Monday, September 07, 2009
“This is awful” I tell Dan as we sit in the food court of the Philly airport. There’s time to kill before our flights home so he agrees to watch me TRY to stomach a microwaved “everything” bagel crammed with some powdered egg like product probably designed and produced in China. I could’a had a real breakfast at the hotel had I not woke up just 15 minutes before our scheduled shuttle to the airport. But this was a small price to pay for a shit ton of fun. I flew in on a beautiful, albeit warm Friday afternoon in advance of some serious Yayhoo rockin’ planned for Saturday and Sunday. Behind me at the cab stand I overheard a couple confirming their destination to each other. Noticing that it was only blocks from mine (Roscoe’s crib), I asked if they wanted to share the ride. They agreed and we learned a lot about each other for the next 20 plus minutes getting into town. They were tennis freaks and were there for the US Open. They too were from North Carolina and actually only about an hour away from my house. Upon my arrival at ‘Scoe’s, I got in touch with Grace who rode up my buddies Joey and Dave the night…ahh…hemm MORNING before. They were staying in Jersey but had already made their way over to Manhattan and were just blocks away. Roscoe and I met them for lunch at 10th and B at a healthy little café called LIFE. They were already into about their third beer but I begged off having “been good” for almost a whole month. I’d not had any for most of the month but of late had decided to take my doctors advice and have one or two as needed. We did a little walking around, looking for shoes, guitars and such and after a couple of hours of that an ice cold belly washer actually DID sound good. So we stopped back by LIFE, having made a friend with our waitress and knowing they had seen us in there earlier and wouldn’t get too mad if we helped ourselves to their facilities, something hard to come by in the city. By the time we’d downed our pints, The Lakeside Lounge (next door) had opened its doors to the public for happy hour. Joey had never been there (or NYC for that matter) and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, air conditioning and goodies from the bar for the few hours.
He and Dave kept buying the drinks and somehow I’d forgotten the alcohol diet I was supposed to be on. I mentioned that Keith could be at his old stomping grounds, the 11th St. bar just around the corner so we gathered ourselves and tried not to stagger too badly as we made our way around the corner to find out. We didn’t find Keith but we did run into Jack-boy, an old pal of ours who after buying me a drink (shit! I forgot about that one!) Invited us all upstairs for an impromptu birthday party for one of the neighbors, upstairs as in ON THE ROOF! The grill was already ablaze about to accept its brisket and the tables were covered with corn on the cob, slaw, guacamole and cornbread. These were MY kind of people! It cooled down nicely and we spent the sundown finding out more about each other. Especially interesting was Jim’s account of being at Woodstock. He and a couple of buddies (one who wasn’t even a music fan) were just 200 yards from the stage. They were just 17. A kid of the birthday-ee (is that a word?) showed up to the party with a pint of tequila that may have been the finest I’d ever tasted. It came sidesaddle with two leather wrapped shot glasses. He was proud to share and I was more than willing to accept his hospitality. His mom had brought it back from Mexico and it wasn’t available in the States. For this I am truly grateful. We hung around until Jack-boy wasn’t making any more sense which worked out because it would soon be time for Dash Rip Rock to take the stage back at The Lakeside. They were really good and had some stupid ass songs that I enjoyed. Andy York (gtr. w/ Mellencamp, producerman) was there
and once we got going there was no stopping us. The Jager began to flow and my alcohol “diet” was a distant memory of another life. I staggered home to ‘Scoe’s late and felt very not so good a lot the next day. Grace and the guys had headed back to Jersey before Dash went on. They were absolutely beat down after driving all night and having not slept. Plus, they had to suss the bus route out after paying an exorbitant amount to come in to the city via hotel character earlier in the day. The boys came back over mid-day Saturday and were looking for food. I took them to my mandatory stop whenever I’m in the city, San Loco. The catfish tacos are a rockin’ thang. Joey said the sangria was to die for and I believed him, I felt like I would probably die if I drank any. I had to get back to gather stuff with Scoe to take to The Mercury Lounge for a 3:30pm soundcheck. That went fine and we ran over just a couple of tunes before declaring ourselves satisfied with the situation. Grace laid by the pool most of the day and waited for my cousin who I thought would be of SOME help escorting her in to town. Once Cousin Barbara got there Grace found out that she was about as clueless as she was when it came to getting around the city. They were finally able to catch the subway and meet us down at Ground Zero, somewhere I’d been meaning to go for about the last 8 years. It was a bit haunting being there but there really was not much of a clear view of what was what. The boys went off on their own and Grace, Barb and I took a subway back up to 8th St. We settled on eating at a sushi joint called Sushi Lounge. It didn’t suck but not sure I would go back. After a little downtime, The Yayhoos hit the stage after 11:30pm. We came outta the gate rockin’ massively.
