Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

My left knee - yeah, the battle of wills. Right. Common sense won out instead. The knee's still hurting, so I walked instead of running today. Don't want to screw anything up.

After meeting Foy & Terry at Cozumel for (Mexican) dinner this evening, we headed over to Paige & Greg's NYE party. There were about 30 people there and it was so much fun that I hated to leave. But I couldn't stay too late because Foy and I are going racing in Rockingham tomorrow.

This was the first time I'd been ANYWHERE on New Year's Eve in at least 8 or 10 years, maybe more. I really don't care for this holiday. It's Amateur Night and there are crazy people (who don't know how to behave) everywhere, just getting in the way. I'll do my partying on the other 364 nights of the year, thanks.

Home and heading to bed right around midnight.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hello, Knee

Made it 20 minutes into my run this morning, and then all of a sudden my left knee decided the run was over. Fucker!

Tomorrow, the battle of wills begins...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

Ran for 23 minutes this morning. It's getting better. If I can just keep it going…

I hate to sound like Scrooge McGrinch, I'm just not into Christmas. Between the religious whackos, crazy shoppers, and unadulterated commercialism, it's just not a holiday I enjoy any more.

I've spent the last 31 Christmas Days in Charlotte, NC with my family. Not this year. Pop died back in 1987 and my Mom passed away in July of this year. I love my sister Donna (who lives in Charlotte) and my brother Bill (Richmond, VA), but I just can't get motivated to go to Charlotte one more damn time right now. I know I'm probably selfish here, but I ain't budging from Raleigh this year.

I lived in Charlotte for the first 7 of those 31 Christmases. Since then (1984), I've been driving down every year. Enough! I need a break.

The last Christmas that I was not in Charlotte for was the Christmas of 1976. So here's a funny (or sad) story about that year:

I was 18 years old and mad in love (so I thought) with a girl named Cheryl. My parents had moved back to North Carolina a few months earlier, but I stayed behind in Maryland (suburban DC), where I rented a room in the basement of a former neighbor's house. Other than being my landlords, I didn't have anything to do with the married couple who owned the home. My family was 500 miles away and Cheryl's parents didn't like me. I certainly wasn't welcome in their home, so I spent the entirety of Christmas Day 1976 at a 7-Eleven I frequented nearby, playing game after game after game on the store's Captain Fantastic pinball machine. I was there every bit of 12 hours, but as I was pretty good on that particular machine, I don't think I spent more than two dollars in it all day. Back then, pinball was usually 10-cents per game or 3 for a quarter. I was bangin' it all day for free games, so the day passed pretty quickly. Finally, after her parents had gone to bed (which was usually around 10pm), Cheryl snuck out and we got to spend a little quality Christmas time together.

Today's Christmas was spent just the way I wanted it – completely alone. And I don't mind a bit…

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Managed a 21-minute run this morning.

Baby steps, fucking baby steps.

As I'm writing this, it's 9 degrees in Chicago. I'm running my air-conditioning in order to cool my house to under 65 degrees so I can go to sleep in an hour or so.

Paige wanted me to go to Total Wine & More with her today, which I was happy to do. I needed to pick up a birthday present for a buddy's birthday tomorrow, and I was bored anyway.

After we shopped there for a bit, she was suddenly craving a glass of wine (imagine that), so we went and sat outdoors at Vivace, a restaurant nearby. It was about 68 or 70 degrees with a slight breeze, perfect for me. We each slapped back a glass of Valpolicella and split a Caprese Salad. Good times…

After she dropped me off back at the house, I ran to grab a few things at Costco and came back home to chill. No plans for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I usually go to Charlotte, but not this year. I'm home alone and don't mind a bit.

Paige and Greg dropped by with their 2 dogs Sophie and Buddy/Nutley/Nelson (they can't decide what to call him) during the evening and we all sat out on the back deck in the "harsh" NC winter weather. It was still 68 degrees, go figure. Paige and I were enjoying a lovely bottle of Cote du Rhone, while Greg had a Ginger Ale as we watched the dogs run around my back yard.

Unfortunately, the dogs managed to push the side gate open and escape the yard. Five minutes later, they were rounded up and back on the deck – this time, reattached to their leashes and not allowed to run around on their own. They both had looks on their faces that said the freedom had been worth the punishment. Oh, to live a dog's life…

P and G bailed a little after 10. I watched the news, blogged this, and soon I'll be headed to bed. Not staying up to wait for Santa.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Baby Steps

I'm pathetic. Getting better, but still pathetic. I've been pretty frustrated these last couple of years. I really miss running – it's a high you can't get any other way. But it seems that every time I try to establish a running routine, something happens. Either I blow out a knee (gee, Bob, being heavy will do that…) or get injured in some other way (usually due to running too fast or too far before I'm ready for it). Sometimes, I get a gig and have to run out the door for the airport.

