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by John » Thu Aug 19, 2021 06:45 pm
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