Monday, July 12, 2010

Sat July 10 -- ETB in San Antonio

Woke early for a busy day, not even sure what time we were supposed to leave. Someone tapped on the door at 9:30, I figured it was Tessmer so did my high-pitched/heavily-accented "HOUSEKEEPING" to which a female voice replied, "I'm sorry ma'am, are you checking out today?" To which I replied in my deepest baritone "YES." Heh!

But we were leaving before 11am to make it to San Antonio by 2pm. We had an instore at the Best Buy on 410 in north San Antonio and a photo shoot with Ash Newell who is a very bigtime rock photographer. Met up with him and our new publicist Suzanne Peneley (works with Motorhead, among many many others) in the parking lot and checked out the store. Weird having a music section in Best Buy, of all places. But they did have some good axes for good prices. Still weird tho.

Basically grabbed amps and gear off the walls to use, which was cool. Richard used one of their electronic drumkits, Michael found a nice electric piano to use, I grabbed a Fender bass combo off the wall and Eric found a re-issue Fender Twin in the corner. Sweet! Played at low volumes and still had a good time, Michael playing his saxophone sans mic/PA which sounded amazing. Did a CD signing afterwards, and signed one CD. Ah well, heh!

Then followed Suzanne in her car to a nearby park for the photoshoot. Ash had a gorgeous spot picked out next to a modest sized creek. Tho was 15 degrees cooler in the shade was still hot as a mofo. Ash had us laughing our asses off with all his crazy dirty limericks and jokes/stories. What a character. Did group shots, then solo shots of Eric. Awesome watching a pro like that work, being a half-assed photographer myself. Then Ash asked if Eric had anymore jeans to wear tonight. "Yeah, why?" "We'd like you to wade into the water." And so there Eric balls deep in a creek with turtles swimming around. Then Ash wants him to hold his '59 Strat with him while in the water. The comic mask of concern that darkened his face was priceless. He managed to not drop his priceless guitar but did joke that "It's wood, it'll float!"

It was over before we all succombed to heat stroke, said our goodbyes and headed to Sam's Burger Joint. Parked out back and entered the load-in door, and was pleasantly blown away by the remodeling they had done. The dark, low-ceilinged punk bar off to the right had been replaced by a super nice and more upscale high-ceilinged bar, and the bathrooms had been totally redone. Awesome! Good for them, good to see a good venue stepping it up to become and even better venue. Have played there a half dozen times with 3-4 diff bands, my first time with ETB. And I think only NOW do I know where it actually is.

Bit of confusion during load-in, not sure if we were doing full soundcheck and whether or not opening drummer using Richard's drums. So we were loading, opening band were loading, and the opening drummer is setting up Richard's drums while he was in the bathroom. Would have been a little flustered at their over-eagerness to get onstage, but they were all really nice cats. Eric and I asked soundman for final say, and he wanted us to run a song. So opening band had to move some amps (again), we played half a tune and called it good. Went to the restaurant next door to finally eat. Which was good, we were all dizzy from a long day, a long night, and an already long day, in addition to standing out in the sun for 2 hours. Ate 2/3 of my bacon cheddar burger and immediately felt like a bloated corpse. But worth it, the food at Sam's is amazing!

Caught some Zzzz's in various booths and couches around venue. Not much, but enough to have gotten a second wind in time to play. Mariah, Triniti and myself went to the van around 9:45, then over to Valero for cigarettes. Walking back text from Tessmer saying we're about to go on. Oops. But no big deal, plenty of time to set up (most everything already set up!), and what was already a good crowd had gotten even better!

Good show, always nice to play on a bigger stage than we are used to, with better lights/sound than we are used to. Walking the crowd, Suzanne's husband John followed us around a few feet away to provide security. Would have been nice to have him at the last Corpus gig we did, sure I mentioned the Meth Lady in previous blog posts... Had our usual shot at the bar, which the empty glasses then miraculously refilled themselves, setting the tone for the rest of the night. I'd been doing all the driving (my van) and was planning on taking it easy just cause I was so exhausted.

But the party usually cranks itself up several notches after set break, and we regaled them with tales of the old man from Corpus Christi. Then the shots started to appear onstage, not even sure what they were but I had at least 3-4 of them. And was DONE. KAPUT. FINISHED. Layed down in a booth while Triniti swung the van around. Came back in and said, "I need to show you something..." Oh shit. She took me outside and showed me the duct-tape covered window. The tape was ripped aside and the blind pushed up. Lots of personal bags in van, no gear, and not much in arms' reach so thought we were in the clear. Have not had the cash to fix the window since I am recently divorced and low on funds at the moment, but never a security issue cause I rarely travel with anything of value in the van, the window is nowhere near any of the locks, and most gear that IS in the van won't fit thru that little fuckin window anyway. So for me it's been only an incovenience cause I can't take the van into a carwash with that damn tape on the window.

But searching the van Michael noticed his bag was gone. Which had his money, cellphone and apartment key inside (remember the PA locked in Michael's apartment? yeah). In addition to all his clothes and toiletries. Well shit shit shit. Was bound to happen sooner or later and could have been so much worse, but still. Immediately texted an update to my FaceBook page: "If you are a thieving crackhead piece of shit, do yourself and the rest of humanity a favor and KILL YOURSELF."

Total buzzkill for what was up until then a really good weekend. Bah. Triniti drove the van with myself and Michael back, while Eric, Richard and Mariah rode back with friends. Which was good, we had no room for Richard whatsoever. Pulled into Michael's apartment complex and he had to just ride to Jonestown with Eric and Richard and stay with them. But they got the key and PA situation sorted out.

Calling his cellphone company, Michael was informed that a call was made from his phone around 10pm the previous night. Which means whoever did it watched Mariah, Triniti and I leave the van, then make his move, then used Michael's phone to call either a friend or dealer. Hopefully that is an important clue, be nice to get that shit back tho not holding my breath. Fuck thieves, man.

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