Just got home from a gig in Whitefish, Montana.  First time I’ve ever been there, and I have to start by saying that it’s a supremely beautiful little town.  It was my first gig with ModeratelyFamousBanjoPlayer, and despite the fact that it was very loose and unrehearsed (I’d never even met the drummer before, let alone played with him before), AND despite the fact that Southwest Airlines’ baggage handlers banged up my accordion enough that it needs to be repaired now, AND despite the fact that the stage was a truck trailer which bounced around so much that my acoustic guitar fell off it and got a nice big war wound on it, AND despite the fact that we got up at 5:30 a.m. (Mountain Time, which felt like 4:30 Pacific Time!) this morning to drive back to the airport at Spokane, AND despite the fact that I got stung by a bee (how random is that?) at the rental car place in Spokane. . .it was a triumphant show.

No pictures to speak of, unfortunately, because we were on such a tight schedule the entire time, and we were always either in the car, at the gig, or in the hotel room.  Okay, well, here’s what I mean.  This is Mount St. Helens from the airplane. . .


. . .and here’s ModeratelyFamousBanjoPlayer in his solo set.


After he was done, we all ate dinner (of delicious fish tacos!) and then set up the rest of the equipment for the full-band evening show.  I have to give extra-special thanks to SoundGuyToby, who came through with an accordion for me after I found that mine had been damaged by Southwest Airlines’ rough handling during the flight over.  He absolutely saved the gig for me.  The show would have been accordion-free without Toby.

Oh yeah, and the guitar.  The stage was a truck trailer, which bounced around like crazy while we were playing.  My acoustic guitar was sitting next to the edge of the stage, and and one point it tipped right off and landed directly on the metal bar that connects to the hitch.  So it has a huge wound on it, right on the front corner, in one of the most visible places it could possibly have a wound.  I hope to gawd that it can be fixed.  I’ll never be able to sell it for anything close to what I paid for it now.  SUCKS.  It still plays fine, though, and that’s what counts, but that just sucks.  Combine that with the accordion repair and this one gig is really gonna set me back.

I also need to mention the people we met.  They were sweet, accommodating, friendly, drunken, and a metric ton of fun.  After the show, we got a lot of handshakes and “Oh MAN you guys were great.  Thanks so much for coming all the way out here!  We had a blast. . .”, etc.  We also got invited to quite a few parties afterwards (“There are bikes enough for everyone!”) which we had to respectfully decline, unfortunately.  It seems like a great town, especially if you’re an outdoorsy person.

We got to our hotel rooms around 10:30 p.m., then I took a shower and spent the next four hours watching a TV show I’d never seen before called Ice Road Truckers.  You’d think it would be the most boring show in the world, and maybe it was just my mental and physical state at the time, but I was riveted to that crazy show.  It was surprisingly suspenseful.

Oh yeah.  In the four hours during which I actually slept, I had a horrible dream in which three different friends (each of whom I know in real life) told me either to fuck off or “Y’know what?  Go fuck yourself,” and gave me some very specific reasons why they thought I should do that.  One even went so far as to add, “God, it feels so good to say that!”   It wasn’t the best dream I’ve ever had.

So I napped in the car, and then we flew home.  A very nice couple from Spokane sat next to me on the plane, and the guy was actually from Whitefish, so that was a nice coincidence.  They even gave me a copy of Rolling Stone magazine (“Would you like this?  It’s a good one. . .”) just before we landed.  It’s one of the issues with Barack Obama on the cover.


So that was pretty cool.

I’m just glad to be home.  Usually when I’m traveling, I’m much more ‘in the moment’ than I was this weekend, but it was busy enough, and with all the instrument issues it was stressful enough, that I was emotionally done last night.  I wasn’t bummed out or anything, I just wanted to be home so that I could take care of these things that need to be taken care of, and now I can do just that.

I’m going to start with myself.  First a nap, then a shower, then I’m going to a dinner party with a couple of friends.  I’ll worry about the accordion tomorrow.