I decided when I got home from the last tour that I'm STILL the most stubborn person I know (when I wanna be), and that this time I would be patient. I would start slow and very s-l-o-w-l-y add distance, just a little at a time.

So far, so good. My first run was back on November 26th, and I'm not embarrassed to say that I was so out of shape that I ran for 1 whole minute. Yep, in only 60 seconds I was a-huffin' and a-puffin' like the 50-year-old, out-of-shape, beer-swillin' redneck that I am.

You'd never know that I had ridden my bicycle 1000 miles during the summer, a feat I accomplished in only 33 actual days of riding (30.3 mile average per ride, he said, beaming). Since that last day on the bike back in August, I've put on 10 pounds due to the shitty tour food in catering, the lack of exercise while touring, and the, a-hem, overindulgence on The King at every opportunity.

I trust you know that when I say The King, I mean Budweiser. The King is now out, except on weekends, although I will enjoy the occasional glass of red wine during the week.

So, long story short, it's time to rededicate myself to my love of running. I get up and run every morning, Monday through Friday, and take the weekend off -- by the time I've run 5 days, straight, I really need to rest my joints. Haven't missed a run day yet, and even threw in a 17-mile bike ride with the Beals one Sunday morning.

I add a minute here, a minute there whenever I can. This morning I managed a 19-minute run, about which I'm pretty happy. The greenway has mileage markers so I can track my distance and pace. I'm getting miles between 9:00 minutes and 9:05, so I'm finally up to 2 miles. Of course, that sucks compared to the days of old when I'd slap back a 7-miler (at an under 8 minute pace) before breakfast, but at this age I guess it's gonna be baby steps.

I fuckin' hate baby steps…

Sunday, December 21, 2008

AC, Then Heat...

We have some STRANGE weather sometimes here in Raleigh, NC. There's an old saying, "You know you live in North Carolina if you have to use both your air conditioning and your heat on the same day."

At least four, and maybe five days during the last two weeks, I've had to do exactly that. Call me fussy, but I like it 70 or 72 degrees in the house during the day (because I don't like to be chilly if I'm sitting around) and I like to sleep with it around 62 or 63 (because I think you just sleep better if you're breathing cooler air).

So it's AC, then heat, then AC, then heat…

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Day Of Too Much Fun...

OK, maybe not TOO much fun, but it sure was a day of fun.

I went to someone's birthday party last night, but I was a good boy and left early, in time to be home and get some sleep. I was up at 7 this morning, read a bit of the paper and had breakfast, and then started piling on layers of clothing.

Foy and Terry Beal swung by at 10 sharp to pick up me and my bike - off to Chatham County we went. About 35 minutes later, we arrived at our destination, the American Tobacco Trail. With the temperature hovering around 40 degrees or so, we rode off on what would eventually be a 17-mile ride.

I was kinda surprised that I was only cold for the first ½ mile or so - totally comfortable after that. I sorta wished I'd brought heavier gloves, but after another mile or so, I would have been coming out of them. The fleece ones I had on worked just right.

We rode for almost 2 hours, not killin' it pace-wise, just steady on, with the occasional break to check things out along the way.

After the ride, we headed to our home-away-from-home, the Carolina Ale House deck. It was a helluva lot colder to sit there since we just sitting still. By now it was probably 42, maybe 43 degrees. And we were downing cold beers, too. Except Terry, with her Bloody Marys.

Paige and Greg swung by for a bit, so we could get the final "Twelve Months Of The Ale House Deck" photo made. This little bit of lunacy started back in January. The photo taken during each month this year will be the accompanying photo in the 2009 calendars that Terry is gonna have made. I missed 3 or 4 (maybe 5) months during the year due to my touring schedule, but Greg "Photoshopped" me into them. Using retarded pictures, of course. Can't wait to see the final result. Some of the staff at the Ale House want copies of the calendar, too. Funny!

Came home and watched football for and hour or so, then took off to pick up Laura and go to the Carolina Rollergirls double-header at Dorton Arena. The CRG are Raleigh's all-female, flat-track roller derby team. It's as much fun as you can have with your clothes on, and I always try to see them when I'm in town.

