California 66 Revue - Cleveland stop
SO LONG, OHIO Cleveland has always been one of my favorite towns.
From the people, to the bands, to the venues and even the micro breweries; It's a place that's got a bit of every piece of Americana. It was such a pleasant feeling to get a nice turnout (for this tour, especially) and warm reception. I only wish I could have hung out more with Fritz or Brad or Benji. Those guys are great and Fritz, thanks for the Lowenbrau! (btw, Johnny & Rusty know all the words to the Lowenbrau theme song!).
Went back to the hotel and had some beers. Probyn was a real sweetheart and went across the street and got me a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. I know, that's crap food but I had the mad mad munches. See I'd gotten sick halfway through last night's show from food I ate at the club and thus missed half of "Signed DC" because I was puking backstage.
Probyn (an excellent guitarist in his own right) took over guitar duties until my triumphant return to the stage! We then launched into "Clark & Hilldale", which was so much fun, and ended the show with "Seven & Seven is". I was feeling much better and went out and thanked people for coming. Gave Hannah a call (who was dead knackered with jetlag and fading fast), as it was midnight EST.
Woke up this morning (Monday) with the kind and sweet voice of my wife. I hadn't seen her in 2 weeks and missed her terribly. She had to get ready for work and I had to get ready to travel to DC for our final show of the tour. At the end of the day, Sod's Law will sometime take over the driver seat and all you can do is make the best of it, enjoy yourself and enjoy the company you keep. Like Alec Baldwin says in that movie Glenn Garry Glenn Ross, "Coffee is for closers".
Love played to one of the largest and best audiences of the tour at the Beachland Ballroom. The Alarm Clocks opened and performed a great set that Love had to work to match. Superfan Brad Davis came up from Tampa to see the show.
August 5th Hoboken, NJ Maxwell's
August 6th Fairfield, CT Quick Center, WPKN-FM benefit concert
August 7th Cambridge, MA Middle East
August 9th New York, NY BB King's
August 11th Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
August 12th Chicago, IL Double Door
August 14th Toronto, ON Lee's Palace
August 16th Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
August 18th Washington, DC Velvet Lounge
LOVE TAPS INTO AMERICA
Well..........here I am, in quaint Beachwood, Ohio, blogging from the Homestead Extended Stay hotel, which actually has a Whole Foods & Starbucks across the street, which immediately colors us impressed. Also, they sell hard liquor at the gas station, another plus for Beachwood, Ohio.
After our ridiculous 3 1/2 hour crawl (100 miles) in a huge traffic jam from Toronto to Buffalo, we finally got to Customs and would have gone thru in a pinch, had Patrick not handed in his cheque book to the customs officer by mistake (as opposed to his passport). This prompted the nice guy to search the back of our bus and also comment on my hair.
He finally waved us through and we then rolled on for another 3 hours until we hit Erie, Pennsylvania and the Cracker Barrel. I had a few sweet conversations with my wife (whom I miss terribly) who's in London tonight but flies back home tomorrow. We reached our Beachwood crib around 8pm, checked in to our rooms, cracked open an ice cold one and checked out the Cleveland Browns NFL game versus the Green Bay Packers.
It was a good game to watch but while we were watching it, we got word to go to http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.washingtonpost.com
See, since the beginning of the tour the WP has taken an interest in our plight on this tour...as the last men standing...the band that wouldn't walk way from the fans. In a world where people don't keep their word and quit whenever the slightest inconvenience occurs, the Washington Post was applauding us for our efforts and wanted to know what kind of people would do such a thing. Or at least that's what they sold us on. What we read tonight had us in tears...laughing.
Love is about music and the people that love music. We obviously can't control anything outside that and so after reading the article we couldn't help but laugh. Writers are good at writing and they obviously got a great story in Patrick, who's a nice guy and didn't quite understand how journalist would chop everything up to create a nice greek tragedy.
See, I came to rock and that's what I do. I haven't complained and have remained positive. After Sky Saxon passed so suddenly, we made a decision to carry on because people we wanted to fulfill our obligation and found it reasonable to assume ticket sales would pick up. But that's the business and the recession is still quite hard hitting in many areas; I actually bought some fans tickets outside a few venues because they couldn't afford to come in and see the show. The WP doesn't print stories like that because that's not funny even though a fan that I bought a ticket for was standing right next to the WP guy filming the interview in Chicago Telling The Camera Guy and Another fan That we bought Him a Ticket! That fan, in turn, reached into his pocket and bought a CD. Again, no humor in that, folks.
It's also worth mentioning the time we played a gig with Arthur Lee early on (1993) in Semi-Valley, CA, where only 1 or 2 people were in attendance. The WP prints,"Mike Randle once played for 1 person". HA HA HA! Knew slapping funny stuff, that, because you wouldn't want to write what I actually SAID, now would you?
But the joke is really on them, as they show video clips from our Chicago show and that's basically free advertisement and you get to HEAR part of the show for free! (plus the WP bought Patrick, Johnny and I breakfast two weeks ago). You read the article and you wouldn't even know we'd played with Arthur Lee as LOVE for 13 years. And they didn't use any of Johnny Echols interviews (in person and on film) and forgot to mention him by name altogether. I guess the pen was running out of ink. Johnny and I knew the game and only gave the writer, Josh, sound bites.
Blunt and honest to a fault, Patrick shared a lot of behind the scenes stuff, which, coupled with a very creative imagination, the writer was able to come up with some funny comparisons to Spinal Tap. Its unfortunate all the wonderful info Johnny Echols shared with Josh (over 2 hours worth!) was completely edited out. I mean, what do they need the original guitarist and founding member of Love (and only LIVING original member) for when they have a perfectly good 'rock fantasy' angle to run with? Which might explain why Johnny was completely edited out of the entire story! You want comedy? THAT'S COMEDY.
Well, if you'd like to comment on your love for the LOVE, please do go to http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.washingtonpost.com
We play Cleveland tonight (with Cleveland's own Amazing ALARM CLOCKS) and are really excited to see the great folks that come out to hear the music at the Beachland Ballroom. Tuesday we'll be in DC for the last show of the tour. If you or anyone you know is in the area, we'd love to see you.
Maybe, in true Spinal Tap fashion, we'll go #1 in Japan just before the curtains go up!