Pictures are friggin cool!
Whew, we just finished up our Florida run. I’m writing this a little burnt to a crisp after a couple days off in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, just south of Daytona. Cracker’s uncle and grandfather have been amazing for welcoming us and putting us up for a couple nights. I sat on the beach and played guitar around the fire while we drank beers and made s’mores last night. Just had to write that down because it was amazing and so relaxing.
Back to the blog, so we got to Gainesville on Tuesday late night and took it easy. We immediately saw an ad for the Backstage Lounge on TV when we turned it on, which was encouraging. Apparently the night we would be playing was Ladies Night, so for the next day or so, I would start the chorus of “Ladies Night” and Cracker would sing the bass part. It was sweet, sweet music.
We rocked Harry’s restaurant in downtown Gainesville for some New Orleans style chow. We’re in New Orleans later this week, so maybe that was a little weird, but boy was it tasty. Our waitress had gone to Northeastern for a semester and recently moved home to Gainesville. We told her it was Ladies Night at the Backstage. She was intrigued. She didn’t show up.
The Backstage was a cool joint. It had a bar/pool room and a music room. Our main man Harry who runs the production and does the booking was a super cool guys. “Low stress”, he told us he was seeking at this point in his life. Then he showed us his rad DVD video set-up. He had 3 cameras and a remote control he could use to switch between them, zoom, pan. It was pretty neat. They filmed our set and gave us a DVD of it for only $20. Luckily we had one of our best sets on the tour, and made some new friends, per usual. The band before us, Crown Vix, played a bunch of slinky blues rock tunes, with a few covers mixed in. Dids invited their sax player Brian to jump on stage with us during Mist of Crystals and provide some accompanyment. The guy was real solid on sax and a super cool dude, so he was into it. It came out great, we can’t wait to watch the DVD to see how it came out. The management at Backstage walked around and got some tips for us, to help us with our expenses, so we want to say a big thank you to those people who threw in some ching and thank you to Backstage for hosting a good night. We rolled over to another bar down the street to end the night off with a tasty Jagr bomb. Mmm, mmm, good. Check out the pics for some of our killer surroundings for our Gainesville stay. Lara’s house was more than accomodating. Got to throw around the baseball and sit in the sun. Wonderfully delicious.
We hit the road as late as possible and rolled up to the Orlando airport to pick up Loubey. After several rotations around the airport since they wouldn’t let me park with a suspicious looking trailer, a camo hat, and sketchball sunglasses, we finally left the airport. For the first time on tour, we switched from our trusty Google Maps on my phone to printed Mapquest directions. We backtracked like 3 times trying to find Loubey’s cousin’s place. NEVER AGAIN! Heather and Chris were MORE than hospitable. Two precious and hilarious daughters, two awesome dogs (Ben & Jerry!), a bunkbed fit for a princess, some TASTY dinner and breakfast, FREE DISNEY (see photos!), some fantastic conversation, and some good wholesome living for a couple days.
That night, we played at the Peacock Room. Super nice guys and a very interesting venue. It was an artsy martini bar mixed with a rock bar. Jersey Duty played first and rocked in true New Jers punk style songs like “I like dirty girls.” Good stuff guys. We may not have played one of our best sets, and the stage was very small, but we had a good time. Morley and her boyfriend (um, shit, I’m so sorry I forgot your name) rolled down from Jacksonville and Larry Cracker and Matt Cracker to check out the set. Thanks for hanging late with us guys. And thank you to Rando Calrissian for buying us shots during our set! Boing! The best name of the artwork on the walls at the Peacock: “Three Liberated Sluts on the Wall.” What?
We took Friday off and rocked the Magic Kingdom. It was a lot of déjà vu combined with great childhood memories with my fam combined with complete sensory overload. The amount of information and visuals we’ve taken in during the last few weeks is already overloading my brain. Adding a one-day Disney run-around is almost too much. But we fit in a lot in a short time. Pirates (yo ho yo ho!), Splash Mountain, Tom Sawyer’s Island, Haunted Mansion, and Thunder Mountain. Oh, and Dumbo too. Oh Dumbo, you so crazy! We rocketed on the futuristic monorail over to Epcot, the land of a million tomorrows and a HUGE golf ball. I determined when I was like 8 that spinning around makes me sick. When the other kids turned around on the swing until the chain got all twisted up, and then let go, and then spun and said, “Wee!”, I was over jumping off the slide and biting people. Spinning and me just don’t go together. Cracker, Dids, and Loubey rocked Mission Space, which was all about spinning. Heather and I headed over to a 65 minute wait at Soarin’, which was pretty much worth the wait. Think Omni theatre combined with smell-a-vision combined with sitting on a tree limb combined with a carefully placed fan. We heard something about an “around the world” drinking game in relation to the Epcot countries. We only had 30 minutes until the park closed though, so we picked up big glasses of SPATEN OPTIMATOR from Germany and watched the fireworks. The German girls rolled their eyes as far as they could roll when Ben pronounced the beer with a German accent. Nice work, Eisenstein! We tried to run around Pleasure Island but we were out of gas.
On Saturday, we blasted on down to Lakeland and met TJ and the gang at Winner’s Circle. They treated us like kings and had the GREATEST wings I’ve had in a long time. My voice just about gave out during this set, but I was able to keep it cobbled together for one more hour set before our 2 day break. A few weeks of serious second hand smoke, a cold that really won’t go away, and gargling with nails has taken a little toll. Dids and I ran the gamut of ITS Games video games. I did fairly well on Golden Tee, I excelled in the bowling one, but Dids absolutely CRUSHED me in Big Buck Hunter. It’s like I’ve never held a gun before or something! I’ve lost my touch since my BB gun days. TJ and his girl were nice enough to put us up for the night and we hung with their two amazing Chihuahuas. One was a little beefier and bossier and then there was the little
one, such a cutey.
OK, I think I’ve given way more details than necessary. If you’re reading these things, let us know. It would be great to hear from y’all. (yes, I said y’all) Post a comment here, e-mail us, whatevs.
We’re just finishing up our little break in New Smyrna, heading up to Columbus, GA tomorrow and then west to Louisiana. BRING ON THE BAYOU!
(by the way, Winner’s Circle not only had a heavenly wing sauce but a Beirut table and PS2 and a couch in the back that anyone could use. And all the Mich Light you can drink.)
PREPARE TO ENTER THE SPATEN OPTIMATOR!
Andy “Young Deasley” (dids & cracker teasley)
THE VITAL MIGHT