Well, the State Fair is over for me again this year, and I seriously doubt I'll do it anymore. Rather than waiting the customary month before I got paid, Paul went ahead and paid me last night. He dug it out of his own pocket so I wouldn't have to wait. I told him he didn't need to but he said he didn't like hanging onto the money any longer than he had to.
There was a 3 hour wait between shows. There's a vendor at the Fair every year that sells fudge and Cheri loves the stuff. (Not a fan of fudge myself.) She couldn't go, so she asked me to pick her up some, and I bought her twice as much as she asked me to. I had it planned to pick it up while I was on the 3 hour break. It was about a quarter mile from where we played so it wasn't too bad a walk. Of course I went shopping around for her and the grandkids, but there wasn't the usual number of vendors. All the usual food vendors were there, but not so many with toys or other stuff, so I didn't find anything.
Cheri's grandson took his girlfriend to the Fair last night and were going to come in to see me play, (his girlfriend had never seen me play) but he said it was too packed to come inside so they watched from the street for a few minutes.
It turns out the Beach Boys played opposite us on the main stage. I was surprised at their laser show, which you could see well above the grandstand seats, which go up maybe 40 feet. It took an extraordinary amount of smoke to make the lasers visible above that level. I thought that was a little odd, as I remember watching Pink Floyd play outdoors at Arrowhead stadium in Kansas City, and their lasers seemed to go on into infinity, with no smoke at all. It's strange hearing all these big-name bands whenever we play there, but never being able to see them.
After the show, the band wanted to run around and watch some of the other bands playing in other places, so I got stuck there almost 2 hours longer than I would have otherwise, which also meant that when I finally drove off the fairgrounds, I got caught right in the middle of the traffic from when the Beach Boys let out. Thankfully, the state police were there directing traffic, so it didn't take anywhere as long to get through as it could have.
Anyway, not saying I'll never go to the Fair again, but I seriously think this is the last time I'll ever play it. You have to be there too many hours, it's so much work unloading and loading, setting up and tearing down, hefting your equipment up and down from that 4 foot high stage, with the heat, the dust and the humidity. (My amplifier alone weighs 260 pounds, although it does come in 3 pieces and just my own cables weigh 60 or 80 pounds) Then I spend the next year complaining about doing something that a lot of people would just about kill to be able to do. Makes me wonder, am I really sure about giving this up, or will it drive me crazy if I do? John
John, does Cheri drink coffee? If so does she like flavored coffee? How about blueberry muffins?
David and the CoolCyberCats
Cheri absolutely won't touch coffee. She bought me a coffee maker last Christmas though and I drink a few cups a day. I'm not crazy about flavored coffee though. More of a purist in that regard. I had to ask Cheri if she liked blueberry muffins, which she does. She complains though, that her medicines have thrown her taste off and nothing tastes like it should now. Even the fudge she asked for, she only ate a small piece of it. She'd love some ice cream but she can't even touch anything cold, so that's out. She's lost a lot of weight because she keeps trying to eat, but then just eats a little.
I know there were a lot of pictures and videos taken of us at the Fair, but as of yesterday, this was the only one I've seen. I'm partly hidden behind one of the big tent poles.
Do you have groupies??
LOL I figure every guitar player out there has their own set of fans. Some of them will travel amazing distances to see you. It's a peculiarity that people in Kansas City often travel the 150 miles or so to the tourist traps down on the Lake Of The Ozarks. They might see you on the Lake 150 miles from home, then find out you're playing in Kansas City where they live only minutes away, so they come out. That happened last night.
There are so many incredible guitarists out there, I have to do some weird stuff to stand out a little, like playing it with a fiddle bow, doing Van Halen's "tap-on" technique, playing over the head, just odd stuff like that. Just using the "talk-box" draws a surprising amount of attention. Peter Frampton made the "talk-box" famous with "Do You Feel". Joe Walsh brought it back with "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Those Shoes". Jerry Cantrell used it in "Man In The Box". It puzzles me that with the attention it draws, more guitarists don't use it. A guy from the music store in Kansas City told me though, "You'd be surprised at how many people buy these things, then bring them back because they can't figure out how they work". Once in a while, people will come up and stick the end of the tube in their mouth! Well, I'm not going to try to wash it and wouldn't usually have the chance, so I got an extra long, plastic tube at a hardware store, and I just cut off a couple inches of it whenever that happens. At first it irritated me but when I figured out I could just cut it off, now it's just funny.
Then there's the beard. A surprising number of people want to touch it, (men and women) ostensibly to see if it's real. Some of the ladies, especially in the biker bars, seem to have an absolute fetish about it.
I don't think that you could call any of these people actual "groupies", but people's reactions never cease to amaze me. John
You had me lauging imagining people rushing the stage, clammering to grab your beard!