Folk Songs of the American Longhair
East Coast Tour 2010
Drove another six hours or so
And rolled into the baking furnace
That is Texas.
Rolling hills, scrub brush, parking lots,
Chrome buildings, and mini-malls.
I located the club, The Lounge.
It’s in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas.
I park in a pay lot next to the club
There is no parking lot attendent.
You just stick your money in a slot
They charge for everything in America.
To rent, park, stand, build, drive (toll roads), camp, sleep,
And scratch any itch you may have the urge
To fuss with.
Freedom ain’t always cheap.
Free enterprise, I guess.
I catch sight of my reflection in the van.
I have black circles round my eyes, bags
And I am greasy.
This last jag took a toll on me.
But I made it.
Old friend and ex-Mystic Fixer Cody showed up
With his crazy buddy Commando.
Cody just had a kid with one of my oldest friends,
Anne Z. They live in Dallas
Commando is an ex-military guy
Whose real name is Karl Van Commander.
He's completely nuts. In a good way.
Guys like that fight and win wars
And take bullets.
Not nerds who whine about things like "the scene"
And complain about who is or isn't coming to see their band play.
I call him Commando, because it fits him perfectly
And almost sounds like his real name.
Ex-military guys like that are real
In a way others can only imagine.
I grew up in a military family - Air Force.
The old man was a fighter pilot in Vietnam.
Grandfather was WWII decorated Navy.
Picture in Life Magazine.
Those guys are tough.
Each successive generation gets a little wimpier
As the years go by. Myself included.
Might take another depresssion to squeeze
All the cry baby out of us.
I hang with Commando and Cody at the club.
I bang out the set.
I’m so exhausted at the end of the night
All I want to do is sleep.
It’s way too hot to sleep in the van,
So I opt to crash at Cody and Anne’s house.
On a mattress.
It’s the first real bed I’ve slept on in over 10 days.
I pass out and sleep takes over.
EN ROUTE TO HOUSTON
I woke late.
Ate some good home cooking
Courtesy of Anne.
Said my goodbyes and thank you’s
And rolled out.
I slam toward Houston.
Five hour drive.
I roll into town,
Letting Tony Bonyata’s GPS guide me.
He lent it to me in Chicago.
I’d never used one before.
Now I am officially a convert.
These GPS things are great.
For some reason, I thought the technology
Would be a little clunkier.
It’s sort of clunky here and there,
But not to the extent I imagined.
Even after a lot of kooky turns
The club is right where the GPS says it is.
I park in back.
And lie down in the back of the van
To roast and rest a bit.
The other bands show up
And they’re all such cool, friendly,
And talkative people
That I just can’t stay in the van.
I hang with Cirrus Minor, a psych-prog band.
They give me some fried chicken.
Fitzgerald’s, the club, has me headlining
Four bands and playing at the end of the night.
It’s gonna be a long one.
I can tell.
But the bands are all good.
Kill the Rhythm, a kind of indie rock two-piece slams it.
So does the 2nd band. Can’t remember the name.
As does Cirrus Minor, who are way fun.
And good folks.
They’d go well on a Givers bill.
Similar kind of fun.
LAST SET OF THE TOUR
I sit around in the dark.
Watch the bands.
Sip a little beer.
Reflect on the tour.
I did it.
Folk Songs of the American Longhair
East Coast tour, 2010. Done.
There was the slim possibility
A few of my close friends
Who were going to come
But they couldn’t make it.
Just as well.
I started it alone.
I drove it alone.
And I’ll end it alone.
Granted, I had some help
Along the way.
Can’t thank the people enough
Who donated money for the van repairs.
Also I got to thank Tony Bonyata, Krishna, Joni,
And everybody along the tour route.
They were all down for the cause.
What is the cause?
True freedom, I guess.
The will to make music
And put it out there
Without a lot of disingenuous hype
And crap shoved in your face.
No big dollar advertising campaign.
We’re not trying to fool you into buying
Something you don’t want.
If you dig it, cool.
If you don’t, have a nice day.
I don’t take it personal.
I banged out the last set.
All the other bands were super cool
And came right up to the front barricade
Of the stage
And hung out with me for the whole set
While I moved through it
And out the other side.
And into a new chapter
Of the Great Unknown.
EAST COAST TOUR STATS
24 days on the road
3,893 miles traveled
20 shows (radio appearances and clubs)
21 nights sleeping in the van
18 truckstop showers
1 mushroom hallucination
1 van breakdown (alternator)
3 bags of sunflower seeds
0 wrecks or accidents