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The Sign / Blog


Monday May 26 - Day 26

Drive to Enterprise car rental drop off point and catch the shuttle to LAX with no dramas. I would use Enterprise again to rent a car. We had a nice Nissan Sentra for the three weeks for $159.00/wk. We got some coffee at the airport for a kick start and waited to see if we will get on the flight. Pierre said the flight was wide open so we weren't worried. A quick four hour flight to Atlanta and all is good. Pierre picked us up and we drove to his house in Peach Tree City. It’s a beautiful area outside of Atlanta where everybody drives a golf cart because there are golf cart trails everywhere to get to where you want to go; shopping or whatever as well as golf courses throughout the community. Very nice, in the middle of the forest. We called Eddies Attic in Decatur (in Atlanta) about 4:00pm to see if we could get a spot to play their open mic night. We managed to get the 9:00 spot so after a bit of a nap for about two hours we were on our way, about an hour’s drive from Pierre’s house. Upon arriving at Eddie’s Attic we had to PAY $7.00 for both of us to play. WTF? Plus they were charging $6.00 for people to get in. I have to admit, the place was full and people who were there were there to listen. That was a nice change. When the performers were on everyone was quiet. There were some pretty good talent on the night. We did our thing and it was well received. At the end of the night we got an audio CD of our performance and Pierre got a video on his iPhone. They also had food for the performers, rigatoni and meat balls with sauce and a nice salad. $8.00 each for Jamo’s! You can buy a bottle for $25.00. Oh well, only one drink each for the night. Drove back to Pierre’s about midnight and got settled in and had a well deserved sleep.


Sunday May 25 – Day 25

Last night at the drive-in Blended was really funny and Godzilla was true to the original. Popcorn, cheese dogs and coke instead of the beer and peanuts, lol. Up about 9:00am and pack the gear and suitcases to get ready to go to a mate Oscar and his wife Paula’s house in Pomona California. Oscar used to be the drummer in my (Paul) band called Prodigy in the eighties and we are still friends. Next stop after Oscar and Paula’s will be LAX to go to Atlanta. We left around noon and it only took about 2.5 hours drive to get there. After we arrived Oscar took us out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant and we got these excellent pork burritos. After that we went to Oscar’s mate’s place (who is his bass player in his new band) for a BBQ and jam. Great bunch of guys and musicians and had a wonderful time. I haven’t played with Oscar since 1983 or so and it was fantastic to play with him again. At about 9:15pm the cops showed up because the jam was outside and someone must have complained so it was time to stop. After that we went back to Oscar’s and chatted for awhile. So now it’s 2:15am and we have to get up at 3:15am to drive to LAX to catch the 6:30am flight to Atlanta. Wasted once more.


Saturday May 24 – Day 24

Looks like we are going to keep the rental car until Monday when we fly out of LAX. The agent at Enterprise gave us a half off drop off charge to leave it at the airport. Memorial Day weekend. That was really nice of him to do. Blended and Godzilla at the 29 Palms Drive-in tonight for only $5.00 each! What a bargain. So it looks like that’s what’s happening tonight. Beautiful desert night drinking a beer or two, having a smoke and watching two movies under the stars.... ahhhhh.... peanuts, popcorn, pizza.... God am I gonna get fat!


Friday May 23 – Day 23

Not much happening today. Just some random shopping at Dollar Tree for really cheap snacks (Sweet tarts, Milk Duds, Ice cream sandwiches, chocolate) you know what I’m talking about.... well maybe you don’t, we don’t have Dollar Trees. Our Chevy Malibu needed a new motor so the mechanic took it away to be fixed. Ah, the joys of car ownership.


Thursday May 22 – Day 22

Jo made Laksa for breakfast and it was gooood. We said our goodbyes to Riggs and Helen and on our way to Jack’s in Rolling Hills. We forgot our stool after recording so we had to make a stop there. Jack and Stacy talked us into staying for awhile because traffic was going to be horrendous. So, we stayed and had coffee, dinner and some wine before the drive to 29 Palms. Traffic was much better after 7:00pm and made it here in no time (well a couple, three hours). Wiped out again... all this driving!


