Sunday August 22, 2004

Ann Wilson and Heart kick it out in Atlanta.

 


This was what I wish was a typical Sunday.

Well rested, I got up and talked to Grandma for a couple of hours. At 1:30, I arrived at rehearsal. We ran through the bulk of the 25 songs that we know. "Jewel Box" is still improving. Everything else is just slightly improved from last time. In other words, it's getting better, but there's still much work to get (back) to where we need to be.

Amanda and I then headed off for Chastain Park in Atlanta. I really didn't even care to go to another show (burned out) but I always liked Heart so I decided to keep this date. Plus, Amanda decided that she wanted to come along (she's been staying home a lot more lately) so that made it even better.

Man, I'm glad I went. Heart (to quote Amanda) "KIX ASS." Yep, they rocked so hard tonight that they required all caps and a misspelling with the letter X added. From the triple shot of "Bebe Le Strange," "Kick It Out" and "Straight On" to the 3rd encore double shot of Zep's "Black Dog" and "Misty Mountain Hop," the Wilson sisters put on one of the best shows of the year. The only '80s hits they played were "Alone" and "These Dreams" and both of those were re-arranged. Instead, they did no less than 7 new songs (from Jupiter's Darling - their best album in 25 years) and the best of the early stuff, "Even It Up," "Crazy On You," "Magic Man," "Barracuda", etc. They were in top form. "Dog And Butterfly" and "Love Alive" were beautiful and nicely contrasted the heavier stuff. I was most impressed by the fact that the audience (who has no doubt never heard the brand new album) stuck with the band throughout so many new songs. "Things" was like Zeppelin III revisted, "Lost Angels" was majestic (and the obvious stand in for "Mistral Wind"), and "Make Me" was even punchier than the album. I can't say enough about it. This is the real thing. Easily one of the best shows of the year. The only way it could've been better is if they'd managed to get "City's Burning" and "Mistral Wind" worked in, too. But I'm not complaining. It was a great night.

On that note, I think I'm dropping all plans to cover shows for the rest of the month. I don't even think the Drive-By Truckers two-night home stand at the sold out 40 Watt will beat this one so I'll sit 'em out this time. I'll start back in September.


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Saturday August 21, 2004

Meet Palmer (aka "The Crazy Old Lady In The Blue & Yellow Sweater")

 


Ahhh....much better. I got more sleep than usual on a Friday night. Amanda and I spent the day around home.

Today is the first day that I'm putting my Advanced Theory Of Depression Rejection in effect. I've had enough. I'm through with it. If I feel it, I will get rid of it. One can feel angry or sad. But one shouldn't feel either of them for too long. I know I have an excuse for depression but excuses mean nothing to me. They only cause waste. I don't want to be that way so I won't be that way.

In the early evening, Amanda and I went out for dinner at Johnny Carrino's. 'Twas pleasant enough. Then we went for a nice stroll around the block as twilight peaked. Sometimes it's fun to just hang out. This time, I took my camera to capture some of the more spectacular neighborhood sights. How fortuitous, then, that "the crazy old lady in the blue and yellow sweater" turned out to be out and about. Her owner was even there so we got the official introduction. Her name is Palmer. Yep, that's her on the left. She's one of our more interesting neighbors. Yes, she's allowed to roam free throughout the neighborhood and her cries and exultations are part of the soundtrack of this part of Athens.

Afterwards, Amanda and I spent a nice, relaxing evening at home.

 


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Friday August 20, 2004
 

Rained on and defeated:
Chris Stein from Blondie and I await permission to leave!

 


My whole system being as short circuited as it is right now, I had another sleepless night. No good excuse. I took the whole week off from going out to shows and couldn't sleep 'cause I wasn't exhausted.

Because of this, NOW I'm exhausted and there's a show to go to.

Yep, it's hard to believe but the last On The Bricks was tonight. On The Bricks is my summer. This year it ran from May 26 (?) to August 20. Can't even tell you who all I saw, but ones that come to mind instantly are Liz Phair, Train, Gavin DeGraw, Kanye West, Everclear, Sevendust, Van Hunt, Twista, Fuel, Live, Los Lonely Boys, The Whigs...etc, etc. Even got to meet a slew of them. Most of them went off without a hitch.

Tonight was not to be.

Tonight was the show I'd been looking forward to all season. The Psychedelic Furs and Blondie. What a cool double bill. Unfortunately, about 4 songs into Honestly's set, a mean storm blew in. First, it knocked the power out, leaving the band clueless as to what to do! Then, the merch tent was blown over with staff in it. The major light truss started teetering. The giant Pepsi and Bud Light inflatables fell over. The super heavy weights that hold the scrims in place in front of the several story high main speakers were even lifted, almost causing a cascade of heavy black equipment.

We all ran backstage as it got worse and worse. After an hour or so, power was restored. I went back onstage to look around. There was standing water on the floor. Equipment strewn about everywhere. The lighting truss lowered almost to the ground. The show was halted at about 7:30. Members of The Psychedelic Furs were walking around backstage waiting. Eventually, it was decided for them to strike their equipment and just let Blondie set up to go on around 9. Well, it was about 9:45 when it was realized that they just couldn't get the stage dry enough to be safe. It would take until at least 10:45 to get things ready. Curfew is 11. Add to that the fact that another storm was starting to come through. It became clear what was up. At about 10, they announced to the crowd that they could get refunds. I was backstage and that sound of booing (from people who stood in the rain for 2 and a half hours hoping that the show would resume) was truly ugly. Several of the Mad Booking staff looked on the verge of tears. I talked to Blondie's manager (who made the final decision to pull the plug). He was clearly distraught with the decision. He seemed to feel really bad. The Psychedelic Furs guy abided by the decision but clearly thought they could've played. As he said, "I have no say in this. It's up to Blondie's manager and the promoters." He looked extremely frustrated. We all were.

