song diharrea with dan may

sometimes, a project will reveal itself to you very early on in the process…whether it be a start-up band or an album or a session, you can draw a bead on what direction it’s going to take almost before you get all your cases put away.

it’s definitely been that way with my recently-christened “tuesday night music club”.

(yes, i know the name is taken, but it’s appropriate, so i’m keeping it. i thought that album sucked anyway, and deserved perhaps twenty percent of the hype it got…witness the number of times you hear the flagship song from that thing in public anymore – it’s easy to get sick of.)

dan and anthony in "the cockpit"...
dan and anthony in "the cockpit"...

dan may convened anthony newett and myself about a month ago to start working through some of the rough song ideas we’d been accumulating of late (to include two snippets of acoustic guitar riffs that mike kurman, our bassist, recorded during soundcheck at sellersville last year). the first night we got together, we shaped two of these ideas into finished songs in one session – roughly three hours. the following week, two more finished songs in the same timespan. in fact, it’s gotten to the point that if we don’t get two songs either completely arranged or very near completion, it feels like an incomplete session.

often, dan will take the track home with him with the instruments anthony and i have recorded and a single guide vocal, and he’ll layer harmonies over his original vocal at home and send the results to us via email later in the week…and, of course, those of you who either know me personally or have followed my writings know how i feel about that. 🙂

(for the uninitiated, dan may is probably one of the three or four best vocalists alive today when it comes to blending his own voice in harmony on record…he’s right up there with david crosby, with fogelberg, with michael mcdonald…any of them.  seriously.  he’s that friggin’ awesome.)

at the ready, sir.
at the ready, sir.

anyway, this whole thing started because i started noodling on my guitar during an idle moment at a soundcheck at sellersville a few months ago, and dan recorded what i was doing to write a song around it…this had happened a couple of times, and he was starting to form a small backlog, so we decided to lock down some time to sit down together and finish these songs.   by the time we’d actually gotten together the first time, dan had already constructed a structure for the songs and had finished lyrics for them…so all that really remained was to refine the chord structure to match the vocal melody dan had constructed and the song was essentially finished.   so, since that one was wrapped up so quickly, we just moved on to another one.

these sessions have been going by every bit that quickly…in roughly a months’ time (missing a week due to jury duty here, an in-law visit there), we’ve finished over half an albums’ worth of songs…and that’s just the stuff that we’ve collaborated on since starting this routine.

this past week, though, we shifted our focus a bit.

that's a lotta lyrics for a CD booklet...
that's a lotta lyrics for a CD booklet...

dan was invited by helen leicht from wxpn to record a cover of a bruce springsteen song for a planned xpn celebration of bruces’ sixtieth birthday later this year. she’d specifically asked him to choose something from born to run (excellent call, if i do say so myself – although dan was a little intimidated at first, i think), so we started examining songs. dan sent me a funny email running down some of the songs…born to run (“which no one in their right mind would try to cover”), jungleland (“9:35….nope.”)…but i think it was pretty much a slam dunk that we take on thunder road.

the only other person i’d ever heard take that song on – that i could remember, anyway – was melissa etheridge. i have a lot of respect for her as a songwriter, but her overwrought, michael boltonesque vocal delivery has always bugged me…so that certainly wasn’t a factor in swaying me towards that song. i just had a notion that there was a way to do that song in a manner that would allow dan to put his stamp on it.

we were talking about it on the phone, and i mentioned to him that he should download you’re only lonely by j.d. souther from the iTunes store next time he stopped in, and try to envision doing thunder road with a similar tempo and feel, and we’d change the instrumentation in a similar fashion and push it in that direction. to me, this had a couple of advantages – for one thing, it would allow dan to bring out some of the nuances in the vocal melody that are lost in bruces’ version…(because, let’s face it – i love bruce as much as the next guy, but he has a tendency to stuff a lot of lyric into a little bit of space. it’s not good or bad, it’s just bruce.) two, it would give us license to really put our own stamp on it and personalize the song…because, let’s face it – to try to duplicate the born to run version would really be pointless.

there's a point to be made here somewhere....
there's a point to be made here somewhere....

some people are gonna love it, some are gonna despise it, but you can say that about pretty much any cover version of an iconic song. no sense worrying about that…we’ve got a job to do, here.

