We woke up Tuesday morning after the St. Louis gig at the Schwab manor and made our way to the next gig with Tenacious D: Kansas City. The last time The Sights played Kansas City was on our first tour in 2000 when gas was something ridiculously affordable, like 90 cents a gallon. Anyway, on that tour we played Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club, one of the best venue names ever.
As we loaded into the Uptown Theater we could tell this place has seen many great nights. It was decorated like a cross between Theatre Bizarre in Detroit and a scary dream I had three nights ago. It was perfect. I was talking to the soundman and I told him to mix us as rock 'n' roll, a la Rockin' the Fillmore. The dude got the reference right away and told me he saw Humble Pie in '72 at the same venue. That was all I needed to know--tonight was going to rule. And it did.
The crowd got us, and they ate that shit up. It was great. When I busted a string and needed a ten second pause, Dean saved the day with a "Hey everybody it's Skip's birthday," (it wasn't Skip's birthday) at which point the crowd even ate that up. Skip's cousin Matt and wife Leah drove from Omaha to hang with us and it was good to see them.
After the gig we hopped aboard Jerry Sprinter and began our nocturnal 600-mile journey to the Denver area--Red Rocks. Shades (with Skippy the talker as co-pilot) plowed through the cornfields of America in total darkness and many classic albums were played on this journey. We listened to Nina Simone (she's a popular gal in this van), Stevie Wonder's Talking Book, Hank Thompson, and McCartney's Ram to name just a few. I was in the back of Jerry in the nighttime hours, and I'd catch a few hours of sleep here and there.
Then I'd wake up, kind of be in a semi-aware state, listen to a few songs playing, and drift back off. We stopped at a truck stop around 6am in Nowheresville, Kansas, and the D had stopped there too. Kyle Gass and I were in the truck stop together, and we fist bumped on our way out. I don't really get the fist bump, what is it? I feel old, but can't people just shake hands or give the ageless high five? A high five is cool if you're 4 years old or 64 years old. I don't hold it against KG, as he is a sweetheart.
We arrived at our Days Inn ten minutes from Red Rocks about, oh, eight hours before check in. Shades had been going strong, awake for 26 straight hours, driving us there on coffee and Skip's stories, so when he sweet-talked the people at the Days Inn into letting us in to our room early, he scored big. We checked into our suite (compliments of good friends Dawn Engle & Ivan Suvianjieff) and passed out until mid-afternoon.
I didn't fall asleep, but I am pretty sure everyone else did. Finally, around 4pm, we got it together to take Jerry to Dawn and Ivan's, a fifteen minute drive into the mountains in a little city called Idledale, CO. Ivan gave us specific directions to "drive down Morrison, and then you'll see me on the left, in about 3 miles." Uh, sure! But it worked, and he looked great. The dude lost a lot of weight since I last saw him--must be from running from the lions that pop up in his yard (as Wally & the Beav once said, "No foolin'"). We walked inside to fresh, home-cooked smells and were immediately handed a PBR. So good to see you, Dude. We took a stroll around their home--a home in a row of about ten others. Their backdrop is the mountains, their front yard a river full of trout, and the most amazing tranquility you just don't get anywhere else. These people have it figured out, for sure.
Dawn made the best meal of the tour and in the aftermath Dean and I were licking the pulled pork bowl with our fingers. Skip even got the recipe. We can be good domestic boys trading recipes when needed. After the meal we had to continue with the rhythm of the great evening and we went into town for ice cream. It was probably the best ice cream I ever had, a feeling reinforced when I brought Ivan back some chocolate peanut butter in a cup and he was screaming--I think it made a lion stir outside. (During all of this, Shades was asleep back at the hotel which is why we don't have any sweet pics of Dawn & Ivan.)
Anyway, we were exhausted from the good times and so Jerry led us back to the Days Inn. On the agenda for tomorrow? Oh just a little place the people like to call Red Rocks.
All the best,
Today’s high according to Jerry Sprinter‘s thermometer: 102
Photos by Shades