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Chapter 23 - GREETINGS FROM THE WEST

Our two-day cross-country adventure was fun but there was no doubt that it had taken its toll. The three of us were exhausted so naturally we slept in very, very late. Let me put it this way, lunch was my first meal of the day. Now, a cheeseburger may sound pretty weird for breakfast but if it's a good cheeseburger, what the hell. Besides, I love a good cholesterol burger occasionally even if it may be at an odd hour of the day.

I was having my cheeseburger brunch outside on the hotel patio with a view of a beautiful man-made lake in the middle of Silicon Valley. That's something we hadn't been able to do for quite awhile. The sky was clear and the sun felt wonderful as it warmed the day. It was great to be on the west coast again, in sunny California, but I would have to enjoy it all tomorrow on our day off. Today was a concert day and we would all be back in the groove at around 4:30 for the sound check.

I had missed the camaraderie over the last, or should I say lost, two days in the desert, and it was good to be back on stage blasting away. Although, it took awhile for the band to get back into the tightness we had achieved before the Endless Desert episode but after about a half hour or so it all started coming back. By the time we broke for dinner we sounded pretty solid. It's funny how even a couple of days off can sometimes affect you. You don't really forget anything; you just develop a kind of fuzzy memory. Everything's still there, it's just slightly out of focus for a bit.

The gig was at another restored Fox theatre. There are several of these magnificent old Fox theatres around the country that have been meticulously restored; this wasn't one of them. It had been restored just enough for usage and apparently that's all that was needed. And forget about the dressing rooms, they looked more like interrogation rooms at a police department -- a very old police department. Even the power was provided by a huge electrical cable from the building next door which was the size of a small fire hose. It looked pretty weird to see this black plastic anaconda stretched across the alley between the two buildings like an electrical umbilical cord. I'm not sure, but I think it may have been the world's largest extension cord.

Geez! Even the catering was late. It seems the caterer had to use a kitchen in a neighboring building as well and then deliver it all to the theatre. Needless to say, the food did not arrive on time. It's times like these when it's nice to have the land yacht at the gig. It became our dining hall, dressing room and general hang out. And of course, for me there was always The Chair.

Well, the show finally got underway and despite a little rust in the gears, the whole machine worked pretty well. The audience was enthusiastic from the first song to the last and obviously had a great time. It was just what we needed to kick our performance up a notch. It's amazing how a truly supportive audience of fans can affect a concert, even on those nights when things aren't running as smoothly as you'd like them to. It's that extra enthusiasm that revitalizes and energizes the performance, if only for those two hours on stage. Of course, that's what it's all about isn't it? Those two special hours on stage!



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