Road Blog: Thursday November 17, 2022 - Lima, OH
November 17, 2022
We left Gabriel’s house around 2:30PM and headed south into Ohio and west towards Sylvania with The Monkees singing about love and freedom on the stereo. It’s our last run of the year, and what a year it’s been. These are shows 46, 47, and 48.
First stop was the Reverend Guitars Circle R Ranch – the home of Reverend Guitars. I’ve known Ken Hass, the main guy for the last many years at Reverend, since the late 80’s, and I’m a proud ambassador and customer (and featured artist) of their guitars for many years now. His first band Culture Bandits used to do gigs with my band SlugBug back then, and we’ve crossed paths consistently and remained friends since.
Ken gave us the tour of the warehouse, music room, offices, and setup room, and Jacob thumped around on a few basses while Ken, Gabriel, and I traded war stories of gigs, travels, and encounters with musicians past. Revend is a fantastic company and Ken and his wife Penny are doing it right – always a great visit, and always great to see what’s going on at the ranch.
From there it was back on I-75 and south to Lima. We drove around and looked for GROAMY’s Records, which apparently was by the Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken Fried Chicken joint, but isn’t anymore. We got stuck by a train and headed downtown towards the venue. The Lab is a bit of a compound – comic book store, wine-whiskey-beer bar, bistro-type restaurant (adjacent that serves to the store), recording studio, and music venue in back. Mark, the owner, introduced himself and showed us where to load in while the opening band Palmer were sound-checking.
I had a nice chat with Marc and he’s one of these people who’s just passionate about live, original music, and like a few of the other owners/promoters we’ve met this fall, it’s refreshing to see. There are some common themes with these guys – “you gotta love what you do `cause we’re not making any money.” – and they clearly do. I made it a point to stress how appreciative we are, and bands like us, out there just trying to get our songs out, not making much money either. The bartender knew his whiskey and had ties to Downriver Detroit, so we had a good chat, and the guy who runs the studio knew his gear and Gabe had him in some deep conversation too. We loaded in and I had a couple killer meat loaf sliders and side of mac and cheese with a Restoration Rye (Castle & Key - new to me) while the boys each had a margarita flatbread pizza. I also learned that it’s pronounced “LYE-muh,” not “LEE-muh” – and was grateful to get that tidbit engraved before our set.
The music room is a concrete square with sound-dampening curtains and paintings of rock stars around the perimeter. There are a few high-tops, and a collapsible stage on the side. Palmer went on shortly after 7pm and played a great set of mostly originals. They were a good fit with us – guitar based trio, rockin, poppy tunes. Nice dudes too. Their guitarist played through a Bad Cat head, which has roots back to the same guy (basically) who made my Matchless, Mark Sampson, so I was excited to hear how that sounded. We went on shortly after 8pm to enough faces to make it fun and played a pretty solid 90 minutes, told a couple stories, flubbed a couple lyrics, and wrapped up just after 9:30pm. People were attentive and engaged, a bit laid back, but no complaints for our first time in town and on a cold, blustery Thursday night.
A salty older guy walked up to me and said “Heard you couldn’t find the record store.” It was none other than Groamy himself – great dude with stories about The Stooges playing the theatre up the street back in the day. He wouldn’t tell me his real name, but I did learn that Groamy is an acronym for the great Joan Jett record Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth, so that’s pretty cool. Anyhow, he picked up a few records for his shop so any Lima folks now have a local hub for their Tucos vinyl – Groamy's Cd's and Tapes!
We packed up our gear and loaded out into the frozen night. Being on the road is great, but it’s less great with it’s friggin’ freezing out. We said our goodbyes and settled our tabs, turned on the heater, and pointed the van south, towards Dayton, where our AirBB is. On our way to the highway we passed a second Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken Fried Chicken , and Gabe, knowing that TrooperGirl22 and I are fans, said we needed to move there, but I reminded him that we’re loyal to the awesome (and one of only five in Michigan) Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken Plymouth, MI less than a mile from our house.
Accommodations in Lima were slim, and we have a haul to Knoxville today, so, especially with the early show, we elected to get a place in Dayton, just about an hour south. Not only was there a better, more affordable selection, but we were able to knock a bit off the Friday drive. Gabriel got us to our townhouse fine while we chatted about this and that and I had a quick call home to TrooperGirl22.
Our AIrBB in Dayton sits right across the street from the Miami River, a nice spot just off the freeway in the McPherson neighborhood. We each have our own room, and a safe spot in the back for the van. We had a nightcap and talked about the plans for Jake’s upcoming birthday before crashing out around 1am. I barely slept, as happens sometimes, my little brain churning and turning with songs and that never-ending high-pitch ringing making everything harder to negotiate. I managed to get a little because at one point I rolled over and it was starting to get light. I got up and made a pot of coffee, wrote the blog, took a shower, bundled up and walked across the street to check out the river and the skyline. There’s a dusting of snow and pretty good bite in the air, but otherwise a nice, pleasant morning as the boys start to stir upstairs.
Today we’ll stop at the Hasty Tasty Pancake House for breakfast, probably, then head south through Cincinnati and Lexington to Knoxville, Tennessee where we’ll play tonight at the Preservation Pub. It’s one of our favorite joints and always gets a little crazy so we’re excited! Thanks to Mark and Palmer and Groamy and everyone in Lima for a fun night and our first in their city – we will be back! xx