Got up right on time today- 8 AM, but I must say it was a little rough waking up that early. I don’t like shifting my sleep schedule by that many hours like that on a daily basis. This whole day has really been strange- I’m in a weird vortex of tiredness, hunger, and restlessness… makes it tough for me to be sure what I need to do with my time, and my productivity is suffering. I’m thinking of it like this: I’m on tour yes, but I’m also working on other things. SOOO after I got up and quasi-exercised (I was tired and sore from everything yesterday), I packed, got on the bus to go to the amphitheater where we would play the show tonight- a good 20 minute drive, we talked about our days yesterday and how in the center of St. Augustine there’s a gazebo where they used to sell slaves for three hundred years… wild.
We arrived and I was instantly bored.. I walked around some trails nearby- there was an arboretum and a big pond. Near that pond I stopped for a bit and nearly two dozen turtles got up close to me- I was on a pier so they couldn’t touch me, but wow that was cool. Did some writing, warmed up real quick (felt great having all that practicing yesterday), did some MOORe writing after lunch (which I went to by myself.. I miss eating meals with people.. luckily I managed to strike light conversation with the people around me)… Steve and Nate have been watching movies- did a little of that too. My goals are a little all over the place right now- can’t really seem to commit to ONE thing.. I’m working on Emily, AND my originals, AND these transcriptions. SOUNDCHECK was substantial…. John doesn’t like the sound of the drums in the venues we’ve been playing. He thinks it’s that Kenny is playing too loud- lots of mixed thoughts. A lot of the crew seems to think it’s nothing but reverberation from the stadium that makes the whole sound a mushy mess, especially after a long night of ramping intensity. John wants to put Kenny in a clear three-sided cage to shield the sound… he already has a drum shield in front! Kenny has never toured with the little drum shield he has- he can’t imagine a big cage!!!
I took a NAP after soundcheck today.
Went to dinner, by myself againnn, but as I was having a little bit of food Kenny Aronoff walked in, made eye contact from across the room, and moved his food over to me to sit and make conversation. That gesture in itself struck me as pretty awesome. He just wanted to ask me how things were going and what I was up to! I told him I was getting a little bit of cabin fever but that I’ve been writing and practicing when I can. He was surprised that I’d been practicing in hotel rooms- asked if I had a muffler for my horn at all (I don’t, but have thought about a practice mute). He told me how important writing and reading notated music at a high level is… he talked about how when he was in college he practiced a marimba concerto on piano three hours a day for a full year and won a national piano competition with it! He didn’t even start studying drum set with a jazz teacher until after college. I asked if he played jazz- the guys at Indiana would call him and he’d jam with them, but he feels it would never pay. He says that just yesterday on his day off he flew all the way out to LA to record four songs in three hours- Zeppelin, the Police, etc., some covers of some tough music. He wrote out the charts the same day and did them all in two takes. He’s built a great career for himself, and it was pretty awesome to sit there and talk with him about that! Side note, he’s ripped and super fit… but he eats small meals, he’s not a health nut, so that’s how he does it. Justifies my small meal-eating a little bit- obviously he also exercises like mad.
AFTER that I did a little bit of this blogging thang, got dressed for the show- on our way out before showtime George the video guy was telling me to find a power stance. Nathan and Steve both have one in New Orleans where they lunge or get in a cool pose for their solo spot- I just kinda wade on stage and play bebop haha. Tried something today but it was hesitant and weird so ehhh I’ll try a little harder tomorrow. New Orleans today.. speaking of that, today someone had the idea for us to run around all the way to the left side of the stage, past security, through catering, down the hallway, to the OPPOSITE side of backstage, and behind the drums all before our entrance… yeah that’s probably not gonna work (sidenote.. it didn’t work.. and the person who suggested it was laughing their butt off backstage when we did it).
Show went really great- AGAIN it’s always an upward slope for us. Day 2 of the flannels- Nate and Steve are sweating profusely but I don’t sweat (and they’re giving me guff for it hehe). Two people came to our spot backstage halfway through the set (an old couple, we think they’re connected to ZZ Top’s Backstage Assistant, this creepy skinny woman who talks too much)… they were kinda rude and taking lots of pictures in our already really cramped space. Felt great about everything tonight- finished the show at 8:30 PM and it was still light outside. John didn’t like the sound of things again tonight too much (as I heard from Dave), but ay thats not our fault!
Started my coding class on Lynda tonight! I’m trying to make sure I don’t get burnt out on things I do (like writing today), so when I’m certain of what my next step is with an activity I take a break. Also gonna write a blog for Bob to put on the website tonight. I’ll check in with ya before I head to sleep! (It’s 930 now, lookin to be out by 1230). Tomorrow is show in Atlanta, we’re leaving at midnight!
Had some good chats later this evening… watched some of Zombieland. Talked about vegetarianism with Buddha (Ryan, one of the guitar techs.. that’s his nickname… he’s super cool I’ll talk more about him another time) and Steven… they both think it’s awesome and Steven wants to do it. I love that. Also talked with them about Bob (Fogerty, John’s brother and tour manager)- without going into details he’s an amazingly hard worker and has been working for John just about all his life. Also his birthday is tomorrow! Incredible. OK I went to bed around 1215 to finish this and meditate and read and stuff.. I had a really great day, and I’m really starting to love all these people I’m on the road with and the things I’m getting to do. Goodnight Florida, I’ll see Atlanta in the morning!