This Past Weekend in Southern California
Mon., May. 15. 2006 6:29pm EDT
We put ourselves on a strict So-Cal diet this past weekend, flying to the lower half of the Golden State for three concerts in the greater Los Angeles area -- Camarillo (Cam-a-REE-o) on Friday, La Quinta (La-KEEN-ta) on Saturday, and San Pedro on Sunday. The weather was beautiful and the audiences were ample, appreciative, and amped-up. We wish they all could be California shows.
ApologetiX has been to Southern California a number of times, but it's still a thrill to see so many famous places in person. And L.A. traffic flow (or lack thereof) always ensures that we get a nice, long look. On Saturday our bassist, keyboardist, and drummer (Bill, Keith, and Jimmy) rose early and took a trip down Sunset Boulevard to visit the Guitar Center there. On Sunday, they took turns climbing up into the mouth of the Tyrannosaurus made famous in the movie "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" on Rt. 10 between Palm Springs and Los Angeles.
And what a variety of weather! The climate in Camarillo was on the cooler side of pleasant at 11 a.m. Saturday. By mid-afternoon the same day in La Quinta, it was 107 degrees -- a 40-degree swing in a three-hour trip. We hadn't seen a quick change like that since our trip from Anchorage (30 degrees) to Fairbanks (10 below), and that was a flight, not a drive. Of course, La Quinta IS located in the desert, but leaving for San Pedro the next day, we were soon marveling at majestic mountains with snow-capped peaks.
Speaking of La Quinta, no, our hotel there wasn't a La Quinta, although we've stayed in La Quinta Inns in many other places. We thought it would be ironic if we stayed at a Fairfield Inn in La Quinta, and then stayed at a La Quinta when we were in Fairfield IL. Come to think of it, we stayed in a private cottage the last time we played in Fairfield. Technically, our hotel for La Quinta was in Palm Desert anyway, next to Palm Springs. And there's a reason they named the one "Springs" and the other "Desert." But they're both beautiful at night with all those lighted palm trees.
Although the Lakers are out of the playoffs, Jack Nicholson still must have had something else to do, because he did not appear courtside at any of our shows, nor did any of his Hollywood pals. Jimmy, however, once again had an entourage, as his sister and brother-in-law, Jodi and Kevin Wagner from San Diego, came to the La Quinta show.
Our old pals (and previous California-concert promoters) Randy Hyde and Tony Nole acted as our chauffeurs/tour guides for the entire weekend, as they had done on earlier trips. Tony, who's from Northern California, drove seven hours to be there for us. Our San Pedro concert promoter, Tim Pritchard, shared those duties on Saturday night and Sunday. Thanks, guys!
Thanks also to:
other our concert coordinators: Larry Kapocius (Camarillo) and Jeff Lee (La Quinta).
our merchandise coordinators: Julie and Jen (Camarillo); Lorreen, Raquel, Megan, Gregory, Patricio and Dillon (La Quinta); and Anita, Courtney, Lupe, and Mandy (San Pedro).
our all-purpose roadie and sound tech, Greg Micher, who travelled with us from Pittsburgh, and to Phillippe, who coordinated the sound crew and set-up in Camarillo and San Pedro.
Special thanks to Jeff the youth director in Camarillo, who drove out of town to Comp USA to buy us a new iBook computer cord. J. accidentally left his in Pittsburgh, a fact he didn't discover till he had only one minute of power left on his laptop. It just so happened that Keith needed a new cord, although he hadn't brought his computer, so it all worked out. So much of the work we do on the road is done on the laptop: accounting, itineraries, inventories, song lists, and email. Bill Hubauer even uses his as part of his onstage keyboard set up.
Honorable mention to Stephen and Andrew Beck, twin brothers who came to all three concerts this past weekend.