I just cut my right foot loading in to the Austin Music Hall. It doesn't hurt, but it's a little bloody. The venue is very clean, newish almost, but the soap that dispensed backstage was the weirdest shade of brown I've ever let drop into my hands. It smelled fine so I went with it. I think my hands are clean. They smell clean.
I was just backstage with the group but was feeling claustrophobic. Here we are, traveling hundreds (thousands) of miles together in a van only to congregate in...one room again! I wasn't having it, so now I am in the balcony and Tenacious D is about to soundcheck. The venue's air is the other extreme of the van-- it's freezing in here. I am chugging coffee and feeling relaxed.
We're coming off a drive day yesterday. We had lunch with our pal Bruce in Memphis and with Shades at the helm we made it to Dallas at 8pm last night. It was a sweaty drive, with moments of craziness, but we had fun with it and I finished the book I was reading. One of my School of Rock bosses, Dean Tarpley, has opened his Dallas palace for us to crash for the next three nights. I don't know Dean well, but he made his home a comfortable place for us. His wife Susie, the lady who signs my SoR checks (and does a million other sweet things) made us feel at home. They made an amazing dinner-- steak, complete with pie and ice cream.
Since it was Skip's birthday, she busted out the champagne and we sang to Skip. It was sorta surreal and yet made perfect sense. It was one of those meals where you sat down with people in their home and they made everything so easy. We talked about Megadeth, love, the Russian winter, and other random topics. They have some southern twang and phrases that made it really feel like Texas. I think I even heard the word "fixins!"
This morning we made our way to the Austin Music Hall and arrived, as usual, two hours early. It was great to see the D crew and Andy, their stage manager and I, were talking about love. He went home to the English rain and his lady and I was telling him about my recent good fortune. The D is soundchecking and my entire body is shaking, ha! Jack just asked for a 'skiggity scosh more of [his] vocals." So funny. I love the calm before the storm, when a large venue is quiet and people are getting ready for the night. I like seeing the way things work behind the scenes. I think some people think we just walk in an hour before we play and just walk up onstage with a guitar and start the show. Not quite like that.
Anyway, the gig has an earlier curfew so we'll be out of here an hour earlier than usual. We're going to go "nocturnal" and drive right back to the comfort zone that is Dean and Susie's. Tomorrow afternoon we're going to check out the Grassy Knoll, where Zapruder took some footage of a famous murder. Shades & I had been there on tour before, but it's an eerie place that I want to get back to. It's the history lover in me-- something my father and I share.
All the best,
Today's high according to Jerry Sprinter's thermostat: 95
Photos by Shades