tuesday night, we put up the original and all three of us agreed that it was too fast at its original speed to try and cover without referring too directly to the original version…we didn’t set out to completely divorce ourselves from bruces’ version of the song or anything like that, we just wanted to put a signature at the bottom of the page, if you know what i mean. if we wanted to destroy it, we’d have done a ska version of it, or maybe a swingin’ pat booneish version.

or not.

anyway, this past tuesday night, we got solid piano, bass and acoustic guitar, plus dans’ scratch vocal…we’re going to add some baritone guitar, perhaps pedal steel, and a couple members of the mandolin family next week and then start working on refining the drums, i think. we’re well ahead of our deadline right now, so it’s all pretty relaxed and condusive to experimentation at the moment.

that is, until anthony suggests that we take a break and get out the twister mat.

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“england” dan seals dies at 61

from the article in his hometown paper, the dallas morning news:

Dan Seals, the kid from Pleasant Grove who emerged as a country music star after performing as one-half of the top 40 hit machine known as England Dan & John Ford Coley, died Wednesday night from complications of lymphoma.

Seals, 61, was born in West Texas but moved to Dallas as a teenager. He graduated from Samuell High School in Pleasant Grove in 1966. He and classmate John Colley, who later changed the spelling of his last name to Coley, formed a group with three other Samuell students called the Playboys Five. That became Theze Few, which morphed into the legendary Dallas high school band Southwest F.O.B.

“We were very popular in the late 1960s,” Coley, 60, said Thursday from his home in Nashville, Tenn., where Seals also lived. “We even opened for Led Zeppelin and Three Dog Night, and remember, we were just high school kids.”

As the friendship blossomed, Seals’ brother Jim was emerging as a musical superstar. Jim Seals was part of the multi-platinum-selling duo Seals & Crofts. But Dan Seals and Coley would soon put their own stamp on music.

They formed England Dan & John Ford Coley and became the toast of 1976 when their single, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” and album, Nights are Forever, became gold records, meaning each sold more than 500,000 copies. The duo also recorded an album titled Dowdy Ferry Road , named after a favorite thoroughfare in their Pleasant Grove neighborhood.

“Dan and I used to go down there and shoot snakes,” Coley said with a laugh.

But as often happens in the high-pressure, big-money industry, the group fractured. England Dan & John Ford Coley lasted from 1970 to 1980, at which point, “there were a lot of different influences coming into us from different people,” Coley said. “And it kind of put a little wedge in there.”

Finally, he said to Seals, “Look, man, we’re on top of this thing, and we’re thinking of calling it, so let’s call it now while we’re still on top. … It was a real loss. Dan and I were more like brothers. It was like having a family rift, where you just don’t speak for a couple of years.”

In 1982, the two saw each other in Dallas. “We sat down and got everything straight,” Coley said.

About that time, Seals moved to Nashville and launched his solo country career. He recorded 16 studio albums and notched more than 20 singles on the country charts, with 11 reaching No. 1. They included “Meet Me in Montana,” with Marie Osmond, “Bop” and “Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold).”

Seals contracted lymphoma two years ago.

On Monday night, Coley and Seals shared a final conversation. “We told each other we loved one another,” Coley said. Looking back at pictures of the two, circa 1970, Coley said, “We had that emaciated rock-star look,” but in their case, it wasn’t affected.

“We were so doggone poor,” Coley said. “Dan had an eight-string Martin guitar that had once been a 12-string. He took four strings off because you can boil strings only so many times. We were just broke.”

And then the hits started coming, though they never felt rich.

“We never sat down and thought about having time to spend the money,” Coley said with a laugh. “We just knew they wouldn’t be turning off the telephone that month.”

Seals was married to Andrea “Andi” Gilbert Seals. He was the father of four children and had seven grandchildren. He died at the Nashville home of his daughter, Holley Lizarraga, according to Tony Gottlieb, Seals’ manager since 1979. Gottlieb said the funeral will take place Saturday at the Baha’i Center in Nashville. The family has requested that flowers not be sent.

