Youngstown, Ohio today! Just wrote a blog for the Fogerty website so I’m thinking I’ll keep this one short today. Woke up and noticed it had been raining most of the night- it was still super rainy and misty and there were puddles abundant. It was VERY nice to not be super hot outside. This morning I did my yoga (in two pieces, half of it I didn’t do until I was in the band’s dressing room). ALSO our venue was inside.. it was a stadium type thing rather than an outdoor shed. Air conditioned all day it was almost too cold for me.
It’s just about 2 AM now… I’m sitting in the front lounge with Dave, Pedro, and Felix. Dave was just talking to us about Nazi Germany, now we’re talking about the demo that Dave does in Vegas for fans about John’s guitars. That’s cool. Before that I was in the back lounge with Ryan, Nate, Gina, Steven, and Nathan listening to stories Nate was telling us all- some pretty raunchy tour stories.. I’ll spare you (because I have to.)
Been doing a lot of sitting tonight.. BUT over my day I moved a lot. Soundcheck was a lot of waiting, but I got all my vlogs edited while waiting. Oh this morning I had to show the caterer how to use the juicer that she put out herself… she had no idea how to juice stuff and I had to ask her for a knife and cutting board to cut vegetables. This venue also had the world’s slowest elevator.
Anywayyyy… breakfast and lunch was meh today… luckily I saved tofu from yesterday! Takeout is life!!! After working a while I did some sprints outside the bus- that felt incredible…. I felt my metabolism instantly speed up (even had some chocolate after that Nate was sharing). Had a talk with Pedro about letting go and having fun when I play.. it’s not worth it to overthink everything- even in life. That helped me…. I really needed to find a good power stance to get into for my solo today. Wanting to impress and do good to myself. He’s been the nicest guy to me- his birthday was yesterday I think. Time is going so quickly I can’t even remember.
Got to the show- everyone’s energy always picks up right before a show. I’m feeling tighter and tighter with my horn counterparts…
I wondered out loud to them if we’d have less energy before the show because of the cool weather, but I think we had that in mind because this show had a lot of energy. My range was happening today, and all it took was a clear mindset and practice yesterday. Not to say everything felt perfect- there was uneasiness about my ‘New Orleans’ solo. I can’t keep my mind from intellectually responding to my performance, but the only metric by which my performance is truly measured is how much fun I’m having. When I play sophisticated harmonic language and think it sounds hip, it goes over pretty average in this context. Tonight for that solo I wailed and broke notes and sounded awful to my ears! But I got down on my knees and threw my left hand up in the air and closed my eyes and just blew and that was all I needed to do for everyone afterwards to slap me on the back and say “now you’re having fun”. It took me four weeks to realize that.
I stayed up far too late… didn’t go to sleep until 220, but after a show it’s hard to truly wind down. I have to, though… I’m writing this now at 12:50 the next afternoon because I WAY overslept. TOMORROW we go to Long Island- just don’t think I’ll get to see any of the city unfortunately.
SIDENOTE- when bananas are going bad, chop em up and put them in the freezer so they don’t spoil. Who am I Martha Stewart?? Maybe!!! Just maybe.
Apologies for the delay- thought I hit POST but I guess the wifi was uncooperative!!
Happy Monday! Yes last night was rather thoughtful indeed, today was a lot more static. It’s as if someone sucked all the energy right out of the group… everyone’s daily activities have turned into necessary refueling endeavors… massages, FaceTiming of relatives, napping, vaping.. the list goes on. I was up at 11 today after a solid seven hours (time change made it so I technically went to sleep at 4).. luckily it feels like today our hotel is in a bit more of an inhabited zone. We’re just outside Columbus, Ohio- on the north border of Ohio State University. Looks like a slightly lower class version of UC Davis, but I didn’t really see any of the school itself- just the townhouses surrounding it.
I gave it forty-five minutes at the gym, a long relaxing shower, organizing my money (you bet I’m fiscally responsible… or at least making a desperate effort to be), aaaand did laundry. Got practicing done, picked up the amazon package I had shipped here (thought it would be a dongle for a headphone jack into an iPhone 7 but it was just a splitter with two chargers at the end.. grhhh).
Ventured out a good mile east over some river and past a giant cemetery (by Uber) to a really nice health foods place called Acre Farm-to-Table-to-Go… vibe inside was awesome, I ordered a Tofu and Kale BBQ bowl online and my driver waited for me (like I got me a chauffeur.. man capitalism is wild). Ohh the bowl had sweet potatoes too so I’m a happy guy. It was fine, overpriced and small but good for me.
