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Postcards From The Road

Postcards From The Road by Joey Huffman

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By:  Joey Huffman

6:00 a.m. – I’m in a passenger van pulling a trailer full of equipment somewhere between Saint Louis and Iowa. I couldn’t get comfortable enough to sleep so now I’m watching a beautiful sunrise. Or is it watching me? Like God’s own flashlight it shines on me and calls me out. It says you should sleep at night when all is quiet and I reply when all is quiet is when I’m most creative. It replies saying your getting your days and nights turned around and I reply I think that is the point.

I don’t need the sun to make me feel guilty.  I have had my fill of guilt. I just set it down like a load of bricks and I was free. Besides I’ve discovered that if you throw rocks at the sun for long enough it will eventually go away…for a while. I feel the energy and creativity creeping in when the darkness falls like an old friend.

Keith Richards once confided in me the truth about sleep. We were both playing a Willie Nelson tribute show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. I had just walked into Keith’s dressing room and we hugged and exchanged pleasantries. I apologized for missing a chance to hang out with him that afternoon. I explained that I had been up for three days and I had to crash (This is obviously during my drug abuse phase.) Keith didn’t miss a beat and just said to me, “Sleep…It’ll creep up on you mate.”

Nothing had ever resonated so strong or rang so true than that one single statement. Then Keith laughed that signature laugh that is a cross between a belly laugh and a smoker’s hack. Keith and I have a bond. We both love what we do and are lucky enough to get to do it as a trade. I believe that Keith as well as I would endure the harshest conditions just to get to play a gig. I’ve traveled by tour bus, flown first class, business class and coach. I’ve been ferried about by limos and taken cabs. I’ve ridden in vans pulling trailers and I’ve driven myself with a car full of equipment and all manner of travel in between just to make the gig. The show must go on. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I’m happy to tour in a van just like the old days. I happily give up the creature comforts just to play the gig.

I might also note that I’m playing dates with Burns & Poe, and those are my traveling mates in the van as I write this. They are a new country group that have a record and a single being released this summer. Keith Burns (Trick Pony) and Michelle Poe (bass player in Hank Jrs. band) are an excellent musical pairing.  I believe in this band and that’s why I travel economy and stay in Super 8 motels. I believe in the songs, musicians, and promoters they have working for them. There are hits on this record and it needs to be heard and that’s why we travel like we do. It’s going to take a little time and a lot of hard work for it to happen but it’s looking pretty good so far. I would say that I’m going back to my roots…and that’s a good thing. Please check them out at their website.

If I may digress, if I were homeless and lived in a refrigerator box under a bridge on Ponce De Leon Avenue I would find some sticks and beat on the side of my box to achieve some form of musical gratification. That’s how visceral music is to me. It’s more than a passion…it’s a life. I love music. I love to play it, I love to listen to it and sometimes I’ll slow dance if the mood hits me. I listen to music everyday. I learn something new every day. It will continue like that until the day I die.  Of course I’ll produce other artists and get into scoring film but I’ll still play live and I’ll still make records.

12:30 PM: We arrived at the venue and were pleasantly surprised. I’d say the room would hold about 1500 people. The stage was big and the local crew was really easy to work with. I needed a rare part for my Leslie Cabinet and they came through like champs. Setting up and sound checking gets me excited about the gig. I’ve been doing this for thirty years and I still get excited at what might happen at the gig. I try to stay positive. I believe positive energy attracts positive energy. You have to pay it forward.  Recently I was complaining about my back hurting when I ran and a good friend of mine said,” Love to learn the pain.”

I thought about this at great length and I have to agree. It’s empowering and it puts the power back in my hands. I truly did learn to love the pain and it eventually went away.

Well we take the stage in a couple of hours. I’ll keep you up to date as to any craziness or mayhem. We are headlining tonight so we get to play 90 minutes. The more the better I say. I’ll keep you guys posted. I’ll probably do another blog after the show because that’s when all the good stuff happens. More Later. J~

Postcards From The Road

Postcards From The Road by Joey Huffman: “The Pants That Feed Us”

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Just in time for Halloween comes a story so disturbing and frightening that it may not be suitable for some of our younger readers. This is the chilling story of “The Pants That Feed Us…”

Once upon a time, in a band not too long ago, there was a pair of pants…

Picture if you will a pair of pants. The pants were Levi blue jeans I suppose. It was hard to tell. You really didn’t want to get that close. These pants were thread-bare and worn to the point of barely qualifying as a pair of pants. These pants were never washed or mended in any way. They were much more worn than just having holes in the knees; they would be lucky to be that intact. Strings of white fringe hung like decorations on a military uniform down both legs of the pants. These pants smelled like a skunk and had a texture more like the oily skin of a small mammal. Not unlike a ferret without it’s fur. The word musk comes to mind. One time I was on the tour bus and opened the bathroom door and the pants were hanging there. I was overwhelmed by an odor that smelled like somebody combined an ass with a skunk and then killed and field dressed it in the bus bathroom.

