Road Blog: Thursday June 28, 2018 - Cleveland, OH
June 28, 2018
The day started innocently enough. We met at Gabriel’s house, loaded the last remnants of what we hadn’t already loaded into the van the night before after practice – personal luggage and guitars mostly, and hit the road. Getting out of metro Detroit turned into a debacle with construction around every corner, making Karen Jacobsen - The GPS Girl, our GPS, bat-shit crazy. Eventually we were on I-75 south. I started the trip with the Eagles Greatest Hits, much to Gabe’s dismay, but he had it coming after a snotty Facebook post about them earlier in the week. That lasted about two and a half songs, then I changed it over to The Kinks. We hit Toledo, then the Ohio Turnpike, in good spirits.
We stopped at a service plaza and took a leak, then I went to buy a bottle of water, the kid called me sir, I smirked at that, and handed him a nice crisp Lincoln. He got out his fancy little marker and asked me if I had another bill because that one was counterfeit. What the hell? Who counterfeits $5 bills? And who checks them? “Are you serious?” I asked. He reaffirmed and said his manager could verify and that she might want to call the bank and all this – and I was all “The bank? I didn’t get this five from a bank!” Next thing I know he’s hollering across the store to his manager about this dude who’s passing a fake fiver, people were gaping at me committing a felony, and all I wanted was my goddamn water. Manager came over, took my bill, and marked it with even a bigger line, making sure any future vendors would be sure to know it’s fake too. Thanks for that, lady. “I’ll take it to the back and see what the machine says.” Wait a minute, what machine? Who has a machine? I paid for my water with another bill, and after a couple minutes she came back out, gave me back my five, and said that their magic money detector machine confirmed that it was a fake.
So we were on our way, the bogus bill still in circulation, and the rest of the drive was spent discussing what the right thing to do from there was. Gabe was the little devil on one shoulder whispering “Spend it! Spend it! A bar will take it! Mwaah haa haa!” Patrick was on the other shoulder, the voice of reason, saying “It’s a five, don’t spend it. Not only is the wrong thing to do, but it’s a felony.” I wanted to lay some cash down on the over/under on how long it would take me to get rid of it. So I still have it, and I’ve decided not to pass the problem onto anyone else. If you’re wondering, I’m pretty sure I got it as change from the White Castle at Cadieux and I-94 in Detroit on Friday night. Never a dull moment.
We pulled into Cleveland Heights and up to The Grog Shop where we were met by the sound engineer and loaded in. It’s an awesome room that I’ve always wanted to check out and play. It’s in a weird almost strip mall, but inside it’s very punk rock, dark, concrete, stickers and graffiti. I believe it’s the second location, and it looks like a lot of the fixtures were brought over from the original place. It’s a medium size room with a nice big stage, a cool green room, and a private bathroom for the bands (mistake). They even gave us a key to those rooms for the night. Top notch operation, super nice staff.
As we finished unloading and setting up merch, our friends Dawn and Dan came in, and we took off on foot to get some food. We had dinner at a nearby diner called Tommy’s, then we hit a record store on the way back where I scored an original pressing of KISS Alive! with the blue label, mastered by Bob Ludwig, which is supposedly superior to all of the future pressings that are much more common. Pat went back to the venue and Gabe and I went next door to a little joint called The Whiskey Bar, where we drooled over the massive wall of potential libations. We chose a two-shot sampler of some Japanese stuff, the owner added another on the house, so we gulped those down, wishing we had more time to sip, and headed back to the venue.
I ran into my good pal Gina ElCamino, who sings for the first band Dutch Babies. We had a nice chat, she liked my white pants, and I told her how excited I was to hear their new EP. I sadly, however, forgot to tell her Happy Birthday – so Happy Birthday Darlin’! They are a great band and this was our third show with them. Their set was fantastic – best I’ve seen from them. We played second and had a good time up there with the great stage and sound. After us Duo Decibel System played – a killer two piece who we’ve also played with before. Great set!
My good pal Scott Goldy showed up, stood right up front and sang along to every song - it was his #199 show on his quest towards some goal - and we did a little interview after for his YouTube channel, which I'll post when he does. He's the best dude.
After load out Gabe and I had a nightcap back at The Whiskey Bar, Pat was talking to people out on the sidewalk, and we were on our way. We had a long, one-hour drive to our hotel, mostly through back roads and small towns, listening to the Leathur pressing of Motley Crue’s Too Fast For Love album and talking about SKID ROW for the second time that day (Patty wasn’t impressed), but we arrived intact, after a quick stop at Sheetz, which is a gas-station/food mart/self-service-made-to-order-fast-food joint. Patty got his usual Choco Taco, I got a cheese stick, and I’m not sure what Gabe got. As I was paying, the fake Lincoln was peering up at me from my wallet, beckoning to be spent. I winked at him – “sorry buddy.” He’s still in there, all pissed off that his mission is over.