I’m still looking to book a gig in July with a quartet…. This place Bar Fedora that I was formerly pretty excited about is actually closing down its jazz series. Which SUCKS to hear. Prompted me to think a little deeper about why this is happening and how jazz needs to be less of a “boys club”. I might explain further later but not tonight.
Anyway I just kinda practiced for a few hours, transcriptions and soloing with the 3E and a lot of work with plungers and growling… watched Austin Powers with Steven in his room (which was a nice break from forcing myself into productivity) and by then it was time for dinner. Instead of going anywhere, the three of us just ate at the University Village nearby. It’s just a building moderately sized that has a hangout and chill section for students (fitness and game rooms and stuff) and then five or six restaurants adjacent to it. They went to Wing Stop, I went to an Asian place and got more tofu, this time with mushrooms (I’ve been recently made aware of the GMOs in soy but I’m just trying to live my life up in here).
I went to a gas station convenience store nearby to tryyy and get myself some body wash BUT they didn’t have anything except lotion. Went back on the bus to say hey to Mike and Ryan… a big party of them went to dinner with Bob (Fogerty, our tour manager and John’s brother) at the same place I went to but I missed em by like an hour. Ryan gave me some of his body wash- Molton Brown.. oh my goodness gracious it smells like divine providence. He’s the coolest. Mike D told me to read the book “Outsiders” and see the movie with Rob Lowe. Today is also Pedro’s birthday- saw him only very briefly though. OK with that I’m gonna work on some coding thangs until we have to head to the bus in about forty minutes.
Ended the night watching Blazing Saddles on the bus with the crew. I spend a good hour most days watching some kind of TV and doing nothing. But, in honesty, that's never bothered me despite how I spend my schoolyear- with less than twenty minutes a day of free time. Cuz hey, relax dat brain and socialize a little!
Ok, goodnight Columbus!
Sorry I wrote a long blog. I was too tired to write a short one. That’s a quote from somewhere.
It’s about 140 AM, it’s another “Roadie Friday” as it’s called- tomorrow’s an off day. We don’t head out until 3… it’s a 7.5 hour drive to Columbus, Ohio so I better be asleep till 10:30… sooo I gotta somehow stay awake another hour- but I think I got this. South Park is on the TV, I got plenty of interesting people to converse with.
I’m gonna work backwards today because that’s just how my memory is working.
Just talked outside with Pedro about positivity vs. negativity… he says he practices the “Laws of Attraction”. When you think positive thoughts you attract positivity in the form of other people and other opinions, and the same is true of negativity. I told him that today especially I had negative thoughts about my own playing after the show because I was missing a lot of notes. Ultimately, it’s our negative thinking that perpetuates these kinds of ideas, and, in the same way that one becomes stressed or anxious at another person’s actions, you’re creating something that doesn’t exist by thinking that way.
It’s also Pedro’s birthday today! Sidenote there was a lil camouflaging frog on the grass outside the dressing rooms today. That was neat.
Ok you win I’ll start at the beginning of the morning. I didn’t really exercise today, I got up at 930 and we were in another hotbed. Today was the Hollywood Casino in Missouri.. not sure where the Hollywood or the Casino comes from, since neither are very close. It was probably the hottest day of the tour so far by the end of it all.
Today was one of those days where it took a long time for me to get things done but I somehow felt totally ok with it.
I spent a lot of time sending out emails to book a gig in LA in July! I’m excited about that.. I managed to get a semi-confirmation for a jazz quartet gig at Genghis Cohen on July 7th… I’m gonna reach out to more places tomorrow morning just to be sure. Also spent time later curating a bit of a set list. I want to do a set of music that I listened to a lot in my first two years of listening to jazz in high school- so that it’s music that really speaks to me and I’d be hyper motivated to play amazingly.
Sidenote- I just bit weird into an apple and my tooth feels like it’s lodged out of place.
Back to le story… I had a boca burger for lunch… really filled me up. Soundcheck was LONG but early, so we had a long gap in between that and the show… basically six and a half hours. Nathan and I had a great chat with Kenny right before soundcheck… Nathan asked if he had played on a particular Buddy Rich tribute album. He told us he totally did- and also performed live with the band in New York. It was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of his life, but shows now force him to do nothing but focus, and as a result he doesn’t get nervous anymore. Nobody has had a recording career quite as diverse as Kenny. Love getting to chat with him.
