Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On The Road Day Three

I woke too early again. The first thought in mind was a realization that I had left one of my bags at the hotel in Aspen. Problem. Paul was down on the couch looking like a wounded animal and Davis was hiding in the basement, so I caught up on the real world for a bit. 

We got going after a while and headed out to see what Denver could deliver in the egg department. After one false start we ended up at Breakfast King, an old school classic 24 hour breakfast joint. No latte served, but orange vinyl booths and a waitress older than me and dirt combined. The day got brighter. We schemed. Paul got excited and the F-bomber took off and started dropping a few charges. No one in the crowded joint batted an eye. Guess that's the difference between Denver and Aspen. We schemed some more until 'Milk came to our rescue. 

Off to the mall for costumes with T. Browne as DJ. Nothing better than some Jimi in the morning. The author got to flash his rock and roll photo collection and found a new audience for his stories. After the mall, we picked up the rest of the band and Denver was in our rear view mirror. The trip to Boulder was a breeze. Paul was the wheel man and I was up front keeping an eye on the road and the band mascots. Spirits were high and we all buzzed knowing that tonight was a big moment for the band. 

Pulling up to the St Julien, we immediately found Marty in the lobby doing what Marty does best. The place was crawling with musicians, radio and record people. Hunting and gathering music style. Marty was excited and the games began. I went back to my hotel to check in and when I returned everyone was at a cocktail party under a tent by the hotel. It seemed a little early for cocktails, but when in Rome. There was a band playing that couldn't decide if it wanted to be Greg Allman or Led Zeppelin. Not much competition there.

 Then we went to sound check and to see our spot which turned out to be a stage in a parking lot across from the Ritz Theatre. We had a quick dinner and watched the Ritz filling with fans. We were worried, but Marty was cool. We hung in the green room and checked out another band in the theatre while the boys tried their hands at international diplomacy. 

Finally it was time to play. Magically, the parking lot was full of a bunch of old guys with badges. Marty had worked his magic. 

 With the original set list still smoldering in the ashtray back stage, the band kicked off with Big Diamond Waltz. Ok, I'm a believer now. There is a lot of energy in that song. Pogo was jumping like a madman and hollering the fills. Digin's Done was next and it filled a big piece of the night sky. Tony's guitar was demanding the audience to light their lighters. Evil Ways drew the audience in and they started to move. Paul had his intensity set to 11. I had never seen him give more. Mammel called for Burning Days with his skating rink organ intro. When the rest of band kicked in, the song went to the top. I could see the audience drawing in closer. Paul doubled down on What's To Come Of Me and the house seemed stunned by what they had just witnessed. Church let out and then the new jazz intro to Sons of Fathers began. David got down on his girl friend's neck for all she was worth to begin and after everyone was heard from, T. Browne's fireworks ended the show. The crowd dispersed knowing that they had just witnessed a "tell your friend's moment." 

In 30 minutes it was over. Paul, the man in black, looked like he had run a marathon. Paul was wearing his happy face and everyone in the band knew they had played a killer set. The gear was loaded and the night awaited.

 There was an ebb and flow from the street to the green room and back. We watched the band Fun and shook our heads. We heard Paloma Faith who was actually quite good. I liked her voice a lot. Dusty in 2012. 

Paul, Monty, Pepper and I lit out for a quieter venue. The back room at Johnny's Cigar Bar served us well. It had comfortable chair, decent wine and was a good place to brainstorm. It would have been near perfect if Pepper had kept his mouth shut.The dream team + 1 got together and came up with lots of good ideas and plans. The future looked very bright. 

After a while it seemed like a good idea to find the rest of the band. Monty's phone was off and that brought down the wrath of the preacher. After a while the lost were found and we ended up back at the hotel. Most of the band was in front of the hotel engaged in more international diplomacy. Deals were being offered. Settlement negotiated. All was in flux. It became evident that I had run my race and it was back to the hotel For me. I crashed hard. 


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