San Francisco -Show Day

Call is for 9:30am, way too early, but doors are at 5. Bus is nowhere nearby, so mostly hang on stage right or in catering. After soundcheck I get a call from Emily (niece of my friends Adam and Leslie), I meet her and her friend (both 16) and give them a short backstage tour, then release them back into the crowd. Eat dinner and watch some of Flogging Molly, our extra opening act for tonight. Pretty good, punk rock Irish music. Show is sold out to the tune of 41,000 people. This is a home show for the band so they are especially proud. Show goes great and our stadium fireworks are in full effect.

Load out takes forever as this is a baseball park, not a band friendly arena. Hang in the dressing room afterwards with various band members and family, then bike out to the bus and go to sleep around 2am. Wake up at 3am to use the restroom and Micah has just returned with local tacos and I decide to have one and end up staying up till 5:30am watching a movie...

San Francisco Load-in Day

Lobby call is for 3pm for load-in/linecheck. I go out about 10am to see if I can find a good 50mm lens for my new Canon 350D. On the way to Adolf Gasser (famous photographic store), I pass a liquor store with a huge window display of Fernet Branca. This is funny, as Hans loves the stuff and we often have it on the bus. It's a strange Italian digestif that tastes like spearmint and lawn clippings (no joke). I remember a great Bill Cosby bit (from a record I had as a kid) on Fernet Branca. Anyway, it was funny to me...

Get to Gasser, they are out of the lens I want. i head down the street back towards the hotel, stop for a Starbuck's Chai, and pop into a independent bookstore. Buy a book on photography and continue on my route back to the hotel. Spot another camera store and grab my lens and a few other things. Stop at a few places on the way back to the hotel, Paul Frank, North face, Macy's, etc. Purchase nothing. Last place I hit is the Apple store, which is packed with people. They have a bargain bin near the registers and I score a worldwide adapter set and USB guitar interface for next to nothing. SCORE!!

Drop stuff off at the hotel and go out to grab lunch before my call. Find one Thai place, too crowded, then another and grab some great Gai Ka Prow (Basil Chicken). Tara calls during lunch and the call is pushed back till 4:45. Stop at Borders for some magazines, head back to the hotel for a nap.

Arrive at the gig around 5pm. Get yelled at for riding bikes by the venue security. Lighten up dudes... Line check around 8pm, band comes in for a walk through, no playing. Head back to the hotel around 10:30pm. I'm starting to get a cold and need to rest.

San Francisco -Day Off

Wake up on the bus around 8:30, we're just outside Reno, NV. Watch the update on Hurricane Rita, have my fake coffee, read some magazines, realize it is an hour earlier and eventually go back to bed. Back up around 10am PDT, ride up front with Mo, listening to Fox News on XM Radio. They are talking about Rita, the LAX plane, and the O'Reilly vs Donahue blowup, among other things.

The emergency landing at LAX really bothers me, do we really need to watch a plane crash on live TV? What if people would have died? This is what's wrong with the media in America today, I think it all started with the OJ freeway chase. This is why I don't watch CNN, CNBC, or especially Fox News. It's all rubbish. And don't even get me started on Bill O'Reilly.

Meanwhile on the bus, we get a call about 11:30 saying the rooms aren't ready. We're still on the freeway and I suggest we pull off at a mall or something, where the buses have plenty of room and people have something to do. But our lead driver decided to drive right into downtown San Francisco, is there parking near the hotel? Hell no!! We try the venue, also no. We drive around (keep in mind we have three 45' crew buses in SF downtown traffic). We pull up at a bus stop on Market St and sit. This is not the place to park, it is a city bus stop. My driver is fuming. Finally the rooms are ready, it takes us another 10min to get back to the hotel.

Check in, and up to my room. Hans calls and says Micah is downstairs and wants to take us to the band's warehouse, etc. Since I've never been I agree to go. 5min later Hans, Beau, Micah and I are off for Oakland. We try to find food, as it's past 2pm, we fail, so off to the warehouse first. Check out the place for 45 min or so, we may need to grab some gear while we're in town. Then we're off in search of food.

Head over to Alameda (which is an island) and try our luck at a German place Micah knows of. It only has a limited bar menu (read fried food). We head for La Pinata 3, Micah's standby for Mexican. Chips and salsa are delicious as is the Pork Tamales I order. Remember, we are now in the land of great Mexican food, we cannot pass it up. After lunch we head over to Micah's place, a killer loft in Oakland with garaged parking and he even has a large workshop area. I'm jealous of the cool city living. Hang at Micah's for a while then back to the hotel for a shower and internet time. Then it's off to the movies, then bed.