Tried to kinda exercise round 430, (there was nowhere to walk so I just did a cardio warmup on some grass), had two dinners (lil baby meals to keep my sugars going).
Ohh also had a chat with Dave today about GMO foods and the paleo diet. Now it’s a late night conversation with Dave and Steve where he’s analyzing the three of us as people. Nathan is curious, I’m a seeker, and Steve is introspective. He says I’m still unsure of what I want out of life so I’m still seeking information from a million different places. Dave said he noticed it instantly in me. I love hearing these things, it gives me someone else’s perspective. He says anyone who’s genius is obsessed with one thing.
And our assignment is to watch Earth, Wind, and Fire, and Cool and the Gang to figure out our choreography. We have nothing to do, we should spend our days learning these moves! Excellence is only made by pursuing that one thing. We literally rehearsed one day this past week. Let’s own this job.
Dave also just said he was really listening deeply to us play New Orleans today- we played something that intrigued him. He strikes me as a deep listener and an experienced one, so I was all ears to what he had to say. I told him that I’m a little uncertain about my solo break.. I over intellectualize too much. Nathan and Steven have their thing.. they make a statement that transcends thought, it’s just a message- it’s a truth. (Reminds me of the chat we had with Ryan Kinder’s singers yesterday… “shorten the distance between your heart and your mouth”). He asked me who my five favorite trumpet players were, ultimately he told me to play my next break as if Louis Armstrong was playing it. He wouldn’t think about it. You’re singing through the horn.
And it’s now 245 sooo I’m gonna head to sleep. If I remember anything else I’ll write about it tomorrow.
Got up bright and early for my standards at the hotel.. 830… was tough waking up, even though it was basically eight hours. Meditated, showered, packed all my laundry and everything, got out to the bus in time to head outtt. The venue today was a giant sweatfest. Parking lot was a giant reflector of heat, venue was pointing directly at the sun from 3-7 PM (our show was 730 so luckily it died down by then). Soundcheck just wouldn’t happen! Scheduled for 3 so we were there, but there was bad communication with the band so first they were five minutes out, then twenty minutes out, and then they weren’t ready until 430 to soundcheck. We were sweatin’ out the wazoo, had to put sun reflector shades over all John’s guitars.
Catering today was half-decent… not the best but it did the job. In a plantation style Forrest Gump house across a park that was a good hundred feet away from the venue. Whole area felt straight out of the 1840s. Venue wasn’t the largest one we’ve played by any means, but the crowd seemed to be excited. Especially this one lady in the front row- she yelled at John that it was her birthday and John actually stopped the show to sing happy birthday to her! Then she proceeded to keep yelling at him and John was too much of a gentleman to ignore her… finally just forgot about her after a song.
We asked production today if we could ditch the flannels and wear something else not so hot… unfortunately we were vetoed. Our flannels are heavy cotton, long sleeve, dark, and not made for sprinting down a row of seats, around the whole venue, and into the stage from the back during New Orleans to get back to the stage on time (or route was long once again).
BUT we definitely played good today. I tried a new power move during my solo, it worked better- I just played a loud note and pointed at Steve.
I love these opening shows- we were done by 9, I could go back to the bus and have some power oatmeal in the AC. I had a ton of energy- I was talkative, bubbly, moving fast, I practiced for forty-five minutes; my two transcriptions and I tried playing ‘When the Saints’ up the octave in the range it’s supposed to be in. STILL want to surprise John and play it up the octave during one show!!!
It’s 11 PM now, I’m gonna code till I drop (it’s a good life!!), and hang out if I get lethargic or tired of it. Everything I need is in this bus- the introvert time, the AC, the practicing, the food, the chatting time, the entertainment…. There’s always a way to make it work. TOMORROw we work in Missouri! Peace!!
This might’ve been the best 24 hours I’ve had yet while on tour.
Last night after I finished the blog we had a big campfire out on the dirt overlooking the Ohio River- everyone was there, we made smores, Dave had some family over (they were real funny and friendly, one of them went to USC). I really bonded with everyone.