“If you want to honor Dan,” Gottlieb said, “you should oppose bigotry, intolerance and prejudice.”

i don’t remember a time, from the point when i was first exposed to pop music, that i wasn’t aware of england dan and john ford coley…their music was literally everywhere.   the year that i got my infamous clock radio for christmas, we’ll never have to say goodbye again was all over the radio…and, of course, the more i listened to the radio, the more of the back catalog i heard…nights are forever, soldier in the rain, gone too far, it’s sad to belong…and, of course, i’d really love to see you tonight.

dan seals (right) with john ford coley in their heyday
dan seals (right) with john ford coley in their heyday

later, when i became a devotee of hawleys’ book index in pensacola, i bought up all the albums….nights are forever, dowdy ferry road, doctor heckle and mister jive…and, as if often the case with artists from that era, there were some gems hidden between the hits.  songs like holocaustfalling stars,  the prisoner,  another golden oldie night for wendy,  children of the half light…not hit material, by most peoples’ standards, and that’s fine with me – but they’re part of my musical vocabulary now, the same as the stuff that everyone knows.

i knew at that point that they were no longer a duo, because the radio station i worked for in high school was already playing dans’ solo albums…i specifically remember playing san antone, my old yellow car, and the flip side of a single called you really go for the heart…a song called the banker that was played in one of my favorite tunings, double drop-D.  i had gotten his album stones when i’d first gotten to pensacola, and it spurred me on to pick up the duo’s back catalog…the title cut from that record is an undiscovered jewel from dave loggins’ catalog.

when i took my gig in robert hazards’ band, i found out some weeks into the job that michael vernacchio, roberts’ keyboard player, had been in england dan and john ford coleys’ road band for eight years…i think he was a little taken aback when i started quoting album cuts and obscure song titles, but we both got over it.  as it was, it was just another removed degree of separation in my continuing history of disintegrating degrees of separation.

i had heard that dan was ill, had read it on the velvet rope at one point…but i had held out hope that he’d at least recover his health and live out a somewhat normal post-cancer life.  alas, it was not to be.

dan was only a year older than robert hazard when he passed.

rest in peace, man.

five minutes

it was probably 1979 or 1980. there’s no point in trying to remember exactly when it was, but that would be pretty close.

some time before that, i had traded my first drumkit (which was more of a haphazard collection of odd drums than an actual kit) for a small five piece jazz kit that had been refinished by whoever the most recent owner was with some kind of stuccolike cream finish that was gross, but workable…i had actual cymbals, actual stands and hardware, and i could play it with other musicians without being completely ashamed of what i was playing. it was still a far cry from pro-level equipment…the hardware sucked, the cymbals were only cymbals in the dictionary defined sense, and the seat wasn’t actually attached to the throne…you had to hold it in place and sit on it until the weight of your body forced it into place. once you were on it, you were generally ok, but there was a bit of a balancing act involved.

aw, hell…let’s be honest. it was essentially balancing a two by four on a hammer handle. but i made it work. i wanted to play, so i made it work. and that was true of all my early gear, up until i joined a legitimate band and took out a loan (cosigned by david phillips, my mentor) for a 1965 sparkle-red set of slingerlands with zildian cymbals…that’s what i used during my entire tenure in the band i was in during high school, until i joined the navy and got the hell outta dodge.

i often think that the contrast between the crap that i learned on and that last, nice set of drums that i bought before i left took root in my brain and fueled the attitude that i have towards gear nowadays…but i digress.

between the matching-shirt, family country band that took my “band virginity” and the last, best band i was in before i left, there was a loose group of kids that i knew in junior high who all played instruments. christ, i can’t even remember all of them now…there was darren cawthorn, who played drums and guitar, but who stuck to guitar since i was onboard…tim thomas on bass. there were at least two or three others, but i think anthony seymour was also playing guitar, or at least we’d discussed having him “in the band”, as it were.

i’d consult my yearbooks if i even knew where the hell they were.

anyway, we only got together twice, ever. and i don’t really remember anything about the second time, save for trying to recreate what happened in a five minute span when we first got together.

we set everything up in tim thomas’ garage, and started the usual flailing about that kids of that age and that skill set do when jammed into a space and handed musical instruments. i had decent chops, because this was all i did, other than go to school and sleep…but i was surprised to find that i wasn’t as far ahead of these guys as i probably thought i was – they weren’t great, but they were beginning to get a grasp on what it was that they were trying to do.

anyway, i don’t know how long we farted around, trying to play snippets of songs we knew or just generally making noise…but at one point, that first night, darren started playing a riff, and one of the other guys caught onto it, and then tim picked it up on the bass, and we all started churning on this riff that darren was playing. then, when darren was confident that he could let us run with the ball, he abandoned the riff and started soloing over it – and to my ears, it was the coolest thing i had ever heard in my life. and i was driving the bus!

