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Chapter 8 - THE FIRST DRIVE

Our first show went well. We had finished our encore, finished our meet and greet backstage and we were now getting ready to board the land yacht for our first real drive, albeit a relatively short one. It was only a couple of hundred miles. The crew had already loaded up the trucks and were well on their way. Yes, the electric circus was leaving. We were leaving the sublime natural serenity of Wolftrap for the ridiculous casino chaos of Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. I swear, every time I walk through the main floor casino I feel like I'm in the middle of a Fellini film, but that's another story.

So now, here we are rolling down the highway in the middle of the night, still wired with the left over adrenaline from our performance and trying to come down and unwind. What shall we do? Should we have a drink or two, make a flat meat sandwich or maybe channel surf the satellite TV hook-up, maybe even have some witty conversation about the show or who knows what else? The answer; All of the above! Try drinking a few cups of strong coffee, run around the block five or six times just before you go to bed and then try to go to sleep, you'll get the general idea. Now if we time all these mobile post show activities just right, we'll be ready to crash about the time we reach our next hotel.

Most of us would have some beer or perhaps a little wine, or maybe even an occasional gin & tonic, but Zoot was another story altogether. You see, Zoot's cocktail of choice was a dry Martini. Not just a Martini but a Martini of gourmet standards, only the finest vodka at the proper chill with the best vermouth and the plumpest olives. After all the ingredients had been precisely measured out, they were shaken not stirred, over ice, and served up in Zoot's special, one and only, royal blue Martini glass. My God! I'll bet even James Bond would have been impressed.

As the string of concerts eventually begins to blur and blend in to each other, as they always do, and each new highway looks like the one you just left behind, there are some images that you'll never forget and that become indelible memories. Zoot's once-a-day Martini ritual was one of them. I can still vividly see him, behind those purple shades with his trademark impish grin, raising his glass for a toast while we rolled on down the interstate.



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