Ryan (or buddha as we call him) told me about a book he’s reading called the Power of Now- he’s a deep thinking guy, little less so when he’s drunk haha. Everyone had a good time, we stayed until 2 AM and I stayed real active till the end. Even back on the bus I stayed up with everyone until it was only Nate and I awake- 4 AM or so. Heard a lot more stories from Nate oh my goodness. I shan’t repeat them here, that’s all I’ll say.
I got a good eight hours of sleep somehow, and we gained an hour since we moved back to central time zone in Southaven, Mississippi- frighteningly close to Memphis! After my meditation all I could do was answer emails on my computer- rooms weren’t yet ready. This was 11:30 AM or so. Finally by around 1230 the cards were ready and I could take a shower. First thing we did was go to lunch with Alex (pyro guy), Van Bong (camera guy), and Sam (video guy) at a place called Maria’s Cantina. World Cup game, chips and guac, a pretty good veggie burrito bowl, I had a decent time. Everyone loves to talk, and a surprising amount of liquor was ordered considering it was only 2 PM. One of the guys asked me why I don’t drink- it’s just a personal thang! The fewer things in my life I have slowing me down, the better, especially if ultimately they’re toxic for my body. While I am shy, I wasn’t hesitant in the slightest to assert this because I know it to be true! If I’m not super sociable I’m levelheaded… both can be learned (which is why this tour is such good practice for my sociability).
Food tip… yes I was hungry, but I still didn’t devour my entire meal at once. Rather, I ate half of it and stopped even though I could’ve kept going. Ten minutes later my body thought I was done.. that way ninety minutes later I was ready for a snack again (soymilk and cashews). This keeps variety in the diet.. which is key if all you have for ten or more hours is a single massive meal from a Mexican restaurant.
Caught an über back.. it’s fun telling everyone that we’re on tour, we usually don’t say with who because it comes off a little too showy, but if they ask we’re sure to tell. Quite a few uber drivers haven’t had a clue who John Fogerty is, but one or two have flipped out and that’s when it’s fun. When back at the hotel (close to 4 PM.. eesh)… I got in touch with Mike D… he had offered before to give us a ride to Beale Street if we needed it. Ultimately we ended up taking an Uber since it was cheap between Nathan, Steve, and I.
Exercise tip that I like… I was tired in the few hour interim there, SO I napped for maybe ten minutes, did a HIIT workout (speed/cardio/full body strength type of stuff that can get pretty heavy, mine was meh), then after I stretched and got my laundry I napped maybe thirty minutes. All those naps included listening to Speak Like a Child (herbieeee). I felt really awesome for the whole day in all honesty…
Did some more coding… losing a bit of direction with that. Also wrote for forty-five minutes or so.. working on this song I call Summer Cabin… I’m hearing EWI and it’s on GarageBand so I can make it happen… that’s a lot of fun. Trying to limit my melodic focus and just pick the best of what I come up with.
Ok, trip to memphis!! We went straight to a restaurant called Rendezvous.. apparently the Fogerty’s were just there!! Beautiful ribs for the guys, I just got a salad (since I ate the second half of my burrito an hour before leaving). Short walk took us to Beale Street. The weather was warm, just a little humid but not intolerable. We got up to the gate (yes they have a gate blocking off the entire neighborhood) and were instantly freaking out at the amount of music. It reminded me a little of Laimert Park in Los Angeles with the street music and the amount of people outside enjoying art together. A quartet with a singer, drummer, and two keyboardists were KILLING it next to a statue of W.C. Handy.. went to dance up front and the group turned out to be a whole choreographed troupe!! That was a little embarassing hehe.
We spent the bulk of the time at B.B. King’s Blues Bar- the house band started playing at 9 so we caught their whole first set pretty much. Incredible!! As Nathan put it, “there ain’t nothing sexier than a hammond b3” and he’s pretty much right. Ended up seeing Mike D. there with his girlfriend which was really funny. We all got peach cobblers.. they were these full dishes of baked crispy bread with creamy peaches underneath with two giant scoops of ice cream, caramel, and cinnamon on top. I felt pretty gross, won’t lie.
This house band, though!! They played ‘Soul Man’ by the Blues Brothers when we walked in, lots of blues jams that I didn’t know the names of- had a singer, two horns, keys, guitar, bass, drums… everyone was really shining… the guitar player was exceptional. Heavy Santana influence which was cool in the blues setting. Last tune just wouldn’t end- modulation after modulation- but the energy was so high!