from my seat behind the drums, i could see darren clearly in front of me. we were set up in a circle, and darren was directly across from me. his head was bowed somewhat, and his eyebrows were arched over his closed eyes. he was clearly somewhere else…everyone else had these expressions of – pardon the cliche’ – shock and awe. they put one foot on the platform of a streetcar and it turned into a commuter train, and they were holding on for dear life. you could see it in their faces that they were just trying to keep up. darren had started the ball rolling, and i was now behind him, pushing the ball down the hill to maintain speed, and he was just sailing along on the crest of the wave.

i don’t know how long this lasted…maybe five minutes or so, until we all had to stop to make sure we’d all seen and heard the same thing. we sat there, giggling like a bunch of girls, awash in this feeling that we’d just lept up the ladder several rungs. the first thing i said to darren was probably the obvious follow up line to what had happened….

“dude, where did that come from? can you write that down?”

darren’s answer: no.

he wasn’t even sure what the riff was, if it was indeed his own, or what he’d played to start the snowball effect that this five minute jam had turned into.

“can you play it again?”

nope.

as quickly as it had come, it vaporized into thin air, and although he tried a couple of times, it was close – but it was never right.

the second time we got together, we tried again to recapture the spirit of whatever it was that locked us together for that five minutes that we all managed to fall into the same wormhole in time and space the previous time, but it never lived up.

the only thing i can liken it to is hooking up with a random girl at a party and bringing her home and having the most amazing sex you think you ever had, and trying over and over again with her after the fact to recreate that experience…but for whatever reason finding that whatever combination of atmoshpere, pheromones, and alcohol led to it were as much a part of it as any actual ability or chemistry you might’ve had.

i’ll tell ya, though…at that point in time, that five minute jam on darren’s riff was better than sex. none of us, at that point in our lives, had much experience with either, but if you gave me a choice at that point…

…oh, hell – who are we kidding? i’d have chosen sex.

but only because i didn’t have the benefit of hindsight.

now that i’m decades removed from that first five-minute intellectual vulcan mind-meld, i’ve had plenty of sex…and i’ve tuned my craft and worked my way up the ladder to the point where i have those moments on a much more regular basis. when you play with great musicians, those moments occur with a LOT more frequency than they do among fifteen year old novices in their dad’s garage.

but it’s still the likelihood of encountering those moments that keeps me coming back.

if you’re a musician for the right reasons, that’s your own personal heroin.

it’s not the girls, or the money (or promise of either)…it’s not the trappings of fame, or the peripheral crap that surrounds what it is that we do. it’s the possibility – sometimes remote and sometimes not so much – of falling into that wormhole that i got a five minute glimpse of when i was fifteen years old, and have been chasing ever since.

why make another record?

this question was posed to me on the phone a while back by my buddy, blake allen…as we have a habit of doing during conversations, we veered off the cynical road and wallowed around in the big-assed puddle of whats-the-point-of-it-all there on the roadside.

which is especially easy for me to do, as some of you well know.

the conversation drifted to the topic of making records…specifically, making records if you happen to be someone of our particular demographic who occupies the rung of the food chain that he and i do – which is to say that a certain set of lowered expectations come with the territory. we know that our audience is limited, as is our ability to grow it significantly…we kinda know who we’ll be playing to, and we’re painfully aware of the ceiling imposed on us by various factors, most certainly including our ability – or willingness – to push these ventures past a certain point.

so why make a record, then?

well, because something inside you is perpetually giving birth…is constantly foisting snippets of lyrics and melodies on you that you can’t deal with in any way but to grab them by the head and yank them, sometimes unwillingly, out into the world and nurture them into maturity.

there are a lot of people who do this for a shitload of reasons that have nothing to do with music or creativity. they take their shots at reality television or american idol and chase the sizzle without any idea what the steak tastes like. they want the money, the notoriety, the pornstar girlfriend, the guest host slot on saturday night live, the superbowl halftime show – and they’d happily do it without learning a single chord or even singing a note, if they could get away with it. because, let’s face it – learning all that crap is hard…and it takes time…and dammit, they wanna be famous now!

if it had to be boiled down to a general analogy, you could use the baby boomers’ watershed moment…february 9th, 1964. the beatles on the ed sullivan show. it’s been cited time and time again as an inspirational moment by singers, songwriters, artists and entertainers. but you can tell, by examining their collective body of work, which ones heard music that defined their generation and felt something resonate inside them…and which ones saw a theatre full of screaming women and wanted a piece of that action.