Salt Lake City -Show Day

Up early and my back is killing me. Down to the gig around 11. Get a massage at 12. I'm sore the rest of the day, but I think she really got to the root of my problem(s). Get a new amp in today to try out for the 'B' rig. Sounds killer, but not exactly the same as my other one, close though. Do my normal gig thing, on the bus right after the show for our ride to SF.

Salt Lake City -Day Off

Wake up early on the bus. We're in Wyoming somewhere. Watch some TV and wait for Motorcycle Racing to come on Speed TV. We stop at a truck stop and Micah runs in to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Yay Micah! Micah and Big Duder spot an antelope on the side of the mountain next to the truck stop, pretty cool. I miss it due to talking on the phone. As soon as we leave the truck stop, we don't get a mile before we come to a dead stop on the highway. Seems a propane tanker has flipped up ahead and they are still clearing the road. We sit for almost 2 hours, good thing we've got A/C and satellite TV.

Arrive in Salt Lake around 2pm. Up to the room, and realize if I want lunch I better get moving as most places close at 3. Grab my bike and head down a few blocks to a highly rated Thai place. I'm the only one in the place and when my food arrives I feel something dripping on me. Look up and water is dripping out of the ceiling. What is it with leaky ceilings and the Howard family. Seems the guy in the condo upstairs has sprung a leak in his hot water heater. Finish my delicious lunch and bike down to the street mall. Check out the Barnes and Noble, then back to the hotel.

Arrive back at the hotel and the guys are grilling out, I must have just missed it!! Band is hanging out as well. Hang for a bit then up to the room. Get a text from Beau, seems we're going to bike gang it down to the mall. Everyone with a bike heads out, Kenny is toting Micah as Micah's bike is on the truck. We stop by the venue (next to the mall) to see if we can grab Micah's bike, but no trucks have arrived yet.

We ride around the mall and Micah ends up buying a bike, and we head off again. Eventually end up back at the buses, more hanging out. Beau and I decide to ride some more and we head in the opposite direction and end up by Brigham Young and then we turn around and head back to the mall. Buy some magazines/books at B&N, then we head back to meet the rest of the Bus 3 guys for dinner.

Walk to the nearby Blue Iguana, great Mexican place. Haven't eaten here in years. They have great mole's. I get a Tinga Chimichanga (roasted spicy pork). It is amazing, as is the chips and salsa. Everyone stuffs themselves, and we waddle back to the hotel. I watch about 1/4 of 'Arthur' on DVD, before falling asleep.

Denver -Show Day

Get my laundry in early via my pal Mondo (lighting crew). Get to the gig and grab a package from UPS, it's new speakers for my onstage cabinet. Install the speakers and test them out, sound pretty good. Change strings, etc. Band comes in to soundcheck, blah, blah, blah. My guests from Not Lame Recordings show up, good to finally put a face to the people. I escort them backstage for a tour and we hang out talking till the opening act goes on.

Show goes well, except for one gaff. My buddy Bobzilla is very fond of saying I never screw up, but I did tonight. Gave JW his guitar for 'Blvd' and I forgot to plug it in. A couple of seconds of 'dead air' and we were up and running. Very embarrassing, never happened in 10yrs. Oh well, stuff happens. Head up to VIP after the show and hang till they kick us out. Down to the bus and off to SLC.

Denver -Day Off

Arrive in Denver about 10:30am. I thought it would be much later for some reason. We have to wait 30mins or more for rooms, but hey it's Sunday. Get a message from Paige that there is water leaking in the house. I call her back immediately and it seems the air conditioner has frozen up or something and leaked a giant pool of water on the ceiling of the living room. This is the kind of stuff that bums me out about about being on the road. She gets someone out to look at it, and it looks like it should be covered under our home warranty. It better be, the house is only 6 months old.

Get into my room and get a call from our masseuse telling me that she has an acupuncturist coming to the hotel later. I'm going to try it for my back and sinus headaches. Get done with that about 4pm and stop by Starbuck's for a Green Tea Frap on my way to the Virgin Megastore. Buy a couple of $10 DVD's at Virgin. Bike back to the hotel to get ready for a band/crew dinner at 8pm.

Off to Sullivan's Steakhouse for dinner, the promoter gets us a private room. There's at least 35 to 40 of us. Dinner is great, I get scallops, as I usually only eat steak if I'm cooking it. It's Hans birthday tomorrow, so he gets a Baked Alaskan with sparklers and everyone sings "Happy Birthday". I get a brownie with cinnamon ice cream, yummy. Walk the 8 blocks back to the hotel. Watch one of my new DVD's and fall asleep.

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