16th of December - Flew out to Chicago airport and got picked up by a man. I was then delivered 45 minutes to Libertyville to a nice room at the Hampton Inn for a quick shower. Then took a cab back to downtown Chicago to check in at the same address as the venue, House of Blues. Went to dinner with 3 people I just met at a place called Rockit Bar and Grill. I had the Seafood Cob Salad which was delicious and filled with gold... pure gold (If gold were only small sea creatures.) I felt like i was fishing in that huge bowl of salad. Fishing right over a school of hungry fish. Their bait=my fork. After went to 7-11 and got a snackbar, water, and banana for the mornyin. Hotel was great but the tv really sucked. It's like everytime you change a channel on the thing it takes 2 seconds for it to go. It's not channel surfing... its channel crawling. It's a huge high def flat screen tv but the channel network was as fast a 1990 56k modem. Otherwise, the Hotel Sax is a beautiful hotel and I didn't wind up watching too much tv except some CNN to learn about a new gun for the military that shoots smart bullets that can bend around corners of buildings and into foxholes. That would help me maybe if i was trying to shoot someone who was hiding behind something else..... I'm not in the military so i can't see that happening soon. As with life, though, you never know when you're gonna need that gun and those bullets. I spent the night practicing the songs for the rehearsal at 9am.
December 17, 2009 - 7:30 AM - Wake up and surf the internet from bed. Contemplate watching a netflix streaming movie. Eat said banana and snack bar, drink water. Brush. Go down to lobby at 9am and walk over to House of Blues across the street for my first rehearsal with three out of four other members of the band. See drummer, Eric, already there, and meet the SSSC techs, Ted and Jason. Bassist Dave, walks in - meet and greet. We talk about our vocal harmonies. Boots walks in. Tour Manager Dawn takes requests for bagels. I say Sesame toasted with CC. I search for coffee. I adjust my pedals. I have a wonderful marshall half stack and a backline Gibson Les Paul. I try out the Les Paul out but my ES-335 is better and cooler so I stick with that. I remove my distortion pedal from my board. Now I've widdled it down to a tuner, a whammy II, and delay. It's a rhythm guitar gig after all---I'm going playing rhythm guitar for well known "guitar god" Tom Morello. The morning rehearsal was just eric gardner (drums), david gibbs (bass), boots riley (rapper), and your truly. Tom couldn't make rehearsal since he had to play an impromtu Rage Against the Machine radio spot live on morning UK talk radio. We rehearsed Fight Smash Win, Nobody Moves Til We Say Go, The Oath, Promenade, Somewhere in the World, The Squeeze, 100 Little Curses, Paper Planes. All sounded good. It was fun to play too. Afterwards, Dave and I went to Starbucks and I got one of those Peppermint Mocha's and he got a regular coffee and oatmeal. God Bless the holiday tasty coffees at Starbucks. They have been making me happy for the last 4 years during the holiday season.
12:30pm Went back to Hotel to Sleep.
Went to Soundcheck at 4:30pm. We all ordered food. (Me: Jumbalaya) for after soundcheck. Ran over about 5 songs with the whole group until we didn't have any more time. Came upstairs to the green room and Tom and I played the rest of the songs together to make sure it was all good to go. All Good! We ate. We hung around. Went back to the hotel for a minute.
Nothing but great opinions about the vibe of this entourage. Techs, tour manager, and band. All nice, good people, easy to get along with. After show, talked with the band/crew and a few friends and then went to a wine bar in the hotel with the same group. Had a beer there and ate mixed nuts from a plastic boot-shaped container. Went upstairs and slept great.
December 18 - 10:30 AM - get ready to go to airport. 11am: Livery Driver talks and talks and talks. I can't even think---so i reverse the game and try to talk more than her. She turns out to be a good listener as I ramble on about New York City Pizza and OJ Simpson. And I laughed in my head because she's from chicago and was talking sports with me....and mentioned DITKA. "He's no Ditka", she goes. I love that last name. DITKA. I get to airport. I write this blog on the plane. Tonight I get back at 5:45 and I gotta rush home and learn songs for private house party gig with Audrarox playing R&B covers at 9pm. So glad I get to play Lets Groove Tonight by Earth Wind and Fire.
FIGHT! SMASH! WIN!, SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD, PAPER PLANES, THE OATH, 100 LITTLE CURSES, CLAP FOR THE KILLAS, PROMENADE, NOBODY MOVES (TIL WE SAY GO)