These pants belonged to Dave Pirner (singer/songwriter for Soul Asylum). He wore them at every show. He sweated in them to the point they were dripping wet. I have searched the dictionary and thesaurus for just the right word to describe these pants, and here are just a few of the many words to describe them: foul-smelling, stinking, reeking, fetid, malodorous,pungent, rank, noxious, mephitic; off, gamy, high; musty, STINKY!

You really had to experience them up close and in person to appreciate them. They were so ragged that Dave had to wear boxer shorts with them to keep from showing off his meat and two veggies. One would find them in the most bizarre places. You could be in the dressing room looking for bottled water under the deli table and find them there. The smell would hit you before you actually made eye contact with them. Dave wore them on the 1993 Rolling Stone cover. They are actually held together not by cotton fibers but funk, body oil and sweat.

Curious about the pants I asked Bill Sullivan (the band’s tour manager) what was up with Dave’s pants. It was his job to keep up with the pants and he did an excellent job in doing so. He pulled me into a corner and spoke in whispered tones. He said to me, “Joey, those are THE PANTS THAT FEED US!”

I didn’t understand. “The pants that feed us?” I said.

He came closer as if to tell me something of great importance. “Without those pants the show wouldn’t go on. Dave performs in those pants every night. All the little girls expect to see those pants. Thus, they truly are “The Pants That Feed Us.”

“Oh, I see, without the pants there will be no show. No shows mean we have to stop being rock stars. Gentlemen…we have to protect our phony boloney jobs and “The Pants That Feed Us” at all costs!”

I was first introduced to “The Pants That Feed Us” in 1993. They miraculously, held together by pure funk, lasted through 1993 and 1994. I could swear that after everyone was asleep on the bus that “The Pants That Feed Us” would roam the hall and lounges of the bus looking for another gig to play. By this time the pants had a preternatural aura around them and I could swear I smelled the faint smell of gasoline sometimes.

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Spring of 1995 saw the band tour Europe before embarking on a headlining tour of America in support of their new record “Let Your Dim Light Shine.” We had spent about a year in the studio recording it. We were tired of the studio and eager to play the new record live. We released a single, “Misery” and it was climbing the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. We played Germany, France, Spain, and The UK.

One day, we found ourselves in Amsterdam playing a show at the Paradiso. We paid a visit to The Bulldog and played the parts of the ugly Americans who can’t tolerate the good weed. Oh yes, add to “The Pants That Feed Us” the odor of serious skunkweed. We played a fun, bordering on stupid show that night. We were stoned and Dave was telling jokes like he’s Shecky Green to a Dutch audience that wasn’t in on the joke. We finished the show and took two vans back to the Amsterdam Hilton…

It had to happen. It was long overdue. Perhaps we should have paid more attention. The events of that night will be forever unclear. Not unlike the JFK assassination; there were conflicting versions of what went down. I will do my best to recount what I remember.

We arrived at the hotel after the gig. I had the room next to Dave. Bill was down the hall. We had been at the hotel for about twenty minutes when I hear a commotion and Bill Sullivan’s voice in the hall. I opened my door and took a peek out. There is smoke coming from Dave’s room Bill was talking excitedly to an employee, apparently trying to talk him out of calling the fire department. I can hear water running in Dave’s bathroom, and the smell of burnt hair and skunk permeated the air. I walk out into the hall and into Dave’s room. Dave was frantic and wearing a hotel supplied robe. I follow the sound of water running and turn the corner into Dave’s bathroom and had to do a double take at what I saw. “The Pants That Feed Us” were on fire, and not only on fire but burning underwater! The water seemed to be fueling the fire. Like sulfur in water “The Pants That Feed Us” smoked and burned. The pants were so evil and soaked with sweat, body oil and dope that they couldn’t be extinguished! It took fifteen minutes for them to stop smoking. For a while they would seem to go out; only to flame up again and again when the water was turned off…like they were refusing to die!