After dropping Laura off at her house, I made it home by 9 or so for more football.

Like I said, fun day…

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Night - Buckcherry in Greensboro

No run this morning, needed to take a break. Watched NC State win their 6th game of the year this afternoon (and become bowl eligible). Glad they did that, but the whole college bowl game thing confounds me. There are probably 3 times as many bowl games as there really should be. I think you should win at least 8 games (not 6) to be eligible to play post-season.

Hoped that Duke would beat Carolina today, too, but it didn't happen.

Went to see Buckcherry in Greensboro tonight with my friends Paige and Beth. Buckcherry's tour manager Stephen Shaw is an old buddy of mine and he hooked us up. We had a blast – the girls drank all the way down the road and were quite tipsy and funny by the time we got there. I was driving, so I had to be the "responsible" one. Boo!

The show was good and I ran into a few roadie buddies – guys I'd toured with before, like Kevin "Za" Zazzara and Bruce Danz, and guys I only knew from online, like Aaron Dilks.

Had a good time, and after dropping the girls off at Paige's house, I got home around 1:15am. I wasn't ready to be home, but they were pooped and I didn't feel like going out anywhere by then…

Friday, November 28, 2008

Party at Jack's House!

Ran twice as far this morning as I ran yesterday. No issues yet. Hope to be getting in some decent runs within a few weeks.

Went to Jack Cornell's annual Day After Thanksgiving Party tonight with my friend Laura. Had a blast – always do. This was probably the fourth or fifth one I've made it to in the last half-dozen years. Good times…

While there, Terry and Jack played me about 5 tracks from the upcoming OAKTeam record. Amazing! They just keep getting better.

Home before 1am…

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

I got up at my usual 7am and spent far too much time reading the morning paper (damn sales flyers). Finally got out of the house around 10 to take my walk and my pathetic attempt at a run.

Down by the greenway entrance, there were about 75 cars and a couple of taco wagons. Getting the scoop from a guy and his son, I found out that there would be an entire day of soccer games going on in the park here - ten different teams in this casual T-Day tournament. If I was more bored, I might have come back and watched a couple of them.

Did much of diddly all day. After my walk/run, I never left the house. Did some online shopping, watched TV, read. It was a very relaxed day. I only wish that I had my gas logs already – it was that kind of day.

I was gonna get Chinese takeout for my Thanksgiving dinner tonight, but both of the restaurants I like were closed. Looks like it's gonna be a home-cooked meal for me tonight. Damn!


It's a day of remembrance - it was one year ago today that my dear friend David Enloe passed away. I miss him and the world is a less fun place without him in it…

The Rascal that was David Enloe:

These three photos from Terry Anderson's blog:

Terry was David's best friend for most of his life. They were even born on the same day, Christmas Day 1955. The music made by the two of them was and is so special to me.

David and Terry:

Check out Terry's blog HERE.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today would have been my mother's 79th birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom! Miss ya!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hanging Out at Home

I'm home from the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour.

OK, I'm an asshole. I finally got around to posting a few blog entries that had been just sitting on my computer. So sue me - I haven't really felt like blogging in a while. Don't know why.

Monday past was the last show of the tour. Gonna miss some of those fine folks I met out on this one. Some. Others, not so much.

We had another end of tour party at the hotel after the show. Problem was, it started at 1:30am and I had a loooong day in front of me the next morning.

I guess I never mentioned the official end of tour party we had in Miami this past Saturday night. It was OK. Not great, just OK…

I didn't fly home; I rented a car and drove home over the course of two days from Tampa, FL. I had rented a Cadillac CTS, but because they had a vehicle they needed to get closer to NY, they gave me a free upgrade to a Lincoln mkX, which is a size down from the Navigator, but very well-appointed. It's a sweet ride, for sure, but I can't wait to get in my Toyota and drive around.

Yesterday, I only drove as far as Columbia, SC. Got up this morning and visited my father's grave. I'd like to get there every September to chat with Pop and drink a beer with him, but some years, I just can't pull it off.

We chatted for a while, enjoyed a beer together (at 9:15 in the morning, no less), and then I headed home to Raleigh.

Now that I'm here, I have no idea how I'm gonna spend the next few months. I have a few things I want to get done to the house, and I guess there will be a few movies to see, and some friends to hang out with, and some dining out, and some bars to hit, and well, you get the idea. I don't have any plans until at least February. So, if you wanna do something, hollah…

Monday, October 27, 2008

Day Off in Trenton - WTF!

