Saturday morning came way too early for me. We had an 11am call at the Side Bar downtown for Leticia’s showcase, so of course, that means getting ready at 8. It wasn’t a super late night, but still…8?
I found out later that maybe it should have been a late one. Chris and I wrapped it up at Momo’s around midnight. The English Beat was the last act that night and we were hoping to catch them, but with a full set to go before they even started setting up, we decided to bag it and get some sleep. Too bad. The English Beat was probably the best know Ska band in America in the early 80’s: Save It For Later, Twist And Crawl, Mirror In The Bathroom were all big hits. I heard from some people who were there that not only were they dead-on perfect and full of that manic drive that made them so popular, but that Lucinda Williams was there and sat in. That would have been great to see. Sleep is good though, right?
Seriously though, it’s best to be prepared. And so we were. We got there before the stage did. Evidently the party we did not go to in order to be well rested for the morning show, was the very same one the guys who had the stage gear went to. They were hurting when they got there. You could tell. Humping heavy gear around on a warm day with a hangover is brutal. I worked up a little pity, but just a little. I was awake at 8.
The Side Bar was running two stages that day, one inside and one against the fence out in the back yard. It was mostly gravel.
There were a bunch of people hanging around that were obviously in bands of some sort, A couple of girls and a young guy with a beret were over in one corner out in the backyard. They were the first band for the outside stage. They had no idea what was in store for them. Leticia was getting ready inside and these guys, an early 60’s Mama’s and the Papa’s type band by the looks of them, were getting ready to start on the back yard stage. As one of the girls started to bow her violin for the first song, an incredibly loud rock guitar progression comes blasting through the fence, a Marshall Stack on 10 no doubt. And then the cheesy “Classic Rock” vocals: Hot wheels…Cold beer…And ***** Yeah!! (he said some stuff they won’t let me put in here) The look on the poor girls’ face was priceless. They soldiered on through their set but every time they finished a song, there was that Marshall.
Leticia’s set went very well and was enjoyed by those who were paying attention. I’m sure she picked up some new fans. I left Tish and Mark at the Side Bar and went west to find Chris who was at the Gibson Guitar Hospital again that day. The Guitar Hospital is basically a tour bus and some guys who will fix up you guitar while you wait. New strings, intonation, buzzing problems; short of major surgery what ever you need. Free. Chris had about an hour to go so I wandered around and found a party up on the roof. Nylon Magazine was hosting and event up there. VIPs only but somehow I just walked right in. A pool, several bands, buffet, open bar and great views. I walked around taking pictures and was struck by how bored everyone looked. Then I got it: Magazine Models. What-ev.
Leticia, Mark and I ended the night at The Belmont, to see Dead Confederate one more time. We missed them but hung around anyway. This was an invite-only situation and we had an invite. So did the rest of Texas. It was Sardine City. We squeezed our way into a little back stage lounge area that seemed to be less crowded. We found some couches and had a seat. The rest of the place was packed to the gils but only us and a few others in here… hmmm. We might not supposed to be here. “So, London or Tokyo next?” I said loudly to Mark. He instantly got it. “I don’t know man, Tokyo didn’t fulfill the contract last time. I’m not sure we should do that.” “Yeah, but London? Do we really want to do THAT again?” I said. “How about Amsterdam?” Tish says. We amused ourselves like this for a bit longer but no one was paying any attention at all. Time to go. We squeezed our way back through the club and headed home.
Well that’s about it. The next day was all packing and airports. It was a really memorable trip. Thanks for reading and maybe we’ll do it again next year!