Countless John Fogerty references throughout the evening- CCR record on the jukebox at Rendezvous, “Born on the Bayou” Steak and Gritz on the BB King menu, bands playing Proud Mary in the street.
First tune of the second set at BB’s I made Nathan get up and we both danced out in front with all the older folk- he got way into it even though he was reluctant at first! Walked around a little more, but we finally got our bus call sent to us to be 930 tomorrow morning.. sooo we took an uber back. Lots of construction slowed the drive but by midnight I was back and blogging. So grateful for the chance to see this level of culture and be a part of this town. Hope to be back soon. Goodnight!!!
Cincinnati, Ohio today! Our venue is not only in beautiful weather but we are right on the Ohio River. Fifty feet from the bus is a sitting area with chairs and tables on a plateau of dirt that overlooks the water. You can see Kentucky from across the way. Really beautiful, I love when we can see more than the innards of a parking lot in these towns.
Still getting glorious sleep, I missed breakfast though because of my exercise. Inside the venue the crew room and showers were up two flights of stairs, but we had our own lounge area that was considerably sized! Don’t always have that luxury. Still kept the warming up short today but longer than yesterday’s… slowly growing one exercise at a time. It goes against the way I practice typically, but I think tomorrow I’ll have to take the day off playing (we have an off day in Southaven, Mississippi, a stone’s throw from where we stayed in Memphis a week ago today). Lips are kinda sore, I’m pushing too much lip into this shallow mouthpiece- I think rest would do more good than trying to build up strength tomorrow. (Plus there’s a good chance my sleep won’t be as fantastic the next couple days).
The security guard watching the spot where we climb the stairs to the crew room kept telling me how horn players often play in the hallway because of the reverb.
Ok food… so my first meal (bkfst/lunch idk it was at about 12), was a portobello mushroom sandwich with every vegetable I could get my hands on and an exuberant amount of honey mustard… that was amazing. The portobello had a big fat tomato and melty cheese on it…. Whole wheat bread and I’m a happy boy.
Sidenote- to keep energy levels going when you wanna work all day, eat a small meal even if you’re starving (I was party dang hungry, but I just ate again ninety minutes later rather than pile it on at once).
Soundcheck!! Long and lots of standing around, but today we actually had it! John showed up to listen to Kenny hit the snare drum twenty thousand times and worked his brilliant ear magic to identify which snare Kenny should use and how it should be tuned (never ceases to amaze me). I could feel my chops starting to go, I was missing easy stuff. Regardless, I was eager to keep a positive attitude.
Steve and I walked to a ginormous ferris wheel…. We were right by Coney Island and didn’t even realize it until we checked Apple Maps (crazy how I can have zero knowledge about my geographic location for weeks at a time if I wanted). Turned out to be just outside the park, a five minute walk from the buses, and only $5 to ride for fifteen or so minutes. Beautiful views of the river, city.. my mom is deathly afraid of heights and ferris wheels in particular (she literally had a panic attack the last time I rode a ferris wheel with her).
After much deliberation, I’m gonna listen to Herbie Hancock for a while and figure out what his deal is hehe… lots of his music I’ve never given a chance because too much of his post-Thrust / pre-Joni Mitchell stuff is really corny. I’m gonna give it an honest listen.
Early show since we were the opener, (ohh dinner was Vegan black bean soup, steamed white rice, and this mash of cooked veggies with this cool name in this sauce that I forget). I haven’t washed my flannel shirt that we wear in over a week… we went up to the stage. Caught the end of Ryan Kinder’s set more straight on than I usually do. He opens for the bands every day- just him and two backing singers and a drum track. He’s got a good country voice, kinda dark, a real lick-driven guitarist, not notey though. Backing singers are these two young ladies, they’re terrific!!
Show was solid- there was more energy during all the horn parts- Steve started moving around more so I did too! Just felt natural. The high stuff in Proud Mary doesn’t even phase me anymore (even though I was missing simple stuff in our opening song). A combination of being more thoroughly warmed up and relaxing does it every time.
Tonight, our task is to start a campfire and roast marshmallows at the fire pit on the dock by the view of the river. Excited for that.. it’s 10 PM now and ZZ Top’s set is just about to end, so Nate and Steve and I are gonna go get that all started up in around an hour.
