Road Blog: Thursday March 24, 2022 - Traverse City, MI
March 24, 2022
Gabe and I met at my place, threw the guitars in the van, and headed to meet Jake at the carpool lot in Ann Arbor before turning the van North. I put on Ozzy’s No Rest for the Wicked album as the steady rain started to turn into sleet. We compared notes on the producer, Roy Thomas Baker, who did great albums by Queen, The Cars, and Devo, plus one of my favorite albums, Flush the Fashion by Alice Cooper. Jacob played The Dirty Nil , Gabriel played La Luz, and back to me for Rubber Soul as we pulled into Grayling. As we exited the freeway, we saw a sign that the Mackinac Bridge (to the upper peninsula) was closed, which was a cause for concern as we have to cross it before our show on Friday.
Our first stop was Rotten Princess Records in Grayling where we met James. Super nice dude, and friend of my pal Geoff who I’ll see tonight. It’s a great store and they’re carrying our records now so please stop in and support them! From there we gassed up and drove the last hour to our hotel in Traverse City. Jake drank an energy drink in the back while Morphine played and the sleet turned to snow, then back to sleet, over and over again.
After a brief stop at the hotel we went to Lil Bo for dinner. It’s a bar and grill on the edge of downtown. This dude Larz Cabot was playing, and we were hoping to meet up with my pal Jay Harrington , but we missed each other by a few minutes. We split a pitcher of Right Brain Brewery red ale, I had a fried oyster po’ boy that was pretty tasty, and the boys seemed to enjoy their meals too.
We loaded into the Union Street Station and the boys had a drink while I went for a walk along a boardwalk next to a river a couple blocks up from the bar. It had stopped rain-snow-sleeting by this point, and it was nice to work off some of that po’ boy before the show. We set the gear up, our sound engineer Vanessa showed up, and we were good to go. A couple of my best friends Jonna and Doug showed up, who I haven’t seen since the before-times, and it was great to see them and compare pandemic experiences. Seemed like not nearly that long.
We went on to a decent room that fluctuated throughout the night, as bars like that on Thursday nights often will. We played a long set, took a break, then played a few more as 1am approached. Larz and Jay showed up and Larz and I got deep into talks about the Minneapolis scene and Cheap Trick. One young lady - Cristina - was celebrating her birthday with a light-up sash that she paid “three f’ing dollars!” for at Wal-Mart that day. She really wanted us to play “Hotel California,” and I tried to get the boys on board but they weren’t having it so we did a Monkees cover instead and she was out the door to her next bar before we even hit the chorus.
After the show, one of the guys working there started chatting to me about his experiences on death metal cruises and it turned out came from the same town and knew a whole bunch of the same people, most of whom I haven’t seen in 35 years, and if I remember right, a close relative of his (father? Uncle?) succeeded my grandfather as the Sheriff there. Crazy small world.
We loaded out and headed back to the hotel, Gabriel at the helm, and leftover tater tots on the dashboard. We were glad to see that the Mackinac Bridge was now open and our Friday show in Marquette was not in jeopardy, at least for the moment. We had a small nightcap, watched a little South Park and crashed out. Today we cross the Straits of Mackinac and take US2 west towards Marquette where we’ll play tonight at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. It’s been 10 years – can’t wait! Thanks TC and Union Street Station and everyone who came out!