Wednesday May 21 – Day 21

Lasagna needs to get made so Mama Jo is on it.. Riggs oven is supercharged... that’s what happens when an electrical engineer is in charge of his own wiring ... We had left over macaroni with béchamel sauce and some meat sauce for lunch as the party was looking like being a drinking good time nothing like carbs to help soak it up and sustain some energy. It is a gray May day, a change from all the blinding sunlight of last week. Slightly cooler, car after car arrived, pot luck was the order of the day, chicken, salads, salmon, dips, chips, cheese platter and an ice lemon soufflé ....oh my plus musicians. Bass players, drummers, guitarists not a lot of singers and it begins. Corona with slices of lime and litre bottles of Skyy Vodka were being consumed, wine and craft beers ... Fun time for all, Great turnout for a Wednesday night. Much levity, some serious playing and good times. Met some new people said hello to some we already knew. All too soon Thursday morning is upon us and it is time to sleep.


Tuesday May 20 – Day 20

It was nice not to wake up at 6:00am today. It was more like 9:00am, much better as it was a bit more sleep. Puttered around in the morning after breakfast and then went to Croad to get the name on the check changed. Ok; get to Croad and the lovely manager Rosie adds my name to the check and initials it. We then drive to the bank and the teller tells me she cannot cash the check because it has the name The Sign on it and someone has a business with the bank called The Sign. I tell her to call the manager at Croad to confirm my name and the teller tells me “how do I verify that person”? Well.. duh.. you are calling the business who wrote the check and you are talking to the person who wrote the check. Well, that didn't work so back to Croad to deal with the problem. We get to Croad then Rosie realizes there are no more checks on the premises. Ok, no worries. She called the owner and we got paid cash. Why couldn't that happen in the beginning? Oh well, we do love the vineyard, the owner Martin and the people who work there. Our favorite place to play when we are in Paso Robles. We were going to go on a Firestone beer tour at 2:30pm but missed it because of the check mishap. We did a bit of shopping, got some great shoe deals (as you do, and we needed new ones) then came back to Riggs’. Hung out there for awhile and then went to Stuart and Michelle’s (some friends we made from the first time we were here) for dinner and a chat. Stuart was an Aussie actor in previous days and is now into making wine here in Paso Robles and Michelle does food and function planning. Nice time drinking fine wine and company. Looking forward to tomorrow. PARTY!


Monday May 19 – Day 19

Went to the bank to try to deposit the check from Croad and made the mistake of having them make it payable to The Sign. I don’t know why I did that as we do not have a bank account in the name of The Sign. Too tired and not thinking I suppose. So, back to Croad to get the name changed into mine. Crap, the manager is off today so have to wait till tomorrow. No worries, not in a big hurry to deposit the check. I’m glad we didn’t leave the area or it would have been a major pain in the ass. We did some shopping then back to Riggs’ to just hang out. After dinner we set up our gear in Riggs’ studio and had a blast for about an hour or so playing to an intimate audience. Great PA and room.


Sunday May 18 – Day 18

Well the ride did end last night (thank God) and off to bed. Up at 6:00am and next thing I remember it was 1:00pm. I must have needed the extra sleep. Just hung out most of the day. Nice just to relax.


Saturday May 17 – Day 17

Got up at 6:00am and got everything ready to go. Packed the car and said bye to all after a few coffees and rounds of toast. Got direction from our mate Riggs to go to Los Olivos to pick up an incredible microphone for him. It’s built by a guy named Stayne who live there. Brilliant products. Have a look at http://innertubeaudio.com/home.html. So on the road at 7:30am, get to the gig at 11:45 and ready to play about 12:00. We have our usual crazy direction problems but all is good. After we pick up the mic we make it to Croad Vineyards where we have to play a four hour session. It was a fine afternoon at the vineyard and we had a great time. The wine was flowing and the BBQ was excellent. Tri tip steak, sausages, beans and salad. The people who were there seemed to have a good time, we made good money in tips and we were paid well and bonus two bottles of wine. After the gig we went to Riggs’s unpacked, had a bit of a rest and went to one of his mates for a party. He owns a beautiful beach house right on the ocean in Cayucos. Plenty of booze, music, food and good company. At his point I (Paul) am totally beat. I do not like to ride in the back seat of a car going around bend after bend.... car sick..... will this ride ever end?