour came through Raleigh, but he said no, he needed me now. Sooo…

Suddenly I’m back in "road mode." Time to get back to work. More tomorrow…

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Yet Another Saturday Night Hoedown

Another Saturday night Un-Party. I don't like to call 'em parties, that just sounds too official. I tell people to just drop by on their way to/from whatever else they're doing that night, anytime between 6pm and 2am. I'm gonna be here, drinkin', cookin', playin' pinball, and listening to the Beatles, the Stones, the Faces, and the Black Crowes. I'd rather spend Saturday night at home than go out, so ya might as well come join me.

Had a few different waves of people come by tonight, starting with Paige & Nikki, then Carina and some feller, then later on Terry Anderson and some friends of his from Bunn. Right after they got there, my next-door neighbor Regan pops her head in hang out for a while

About 1:15am, while I was in the kitchen whipping up yet another of my fabulous quesadillas, somebody in the front of the house hollered "Hey, Bob, there's a girl at your door who's bleeding."

I didn't hear that last part because the music was up so loud, so I’m like "What?"

So somebody shouts "There's a girl at your door and she's bleeding pretty bad."

I dropped what I was doing, grabbed some towels from the linen closet on the way and went out the front door. Cute little 24 year-old blonde named Ashley is standing there bleeding like a stuck-fucking-pig all over my porch. I sat her down in one of the rockers on the porch and asked her what happened.

She was 'bout drunker than Cooter Brown. I started applying pressure to the cuts on her hand as she started telling her story. Ashley and some other girls about her age (recent college graduates) live next door to my neighbor Charlene a couple of houses from me. A big old gang of her friends were out at a bar and she just got tired and took a taxi home. Got home OK, but didn't have her keys with her, so she went around back and punched out the bathroom window. Cut the everloving shit out of her hand, freaked out, and I guess she came over here because she either saw the lights on or heard the music, maybe both.

As she's telling the story, Regan had the presence of mind to call 9-1-1, because this girl is still bleeding like crazy. I pull the towel off long enough to see a couple of really nasty cuts, but tell her she's gonna be OK.

Terry goes and sits in the car he came in because all the blood was a bit much for him.

Ambulance shows up lickety-split and the EMT's take control of the situation. Off she goes to the ER, where she eventually got 10 stitches…

Terry and his friends split not long after the ambulance left. Regan and I grabbed a flashlight and walked over to see the window the girl punched out. There was glass and blood everywhere – lots of blood. What a mess!

I put a note on her front door for her roommates to call me and I'd explain where Ashley was. I was sitting on my porch alone about 3am (Regan had gone home) when they finally got home, saw my note and called me. I walked over and told 'em what happened and that Ashley would probably be calling them for a ride whenever she was released from the ER. Man, they were all shit-faced drunk.

When I got back over to the house, I started cleaning up all the blood on the porch. It was on the porch, on the doormat, on the rails, on the door, even on the damn bricks! Found more the next day when I got up. I was later told by one of her roommates that she lost a couple of pints of blood, which is waaay more than I'd ever care to lose.

What a night…