I feel compelled to keep coding… even though it is in no way what I’m doing with my life at this point, and it disconnects me a lot from my surroundings. I’ve spoken before about how meditative it can be to be on stage listening to john’s music… during that time my mind starts to move toward creating things with technology… creating a simulation of the universe as a desktop app, orrr creating an app that somehow allows people attending a concert to interact with the music as it’s being performed via some kind of stat-driven activity (a game, orrr an audience voting on which song to play next or what key to move to or something). Think I’m gonna delve into that a bit now for the next hour… Nate just came in and told me how much we’re gonna party tonight. I’m gonna stay up as late as I can hehe. Tomorrow Nathan and Steven and I are going to Beale Street to stay up all night again. Gotta come up with new material for this blog! Till next time, goodnighttttt.
Had a really nice day today in Noblesville. Small-ish town just outside Indianapolis, twenty thousand seater (definitely wasn’t full tonight). A solid eight and a half hours of sleep coupled with a time zone change meant I wasn’t up till 11, but yoga in the band’s dressing room and a luxurious shower in some of the nicest bathrooms I’ve seen in a while got things off to a good start.
Catering here at the Ruoff Music Center… I’m quite a fan. Missed breakfast but I had some small meals early on and a big glorious dinner of pesto whole wheat linguini and baked ziti. Even had kiwis and avocados in a bowl- that was a first.
As we found out pretty early on, there would be no soundcheck today! We got there at the scheduled time anyway and we just did a little line check for everyone- but the band didn’t get there until 6 PM- right before doors opened! Guess that’s typical for later runs, or maybe when they do three shows in a row so John doesn’t tire out.
Did a bunch of composing (Nate calls me Puff Daddy now because I’m always “writing hits”) and uploaded my vlogs to YouTube (they’re still loading as I speak, ten hours later…). Trying out a new to-do list app called GoodTask.. I need something to replace Reminders, Calendar, and my physical daily planner in one app.. so I’m using the summer to figure it all out instead of during the school year.
Sidenote… I’m a big fan of exercising around 4 PM if I’m tired of sitting around. I went on a little walk and listened to Miles Davis, and then did ten mins of cardio stretching and a couple short sprints across a sixty or so yard driveway. Felt gorgeous.
Forty minute naps have also become part of my daily regimen. They help me keep my meals small, give me a chance to listen to music uninterrupted, and keep my energy high before the show. I could tell everyone was getting cabin fever, having a TV helps everyone I think (just like at home).
Before the show I had a big dinner and met Kenny Aronoff’s son- he used to be Kenny’s drum tech and grew real close with all the crew and band guys. Outgoing, friendly type. Late twenties/early thirties, had a girlfriend with him, took me a sec to make the connection of who he was, he was deemed the “rock” of the group who kept everybody sane.
Show itself was fine- perhaps a little under yesterday’s in terms of my performance, (I tried to simplify the power move but ended up botching it a bit.. who cares we still be playin real tight). Lots of Facebook video on the gig we did yesterday from Mark, that was really nice.
Conclusion- we should never soundcheck ever again! Crew thinks it was an awesome show. Instead of rushing we all have time, and John isn’t tired! In the interest of keeping blogs short, let’s sign offff… tomorrow we are in Cincinnati !
Chicago today!! Great but long day today. First sight after getting out of the bus was the overcast sky (that felt great to see, it was nice and mild all day) and Chicago Symphony Orchestra banners on all the light posts. The venue is very green, very pristine. Took forever to find a place to exercise, eventually grabbed a rug and used the band dressing room- kinda tired myself out with something sorta rough, it was a good start to the day nevertheless. I feel like HALF the staff at these venues assumes I’m a band member and belongs in that room (which technically I am, the room just isn’t set up for me hehe). The backstage area was kinda confusing- lots of long narrow hallways. But the crew room downstairs under the stage was pretty nice- found it to go warm up in. Shower, sitting area, bit of a maze but you can easily find a secluded spot back there to practice. I kept the computer work kinda minimal today- all I really did was organize my Notes app on my iPhone (from three year’s worth of random crap) and edit the vlogs that I’ll upload tomorrow. Soundcheck was delayed a little bit (and for the future, I should show anyway on time and be ready to go regardless of if the band isn’t there yet- it helps the sound guys go faster, more efficiently and have fewer surprises).
Catering here wasn’t toooo great, it did the job but I didn’t really love it (lunch for vegetarians was these “vegetable sliders” with nasty mini hamburger buns and three tiny grilled vegetables on them). It’s weird without cooking for myself everyday- I wonder if it’ll be hard to get back in it when I’m done in July….
