Chapter 14 - GOIN' AROUND IN CIRCLES
show that night was at a place called the Westbury Music Fair.
This is one of those 'theatre in the round' concepts that
were so popular in the fifties and sixties for summer stock
musicals like 'Oklahoma' and 'The Music Man.' Now, that may
work fine for summer stock but it's not very good for concerts.
Where do you set up so everyone can get a decent sight line?
How do you set up the sound system to give everyone a balanced
mix of Dan and the band? I'm sure this was a real nightmare
for our sound crew. Plus, the Westbury had a revolving stage,
which compounded the problem even more. People in the audience
were alternately watching Dan one minute and then seeing a
huge drum set roll around in front of them with a rear view
of me playing the drums and I can't even imagine what was
going on with the sound.
other odd thing about working on one of these revolving stages
is that, after a while, the constant motion of the stage during
the show totally screws up your sense of direction and by
the time you've finished playing you can't remember which
way the exit is. Don't forget, that from my point of view,
it looks like the audience is revolving around the band. Fortunately,
the crew was offstage shining their little Maglite flashlights
at us like lighthouse beacons to guide us back to our dressing
rooms. All things considered though, we had a pretty good
left our hotel the following morning and headed toward our
next gig in Harrisburg. The next few days were going to keep
us pretty busy, starting with the Westbury gig and then our
200 mile drive to Harrisburg for a show the next day, followed
by a 282 mile drive to Buffalo the day after that. By the
way, our drive to Buffalo was officially designated in the
'road bible' as a "Travel Day." Pretty sneaky, huh.
But, I have to admit there were rewards that balanced our
mildly hectic schedule.
of the first rewards was arriving in Buffalo, checking in
to a beautiful hotel and not having a concert that night.
That left the evening open and we were all thinking the same
thing, a good meal and a good night's sleep would be ample
reward for our long day on the road. Well, it seems that the
travel agent for Dan's tour knew of an outstanding restaurant
in Buffalo and had recommended it very highly to Bernie, our
tour manager. It was also conveniently within walking distance
from our hotel. So, Dan graciously invited the whole band
to a wonderful dinner at The Chop House as his treat. I've
always known Dan to be a generous man and he always takes
good care of his people.
was nice to put on some slacks and a sport coat for a change
and spend the evening enjoying a wonderful dinner in a beautiful
upscale restaurant with good friends. We all knew that we
would be back on the bus in our traveling garb and eating
fast food all too soon so we all thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
also knew that our concert in Buffalo the next evening was
going to be at another 'theatre in the round' with another
revolving stage. This one was named the New Melody Fair. Well,
don't you believe it! There was nothing New about the New
Melody Fair. In fact, there are very few of these theatres
left and this place was probably one of the first built, maybe
even a prototype in its time. Anyway, it looked like it would
be another night of playing music on a giant turntable and
watching the audience go around.