Road Blog: Friday October 20, 2023 - Lexington, KY
October 20, 2023
Before we left out AIrBB in Memphis I darted over to see the Lorraine Motel, which was a couple blocks from where we were staying. It’s sacred ground, the location of the assassination of MLK, and a spot I’ve not been able to visit on my many previous times in Memphis. It’s now attached to a museum and somewhat converted to a monument to civil rights, but preserved very well and easily accessible. I took a few photos and tried to take in the moment before heading back to scoop up the boys. It’s not lost on me that touring has afforded me the ability to see so many great and important places, and I try not to take it for granted.
We were on a fairly downer roll after a couple slow nights and a lot of driving so what better to lift the spirits than another seven-hour drive and a shitty fast food breakfast? We got to McDonalds at 10:31am and sorry, it’s a Big Mac or squat. We got coffees and went over to Wendys where yay! They’re still serving breakfast! We stood there for at least 10 minutes while the kid behind the counter leaned up against the fryer looking at his phone, listening carefully for his approaching manager so he could act busy. Every employee looked at us but no one could be bothered to tell the person who was to take our order to do just that. Eventually she came out and said “We ain’t servin’ that. It’s after 10:30. What you want?” as we looked up at the menu off breakfast sandwiches and hash brown sticks. Eventually they flipped them over to burgers and chicken sandwiches. She wrote our orders down on paper, took it away with Gabriel’s credit card, and brought the card back a minute later, no receipt, no words, just thanks for your money sucker. Not what we wanted but we were already 40 minutes into this miserable debacle and we had miles to make up, so I got TrooperGirl22’s favorite – the Son of Baconator. It sucked – dry and cold, void of taste, and just plain pathetic. Knowing her standards, they have to normally be better than that. Not the attitude adjustment we needed.
Jacob drove through Nashville, out of Tennessee, into Kentucky, past the National Corvette Museum with the sinkhole, through Lexington, and up to our dive motel in Georgetown. We got a free glazed donut at some BP/donut shop for filling up the van, so thought I’d ride that potential wave of changing good fortune and added in a couple Betty Boop scratch-offs. First one was a dud. I’ll do the second today. We checked in to the motel, changed and headed back into the city to meet our pal J Tyler for dinner at a local institution – Winchell's. We go way back with J Tyler, from when he was in Those Crosstown Rivals, and we toured together back in 2014. It’s always great to see him and the conversation is never dull. He’s got a way with words, and when I told him I was eying up the fried oyster po’ boy but I was concerned about lingering digestion issues, he said “Sounds to me like you got nothing to lose!” so that was that. The last two fried oyster po’ poys I got were terrible, so I was trepidatious, but it was really great – hot and bulky and super yum.
Over at The Green Lantern Bar there were a line of dudes waiting to help us load in. Aaah Kentucky, you always rule! That went quickly and we arranged our stuff and set up whatever we could before the show started. Bumped into many friends – Jake and D'Arcy, Chandler Tex Dynamite, and my brother Nate NP Presley. I love these people and Lexington has always been our second home. First up was Haiku Seppuku, which is Tex’ new band, with Nate on drums. It was their first show and they played a short, killer set of alternative/punk that reminded me at times of Jawbreaker. Great stuff! Next up was Mayking, Nate now playing bass. These guys were a bit less punk and a bit more indie sounding, with a Moog keyboard in the middle. They were well rehearsed and had great songs and arrangements – another fantastic set from another new Lexington band!
We went on around 11 to a great crowd and did our best to burn the joint down. People were cheering and singing along, raising beers and throwing devil horns, and rooting us on. We had a blast up there and called some location-specific audibles. As always, we closed with our tribute to the people of Lexington – “Hey Kentucky” – with an audience participation outro. Super awesome!
Hilights of playing this area are never complete until we see our buds Vibrolas – Leila and Chris. We go back with them over a decade too, and they’re awesome people. This time, however, there was extra cause to celebrate as Chris presented me with a refurbished Silvertone guitar that he’s been working on for me for, well… a long time. I couldn’t believe it. It’s a work of art, he did an AMAZING job, and it made me sooo happy to finally lay hands on it! I paid $10 for the neck and body when I was in high school and it spent many winters in a frozen garage in Marquette, Michigan – hardly a place you’d want to store a stringed instrument. I gave it to him when we did a Michigan run with them back in 2014 and said “do what ya’ can, man” and all expectations and hopes were exceeded. It needs a little break-in time before it’ll see a stage, but maybe next weekend in Detroit. Dude, THANK YOU!
Back at the motel we’ve now got six guitars to take into the room. We had a nightcap and wished our TV worked. We needed a win after a couple stinkers and Lexington never, ever disappoints. THANK YOU to the Green Lantern, the bands, Nate, and all our friends who were there, too many to mention. You are a huge part of this band and we love you.
As we were getting ready to crash, just after 3am, Jake noticed that the headlining band for our show tonight in Akron, Ohio – the last show of our tour – has cancelled. That’s a kiss of death for a touring band in a new city, but the show will go on and we’ll do our best. Another kick in the nuts, and another line for our DBT parody song “Explanation Day.” I try to give you guys the shit right next to the glory, and there’s pretty much equal or more parts shit. Thing happen, you gotta roll with it. See ya tonight Akron – let’s wrap it up in style! Xx