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Chapter 12 - HILTON HEAD

I woke up at mid-morning to an absolutely beautiful day on Hilton Head Island. We were actually staying at a private resort in Harbor Town, which has two of the finest golf courses in the country. I mean, these are championship courses! So, on a day like this I figured I'd have a nice leisurely breakfast, for a change, and then I'd go to the clubhouse, rent a set of clubs and play 9 holes before the sound check that afternoon. After all, who knew when I'd get an opportunity like this again? Right? Well, I was in for a big surprise.

This was going to be one of those Roadzilla days. There's a section in the "Great Book of Roadzilla" titled 'The rules of the road' and we were about to be reminded of a few of them. And one of the big rules was, "As quick as things can change, they'll change again". Figure that one out! Anyway, things were changing fast.

It started when the crew had a hassle with the load in. The concert was being held in the outdoor tennis arena connected to the resort, so there was no way to back the trucks up to a loading dock. There wasn't any! This added some time and difficulty to the situation since everything had to be rolled some distance and then pushed up a ramp to the stage. Throw in some South Carolina summertime heat and humidity and the crew started to feel like they were setting up for a Dan Fogelberg concert on Devil's Island.

Then I heard that McEntee had to see a dentist early that morning because of a flair up around a particularly painful molar. Robert thought he might be able to baby it through the tour and get it taken care of when he got back home. WRONG!! The rules of the road state, "If it can flair up, it shall do so on the road". And this was a show night!

Next, I was told there was a thunderstorm moving in and the golf course may be closed soon because of the chance of lightning. It was shortly after I found out about the thunderstorm that it started to rain. Lightly at first, but there were some very dark, very nasty clouds coming over the horizon and it was easy to see that things were going to get very moist. Think Woodstock except in miniature and without the mud. Road rule #51 states, "Chances of bad weather shall increase by a factor of 10 at all outdoor venues".

Of course golf was out of the question, but what was more important was that there was a whole stage full of equipment that didn't like water and had to be protected from the elements. That meant covering all the equipment with everything from space blankets to plastic tarps from local hardware stores. As we had no side protection on the stage, we had a rather soggy sound check. The storm was increasing and this also brought into question whether or not we would be able to play a concert that evening.

Just when I thought we would have to cancel the show, amazingly, the rain stopped and the sky began to clear. The worst part of the storm had passed through and it looked like we would be doing a concert after all. That was the good news!

The bad news? Well, as I mentioned it was a private resort and by show time you would have thought it was a social event and we were just a wedding band. These were not all Dan fans, this was a schmooze fest for the country club crowd who seemed more interested in eating, drinking and talking than listening. As I looked out over the sea of linen tablecloths, candelabras and champagne bottles I knew it was going to be a struggle just to get their attention much less entertain them.

Dan opened with his acoustic set but soon realized he'd have to bring out the big guns. So, he cut a couple of songs from the acoustic set and brought the band out early. It was a tough crowd, to say the least, but we played louder than they could talk so we finally got their attention and went on to give them a great show. Yes, we had faced our first bout with the great Roadzilla and prevailed.



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