Whatever idiot decided to put us up in Trenton for our day off needs a beatdown. Philly is 20 minutes away and there are a million great hotels and plenty to do. Here in Trenton, there's zippo. Zilch. Nada. As in, nada fucking thing.

With fuckall else to do, I decided to go do laundry. Didn't really need to, just had time to kill. The laundromat was a $5.00 cab ride away, which was great. Big place, like 50 washers and 50 dryers.

I grabbed a killer slice of pizza next door for lunch, and then spent 45 minutes wandering around the grocery store in the same shopping center. Can you say bored? I'd already read 2 newspapers on the bus this morning while sitting up front with Reb, so wandering the grocery store was about all there was to do.

Back at the hotel, I actually took a little nap, from which it was very hard to get up. John's staying in his room tonight to watch his Phillies in the World Series, and it's pretty nasty outside, so I figured I'd stay in the building for the night.

Met up with a few folks in the bar. A bucket of 5 Buds was only 10 bucks. That's a killer deal for a hotel bar. Nice lady sitting next to me was Debbie, from Vermont. She's an insurance claims adjuster for Lloyd's of London. Boy, did she have some stories!

After I killed my bucket o' beer, I ordered a Portobello mushroom sandwich and a couple more Buds to go, and went to my room to watch TV. This was around 8, and I made it to bed around 10:30.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day Off in Cincinnati

Up and at 'em around 9 this morning. No damn newspaper outside my door - again. I've never had so few papers on a tour. Not sure what's up with that.

Putzed around the room for a bit, then headed out to go to the Post Office. Gotta mail my absentee ballot for the upcoming election.

Ran into our merch guy, Richard Carter, en route. He joined me for the journey. After the P.O., we walked around a bit. I don't know downtown Cinci too well, so I needed to scope out a bar and a restaurant for later today. Found a couple of interesting places, then headed back toward the hotel, stopping at Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte and a USA Today. I've been real good lately about avoiding Starbucks. I think this is maybe my third one in about 5 months. So I have no guilt.

Tell ya what, downtown Cincinnati looks like shit. This town is just u-g-l-y.

Spend the afternoon in my room, chillin'. Met up with John at 4:30 and we headed over to the Cadillac Ranch, a bar/restaurant about 4 blocks away with a killer outdoor bar. We grabbed a high-top table along the sidewalk rail, perfect for people-watching. Five or six other roadies joined us over the next couple of hours. We had a pretty good little crowd going.

Somebody spotted something up at the corner of the block. Looked like an accident involving a bus. Half-buzzed and curious, I walked to the corner to check it out. Not smart. We're talking dead body under the bus. And you would think between a firetruck, an ambulance, and 6 police cars, that they could have blocked the view a little better. A 14 year-old kid (who HAD the right of way, I was told) was flattened in the crosswalk by the bus. The bus had supposedly been cut off by a car, causing the driver to divert somehow, striking and killing the kid. Not a good way to die.

And man oh man, did seeing that bum me out…

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Show Day in Columbus

I apologize – I'm not taking many photos on this tour. It's not that I'm not having fun; it's just that I'm not having as much fun as some other tours.

I'm also not doing many touristy things, or staying out late. If that sounds boring, you're probably right.

After the show tonight, our drive to Cincinnati is only 112 miles, so there's no reason to go to bed. I stayed up and drank beer during the drive.

We pulled up to the hotel around 3:15am. We're at the Garfield Suites Hotel, an old apartment building turned hotel. My room is huge. I have a living room, dining room (table and four chairs), two bedrooms, bathroom, and a full kitchen, containing a full-size fridge, a full-size (4-burner) stove, pots and pans, cutlery, and even a dang ol' dishwasher.

Which reminds me of an old joke I learned from Willie Nelson:

Q: How do you turn a dishwasher into a snowplow?
A: You give that bitch a shovel.

Hey, don't get mad at me, get mad at Willie.

This would be a great hotel to be in if you were in Cincinnati for an extended time. Of course, nobody in his or her right mind wants to spend any time in Cinci. Me included.

Got in bed a little after 4am…

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day Off in Milwaukee

Yay! Day off in Milwaukee. I've always liked this town. We're staying at the Hyatt on Kilbourne, about a block away from tomorrow's venue.

I woke up about a half-mile from the hotel this morning. We pulled up at 6am sharp. I'd only slept about 5 hours by that time, but I didn't see any sense in going back to sleep. I read the paper, watched a little TV, took a shower and headed out to the coin laundry about 4 blocks away.

