Road Blog: Sunday January 20, 2019 - Indianapolis, IN
January 20, 2019
We found our van on Sunday morning covered in snow and doors frozen shut. After some scraping and warming up we headed northwest for stop #1 at Colin's Coffee, so say a quick hello to Colin Gawel, from Colin Gawel & The League Bowlers who we’d played with the afternoon prior. Seemed only appropriate that Cheap Trick was playing as he served us up a round of caffeine. We chatted for a bit about the show, our chance meetings with 2/3 of Scrawl, and the things in store for Pencilstorm, the blog he runs and I occasionally write for. From there we headed west to the Starliner Diner in Hilliard, OH, where we met The Stick Arounds for some amazing food. Gabriel and I got the Starliner breakfast burrito special, which was incredible, Bob got the huevos, and the sticks got various other glorious dishes. The diner had moved since our last visit a couple years ago, but the new spot is great and the food was as amazing as ever.
We left the diner and drove down a short alley to a convention center where the Ohio Guitar Convention was going on. We paid our $9 each to go in and I could just imagine TrooperGirl22’s anxiety back home as I texted her photos of every gold-top Les Paul I walked by. I was admiring a `77 Fender MusicMaster that was the exact same as the one I bought off William Brennan in 1990. Then I heard “Jeremy?” and saw that my pal Jeff German was working that table. He’s a downriver Detroit guy who’s been in Columbus for some time now, and we’ve done a couple gigs together. It was cool to see him and get caught up a bit. I returned to that table three times but never pulled the trigger on the guitar. I’m still thinking about it as I type. From there, a few tables up, we ran into Rick Kinsinger (guitarist for Colin Gawel and The League Bowlers) who was all too happy to show me a couple Grindstone Audio Solutions. I almost talked myself into walking away when he showed me a couple cool features of the overdrive pedal, so I handed over my credit card, just as Gabe walked up and bought the same thing. So I didn’t get out of the convention unscathed, but TrooperGirl can relax – no Gold Top.
The drive west to Indianapolis was largely uneventful. I played a live Iron Maiden concert from The Number of the Beast tour, Bob drove, and Gabe sat in the back. We checked into our hotel, changed, and headed into the city. We had a quick bite at the Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co. on Broad Ripple Street, one of the main drags in Indy. I got a meatball appetizer, still mostly full from the Starliner Diner, but knowing it would be the last chance for food for many hours, and we got a large pizza to go (for later). I was a bit leery of Gabe’s choice of garlic, asparagus, and parmesan, but went along with it in the interest of democracy. From there we went down the street to an arcade where we met Sara E. Jones, a friend of Amy Foxworthy’s, who spent the next 45 minutes taking some photos of us. We needed some photos with Bob, and opportunity was good. Sara was super nice, took some great shots, and pretty soon we were headed to load-in.
We pulled up to the Melody Inn and Bob parallel parked the van like a pro. We loaded in through the snow and 5f temps, said hi to The Stick Arounds, and were surprised to see our friends Whitney Mehringer and Tex (Chandler) from NP Presley & The Ghost of Jesse Garon, who’d made the trip in from Lexington. Shortly after that I saw NP Presley (Nate), and then Amy with big hugs. I introduced Amy to Bob, and told her he was all hers now, so she could start pelting him with questions and everything else, but I think she went kinda easy on him. I said hello to Dave, the owner of The Mel, who’s always been really great to us sine we first played there years ago.
Drinks and chatter were flowing as Sietch Ramshackle took the stage at 9pm. They played a fun set and he had a great-sounding Jazzmaster. At one point I had a nice talk with the guy who’d modded the pickups in it. The Stick Arounds were up next, and they played a great set with a little more piss and vinegar than they’d had the night before at The TreeBar in Columbus. Near the end they had me up to sing “Oh, Caroline” by (guess who….?) Cheap Trick. It was a little out of my range and it’s been years since I’d tried to sing it, but it went fine and it was a blast. We played after them to a good room. Amy jumped up on stage and sang “Worth The Wait” and did a great job, then a few songs later Nate came up and sang a cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Somethin’ Else” which was super fun. There was a stream of shots coming to the stage, and it got a little sloppy near the end. The low E string on my Reverend Guitars popped out of the saddle and that threw my game off for a minute too. But we had a blast. After us Tracksuit Lyfestile played a great, all instrumental set to close out the night. We sold a little merch, loaded out, said our goodbyes, and headed back to the hotel.
Gabe and I demolished a good part of that pizza, and as I’ve come to learn over the last 9 years – it doesn’t always seem like it at first, but Gabe is usually right. It was great. Super flavorful and not over-the-top with the garlic. Bob knocked on the door looking like he’d just gambled away his mortgage, and told us the locking mechanism on his room was failing. We kinda gave him a “bummer dude” as we continued to scarf down, while he headed to the lobby to figure it out. This morning I was sorry to learn that he’d spent the next couple hours in that lobby watching Martin reruns and waiting for them to try to get him back into his room. They eventually put him in a different room (with none of his stuff) and maintenance got him back in when they came in at 8am. Rough night for the new guy, but we were laughing about it as we loaded the guitars and luggage up and headed back towards Michigan.
I drove the final stretch, as I usually do, and we got home around 2:30pm, unloaded the gear into my basement, and they boys took off home. It was a fun two-show run. We had a blast hanging out with The Stick Arounds, playing with Colin Gawel was great, and Amy’s birthday party was super fun. I love all my rock and roll friends.
For the first time in many years we have no shows booked. That will change soon, but we’re going to take it easy this spring as we work on a new record and get some more material down with Bob. Thanks for reading the blogs, be careful out there, be good to each other and RESIST.