Chapter 28 - HUMPHREY'S
is a very unique venue and I always look forward to playing
there. It's a typical sprawling California style two-story
complex with walkways through the beautifully maintained gardens
and a huge courtyard in the center which is turned into a
concert venue every summer. The courtyard is equipped at one
end with a large outdoor stage, while hotel rooms at the other
end and on one side of the courtyard wall it in. The remaining
side is open to the local marina and San Diego harbor. This
is also an area where the local yachtsmen come to anchor their
boats and catch the concerts for free. Well, it's not exactly
free; first you have to go out and buy a yacht!
as luck would have it, I had a great second story room, with
a huge balcony, at the other end of the courtyard and it had
a perfect view of the stage. It was way better than a box
seat. Michele and I could watch the show that evening from
the comfort of our balcony with no driving, no lines and no
parking hassles. Plus, how many times do you have room service
available during a concert? Too cool!
that night was a double bill, Sam Moore, of "Sam&Dave"
R&B fame, and 'Taj Mahal and his Hawaiian Blues band.'
So in addition to having two wonderful days in San Diego with
Michele, we were getting the extra treat of a great concert
right outside our room. And since I'm a big R&B fan it
made the evening even more special.
finally arrived at about noon; she had called me on her cell
phone just a few minutes before she got there so I could meet
her in the lobby. There I was, standing in the lobby like
a schoolboy, anxiously waiting for his Christmas present to
walk through the door. I won't go into what happened next,
I'll just say that Michele and I finally had lunch at around
three in the afternoon. I'm sure your imagination can fill
in the rest. Like I said, the reunions are absolutely amazing!
called McEntee and Photoglo and invited them up to see the
show from the balcony with Michele and me. The San Diego climate
was perfect for an outdoor concert, especially when you could
catch it all from your balcony while relaxing in a lounge
chair and sipping a Gin & Tonic with friends. Of course,
it was quite ironic that, of all things, we would choose to
attend a concert on our day off. A Busman's holiday, I know,
but still a genuine pleasure.
almost sunset when the show started and Sam Moore hit the
stage. It was really a treat to hear him singing classics
like "Soul Man" and "Knock on Wood." He
was a little older now and had a little more gray around the
temples but when you closed your eyes, his voice sounded just
like it did in the sixties when "Sam & Dave"
first hit the scene. And he had no trouble in getting the
audience off their butts and on their feet, they were revved
up and rockin.'
Taj Mahal and his Hawaiian blues band! I knew it was going
to be different when Taj came out dressed in white slacks,
a Hawaiian shirt and a huge white Panama hat, then greeted
the audience with a big "Aloha"! Now hearing delta
blues played in a Hawaiian slack style is pretty cool but
I couldn't begin to explain it to you. He had a typical blues
rhythm section but he also had a guy playing steel guitar
and three ukulele players. Songs like "Dust My Broom"
and "Diving Duck" sounded very different but somehow
the musical cross pollination actually worked.
we thoroughly enjoyed the concert, I have to admit it felt
kind of strange for us to be watching someone else perform.
You get used to playing on stage every night and after a while
it feels odd to be part of the audience. Of course, things
would be back to normal the very next evening when it would
be our turn on stage once again.