I can only speculate from the different accounts of what I think happened prior to the flaming and subsequent demise of “The Pants That Feed Us.” Here it goes: Dave arrived at his room still wet and sweaty from the gig. He gets undressed and lays “The Pants That Feed Us” over a lamp to dry. He goes about his business not paying any attention to the pants over the lamp. Perhaps he makes a phone call to his girlfriend. At some point “The Pants That Feed Us” must have begun to smolder and smoke a bit. Dave is still oblivious to this (Dave is kind of like that. I’d been in the band for five years and was talking about my kids one day, and Dave looked up and said that he didn’t know that I was a father), and keeps on doing what he’s doing. Changing his shirt perhaps? Then, suddenly the pants burst into flames scaring the shit out of Dave! There was evidence that he used one of those wooden hotel hangers to get the pants from the lamp to the bathtub. There was evidence that the lampshade caught on fire as well. Smoke was everywhere. The hanger was in the bathtub along with the remains of “The Pants That Feed Us.” He probably tried to beat the fire out with the hanger. At some point, he called Bill Sullivan for help. Bill came to Dave’s room and calms him down, puts out the fire (for good) and explains to the hotel manager what has transpired. He probably slipped the hotel manager 100 krone for his trouble.

Don’t be sad, people. “The Pants That Feed Us” had a good run. They are in a better place now. I don’t know how they were disposed of, but I’m sure it involved some kind of ceremony. Nobody talked about it afterward. It was like it never happened. Sometimes I can get a whiff of some odor today and have a “The Pants That Feed Us” flashback. God bless “The Pants That Feed Us”!

R.I.P

J~

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Postcards From The Road

Postcards from the Road Dublin 1994

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Wednesday, March 16th 1994: I am somewhere over the Irish Sea on Aer Lingus flight #529 from Paris to Dublin, Ireland, scheduled to arrive at 8:15 p.m or 22:15 hours military time, which is the preferred format in Europe.  Scattered around the plane are the various members of Soul Asylum, fresh from doing a TV show in France.  Some were sleeping, others were gathered around Bill Sullivan, the band’s tour manager, placing bets on the college basketball playoffs.  It’s March and that means March Madness. The band always had a pool to pick the winners at each elimination.  I never win at this shit, but I put my $20 in the pool and picked some names.  All I remember is that I bet on Kentucky to win it all. I lost.

The plane made its final approach and landed.  We cleared customs with just a stamp and a wave of the hand.  The customs folks were nonplussed and not interested in giving a rock and roll band a hard time.  We lucked out.  Outside the airport, those who smoked did so.  Our passenger van was waiting to take us to our hotel.  In the van, the late Karl Mueller, bass player and founding member of the band, used green food coloring to dye his “winkie” green in honor of his late grandfather, who also dyed his “winkie” green every Saint Patrick’s Day. Karl was a little tipsy (as we all were) so with great vigor (but not a lot of finesse) Karl completed his mission.

We arrived at the Westbury Hotel on Grafton Street approximately 45 minutes after departing the airport.  The hotel was a Victorian affair with contemporary furniture and centrally located.  One could take a short walk and find all the Irish culture one desired.  There was a seven foot Steinway piano near the bar but adjacent to the lobby.  It looked like a hotel that one would imagine if imagining a four star hotel in Dublin, Ireland.  The concierge remembered your name, and they made everything available 24 hours a day.  It is one of the nicest hotels that I have had the pleasure to stay in.  It is definitely in my top ten.

We were scheduled to spend three days in Dublin.  We arrived in the evening on March 16th, and we had the rest of the night off.  We had to play a show at the S.F.X. Center on the 17th (Saint Patrick’s Day).  Departure was scheduled for the morning of the 18th, flight # BD124 departing Dublin at 10:45 a.m., or 10:45 hours native time.  After checking in, we quickly reconvened in the lobby and headed out for a night of drinking, mischief, and mayhem.  First stop: the pub on the corner.  We wanted to belly-up to the bar and drink a pint of Guinness Stout with real Irish people.  These people were friendlier than the rest of the UK and Europe.  They loved to drink.  It was cool sitting in a bar with the sound of an Irish brogue in the air.  Life was good. I could sleep until at least noon the next day so we were in for a late night.  I wish I could remember the name of the pub, but it escapes me now.  We left our first Irish pub and dropped into a couple more as we walked along Grafton Street.  None of these were as happening as the first pub we drank in.  We had heard the rumor that U2 owned a nightclub in Dublin.  We inquired and found out that U2’s nightclub was in the basement of the Clarence Hotel, which they also bought and renovated.  So off we went to find U2’s club.

