Chapter 17 - CHICAGO AND RULE #51
our concert in Madison, we once again boarded our land yacht
for a short overnight drive to Chicago. Our driver, 'Jeff
the Invincible,' figured that we would probably arrive at
our hotel sometime around two in the morning. As usual, Jeff
was right, we arrived in downtown Chicago at just about 2:00
a.m. and we were only a few blocks from our hotel when the
strangest thing happened.
was relaxing in The Chair , sitting 'shotgun'
next to Jeff and we were cruising down the middle lane on
Michigan Avenue.... very cool. As I mentioned, we were just
a few blocks from our new digs and as we stopped for a traffic
light, we realized we had company. There were two other land
yachts at the same traffic light, one on either side of us!
An unusual coincidence to say the least! There we were, three
land yachts all waiting for the light to change and all lined
up like we were going to have a tour bus drag race.
course, I'm sure the first question that came into everyone's
mind was, "who's on the other two buses?" So, Jeff
got on his CB radio to see what he could find out. It turned
out that Neil Young's bus was on our left and Crosby Stills
& Nash were on our right. We not only arrived on the same
street at the same time but our hotels were within a block
or two of each other. Now, that's not the kind of thing that
happens everyday. The temptation to get together and party
like the old days was still there, but it was 2:00 a.m., we
were tired and we were also a little older and wiser. Not
being in our early twenties anymore, we wisely opted for a
good nights sleep. Hey, things change.
next morning, I woke up to an absolutely perfect day......
at first. You know there's an old saying about Chicago, "If
you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes." And
sure enough, by midday clouds began to appear and started
floating over the tops of skyscrapers as the wind off the
lake started to pick up and carry them in. I had always accepted
Chicago's changing weather but there was something else going
on here. I suspected this had some kind of connection to the
Great Book of Roadzilla and road rule #51. Just to refresh
your memory, rule #51 states; "Chances of bad weather
shall increase by a factor of 10 at all outdoor venues."
Well, I checked my road bible and I was right. Our concert
that night was at an open air stage with an ultra-modern suspended
roof but the place had no walls and of course the wind off
the lake would blow the rain sideways once the thunderstorm
was now late afternoon and the sky was getting darker by the
minute as the wind increased and the temperature dropped.
It looked like the laws of Roadzilla, particularly road rule
#51, were going to apply here. This time we weren't going
to be as lucky as the Hilton Head gig when the rain stopped
just before show time. This time we were playing the Skyline
Stage at Navy Pier, right by Lake Michigan. By the time we
hit the stage, the clouds opened up, the rain came down in
sheets, and the wind blew the whole mess underneath the ultra-modern
suspended roof. Still, there was a great turn out for the
concert, considering the nasty weather, and the show went
off without a hitch. Of course, the rain stopped and the sky
cleared about an hour after our concert. Roadzilla!