Listened to a lot of music today… finding some 80s R&B finally that I can really dig, just a couple songs out of the Apple Music Playlist, but I’m tryna slowly do my research. ALSO a lot of Blood, Sweat, and Tears listening lately (Lucretia MacEvil is my favorite song).
=My nickname with Nate is now daddy…. Yikessss haha. Nathan told him the story of what happened in the bathroom at the Wolf Trap to me.==
Being the closer of the night is always kinda tough, means a longer work day- but our show is so much more powerful than ZZ Top so it works.
There’s a jazz fellowship going on here called the Ravinia-Steans Music Institute with Billy Childs, Tim Hagans, and Rufus Reid (really great musicians), and a friend from USC, Luca Mendoza, was doing it. He hit us up and we walked around the outside of the venue and chatted with him for a while. A dozen or so musicians from around the country were there too in the fellowship.
I rehearsed my move in New Orleans for a bit in the crew room but still just couldn’t quite get it, so I napped for an hour, had a little dinner and did some composing before the show. 845 showtime, no soundcheck with John today, but we still had a really solid show I think! John called James Lomenzo, our bass player “Bob” today onstage, as if he was gonna announce our piano player “Bob Malone”. Also the crowd was tossing around beach balls and one hit John square in the shoulder while he was singing. He didn’t seem to care!
Mark, a really dear friend of my parents from the early 90s who lives in Chicago, came out to see the show with his girlfriend, and I got him free tickets. I met them after the show and they were just super excited about the whole show and everything. I had never met them, but they were real tight even with my grandparents, so it felt cool to keep that connection going.
The bus has been restocked!!! Meaning I have my soymilk and fruit hehe. Tomorrow we go to Indiana (a state I’ve actually been to before for Jazz Band of America two years back), and hopefully we kill it. Thanks for reading ;) keep on chooglin.
Today was a really really good day for me. I did what I really needed to do- be socially isolated for quite some time and get back in touch with ma soullllll.
Today there was no show- just a day off in Fenton, Missouri twenty minutes outside of St. Louis. I got up around 930, we had arrived at the hotel a good half hour beforehand. First thing I did after meditating was eat breakfast… why you might ask???… they had free hotel breakfast only until 10 and I really wanted to take advantage of that while it lasted rather than let myself starve to death hehe. Had some eggs and cereal with Felix and went up to my room to put away my bags.
I moved from one goal to another with the efficiency of a lightning bolt. It felt a little bit like detox for my brain… I had some plans to warmup, workout, go shopping, and organize my notes, but I did so much more. Let’s brainstorm a list shall we, ONLY, in truth, to satisfy my own desire for closure at the end of such a day. (If you wanna skip it all go to the last paragraph I won’t judge you hehe).
I wanted to cancel my membership to that Calm meditation app (nothing you can’t google in my opinion), then I got a text about a jury summons from my mom that got sent to my home address so I emailed a lady about changing my address through them, but she said to go through the DMV, so I printed a change of address form in the lobby, filled it out and mailed it later in the night but ultimately I only needed to provide a picture of my housing lease to get the summons postponed… AAAnnnd then I did a workout at the teeny tiny baby fitness center they had… was running off tiny bits of food but honestly that feels real good and I can go hard for a long period of time. Warmed up on the trompert and then did my outing for the day. Went to QDoba Mexican Grill (basically a better Chipotle with more options, I was impressed), lady driving the Uber was really nice- it’s a small town so these drivers only get a couple rides a day.. and she asked me if she’d be taking me straight back to the hotel afterwards… that never happens in LA! Ate half the burrito, did a bunch of target shopping, bought sandals/shower shoes, checked my bank account and realized I had an amazon digital purchase I couldn’t verify (one of my brothers bought a month of HBO on my account agaaaiiiinnn but I called amazon and cancelled it and got my $15 back… like what do you need HBO for with all the freakin entertainment you have). Got some Chinese food down the street after crossing this deathtrap of an intersection (had to sprint through the thing to not die), and got an uber back to the hotel. That driver was Puerto Rican, she remarked on how I was saying Los Angeles wrong (it’s “los AHN-heh-lis”). Put my stuff away (toothpaste, mouthwash, tide detergent pods so I don’t have to buy it at hotels, nail clippers for obvious reasons, some Larabars because I need me some dates.. that was a pun you’re supposed to laugh).
