Two Fridays ago, North of Chicago.
Today's one of those days when the excitement and romance of tour suddenly evaporates on the side of the road. The bus is hobbled by a blown hose somewhere deep in it's bowels. And everyone is getting up early expecting to load in for a "press hit" before the gig. Except we're not there. We're on the side of the road and our driver Mark is laying under the very back of this massive vehicle, and then has to wait for someone to drive out with a new hose, then back again, for the right hose.
Although I'm in the minority, I look forward to the kind of day this was supposed to be - busy with two gigs. Set up in the morning at the radio station or whatever, break it down, and drive over to the real gig for the evening. Of course, it's easy for me, I just play the bass and nap in my bunk. But depending on the distance of the overnight, our driver may end up working a long night/day and maneuvering our bus and trailer twice, and once at a place where they may not see a 67' vehicle to often. And it's twice as much work for the rest of the crew too, and usually the early gig will involve a difficult load-in, or inexperienced production folks -it's almost always a big pain in the ass for somebody.
But I love playing for a small audience in the studio. We have a great stripped down acoustic thing that we don't get to too often. It's where the detail of the wood sounds sing and float in full glory. My sense of quiet has gotten deeper while I was away from touring. These are the kind of gigs I do for fun (if it was with my own Trio I might not use an amp at all.) Plus the mellow restraint sets us up perfectly to just explode once we get to the club.
We will have to explode tonight without it, because we've been delayed almost four hours now, and we're two hours from the city. Another one bites the dust - no one is happy about missing the gig, though it makes an easier day for everybody except Mark, who, after fixing this thing, will drive it into downtown Chicago and park it deftly by the Metro.
For my part it's back in the bunk to doze until I feel us arrive, and the gentle jostling of the crew rolling the cases off the trailer. Then I'll have a coffee, put together my bass, have a snack and check my email, soundcheck if G isn't too busy on phone interviews -explaining why we missed the gig of course. I'll probably just play some grooves with Jeff while Chris gets the sounds together. Then dinner, Nap, Play the show, get in the bunk and repeat. Rock and Roll, nothing can stop us (for more than a few hours anyway.)