The place was called The Kitchen.  We arrived and talked our way inside.  We didn’t know what to expect.  It was very dark and cave-like inside.  Techno and house music blared through the speakers at an almost unbearable level.  There was a moderate crowd all dressed up like Euro trash, but that is what you get on a Wednesday night in Dublin, Ireland.  Soul Asylum hadn’t broken in Europe at that point so we were not recognized.  We couldn’t play the rockstar card.  No one noticed us or seemed to care.  Tired from travel and too much to drink, we fled The Kitchen to catch a cab back to the Westbury.  The bar was still open there, and we had a nightcap before heading up to our rooms and passing out.

Thursday, March 17th, Saint Patrick’s Day: I awoke around 13:00 hours or 1:00 p.m.  My head was pounding so I was on a mission for Advil, which I always carried with me.  I took four pills and choked them down with water with gas, or club soda as we know it here in the states.  I layed back down and let the pills start to work. We didn’t have sound check until 4:00 p.m. or 16:00 hours that afternoon.  I ordered some coffee and breakfast from room service and read the paper they brought with the food.  I took a shower and watched TV until lobby call at 3:30 or 15:30 hours.  I met the van at the designated time and rode to sound check, which went off without a hitch.  I remember we played this really moody song that Dave Pirner, vocalist and guitar player for Soul Asylum, wrote during our time off.  The song was called “I Should Have Stayed in Bed All Day.” I like that song a lot, but it has yet to surface on a Soul Asylum record.

After the sound check, dinner was served.  The catering crew that traveled with us on this tour was excellent.  Good food while traveling abroad makes for happy campers. Bad food can ruin a whole tour.  I believe they served Sheppard’s Pie.  It was delicious.  The band that opened for us on this leg of the tour was the Meat Puppets.  I got to be very good friends with Curt Kirkwood, and later played on a Meat Puppets record, as well as a Curt Kirkwood solo project.  We also wrote some songs together around 2003.  One of them is on his recent solo record Snow.  The Meat Puppets took the stage to a crowd of about 1500 punkers ready to rock.  They sometimes played a George Jones song, and I’d play piano with them, but not that night.  The Meat Puppets ripped through their set with enthusiasm and really got the crowd on their side.  They rocked and we had to follow that.

Backstage in the dressing room, Bill Sullivan comes in and says we have a surprise guest for the show.  Bono, the singer/songwriter from U2 is at our show.  He proceeds to tell us that he’s a fan of the band, and wants to meet us after the show.  Wow…could it be any better or nerve-racking?  You have 1500 screaming fans to play for, Bono waiting to meet you after the show, and it’s Saint Patrick’s Day in Dublin Ireland.  It was like we were getting the key to the city.  Thank God we had some vodka!  Soul Asylum takes the stage at 9:15 p.m. or 17:15 hours.  We played like we were playing these songs for the first time.  We tried some new material, and it went over well.  The crowd was over the top.  It felt like home to me.  We were nervous, but it didn’t show.  Dave had a false start on “Somebody To Shove”, but that just added to the show’s charm.  You have to be able to laugh at yourself. We did two encores.  I think we played a cover of “Rhinestone Cowboy” to end the set.  We did a good job, and we felt good about it.  We were ready to meet “the man.”

I was taken aback when I saw Bono in person for the first time.  U2 was between tours and writing another record.  He had gained weight, I’d say about 30 pounds. He had a very thick beard as well.  He looked more like Van Morrison than he did Bono, but there was no mistaking that it was him when he spoke.  He came into our dressing room and Bill Sullivan introduced us around the room one at a time. He had a really cool vibe about him, and I remember thinking that Bono is the Rick Richards of Dublin.  We talked about music and politics (we had just been to the Whitehouse).  He listened to each of us intently and addressed you calmly.  He was just a guy out on the town (his town) on Saint Patrick’s Day, meeting some new people, and the world was a better place for it.  Bono told us that his brother, Norman, owned an Italian restaurant called Tosca.  He invited the whole band and crew out to dinner at his brother’s place.

