Let’s start with a nice little story:
A friend of Kevin Bowe’s, Pete, and his wife are having their first baby. He sent me this message via facebook a couple weeks ago. Another example of why I do the things I do:
“Hi Alison! Never met you but my wife and I love your music. I’m friends with Kevin Bowe (what a great guy).You’ve done a few auto ads (singing parts) for me actually I’m an advertising exec.. I had to share with u a beautiful moment I had recently that was enhanced by your music… My wife and I are having our first baby and recently had the first ultrasound. What an incredible experience to see an actual baby that is forming..YOUR baby! WOW!!! When I got in the car after and drove home, your song “stop!” was playing in my disc player..No other song could have captured how great I felt at that very moment …So warm, so happy, so IN THAT moment,so appreciative…That moment and song will forever live within my “happy place”..thank u and keep up the good work……I’m rootin’ for u….PS..way to cover Paul Westerberg..A legend in your back yard!!”
I LOVE that. It makes the envelope-stuffing side of my job worth it.
In other news, we had our first show in Chicago last weekend. Anytime you break in to a new market like that you want it to go perfectly. So, I was feeling the pressure. Long story short, it did go perfectly. We shared the stage with The Nadas and had a fantastic time. By the way, they are incredible and I highly recommend you go see them! Maybe we can drag them up here to Mpls to do a show with us just so you guys can see what I mean.
Next city to tackle: Los Angeles. We have been there once a couple years ago, and we played the Hotel Cafe. Now, our second show is officially on the books for April, 9, 2011. We’re playing The Mint (a really great venue by all standards) with The Tiger Club. So spread the word far and wide! We’re on our way WEST and we need your friends to come see us so that LA doesn’t kick us out forever. Here’s hoping to another full house and another successful show!
p.s. following our LA trip we will be touring our way to NYC sometime this spring. So all you East Coasters who have been harassing me to get out there- Your wish is my command.
The boys took care of me, I had 4 big brothers that night. They loaded my stuff, drove my car home and even refrained from ridiculing me too much as I hurled into my water bottle on the drive home. In fact they praised me for having such good aim. The following day James’ sent out an email to the band with a story about Michael Jordan- game 5 of the finals one year. He played the whole game with the stomach flu and they just barely won it with 30 seconds to go. Or something like that. At the buzzer he collapsed onto his teammate from exhaustion. Apparently my new nickname is “GAME 5.” Yay for me.
This brings me to my point. Both Peter and Kevin are in the midst of reading Keith Richard’s biography. I have been getting snippets from it over the past week or two. Now, I have to say, my life is very much like Keith’s. At least it was for those few hours. I just have to pretend I was drunk off my ass, and that it had nothing to do with those pesky migraines I get every once in a while. Migraines aren’t rock n’ roll. But puking between set 2 and the encore, I’d say I earned true rock n’ roll status, at least for one night.
Until next time….long love rock n’ roll.
So, Wednesday night we had another out of town gig. We were heading north to St. Cloud, full band. We loaded up the suburban and hit the road. We’ve been playing out of town quite a bit now. You have to start over in every town. The first time in you could very well only have 20 people in the audience, and trust me, you’re happy to have anyone at all. I felt a mild headache coming on throughout the drive up there, but when we arrived the club informed us we had 3x as many tickets sold as our previous show in St. Cloud. Great news! So, I try to ignore the headache and prepare to put on a great show. If you’ve got that many new people coming in to see you, you better make it good.
We make it halfway through the first set and I start to feel a little dizzy, I forget a couple of chords and laugh it off because The Show Must Go On. During intermission my headache gets worse, but I don’t say anything to anyone. The more I think about it the less I can pretend it’s not there. You see there is no worse job when you are sick then being a performer. If I had an office job, I could sit at my desk with a blanket, a box of kleenex and sulk all day. As a performer, people better believe that you are damn happy to be there or they sure aren’t going to be. It takes some fine acting skills on occasion. So, I ignore my off-kilter equilibrium and go sell CDs in the lobby. Sales are good, the audience is loving the show, a good start to a great evening. Or so I thought.
Time for set #2. Halfway through I’m getting that dizzy feeling again and I suddenly notice that I totally skipped over one of James’ solos (a BIG no-no). I start to wonder what my deal is, I am never this forgetful. It’s embarrassing. Luckily the band has my back and can follow my mistakes to the end of the earth, and possibly over a cliff. I’m starting to feel relieved as we get to the last song of the evening. I have done this one 500 times, no way I can mess it up…and yet the intro is over, it’s time for the vocal and I’ve got nothing. I can’t remember the first verse, nor the second. I can’t even fake my way through it. We laugh it off for a while- and praise the good sweet lord- the words come to me. We start over, make it all the way through and I am DONE. One weird night and it’s finally over.
As I’m walking off stage I start to feel quite nauseated. The crowd is still cheering and I am running for the ladies room. It’s ok, we’re new in this town, no WAY they are going to call for an encore. As I am hovered over the porcelain throne with nobody there to hold my hair back, in between heaves I can hear them clapping and chanting “ENCORE.” I”m praying they will stop, but they don’t. I wrap it up as quick as possible, rinse out my mouth and headed back for the stage. My eyes are watering as I play that last song, and I’m wondering if my makeup is running all over my face. My throat hurts and I can feel round two coming on, but I’ve only got to get through a couple of minutes and then I am free to sit on the floor in the basement bathroom and puke in peace. And…..I make it.