OK I won’t bore you with the rest of my day but I didn’t see too much more of the crew. Went to say hi to Gina, Wayne, and Felix around 6- they had been just relaxin most of the day. Someone had to send a really angry email to all of us because the bus keeps not getting locked throughout the day. Also, no supply run today! It’ll happen tomorrow (just made a list with Dave and threw out some three week old milk… I’m finally getting my blueberries and soymilk). Filmed an instagram video, watched a few computer science videos by this channel Computerphile (trying to get into that world), texted the mother (important to stay in touch with the loved ones), and packed the stuff up for 930 pm bus call.
I kinda fought throughout the day to keep myself inside— I know that I always do good work on my own and feel rushed and hurried if I unnecessarily go out just for the sake of filling up my day. When I feel I need the company of others I jump all over the opportunity. I think that individuality is a really important skill that not a lot of people have. On the other hand I could really use to relax sometimes, and I don’t think I should have a day of this intensity every day (even though this is a pretty light day by school year comparison). Touring is hard, and it can start to feel like you exist only for the sake of others- to glorify them for a couple hours and then reclude into meaninglessness. Other people provide the sense of worth- I look forward to seeing the crew and talking with them every morning and night- and my internal sense of drive provides the purpose to it all. Ohh also sidenote- if you keep your luggage under the bus, grab tomorrow’s clothes before you checkout of the hotel and keep them at the end of your bunk with you so that shower time in the morning is a breeze.
Haven’t been vlogging much lately, hope to make up for it tomorrow. We’re en route to Chicago, Illinois baby! Mark, a good family friend of my parents whom I’ve never met, is coming to the show tomorrow- excited to meet him! Let’s catch me some z’s- until tomorrow, keep on chooglin.
Today was a hard day I won’t lie. A decent deal of sitting around- serious indecision on my end as to how to spend my time. Woke up at 940 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Lot more nature here than in Texas, and it’s a little cooler. Decided to go for a run right away- it was only starting to get hot… Lincoln Park was the name of the recreation center right adjacent to the Zoo’s Amphitheater that we were playing at (hehe like the band). Bout a quarter mile stretch of grass, I ran back and down twice as a warmup and then did just a couple of sprints. Breakfast around 11 (the vegetable juicer really does not work all that well BUT I was thrilled to have it), and then a shower (SO MUCH NICER than yesterday’s) with proper faucets and everything like that.
On the theatre the sun sets directly in the band’s face- John yelled before the first song for his sunglasses but nobody heard him, so he ran backstage part of the way through Rock and Roll Girls to ask again for them. Overall we had a great show- heat was getting to people a little bit. I don’t concern myself with petty matters of drama between the crew- but lots of it seems to be popping up all over the place.
All in all I’m really friendly with everyone in the crew… today was “roadie Friday” as it’s known- our last show day before a day off.
Ohh sidenote I did hear that we won’t be doing pyrotechnics at the stint in Canada/Seattle which is too bad, I was hoping my mom could see that part of it.
Talked about wireless bluetooth headphones- for professional in-ears the move is the JH or the Ultimate Ears (UE) brands. I’m using Shure S215s that I bought for $100 after Nathan’s suggestion and they sound great- I want to order a dongle so I can listen to music with them while on tour. That’s what Nate keeps suggesting to me. I also tried out Mike D.’s Beats that he seems to love (he got them for free, valued around $200 or so), they sound a lot better than my current ones but not as good as Bose that others seem to recommend.
Lots of hanging and chatting- I was up pretty late (it’s 12:40 AM and I’ll be up longer I’m sure). Scott, the bus driver, makes these terrific puns… stuff like- “we’ll never run out of math teachers… they always multiply”, and other stuff that’s directly relevant to the situation. He’s super quick, it’s fun. Nate and Nathan have become inseperable- they hang out in the back lounge all night long.
Just heard that the bus that broke down last Thursday morning is STILL on the side of the road somewhere in Florida!!!! And the bus driver is still in there! He has food but man that cannot be pleasant in the slightest- poor guy….
OK that’s enough of the writing for now… everything is going good now that I feel I’ve been a lil more social. Took a break from my composing and everything really, just edited some vlogs that are going up Wednesday. Sitting next to Bob now, just asked about tickets for a friend at our show near Chicago on Tuesday, and wanna ask him more about why this tour is so long! Gooooodnite.