Road Blog: Thursday April 20, 2023 - Dayton, OH
April 20, 2023
We met at Gabriel’s, threw the guitars and luggage in the van, and headed south on I-75. We kicked things off with a playlist of Bottle Rockets songs I made years ago called Best of Borox. The late-morning rain gave way to sunshine and temps hit 80 as we crossed into Ohio and drove through Toledo. There wasn’t much chit-chat. Seems everyone is a bit worn out from one thing or another, but things started to liven up as Jacob put on LiquidLight and Gabe and I discussed how enamored Christina Ricci would be with me if I were to go meet her at the Motor City Comicon in a couple weeks. Gabe didn’t share my optimism. Next up he played the new album by Tropical Gothclub and then I put on KISS – Hotter Than Hell as Jacob complained that he couldn’t hear the bass and we exited into Dayton and arrived at our AirBB.
We are staying at the same AirBB we stayed in when we were passing through in November. It’s a great townhouse right off the river with an awesome view of the Dayton skyline. They’re tearing the roof off the house behind us, and my room is in the back, so that made for some pleasant noise to wake up to this morning at 7am sharp.
Blind Bob's is a restaurant/bar/venue that’s in the Oregon district of Dayton. Named that in 1929 when “Longtime, wealthy residents at the time thought the upstart neighborhood was so far from downtown that those who decided to move there might as well have moved to Oregon, which was being settled by numerous pioneers.” (Wikipedia) Well, it doesn’t feel like early-America Oregon today. We parked the van as the smell of burning cannabis filled the air from the bar patios and sidewalks around us (it was 420 they tell me). Dude walked by, pointed at me and said “The Cure,” giggled awkwardly, and kept walking. We hit OMEGA MUSIC, then I hit a vintage shop next to Bob’s where I got a little something before heading over to the venue for dinner.
The food at Blind Bob’s is really good. I had a great Philly and some chili and had enough left over for a late night snack. We said hi to the other bands, loaded in, and set up merch. As I sat on the patio playing on my phone and dampening my amusement at the 420 high AF jokers at the next table, my good friend Gretta came in and sat down. We go back probably close to 10 years now – we played many shows in Ohio and Kentucky with her old band Dirty Socialites, and have hung socially at a few events too, mostly with KY pals Vibrolas.
Viceroy Kings went on a little after 9 and played a blistering set of punk-cowpunk-alt-whatever. Great songs and guitar tone, super high energy, and fun to watch! Great dudes too. Pretty sure we’ll be seeing more of these guys down the road. We were up next and played a pretty-loose but fun set to a decent room that was rowdy and responsive. After us Falling Through Time played and they were a bit more metal leaning, but not full-blown metal. Elements of grunge and alternative were in there too. Good, solid rock and roll, great riffs, and a singer who could scream his head off – super fun!
If you’ve read any of my past blogs from Dayton, you know about my pal Tyler – a bartender at Bob’s. I think he’s worked each of the 6 or 7 shows we played there. He’s a big guy with a heart of gold, a great sense of humor, and a deep knowledge of distilled spirits. While FTT was playing he brought out a round of pickle backs (he calls `em Tommy Guns) for the boys, Gretta, and me and we graciously partook. So good to see this dude, always, and always a highlight of playing there.
Also in attendance was my good pal Art Jipson, aka Dr J, a professor at the University of Dayton and a DJ at the radio station WUDR there. Art and the station have always been incredibly supportive of us and just the nicest dude. I saw him back in 2021 when I was on tour with The Wild Honey Collective, so its been a couple years, but we did a phone interview earlier this week that was a log of fun. THANKS Art!!
We sold some merch, hung with the locals, Art, Tyler, Gretta, Hawk Hawk, and the other bands, and eventually fetched the van, loaded out, and went back to the AirBnB. I was a little loopy so I poured myself to bed and got a couple hours of shitty sleep before the hammers and saws started on the roof next door. A neighbor lady with an equally annoying lap dog on a ridiculously long leash was soon standing in the driveway yelling at the workers. I don’t think they cared.
I had every intention of getting a run in along the Riverwalk this morning and everything fell into place – it was warm, I was awake…but I just couldn’t talk myself into it. The throbbing headache and sour stomach may have played a small role in that decision. But I rallied and did the next best thing and went for a nice walk. Along the river I made lots of friends; a couple angry Canadian geese, some mallard ducks with the first chicks of the year, a few turtles wishing the sun was a bit brighter, and an awesome great blue heron who didn’t seem to mind me much as he was looking for a fish to have for breakfast. As I approached the AIrBB, two of Dayton’s finest were walking up the Riverwalk and I thought, “Oh shit, what did I do now?” One of them asked I’d Seen a lady in a pink hat acting weird and I hadn’t, so we exchanged some pleasantries – talked about the show, the Riverwalk, the hangover, wished each other a good day and moved on.
Another great show at Blind Bob’s – THANKS to everyone who was a part of it! See ya tonight in Charleston, WV at another familiar haunt – The Empty Glass! Xx