When we got to Tosca, we all filed into the place and sat at a huge table in the middle of the room.  Apparently Bono had phoned ahead, and they were expecting us.  The restaurant was typical of any upscale Italian restaurant. It was cozy…not too dark, nottoo bright. You had to look closely, but the walls were adorned with original paintings.  Some of the artwork was Bono’s, and the rest was from other promising artists of Dublin.  I can’t remember who sat where.  I remember Bono sat at the middle of the table with Dave Pirner on one side and Bill Sullivan on the other.  I sat next to Dave so I might get in on the conversation every now and then. My favorite song by U2 is “One.”  I love that song, and I love the lyrics.  I had one burning question that I wanted to ask Bono, and it’s the one question you are not supposed to ask songwriters.  I got up my nerve and told him that I liked the song “One.”  He said thanks.  Then I asked him what the song was about.  What he told me surprised me a little bit.  He told me that the song was about a couple, and one of them was HIV positive.  The one singing the song is the infected partner.  When you listen to the lyrics now, knowing what they were inspired by, it brings new meaning to the lyrics. All I could muster up was, “Wow.”

We had several bottles of really good wine with our meal, and we were feeling a little glow.  A couple of more bottles and we were ready to go pub-crawling.  A pub crawl is where you go to one pub, have a drink, and check out the scene then immediately go to the next pub, have another drink, and so on and so forth.  Everywhere we went the people practically worshiped Bono, but they kept their distance and showed him respect.  He hugged a few people and laughed a lot.  He seemed to be totally in his element.  I lost track of how many pubs we visited at ten.  The night seemed to last forever, but all good things must come to an end.

We all ended up at the Westbury Hotel.  We drank shots at the bar and chased them with beer.  I eventually found the Steinway Grand and started playing.  Everybody gathered around the piano and started singing.  It was a great moment of camaraderie.  Everybody seemed to bond.  I can’t remember what I played, but I’m sure I included some Stones, Faces, Badfinger and Beatles.  The highlight of our instant concert was “Fairytale of NewYork” by the Pouges.  Then we took turns playing and singing.  Bono played piano for awhile and seemed to have a penchant for Motown.  He played a couple of songs he had been working on in the studio.  That was cool.  Dave played “Piano Man” by Billy Joel, and we all sang along loudly.  The impromptu concert started winding down, and people started saying good night… hugs all around.  After all, we had a plane to catch at 2:45p.m. or 14:45 hours.  It was already 6:00 a.m. or 06:00 hours.  I barely remember going to my room and passing out.  We had a travel day the next day, but traveling is tough when you are hungover.  I took some Advil as a preemptive measure to dull the pain.  And I drifted off to sleep with the sights and sounds of the night’s activities running through my head.

Friday, March 18th: I slept until the very last minute I could. I got up and took a shower, packed and met the band in the lobby. The sights and sounds of last night’s events were still running through my head.  Everyone was quiet on the ride to the airport.  I guess they were reflecting on how cool the night before had been.  Maybe like me, they were realizing that last night was one of those once-in-a-lifetime hangs.  It is a good thing to meet someone you admire and find out that he is just a guy like you, that he is motivated by the same basic needs and feels the same feelings that you do.  I have had evenings that compare in some ways to Saint Patrick’s Day 1994, but none have ever topped it.

More to follow…

J~

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Postcards From The Road

Postcards From The Road by Joey Huffman: Soul Asylum on Saturday Night Live – 1993

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One of the highlights of my career was performing with Soul Asylum on Saturday Night Live.

NBC protocol and schedule for Saturday Night Live is as follows:

Arrive at NBC and go through the lobby to the elevators where there is a security checkpoint. Everyone is searched and you are assigned an NBC page to be your minder for the day. Tuesday and Wednesday are for blocking camera angles, skit rehearsal and musical guest run through. Thursday is a day off. Friday is a practice run through of the show and trimming the sketches that aren’t working. Saturday is for fine-tuning the show. You do another show run through. Then around 7:30 p.m. they let an audience in. At 8:00 p.m. you tape a dress rehearsal of the show with an audience to act as a safety in case something goes wrong when you go live. It’s on a tape delay so if someone says F@#K on air they switch to the safety and everything is okay. After the run through they turn the audience and go live at 11:30 p.m. with a fresh audience. Remember…don’t f@#k up. There are only ten million people watching you. How all of this applies to the band is that there is going to be an excessive amount of waiting around. This will eventually lead to some drinking on the band’s behalf.

