Saturday, January 30, 2010
Winter Olympic Team
Mucho thanks to Raymond Goodman for the photo!
Will and I showed up at Sadlack’s Heroes right on time, just after 5pm yesterday. We got out, walked through the “venue” which was nothing more than a one and a half sided veranda. Luckily the “sided” part faced north and blocked out a stiff upper 20’s (F) wind blowing in. The snow was coming, we knew that. Were we REALLY fiddin’ to Rock this joint, basically OUTSIDE!? Uh huh, you know thass right! Soon the boys showed up with the van full of gear and started unloading like it was mid-summer. “How you durin’?” says Dave. Greg “Bronco II”, who also books the place, found the right folks to turn up the ceiling heaters and the one standing gas heater. They were putting out pretty good, you wouldn’t wanna get too close. I took my icy cymbals and put them on stands just under each one. The last thing I need is a broken cymbal so I made sure to take the chill off before striking them. A quick soundcheck made a few folks gather and bob their heads a bit. The streetlights were starting to show flurries. Soon it was time for our friend, Colin Gawel (from Columbus) to perform solo. He’s got a batch of new songs that he needed to get out there and he’s talented enough to pull off the one guy thing. His voice alone is worth the listen but he’ll also catch ya with a great line or two in his songs. “Nobody my age should be wearing a nametag” made me bust out laughing. He also played a song that he wrote with his son called “Jaws”. I was disappointed to learn that it wouldn’t be on the new record. He was headed to Myrtle Beach after the show to try and beat the weather so he packed and ran out before The OakTeam went on. A crowd started to show up, more than we expected in an upcoming blizzard. Bob Davis was in town and came by, it was great to see him. I was disappointed that my friends from the Outter Banks, Moose and Missy Smith weren’t there as promised. Just as we were taking the stage a taxi pulls up, out comes Moose and the party girls. They DID come afterall! OK, time to Rock! We shouted out that if someone would call out the first song we could take it from there. I was already surprisingly warm in my two t-shirts (one was long sleeved), my OakTeam hoodie Jack gave me for Christmas and a pair of…for lack of a better term, garden gloves. “Price of an Education” the OBX clan yelled out. No prob. Dave turns the key and cranks the Harley that is The OakTeam, runka runka in E…and they’re off!! The next few numbers after that were from “National Champions”. The kids wanted to hear something new so only about 5 songs in I nodded for “Nervous Around Pretty Girls”. This one may or may not make the next record as it’s on hold for a movie so we’ll see which one wins the rights to that one. We went through a few more “classics” from the LIVE record as the crowd grew and got wilder (or drunker!). The snow was thickening in the sky beside and above us. It was becoming the night we all wished it would be. We mostly locked in tightly on all the songs despite having hardly laid eyes each other since Christmas night. We had done over an hour when we figgered it was time to start tying things up and hitting the old dusty (with snow) trail. I think I gave the best, most momentous “Punished” performance ever before going into our finishing numbers, usually always “Thunderbird” and “Check Please” (also a movie possibility). We left’m wanting more and I was actually SWEATING, having already taken my gloves off a few songs back. After the photos and autographs were taken and signed it was back to work, breaking the crap down and putting it back in the van. Afterall, that’s what we get the big bucks for. It damn sure ain’t for playing. We would do that for FREE at anytime if everything was there in place when we got there. We all love it that much. Speaking of big bucks, this actually WAS a free show. I mean, the bar will tip us a bit but more of our gas money and take home pay comes from a plastic pickle jar set in front of the stage with its mouth open to the generosity of those being rocked. Our crowd is a good bunch of folks and threw in 20’s and 10’s from the goodness of their hearts and for the appreciation they had for what we do. When the pickle jar was emptied we each got $41, more than I could have imagined. Oddly…cue “Twilight Zone” music…it was the 41st anniversary of the very last Beatles performance, on top of the Apple Records building. Weeeirrd! OK, not really. I was just hoping that it wasn’t OUR last show as Will and I headed down the treacherous “AutoBunn”, the Knightdale bypass that takes us home. There were cars everywhere slid down embankments and off the road into guardrails. I took my time, not changing lanes much and staying off the brakes. I had one tiny little sideways slide that Will barely noticed. We came up on the plow trucks who impeded our speed even more which I was fine with. They led us right to our exit, Hwy.39. I was REALLY worried that the roads would be even worse on this country two lane but not so. I was relieved to find them only looking wet, as if just rained on. Evidently, the storm hadn’t kicked in here yet, again...fine by me! We pulled in the driveway after a drive that took twice as long as usual. But it was worth every scary minute of it. Who says you can’t rock in a snowstorm?