After laundry, I came back and hung out in my room until about 4:45, then took off to find the old man bar I'd gone drinking at when I was here 2 years ago.

Being the bright guy I am, I checked my blog archives to see what the name of the place was.

Being the dumbass I am, I discovered that I never wrote down the name of the place. Lucky me, I did note the bartender's name, Sandy, who was 50 at the time.

I kinda remembered the layout of the street the bar was on, and by checking a map, I narrowed it down to a 4-block stretch running north and south. Problem was, it was on one of four different parallel streets in that area. Crap!

Only took me about 10 minutes to walk to that area, then a few more minutes to eliminate 2 of the streets. The third one looked familiar, and I stuck my head into the first bar that might be the place. Asked if a lady named Sandy used to bartend here, and sure as hell, I was in the right place.

I called John and told him where I was and he showed up about 20 minutes later. Another 30 minutes later, Matt Dillon (our stage manager) and Brian Custer (our AEG production guy) joined up.

Had a few more rounds, then headed off to the little Germantown area just past the hotel. We decided on Mader's, a place that’s been around many years. The food was damn good, the service was great.

And as is typical on this tour, I was back in my room long before misbehavin' time kicked in.

For the record, my fave drinking hole in Milwaukee is called My Office. Love the name – "Sorry, honey, I'll be at My Office late tonight. Don't wait up." If you ever make it to Milwaukee, stop by – it's at 73 N. Milwaukee Street. Bob and Warren the bartenders will take good care of you. Or Sandy will, if you come by on Fridays, the only day she works these days…

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Show Day in St. Paul

Nothing much to report today. Our show is at the Xcel Energy Center, the arena where the Republican National Convention was held a few weeks ago. At one point today, I thought I detected the odor of Sarah Palin.

Or maybe somebody came and farted in my room. Hard to tell.

My dear friend Missy Boucher came by this evening and visited for a few hours. She was our Production Assistant on the last R. Kelly tour and I most recently saw her when she passed through Raleigh this summer as Maroon 5's Tour Accountant. She's a total sweetie (and a hottie!) and I miss working with her.

Heading to Milwaukee tonight after the show for a day off tomorrow. Gonna be laundry day for me…

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day Off in Chicago

Our day off here in Chicago is being spent at the Hotel Sax, which used to be the House of Blues Hotel. I've stayed here a bunch over the years. Great location – there are lots of bars and restaurants nearby – plenty to do.

Hung out in my room until it was time to meet up with John downstairs. We walked about 8 blocks to a bar called Streeters. Angela, our Production Assistant told me about it yesterday. She lived less than a block from it for a few years, so she knew what it was like and had decided that I would like it.

She was right. It's a little hole-in-the-wall, about 7 steps down from street level. The bartender was friendly, the crowd was both racially and generationally mixed, and the beer was cheap.

It's now my new favorite bar in Chicago. I can't wait to go back.

After about 6-7 rounds, we were joined by Lowell, our lighting crew chief. A few beers later, we jumped in a cab and wound up at a McCormick and Schmick's location a few blocks on the other side of our hotel. Had a killer meal and I was back in my room by about 10…

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day Off in Tulsa

We're staying at a Renaissance Hotel out on the highway, outside of town. I was awake this morning and sitting up front with Reb for the last 100 miles or so coming into Tulsa. I was a bit surprised when we got off the highway 10 miles from downtown. We usually stay at downtown hotels where there are things to do nearby. But this hotel is hell and gone from town.

Turned out to be OK. There was a shopping center nearby, which had a Super Target, a bunch of other stores, and some decent shopping.

I hit the Target for some personal items, then snagged a couple of things from Office Max. Walked around a bit to scope out the evening's dining options, then returned to my room to hang out for most of the day.

Met up with John down at the lobby bar around 5. An hour later, there were probably 8 or 9 roadies sitting around when the topic of discussion turned to politics. I'm not gonna go into details here, but it got real ugly real quick. It seems there's a few dumbasses in our midst. John and I quietly ducked out of there, along with Lowell Hawley, our lighting crew chief.

We wound up a few blocks away at the Carabba's Italian restaurant, safely out of the dumbass zone...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Show Day in Austin


Today's show is at the Frank Erwin Center on the University of Texas campus. Typical day, I never left the building the whole day.

My damn Slingbox still isn't connecting. Gonna have to get my buddy Greg to go over and kick it in the ass. Problem is, he's out on a tour and won't be home until at least the 27th. All of which means I'll miss the next few Panthers games.