Before they left, I grabbed Blondie's Chris Stein for a pic and an autograph. I said, "So that's it, eh?" He said, "We're out of here" with a sheepish, disappointed smile. I tried to console him a bit, "It happens, you know." He looked at me and said "Yeah, it happens but not that often." He was gracious and nice even in his frustration. Hey - maybe the little potatoes made it worth his while. "Yeah, those were happening," he said.

Some friends went out to try and catch Debbie Harry at the bus. I never even saw her tonight. As it was, I didn't want to bother her. People were still leaving while we were around 10:45, which would've been about the time it would've been safe enough to go on. Right about that time, another downpour slammed the area.

I guess they made the right call.

I wish you all good luck and better weather for Saturday in Nashville.


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Thursday August 19, 2004

 

 


Well, if you'll kindly check Concert Shots, you'll see that there's been a tiny update. So now I'm only 2 months behind on the site!

I've got the next update about a third of the way done. I'm hoping by Monday I'll be able to move well into July.

Today was just more of the same old thing. My sister's due to give birth today but I haven't heard anything yet. As she's almost always late when we're supposed to meet up, I'm not surprised that her new daughter would be, too!

I went out to Best Buy for some random items that I needed when I came across the Gene Simmons DVD Speaking In Tongues. Now, I knew better but I bought it anyway. It's basically been billed as a motivational video based on his Australian lecture tour a year or so ago. Amanda and I watched it, hoping to get "the kick in the pants" that we need to kickstart things again. All I got was the desire to award Simmons with the "Worst Edited Anything Ever!" To me, it was almost unwatchable. Tom calls me a KISS apologist. If anything, this should prove I'm not. With the exception of the parts of him interacting with his daughter, son and paramour, this thing is nothing less than really bad!

After the DVD, Amanda and I had a "discussion" about where we are, where we're going and what needs to be done. As you know, I've been feeling pretty worn down, out of it and just doing what I need to do to get by.

I've a feeling that's about to change and things are about to get fun again...


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Wednesday August 18, 2004

 


Same old, same old, but getting closer and closer.

It's now 8:35 p.m. and I'm still behind this computer. Forgive me if I don't have much to say!

Oh, I can say this, my sister Missy's due to give birth to my new niece McKayla Lee Padgett tomorrow. I have all the usual ambilavence about this kind of thing.

I got some good news about McKayla's brother Robbie today, too. For the second time in a week, I've gotten phone calls about how great he's doing in school. It's been a real struggle for Robbie and Amanda and I are SO proud of him for toughening up and tackling his problems.

On the other hand, his older sis Nichole's been a bit of trouble lately. She got involved in some self-destructive, stupid behavior a couple of weeks ago and is still grounded...as she should be. She better thank God she's not mine when she does stuff like that.

C'mon, Nichole, you know better. You've got the chance to do whatever you want. Don't throw it away to prove a point that's delusional and a dead end.

And coming down the "backstretch" is little McKayla Lee...


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Tuesday August 17, 2004

 


Wow, I got so out of it in my diary listings last week that I didn't mention several things. Not the least of which is that a week ago today, my Mom got into a car wreck. She totalled the old car. She's fine. Just a little sore. But it was yet another incident in a difficult time for her.

Anyway, back to now. I really am starting to see some light at the end of the work tunnel. There's still a lot to do but I'm making a dent. I venture to say that the first of MANY SMALL (but quick) updates at Concert Shots will begin Thursday. There won't be reviews (don't have the time) but I'll get the galleries up there. It sucks that I don't have the time to write right now! There's so much good stuff, especially CD's. I think this is my favorite year for music in at least a decade.

If you get one CD this year, I recommend Nellie McKay (ignore the last name). Seriously. If you get 2 CD's this year, get two copies of the Nellie McKay album (one for the car? a friend?). It's amazing. I'm still playing it a lot.

I also got the new Mooney Suzuki record. I'd read a lot of lukewarm reviews so I was concerned. Screw the critics (irony duly noted), it's a good, solid record. If you ever liked 'em before, get it.

Today, I did my usual.

Amanda designated the evening "chillax" night. Ummm....it kind of backfired. I think my depression and exhaustion caught up with me. She wound up having a three-plus-hour, mostly one-sided conversation with a ghost dressed up in my clothes. I was out of it, depressed and playing Miles Davis and Joni Mitchell.

Maybe it's the bottoming out that I need to get on with it.

Let's hope.

Depression's not my thing, anyway. I'm more of an anxiety guy, you know!


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Monday August 16, 2004

 


Same old thing today. With a slight difference. Today I had to fix up some "portrait samples" for that agency that may be hiring me to do portraits for their artists.

I got this stinkin' diary updated, too. I'm going to do my best to keep it up better now. I should be able to. I'm nowhere near caught up on everything else but I'm not as far behind either.

Maybe Concert Shots will start having some photo gallery updates within the next day or two.

Amanda just reminded me that I should mention that her sister Alyssa is supposed to be in England as of today. She just got transferred from Chicago. She's looking at it as "an adventure" but doesn't know for sure when she'll be coming back home.

Obviously, we hope she had a great trip and has some fun in between the work.

Click here for last week's update with pics of Live and Norah Jones.


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