Greetings from the Stoughton, WIs. Quality Inn. There’s a Denzel Washington movie on HBO, a pizza on one of the beds and a fridge full of Old Style that won’t be attacked as heavily as planned. Scott and Ann are next door and Wendy and I are enjoying the air con and HBO. I think we’re all tired, physically, but it’s tragic to think of actually sleeping. That would too closely mean we’re in the final stage of a road trip that yielded what we wanted to do as a band, which was to play the Crystal Corner in Madison again, the Fourth of July Milton beer tent again, have Kenn’s sound equipment savvy save my ass again and hang with my dad in Stoughton when it was all done. Again.
It’s been a great couple of days of agains. Makes sense — they’re what any band thrives on as much as anything. Doing it again. Coming back again. See you all again. Etcetera and repeat.
There were a few firsts, though, like the guy blissfully freaking out at the Crystal because damn it if he ever heard any band do “Go Cry On Somebody Else’s Shoulder.” There was the first of having former high school and college bar-bandmates Matt Arnold and Tam Arnold show up and join us Saturday on “Surrender.”
It was a first to have in the audience Matt’s brother Jeff, the area’s reigning master guitarist (and a musical hero of mine since he brought his electric into Mrs. Fagan’s sixth grade class). I caught him singing along to Ann’s dose of “Bell Bottom Blues,” and all seemed pretty right with the world.
It was a chance to catch up briefly with Mike Flaherty, my first Mankato roommate and a great songwriter himself, responsible for “Sold To Conoco,” the lyrics of which I submitted in place of my final exam in an Intro To Political Science class. Still wound up passing.
There was also the first of getting impatient stares from the parents of little girls dressed in all sorts of Vegas showgirl duds, ready to stomp up a storm as part of the Milton Fourth of July Tap Dancing Squadron (my name, not theirs). Sometimes life puts you in a beer tent in Wisconsin playing for a large group of people who want you to finish so their daughters can hoof it to hot-new-country tunes. Sometimes life gets surreal. Behold:
There was a ribeye steak sandwich from St. Mary’s Parish booth, a couple of beers and the hope we can play next year, but maybe a little later in the day. Seriously, these girls were not amused.
Meanwhile, a new song has been hatched while here and should be performance ready by the time we play back home, again.