If they keep playing like they did today, I won't mind. They got their asses kicked by Tampa Bay, 27 to 3. Not good…

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Show Day in Houston

Having a bad roadie day here in Houston today. Our show is at the Reliant Arena. This building absolutely sucks, and the caterers didn’t show up for breakfast. Somebody, somewhere dropped the ball and there were a lot of pissed-off roadies and drivers who didn't get breakfast. Balls!

Something's wrong with my Slingbox unit back at home, too, so I can't watch my home news or any shows I've recorded. Double balls!

Ran out to the bus to watch the last 20 laps or so of the race. By that time, Dale Jr. had long since blown a tire and wrecked his car. Jeff Burton won the race, and I like Jeff, so I guess that was OK…

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day Off in Dallas

Slept in (8:30), then putzed around the room for an hour or so. Grabbed a shower and then jumped in a cab to go do laundry. That's was pretty much my whole day.

Got in touch with my old friends Maria and Todd Donaldson, a couple of Raleigh transplants who live in downtown (uptown?) Dallas. Wound up going to dinner with them at some Belgium restaurant they go to regularly. The place had a massive patio, so you just know we sat outside to eat. Great beer, good food (Todd and I both had the fish 'n chips), and it was good to get caught up with each of them.

They dropped me back by my hotel by about 10pm. I grabbed one last beer in the bar to take up to the room for a nightcap…

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Travel Day to Dallas

That was one long-assed bus ride to get here. We left Phoenix last night at 1am and finally pulled into our hotel here just before 7:30 tonight. Take out the time change and that equates to a 16½ hour bus ride. We only made one combination refueling/poop break stop the whole way and averaged 65mph getting here. Hammer down!

John (production manager), Lyle (rigger) and I got the hotel shuttle driver to run us down to Deep Ellum, the cool neighborhood that USED to be full of bars and restaurants. I haven't been down there in about 3 years. I was completely shocked when we got there – everything's gone. All those cool bars have just disappeared. Freaky!

We wound up at Sol's Taco Lounge, a place I first ate at back in 2005 on the System Of A Down tour. The food is great and the service is friendly. A few other folks joined us later and the wardrobe girls talked John and Lyle into going to some dance club nearby.

I decide to take a pass on that idea and jump in a cab instead. I don't want to stay out late because tomorrow is laundry day for me…

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Show Day in Phoenix

Again, not really Phoenix. Our gig today is in Glendale, AZ, a different suburb of Phoenix.

Around lunchtime, Angela (our production assistant) sticks her head into my office and tells me that catering has honest-to-god sweet tea. Now, Angela's from Nashville, so I tell her she should know better. There's just no way in hell that an Arizona catering company can make genuine sweet tea. She ain't having any of my crap, and insists that I accompany her to catering right this instant to try it.

Damn if she ain't right. I mean, it's not my Mom's tea, which I would always describe to people as being glucose with a little food coloring in it. But, man oh man, this is some good tea. It's been awhile since I've had any good sweet tea. I think the last time was at the family Christmas dinner last December.

I wound up drinking 3 glasses of it and bouncing off the walls for hours.

My friend Molly Brickson came by the venue to visit and have dinner with me. Molly and I have toured together all this year on Rage Against The Machine and we toured together on the All-American Rejects back in 2006. She's doing a show in this building tomorrow and has the night off tonight, so she was just looking for a little hang time.

Long ride tonight to Dallas, some 1070 miles. I should sleep real well…

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day Off in Phoenix

OK, not really Phoenix. Our hotel is in Scottsdale, AZ. But it's a Phoenix suburb and you can't really tell when you leave one area and enter the next. And tomorrow's gig is in Glendale, a suburb on the other side of town.

Had lunch today with Steve Kidd and his lovely wife Vikira, along with our mutual friend Robert Mason. Steve is Rage Against The Machine's manager AND tour manager, and Robert Mason used to be the singer in Cry Of Love, a band I tour managed for about 7 years back in the 90's. Man, that sounds strange to say…

Anyway, Robert is now the new singer in the band Warrant. You know, "Cherry Pie" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and all that. Hell, I still listen to them, don't you?

They came and picked me up at the hotel and we went down the street to a great bar/restaurant called Oregano's and sat outside. The weather was nice, high 80's and no humidity at all.

After lunch, back to the hotel where we sat around the fire pit by the pool area and chatted until it was time for Steve and Vikira to go pick up their son from school. Robert split when they did and I headed to my room for a bit.

