Tuesday, April 07, 2009

the dolphins vs. guns of the navarone

at 6:30am the hotel clock radio
started blasting tejano music
"bop, bitty, bop, bitty, bop, bop!!!"
it scared the hell outta me
and i never quite got back to sleep after that
when 8am rolled 'round
it was time to wake J and G up
we had a big day planned
to take Gavin to Seaworld
we had a nice breakfast in the Tropicano restuarant
still feeling very much like Miami
not San Antonio
at 9:30 we were on our way
Seaworld opened at 10
the weather was still great
clear blue sky
the first site we hit was the dolphin pool
i'd never seen a dolphin in person
it was like a sitting with the Dalai Lama
what an awe inspiring creature
full of peace and joy for life
anyone capable of hurting an animal like this is pure evil in my book
for the next 4 hours we enjoyed the day
and our son's enthusiasm for all of these things he'd only seen in books o on TV
we saw the shark tank (which was G's favorite)
Shamu and the whale show (were he was very concerned about avoiding getting splashed)
the penguins
alligators (which smelled bad)
got some cotton candy (which G devoured like a rabid bear)
road on the slow as hell teacup ride (because our son was having no part in getting on a scary ride like his mom wanted him to do)
we had a great time and being able to take G to Seaworld
already made the entire trip worthwhile

we left at 2pm for Houston
the last time i'd played the big H was March 21, 2001
when the Happiness Factor opened for the Old 97s
at Fitzgerald's
i barely remember that show it was so long ago
Vanessa had us booked at a place called Rudyard's
i was hopeful but with low expectations based on my past experiences
our hotel for the night
the Magnolia
was swanky
downtown highrise
a herd of valet guys greeted us eagerly out front
inside the lobby was Texas mod
very fancy but not too pretensious
when we got to our room it hit us
how absolutely wiped out we were
after only 5 hours of sleep
4 hours walking all over Seaworld
and then the 3 hour drive
i had that shaky bones aching feeling
how on earth was i gonna find the energy to stay up late and play a decent show?
i laid down on the comfy bed and woke up and hour later
feeling much better from my disco nap
Jayme had done the same while Gavin played LOUDLY
we cleaned up
and then went looking for a good place to eat
a couple of blocks up the street we went into
a nice Japanese restaurant called Azuma
the decor reminded me a bit of Teppo in Dallas
my favourite place to eat
we had some great rolls
especially the spicy spider roll
Gavin tried a California roll and then enthusiastically
proclaimed he loved it!!! (even though he really didn't)
we ordered a bowl of rice for him which he enthusiastically proclaimed
he loved!!!
but then he only nibbled a couple of teeny bites of it and made a schrunchy face
on the way out i happened to pick up an ENVY magazine from a stand next to the front door
the first page i flipped to had a picture and article on a particular Dallas songwriter/producer
with the opening line "why aren't i a banker?"
i felt a bit like David Bowie at the moment
quite possibly for the very first
(and last) time in my life

i got to Rudyard's around 8:30
just past sunset
it was a short and simple drive from the hotel
only about 5 minutes
i pulled into a parking space right in front of the club
and Dean was right there already to lend a hand with my gear
wow- this is the way i like it!
Rudyard's had a kind of pub vibe to it
like i'd pictured
the stage was upstairs
with a nice vibe and sound system
i thought it would be fun to play a couple of songs
with Manuel Schicchi tonight
he'd played on the recording of "Dreaming" but we'd never
had a chance to perform live
we ducked through a door next to the bar and found ourselves
a spot at the top of this long stairwell
where we could practice
then Alberto (aka: Guomo) joined us and started dancing about
and playing some air-drums
Dean videotaped this great spontaneous moment for you here



after our joyful (and triumphal) racket making
i christened my new Italian band the GUNS OF NAVARONE
tonight would be our first appearance together
history making in Houston!!
my set felt great
the sound was impeccable
the crowd easy to connect with
appreciative and quiet
at the ends the Guns of Navarone joined me for
"don't be afraid"
and "1978"
it was rollicking good fun
a great end to a really solid gig
i even got to see my friend Bernd
who made it out to the show at the last minute
what more could i ask for on my return to Houston?



Blogger Ron said...

I love the songs on the stairwell stage. All clubs should have stairwell stages. Nice live sound. You don't even need to add reverb. The audience could sit on the lower stairs.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

PS Family fun days are the best days.

1:30 PM  

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