i have no small amount of actual pity for the latter group.

if you’re lucky…truly lucky…you have that nerve somewhere in the center of your soul that has a degree of sensory perception that’s triggered by hearing a great piece of music, or a sincere lyric. you’ve experienced what happens when you hear something that stops you in your tracks to the extent that the degree of choice you have over whether or not to listen is practically removed from your control…you can’t not listen to it.

if you are such a person, you’ve probably already remembered a moment in your life when this happened to you as i was describing it. it probably wasn’t the only time it’s happened to you, either.

now imagine that you also have been given the seed of a gift that allows you to create that…that, at some point, something touched that nerve in the center of your soul to the extent that you summoned the courage to sit down at a piano or pick up a guitar or a pad and pencil or bravely open your mouth to sing – just to see what would come out – and found that you also had the ability to create this very thing that moved you so much.

you’d probably do it whether anyone was listening or not, wouldn’t you?

yeah.

me, too.

people like to point and laugh at some of the bands who are perpetually on the road long past their prime…they like to giggle and say that they should hang it up, that they’re not rockstars anymore, that they’re only in it for a paycheck. and, the fact is, that’s probably true of some of them. it’s usually pretty easy to tell when you cross paths with them – they don’t hide their motives well.

but then there are some who do this long past the point that most would call it a day that are doing it because they can’t imagine their lives without it.

i’m fortunate enough to call some of them friends of mine, and i’ve seen up close what they have to endure just to be able to walk onstage for 90 minutes and play for people…the travel headaches, using rented gear, dealing with house soundmen who aren’t always familiar or sympathetic to what they do – it’s a pain in the ass. but they do it because they can’t NOT do it.

so…why make another record?

because you can’t NOT make another record.

john lilley at steel city coffeehouse, phoenixville pa

soooo…after saturday night, i’m left with the nagging notion that john lilley should be playing bigger rooms.

john lilley at steel city
john lilley at steel city

this was our second consecutive sold out show, and people were showing up, expecting to get in, but there was simply no more room.  all the tickets were gone, and we didn’t have anywhere to put anyone – literally.  and it sucks to have to turn people away when they’ve made the effort to come to the show…but the bottom line is that advance tickets were available for some time before saturday, and there’s an element of chance in the “wait and see” gambit.  sadly, sometimes when you wait too long, you end up going home while those who anted up prior to the day of the show make it inside.

some people have a love affair with those two tiny words…”sold out”.  i don’t know if john is one of them, as we haven’t really had that conversation, but i’m of the mindset that i’d rather have a couple of empty seats in the back and be content with the knowledge that everyone who wanted to be there was, in fact, in the room than to know that someone went home disappointed who might be less likely to make the trip next time.

jesus, give me strength...or at least a breeze.
jesus, give me strength...or at least a breeze.

when we did kennett flash with dan may last month, dan got no less than thirty emails the following day from people who said they had planned to come out, but weren’t able to get tickets.

now, there’s the thought that this is a good problem to have…but i do have an unsettling fear that some fans might be alienated in the process.

i know that it was weighing on johns’ mind before the show on saturday night.

one of the issues surrounding playing your hometown is managing the friends and family situation, and making sure that everyone shows up and leaves happy.  john handles it with the finesse of a master, but i could tell that the fact that the show was sold out (and, as a result, was infringing on his ability to do anything about last minute cell phone distress calls and the like) was wearing on him a bit.  that, combined with yet another stressful soundcheck and a less-than-optimum monitor mix, had him a bit frazzled when we left for dinner.  thankfully, some good food and pleasant conversation seemed to have a calming effect on him, and he was sufficiently pumped for showtime.

handsome devil, ain't he?
handsome devil, ain't he?

after the flash debacle, john decided to hire a soundman to represent the best interests of the band for these shows, and settled on an old acquaintance of mine, sparky costello, for the gig.  it has to be said that sparky did a great job of tweaking the system at steel city to handle significantly more than it was set up to handle, and although none of us walked offstage after soundcheck feeling terribly optimistic about how things would hold up for the show, sparky did a great job of containing things (i only remember one instance of squealing or howling during the whole set), and really made the old girl sing once things were underway.

