Meat Me in St. Louis
The steaks were excellent, I had the 24 oz. Porterhouse, which was, according to the knowledgeable waitress, "17 ounces of meat and 7 ounces of bone". Indeed it was. Started out with a caesar salad, with Billy Burnette giving us the story of the origin of a caesar salad..if he is correct, it's not what you might think.
The food was great, the wine was great - especially a Mondavi cabernet - and after dinner, Bob, Billy, George and I had a night cap at the Roberts Mayfair Hotel bar. Macallan for Billy and me, which was quite nice. My favorite scotch is a 12 year old Balvennie double cask, but it is difficult to find it in most taverns.
The older I get, the more I appreciate scotch, sharp cheese, hot sauces and the more pungent/bold flavors in general. Am I more open to them or gradually losing taste buds...?
Guitar World St.Louis
This is my modified Guitar World on the Mellencamp dates. I can fit two UltraCase guitar racks and two single stands on top of two "coffins". That leaves one rack and one coffin that stay out of the way, but are still available for casing and packing away these valuable guitars, thereby lessening their exposure to backstage traffic and chaos.
From left to right, we are using: National Resophonic, Fender Jerry Donahue Telecaster, Fender Hendrix Reissue Stratocaster, Martin D-28, Gibson J-45, Dobro Tut Taylor Model, Fender 1952 Reissue Telecaster, Fender Relic Stratocaster, Gretsch Brian Setzer, Gibson ES-345, Gretsch Brian Setzer Hot Rod, and two Gibson J-200 Jumbos. A Gibson A style mandolin is at the far left as well.
The fine folks at St. Louis music opened their "Amp Shack" before the show and offered discounts to band and crew guys on their latest items. I read their catalog cover to cover while doing a load of laundry - apparently the dryer had a "warm breath' setting that I did not notice, since it took an hour to dry one load of socks, underwear and t-shirts.
I saw the new Crate Power Block in the catalog and thought it perfect for the gig. I sometimes have difficulty tuning the acoustic guitars and Dobros during the show since the band is so loud. The piezo pickups cannot distinguish between the vibration of the guitar string and the vibration of the P.A. I was looking for an amp or pedal to boost the guitar signal to the tuner, and the Power Block does that and tons more. It's a 150 watt stereo guitar amp, with an effects loop, line out, CD input and a headphone jack. Perfect for listening to guitars as you tune them, and for practicing along with my Dell DJ on the bus. Thanks to St. Louis Music's Ted Kornblum for the demonstration and attention.
The Crowd Shuffles In
Pretty good-sized crowd on a scorching hot day. This shot was taken about a half hour before show time.
Today we have a day off in Milwaukee, not too far from the town of my birth. I went book shopping at Borders in the Grand Avenue Mall and bought two Edward Rutherfurd novels: "London" and "The Forest". I am nearly finished with his "Sarum", which is a Michener-style historical novel of Salisbury, England. I've been interested in that stuff since I read Ivanhoe in grade school. Rutherfurd is good at juggling a cast of characters and giving historical facts of the age. Great bus reads.