Met up with the usual suspects in the bar at 5 and we wound up having dinner in the hotel's killer bar & grille, sitting outside once again.

Made it back to my room by 10 or so…

Friday, October 3, 2008

Day Off in Reno, NV

After last night's gig in Sacramento, we drove directly to our hotel here in Reno. Got here around 3:30am and went straight into our rooms. I got in bed around 4:15 or so.

Up at 9:30. Kinda hate that I slept that late and I hope it won't keep me up tonight.

Never left the building all day. We're staying at the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino. I fucking HATE casinos, so I really had no reason to even go downstairs. I did finally go get a newspaper around 4:30, though.

Met up with John at 5pm for drinks in the bar. About 30 minutes later, there were 8 or 9 crew guys joining us. Five of us went to dinner in one of the hotel restaurants. Damn good food. Not cheap, but good.

Back in the room before 10pm…

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Show Day in Los Angeles

Today's show is at the Nokia Theatre, next to the Staples Center, in downtown Los Angeles.

My buddies Shabba and Travis came by to hang out and have lunch with me. Shabba is Daughtry's tour manager and I did the All-American Rejects tour with him when he was their TM back in 2006.

It was another typical day on the road. Once inside the building (7:30am-ish), I saw no more daylight, eventually emerging around midnight to go to the bus…

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Show Day in Oakland, CA

Uh…no more Irish Car Bombs.

My head hurts.

Doing a show at the Oracle Arena (the old Oakland Coliseum) sucks bad enough, but doing it with a hangover just makes it suck worse…

Monday, September 29, 2008

Day Off in San Francisco, CA

Had lunch with Angela Jackson today, down in the Embarcadero area. Angela and I dated back in the mid-90's, but remain friends. Why she still puts up with my shit, I can't say. Anyway, she took me to some place she goes to regularly. We had fish tacos that kicked ass!

Met up with the Day-Off Dinner Gang in the hotel lobby at 5pm. We skipped the hotel bar and went straight down the street to Foley's Irish Bar. It was a night of Budweisers and Irish Car Bombs. Have you ever had one of those? I had 3 or 4 and will probably regret it tomorrow, as I never did get around to ordering anything to eat.

Back to the room by 10 or so…

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day Off in Anaheim, CA

The perfect day off. Got plenty of sleep on the bus overnight and woke up 5 minutes before we pulled off the highway to go to the hotel. I was in my room by 8:30 – yay!

Walked about ¾ mile down the street to do my laundry, then grabbed a Quizno's sammich on the way back to my room.

Surfed the web, watched a few TV shows I had downloaded to my computer, then went to the nearby shopping area to scope out restaurants for our day-off dinner. Did a little windowshopping there, too.

I also stuck my head in Best Buy for about 15 minutes, but there wasn't anything in there I couldn't live without.

Met production manager John down in the lobby bar around 5pm. Stage manager Matt and rigger Lyle show up a few minutes later and off we went. I had found a place earlier called the Broiler Market that had a killer menu. And their food turned out to be terrific! Everyone enjoyed it.

Back to the hotel bar, and I made it to my room around 10pm…

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day Off in San Jose, CA

Made it to the hotel today around 1pm. We're staying at the Fairmont, a very nice hotel in downtown San Jose. As the bus pulled up, the only thing I could see was the McCormick & Schmick's restaurant right next door. They had a big ol' patio and it was a beautiful day, so I immediately knew where I was having dinner.

Spent the afternoon in my room, then rolled down to the lobby bar for a beer before dinner. Wound up going to eat with John Lafferty (production manager), Lyle Harris (rigger) and Richard Carter (awesome merch dude).

The food was terrific, and we were done and back in the hotel by 8:30. So of course Lyle and I spent the next few hours in the bar…

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Show Day in Salt Lake City, UT

I watched about 15 minutes of the show tonight. It was pretty cool. Those dancer kids are all great athletes.

Don't think I've mentioned this yet – my bus driver Reb lives in Kinston, NC, about 80 miles from where I live in Raleigh. He's a funny, funny fucker, too!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Day Off in Salt Lake City, UT

Nice long bus ride overnight from Portland to Salt Lake City – 774 miles. Got to the Monaco Hotel in downtown SLC just before 2:30pm. While I was in the shower, I got a call on my room phone, which turned out to be from my old buddy Garrett Rentz. He was staying in my hotel! He's Foreigner's LD and they just got to town, too. Day off for him, so we wound up going to dinner together and hanging out all night.

We went to dinner at the Market St. Grill, an awesome seafood restaurant about 3 blocks from the hotel. (Thanks for the heads-up on that one, Foy!)