We held things together for a good 8 or 9 songs until our old minds started to disremember not only a few chords and notes here and there but also what songs were usually on the set list.
We asked the crowd for help and they gladly shouted out their requests. We tried to oblige and for the most part succeeded with big exception on my part of “Anything/Everything”. This is the song that Roscoe and I switch off on and Dan and Keith switch on. I couldn’t remember the guitar parts on that bitch to save my ass! I finally just jammed along on an E9th chord which prompted me to sing my line in it like this “My name’s Terry, Mr. Geniusman, and I really SUCK with a guitar in my hand!”
It was overall a great night though and in my view, the crowd was the real stars that night!
Sunday was a GLORIOUS Chamber of Commerce weather day until about 3-ish when it was time to pile in ‘Scoe’s Suburban and leave for Philly. Dan and I met for brunch at The Odessa earlier and I spent most of the time after that in a drunk on life daze just shopping for gnarly fake teeth to bring home to Nathan and watching dogs play in Tompkins Square Park. The ride down to Philly wasn’t that bad, taking a shortcut through Staten Island helped out a lot.
When we arrived at World Café I was hustled off by Nan from Bloodshot Records and asked to learn 2 records worth of material from a band I’d never heard. I knew about it but was secretly hoping that The Deadstring Brothers had found some other knucklehead who may have actually heard the songs before to fill in. She introduced me to Kurt and he and I sat in her car between 6:30 and 7pm and discussed the moves. We both shrugged as he got out leaving me with their set list to make notes on. Ten minutes later I said “screw it!” and decided that whatever happened…happened, it was almost show time, 7:30pm. Nan walked out about that time and I handed off her keys and walked the plank towards the stage.
After a minor drum adjustment I sat down and waited for all hell to break loose. I KNEW the first song, it was pretty easy. I just thought to myself”AC/DC ‘Long Way to the Top’, just play that”. It rocked like ass! After that it was a blur, the fill in keyboard player and the fill in lap steel guy were in the same boat, they didn’t know much more than I did. But it was great fun and the band got a lot of love from the crowd and I got a LOT of respect from a lot of people that I respect for doing such a professional job of “faking it”. I faked it as far as knowing the songs but not as far as how much fun it was. The band is really good and I suggest you look’m up and buy one (or as many as you’d like!) of their records. They are of course, on the Bloodshot label! Speaking of Bloodshot, the whole reason for our trip to the northeast was to help celebrate their 15th anniversary. They’ve sure put out a BUNCH of great music in that time, not the least of which was the first Yayhoos record, thus our invitation to the festivities. Having a good rehearsal under our belts the night before the ‘Hoos were cocked and loaded for a good old fashion Country ass kickin’! And you better believe them folks got one too! After The Bottle Rockets raised the bar quite high, we knew we had a lot to live up to.
“What are we Waiting For” spread across the crowd like peanut butter, but it was smooth AND crunchy! There were many highlights from the 50 minute set, from Keith’s unwillingness to let go of every song to a FLAWLESS very Led Zeppelin version of “Get Right With Jesus” all the way down to the near perfect version of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” sung by fabulous guest singer Robbie Fulks. It was unbelievable. Robbie IS unbelievable and on this night in my very own humble opinion, The Yayhoos were unbelievable!