Oh beautiful for spacious skies... We are driving to Des Moines as I write. We played last night in Moline to a crowd of over 6,000 extremely fired up STYX fans at the "Mark". After the show, photographer Mickey Jorgensen brought some great performance photos for us to sign, I copied some for the Gallery (she should offer these to Rolling Stone for their files!). It seems as if we could keep touring forever. The fans' enthusiasm never lets up. This is a GOOD thing. But it is getting to be time to let this tour go and take a brain break, catch up on some home time and then get these new songs out of our heads and onto a new STYX CD.
I have tried to take some decent pictures today from the back seat of the Lincoln Towne Car we are traveling in. Keith is driving, Todd's shotgun and Jeanne, Bubba and I are in back. We just stopped at a highway McDonald's where Todd ate more food than I have ever seen someone his size consume. He has a heck of a metabolism. Between his usual diet of airport hot dogs and Sherman cigs, I can't believe he has any juice to slam the drums the way he does EVERY show. Have you seen this guy play? Phenomenal...(BTW, Todd's band, THE FALLING WALENDAS, is moments away from releasing their 2nd CD, BELITTLE. You can find their first, eponimously titled CD in the stores. I will get the vitals from Todd and give you some numbers on where to direct purchase both...)
The hotel where we stayed last night (Jumer's) was surely designed and furnished by my pal Ted Nugent. This morning in the restaurant I looked up and noticed all the animal heads on display. Very reminiscent of TN's dining room, except his were MUCH LARGER specimen. Jumer's was actually VERY cool. If you stay in Moline, I recommend it. Incredible antique furniture throughout the lobby and other common areas, food that would surely give you heart trouble if you ate there all the time (but mighty tasty for one day) and room appointments unique to any other place we've stayed--fireplaces, canopy beds, authentic everything...
Last night, the police came looking for JY and George around 2:00 am. Seems the restaurant did NOT comp their group's meal as they were led to believe (after numerous autographs, photos and hang time with the staff- -a usual lead in to a complimentary something) and the police insisted that someone (George) follow them back to the restaurant to pay up in person. Oops! This happened once when Damn Yankees and Bad Company were touring together. We had a big dinner for both bands and crews, eating and drinking about $2200 worth. DY's tour manager thought that BC's tour manager had paid, and we all slowly moseyed out, unaware of the fauxpas. Of course the restaurant sent someone looking for us and our red-faced tour manager went back and paid, as well as offering the staff tickets, passes and swag. These things happen...
I still insist that Iowa is an undiscovered gem. The beautiful rolling fields of corn and other bustling crops, the absence of the "Outlaw" vibe so present in much of this country, an innocence that is certainly on this country's endangered species list. I have not spent a winter here. That might be a horse of a different color, but this place is really something...
SO great not to be flying today. Has anyone else noticed how rotten air travel is now? Many airline employees seem for the most part stressed and unable to see you as a person, but a pesky unit of business who's smallest request seems to be a bother (those of you who are still being nice, don't be insulted, we DO appreciate YOU!). It was not like this even 3 years ago. I assume that the added security risk has placed an undue burden on these folks and that we ALL are potential terrorists in their eyes, thus the palpable tension.
Here's my idea of the punishment for the Unibomber:
Every time you have to show your I.D. and answer those questions about "Did you pack your own bag, etc.", they should wheel him out and let everyone kick him in his little butt. Wouldn't that be nice? Things have not been the same since his shenanigans.
I am glad that I was around when flying WAS a fun experience. I'll wax lyrical someday to little children about "The Good Old Days of Flying..." Perhaps I just did.
We are now 5 shows from the end. Some crew members are having to hop off to move into their next tours, or go off to deal with personal matters. Dancer, our new monitor mixer started last night and did a spectacular job. That is a risky thing to do, because each of us depends upon him to be able to hear whatever we need in order to sing in tune or to hear a guitar solo across the stage from our amplifiers, etc.. But the band continues to improve. It still blows me away. Not at all how I predicted things might be, performing in my 40's. Young dudes (and dudesses) do not fear, it ain't like they thought it would be when THE WHO said "I hope I die before I get old..." and all that fear of aging stuff we said in the 60's and 70's...
Make no mistake, we ROCK! Now, on to Ames!
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