Tuesday they like to have you man the stage and stand in the spot you’re going to be standing for what seems like hours. Nothing seems to be happening but they are adjusting lights and blocking camera angles. You can’t play your instrument because it impedes the crew’s ability to hear each other. After this comes sound check. You check all your lines and make sure they are working for someone you can’t see because the control room is on another floor. Eventually you get to play your songs. And play them…and play them… Then you do it with a cue like the host is introducing you. Finally you are free to hang out. Don’t wander too far from your designated area or your minder will be forced to retrieve you. Apparently you must stay with the herd; and the minders are like border collies keeping you in formation. There is a TV in every room so you can see what’s happening on the set. Sometimes it’s just carpenters building sets. Sometimes it’s a cast member rehearsing a sketch. Sometimes it is just nothing. They keep you from around noon until nine or ten o’clock. Then they search you again when you get off the elevator when you are leaving. Limo back to the hotel and boom, you’re free to do as you please.

Wednesday is pretty much a carbon copy of Tuesday except you get to play a little more. Dinner was deli delivery. Turkey Sandwich…Yum.

Thursday is a much needed day off.

Friday saw the show start to resemble what you would see live on Saturday night. We did three run throughs. They were around two hours in length. They still need to cut thirty minutes from the show. They went about fine-tuning the show and we sat around a lot. I met Mike Meyers. That was kind of cool. Miranda Richardson is the host this week. I didn’t see a lot of her. Some of the skits are pretty funny. I’m starting to realize that I’m playing SNL. I start to get nervous.

Saturday – Day of the show. We had to bring our clothes for dress rehearsal. We do one dress rehearsal just like the show would be. You play twice so you play once and you have time to think about the second one. The show’s pace seems better. We have to go to makeup for the “Safety Run.” They are letting in the first audience. We are all a little nervous. Our first song is twenty minutes into the show. We watch the show on the monitor in our dressing room. Miranda comes out and does her monologue. We watch a few skits and then it’s time for us. We go to the stage in the time it takes to run the commercials. The light comes on to signify we’re back live. Miranda introduces us and we break into “Somebody To Shove. “ I was just thinking about my parts. It wasn’t so scary once you got up and did it. Before you know it, it was over and we’re back in our dressing room feeling good about ourselves… high fives all around. Now we wait until the next song. We are all looser and at ease now that we have one under our belts. Time flies by and it’s back out to do “Black Gold.” We nailed it.

Now it’s time to wait for them to turn the audience and 11:30 p.m.. Not as nervous as I was before. Time was flying by. We had to go back to makeup again and get touched up I’m back in the dressing room ready to play. Then the show starts…for real. You hear the band kick out the theme song and Don Pardo introduces Miranda. She does her monologue and the crowd is with her. They seem to be into it more than the earlier audience. Time passes…time to play. We rush to get to the stage and in place. We’re back live…Ladies and Gentlemen…Soul Asylum! We’re on; live in front of 10 million people. What a rush! The time that we were on stage flew by and it was over and the crowd was into it.

Now we’re herded back to the dressing room to wait again. By this time we were old pros at this. They do weekend update, then another two or three skits and it’s time for us again. Again we rush to the stage to take our places, back live, Ladies and Gentlemen once again…Soul Asylum! We break into “Black Gold” and I felt almost high. We fly through that song and it’s back to the dressing room to party. The only thing left to do is stand on the stage while they roll the credits…which we did. All in all it was a fantastic experience.

The after show party was at a club that was closed down except for us. We had a good time but the band pretty much hung together at our own table. We went to an Irish pub after that. I was walking by Danny Murphy who was sitting at a table. He told me I did a good job. Then he asked me what I was doing this summer. I said playing with you. We both laughed and he explained to me that they had a few shows to do without a keyboard player but they were doing the Alternative Nation tour with the Spin Doctors starting in June and that’s when they wanted me to start. I was ecstatic. I got a lesson in the way life works from my experience of the past year. I thought Rick (Richards) going to play with Izzy was bad luck for me. I had to be a tech again after playing in three bands. I thought I was taking a step back but I was actually taking two forward. When God closes one door on you he opens another. You just have to have faith and believe in the power of positive thinking. I am living proof.

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