my friend and brother-in-arms dennis rambo stopped by during soundcheck to bring me a ’63 danelectro reissue – a redburst one like the one david lindley plays.  he had bought it and decided shortly thereafter that he wasn’t enamoured with it, and offered it to me…and i gladly took it off his hands.  i told him that i liked owning guitars that had belonged to my friends, because there’s a little something special about them – nostalgia value, i guess – that doesn’t come with an eBay guitar.  so now, in addition to my bob stirner strat, i have a dennis rambo danelectro. 🙂

with my trusty baritone jaguar
with my trusty baritone jaguar

dennis stuck around for a bit of the soundcheck, as well…we arrived to load-in at around 3pm and were generally ready to start checking by 4:30.  sparky did an admirable job of dialing everything in on a system that was designed, by and large, for acoustic acts and smaller, much lower output bands than the one it had to handle on saturday night.  i know john was concerned at the point that we broke for dinner, but sparky is pretty intuitive, and he did a good job of navigating the waters, and by the time we were finished, i think he knew where the hot buttons were and was poised to react if he had to.

so some of us (not all of us) went to dinner…john, tommy and myself, along with wendy, curtis and beth kretz, billy (our tech), suzanne gorman and sparky.  rick and freddie sat it out, although i’m not sure why…and i never asked.  we walked up the street to the columbia, where they had a private room upstairs reserved for us.  we had a great meal, good conversation, and left relaxed and ready to play.  well, some of us, anyway.  i went back and walked downstairs and kicked back on the sofa in the dressing room and came very close to falling asleep.  i was in the intermediate stages of food coma, but it came and passed rather quickly.

one thing we did that i hope becomes a ritual for the band was to get dressed for the show well in advance of showtime and we all congregated back in the back, behind closed doors and away from the folks who tend to disregard the “performing artists only” sign at the top of the stairs, and we reviewed the set list, talked about the show, and asked any questions that we might’ve had at that point.  it was something john kinda insisted on, but i think it definitely had an impact on the show…in terms of minimizing mistakes and shedding light into any grey areas that would’ve existed had we not taken that time.

my vote is that it become an official band ritual.  worth doing every gig, believe me.

with john and suzanne gorman
with john and suzanne gorman

i broke first, walked up and did a quick tuning spot check on my instruments, and then did johns’ as well, and took Blackie (his main telecaster) back to him downstairs where he was waiting for his introduction (done, as has become habit, by WMMR’s pierre robert…one of the nicest guys i’ve ever met, and a real joy to be around…a HUGE fan of the band).

when john came on, it was as if all his frustrations from the day were unleashed in the first song, and it was all an easy coast downhill from there.  having bodies in the room seemed to eradicate any issues that we were having with monitor EQ or levels during soundcheck, and i could hear everyone onstage clearly.  the second song, “born yesterday”, has been a bit of a stumbling block for me, because of some arrangement hooks that keep getting lost in my head on the way from the beginning of the song to the point where they’re played, but today i seem to have nailed everything.  “lucky kinda guy” was next…john played a new intro to that one that allowed more than enough time for me to get from 12 string electric guitar over to dobro.  and, after that one, the songs started to run together, they went by so fast.

dobro at steel city coffeehouse
dobro at steel city coffeehouse

highlights of the night for me were songs that will probably hold into that title for a while:  “second chance” and “lullabye”…but i was really happy with “safe in your arms”, “in the drivers’ seat”, and “deeper down” at this show, as well.  the songs flowed together nicely between johns’ bursts of banter, and people ate it up.

one other thing john did that was a departure of sorts from the usual routine was to come back out for the encore and do “i could’ve loved you more” by himself with just an acoustic guitar.  after doing “second chance” with the band and making an assload of noise, then walking offstage to a roomful of screaming people, he put everyone right back into the palm of his hand with that song.  then we did “ordinary lives” from the most recent hooters record and we were done for the night.  we had “stay a little longer” on the list as well, but the opener ran long and we had to cut it…i’m thinking there’s probably not much chance of that happening again. 🙂

afterward, it didn’t take long for a tangible sense of superiority to develop, in terms of the reviews that we were getting in comparison to the other shows we’d done…some of the folks who were there were positively gushing about the show.  there were a lot of faces there that have become familiar over the course of this handful of what john likes to refer to as “soft opening gigs”, and everyone loves everybody after a sold out show.

so…as usual, i was the last one to finish packing up my gear (being such a social butterfly takes a lot of time and effort, ya know), but we were in the car with the engine runnning at 12:34am and ready to drive home.