Latest Tales from the Road
Sat., Jul. 26. 2003 11:39pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) here.
Hey, I don't like to bombard you with emails, but so many of you have been asking how we've been doing with the latest string of trials regarding our van, that I wanted to keep you posted, because it just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser, as they say on the other side of the looking glass. Here are some of the latest twists in our tour:
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE ... EVEN IF IT'S PITCH BLACK?
On Wednesday night we arrived at San Jose airport, so we could play at Spirit West Coast the next afternoon. When we got to the hotel, the entire block's power was off, so each room came equipped with a flashlight. Getting to the room was like going through some Halloween thrill ride, using your flashlight to make it down a maze of corridors and stairs, since there were no lights or elevator ... and no air conditioning, either, but that finally kicked on in the middle of the night when the power came back on. Thanks so much to our chauffeurs and friends, Tony Nole and Tom (I can never remember his last name ó we always call him Tom "The Body" Ventura, because he reminds me of the famous wrestler-turned-Minnesota governor.
SPIRIT WEST COAST ROCKED
The show at Spirit West Coast Thursday went phenomenally from an attendance perspective. I couldn't believe how many of you showed up to see us! It was in one of those huge tent-like arena areas, and the place was packed. Unfortunately, although their sound system worked great in sound check, it went bananas when we hit the stage an hour later, so it was not as clean or clear as we'd like. But everybody on staff and in the crowd treated us very well, and we got to meet a ton of our California and Nevada fans (like Reed from Reno, who came decked out in his ApologetiX shirt and a zillion ApologetiX buttons, which I'd never seen before :) Thanks to all of you who prayed for us to get into this festival and who mentioned us to the folks at Spirit West Coast! And thanks most of all, to God, who answered those prayers and provided in abundance.
EMERSON, LAKE & APOLOGETIX
We also got to film interviews for K-Love (yeah, radio and film, believe it or not) and for Real Videos from JCTV, which asked us to be the guest hosts. We wanted a new angle, so we did the first couple of segments from up in a tree we had all climbed (Please skip the jokes regarding By the Tree, the Elms, Broomtree, and other Christian bands with similar names ... we already shamelessly used them all). The last few segments were filmed with us sitting at a picnic table that we had moved out into a nearby lake. Desperate to pump some life into our appearance and eager to make the point about how bizarre humor gets the audience's attention, I eventually jumped off the picnic table into the very slimy lake. That actually turned out pretty well, but it was only later that I realized that I could've hurt myself, because I didn't know how deep or shallow or rocky that lake might have been, not to mention what kind of bacteria it might be breeding, although the ducks nearby seemed to be doing fine. Thankfully, it was deep enough, warm enough and very soft at the bottom, although I ended up knee deep in slime. But I think that illustration got our point across for the video show, and our publicist Kathleen actually accidentally caught the moment on digital video :) And it made for a great intro for the Audio Adrenaline video "Dirty," if the producers are on the ball!
I'm typing this entry on Friday night, so I don't forget everything that's happened so far.
NO CARGO IN FARGO
Friday morning we left from San Jose Airport to Fargo ND, which is the closest major city to Detroit Lakes MN, site of Spirit Mid West 2003. We had a layover in Denver. Unfortunately, our luggage had a longer layover than we did; they never sent it along with us when we went to Fargo! We'd done all the arrangements correctly, but somehow something got screwed up. The only problem is that the next flight to this location is AFTER we are supposed to play Saturday. We had that happen earlier this year when we played in Fort Benning GA. Now, I understand what Creedence Clearwater Revival was talking about in "Travelling Band" when they said, "Take me to the hotel. Baggage gone, oh well." The airline supposedly made alternate arrangements, thanks largely to our guitarist/producer Karl making a bunch of phone calls, so we're supposed to have our instruments, our CDs/shirts/merchandise and our clothes in time for the show tomorrow. In the meantime, we had to go for a shopping spree at Wal-Mart tonight to buy clothes, toiletries, socks, etc. Unfortunately, we had taken a cab to our hotel and Wal-Mart wasn't in walking distance of our hotel. But Outback Steakhouse was, and that's where the most interesting chapter of our story unfolds.
SIX DEGREES OF KEVIN BACON/TWO DEGREES OF AUDIO ADRENALINE
We originally were going to the Pizza Hut next door to our hotel, but we decided to walk a few minutes longer and go to Outback (to support our Australian fans, of course). As our initial conversation with our waiter, Lynn, unfolded, we discovered that he not only had been to Spirit Midwest before (as had the accompanying waiter-in-training), he just happened to be the brother-in-law of a famous Christian rocker, Audio Adrenaline's lead guitarist and occasional lead singer, Tyler Burkum! I told Lynn that our loss of luggage couldn't possibly compare with Audio Adrenaline having their equipment stolen last year and then discovered on E-bay, and he remembered that whole ordeal with a laugh. I also mentioned that I had talked with former Audio Adrenaline opening act, Riley Armstrong last Saturday at a concert and had learned how thieves had stolen tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment from Riley, and he said that Riley had stayed at his house before! Small world, eh?
GOD PROVIDES RIDES AND GUIDES BESIDES
That made for some great conversation, but not only that, Outback took pity on us and gave us free soft drinks and desserts! Furthermore, Lynn actually let us borrow his car so we could go to Wal-Mart and shop! Is God cool or what? You know, if we didn't have to face these trials, we'd never get to see the neat ways that God works them out. For example, last week, when we had to drop the van off for repairs in Emporia KS on Tuesday, not only did God allow us to break down near the venue where we would be on Friday, He made it happen in a town where the Dodge dealer (our van is a Dodge) just happened to be somebody who had known our Emporia concert promoter, Christy, since he was just a young boy, so he was eager to help her and us out. And when we sat down at T.G.I.Friday's for lunch on Friday, the day of the concert, the ApologetiX team member who will remain nameless (His first name is Bob but that's all I'll tell you, so it could be anybody, because there's a lot of Bobs in this world) but had driven our van away from the gas station on Tuesday without removing the gas nozzle (costing us $300 for a new nozzle and gas clean-up by the fire company) unwittingly picked a table space that sat him beneath a bizarre display (You know how places like Friday's and Applebee's stick old memorabilia on the wall) that included a gas nozzle! No lie! God definitely has a sense of humor and keeps us laughing through all this!
Please pray that our equipment and merchandise arrives in time for the show tomorrow, which is actually later today, because this email took me even longer to write than it took you to read, and that's a long time! God bless you all!
-- J. Jackson Lead Singer/Lyricist ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) www.apologetix.com firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.