The East River Truckers (Charlie Sexton, Yours Truly, Vicente Rodriguez, and Steve Adams) are heading over to Spain in a bit here… Performing all of Some Girls. I have a checklist and everything.
Great drummer? Check. Phaze Shifter? Check.
So I’m driving out to San Rafael with Charlie in the Econoline. He’s here for a couple days so we can try to cram these songs so far into our brains they come out our fingers.
Why San Rafael? Well, do you know a place to rehearse in San Francisco? [Lennon was booked.] Ever since the plutocrats and techno nerds and money grabbing real estate venture capitalists took over Start Up City, USA, all bets are off.
As we were driving… The conversation turned to Austin, TX and how they love to give awards. I said, “Charlie, we would give awards here but there would be too many, we’d never get to the end of the list.” Charlie didn't really respond. He just pulled out a pack of Marlboros, tapped out a cigarette, and looked out the window.
I said, “Okay, let’s just say this van broke down right here and we had to walk to someone’s house and maybe ask to use their phone? Well, that would never happen because we have like four phones here in the van with us and three on the roof, but my point is that if it DID happen and we knocked on someone's door, chances are the first thing we'd see was seven platinum records on the wall.
Why? Maybe he (or she) was second engineer on a 4 Non Blondes record. Or a percussionist in Santana on a live record from 1977. Or worked in Metallica’s accountant's office. I’m just saying. Lots of people in the Bay Area have sold millions of records. Bands we've never even heard of.
So we’re up in San Rafael and rehearsing… I mean really rehearsing. Wood chips flying off the sticks. We blew up amps. We broke strings. But Vicente held it all down. It wasn't like one of those Mission Express rehearsals the morning of a gig in a hotel room in Houston where Vicente taps out time with his bare hands on his knees and Stephanie tries to eek chords out of that keyboard built into an iPad. And me and James on unplugged electric guitars…
It was a solid rehearsal. We’ll get by.
That evening as Charlie and I were leaving the parking lot a guy walks up to us and starts talking. He’s got a baseball cap on and long hair parted in the middle. He says, “Hey man, I’m looking for Tal. I just came from having an MRI and I’m looking for some sympathy.” I said “Hey man, I just had an MRI last week…“ We got to talking. And turns out I had a lot in common with this guy. MRI’s are ugly. That tube. The clanging. It's like you’re a tennis shoe locked in a dryer on spin cycle. But you're not. Next time I’ll request a valium.
Just goes to show you can’t judge a book by a baseball cap in dark parking lot, even when a gas can is involved.
Turns out my new MRI friend is Jeff from Night Ranger. Night Ranger! Sister Christian, kids! And we got a kick out of that… I didn’t even know Night Ranger was from the area.
So we’re in the van and Charlie says, “It’s just like you said, there you go…“ I said, yeah. We even went as far as to ask Siri how many records Night Ranger has sold. And she said 17 million. So, I don’t think he’s gonna have much problem filling up the gas can. I was tempted to say, it's not every day we get to hobnob with 80's hair bands that have sold 17 million. Now is it, Charlie? Do you meet people like that on your regular gig? Don’t think so.
So, there’s that. And we got through the songs. Can’t wait to play ‘em over in Spain.
|02-23-2019||Ringwood, NJ||Live at Drews|
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|05-26-2019||Colorado Springs, CO||MeadowGrass Music Festival|