In addition to Foreigner and their crew staying here, Lindsey Buckingham and his crew were also here. So there was a roadie convention in the bar all night.

Per the comments on my Portland entry below, here's that picture sleeve from the Dan Baird record (thanks to Terry Anderson!)…

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Show Day in Portland, OR

Today's show is at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland. Not much to report. I had to walk down the hall about a million times today, and this photo kept catching my eye:Gee, I wonder why?

I decided to call the photo "Introducing My Vagina" or maybe "Welcome To My Crotch"...

Long bus ride to our day off in Salt Lake City tomorrow – around 765 miles. I should sleep real well tonight...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Travel Day to Tacoma, WA

Flew to Tacoma, Washington today to start my new gig. Doing 9 weeks on the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour, and then maybe following that with 5 weeks of R. Kelly.

Took a cab from the SeaTac Airport to my hotel across the parking lot from our venue, the Tacoma Dome. It's a 300-foot walk between the two, so we don't even have to mess with shuttle vans for the next few days.

Load-in is tomorrow, followed by a couple of days of rehearsal, then a show here on Saturday night.

No haps here tonight. Had dinner and a couple of beers in the hotel bar, then off to bed…

Monday, September 15, 2008

Packing For Tacoma, WA

Lots of Ale House dinners later, I'm getting ready to go back to work. Last week I ate there 5 out of 6 nights in a row, choosing to spend the odd night out at Mitch's Tavern instead. I think I just wasn't in the mood to cook last week. Gotta work on that.

Anyway, today was my last day in town until late November. I'm heading out on the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Heading Home

Done with Rage until next year. Flew home this afternoon.

Went to the Ale House for dinner (surprise!). And that was about as much excitement as I could stand for one day…

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Show Day in Minneapolis, MN

Tonight was the last Rage Against The Machine show of the year. Lots or rowdy kids inside:

And LOTS of cops outside. They were circling the entire arena (the Target Center), which takes up a pretty good-sized block in downtown Minneapolis.

After the show, Zack (the singer) came back out onstage and told the kids not to start trouble when they left the building because that's exactly what the cops were waiting for. In spite of Zack's chat with them, 102 people were arrested on a variety of charges.

We had our end-of-tour party around the corner in some bar, but it was a bit of a let down. It wasn't really the celebration of all the good times we've had on this tour together that I thought it would be. Too many idiots and strangers showed up, and we couldn't figure out who the hell invited all these people. Most of the crew left just as soon as we could and headed back to the hotel.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot this. Check out the message spelled out in the lights above the stage. It was like that for the 30-minute changeover before Rage came on tonight.

And check out a report on the preceedings HERE.

(Thanks for the heads-up on that one, Angela!)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Strange Day in St. Paul, MN

OK, it wasn't an official Rage show that was supposed to happen today. Their buddies, the band Anti-Flag, were playing a show on the Capital grounds in St. Paul, some eight blocks from the Xcel Energy Center, where the Republican National Convention is being held this week.

What Rage was gonna do, was just show up and play a 30-minute set with minimal gear, and hopefully minimal hassles. The local rock radio station made an announcement at 5:30 that Rage would be onstage in 60 minutes. When the band pulled up in a couple of vans around 6:20, suddenly a wall of Minnesota State Troopers surrounded them and prevented them from going onstage. In the midst of negotiations between the band, their management, their security detail and the Captain of the State Troopers, the entire crowd started chanting "let them play, let them play." That and a few other chants went on for quite some time.

The Mexican Hat Dance with the troopers went on for nearly 30 minutes, during which time the authorities killed all of the electricity for the stage and audio gear.

The police refused to let the band play because they weren't listed on the event permit. Also, the permit expired at 7pm, which it was by that time.

No permit + no power = no gig.

Someone handed the band a battery-powered megaphone, so all four guys (along with their manager and a security detail) waded out into the crowd to speak to them. A couple of the bandmembers gave quick speeches, and then they sang 2-3 songs over the megaphone. The crowd sang along with every word. Tom Morello even faked his guitar solos during the tunes.

Soon enough, they were whisked off to their vehicles to depart. The mob headed for the RNC a few blocks away and evidently there were "issues." If you were following the news today, you probably heard about it.

Photos from today:
Brad Madix, Pete Lewis, Andy Veasey
Spragoo, Brad Madix, Seth Kendall

Sooner Routhier:

The crowd:

Other shots:

Rage crew guys with cops: