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Trip Tip 7

Posted: June 27, 2019 in Motorcycle, touring, travel, Uncategorized

TripTip7

 

 

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Well … ooops

Posted: September 27, 2017 in Motorcycle, touring, travel, Uncategorized

Well I feel silly.  My last post here was in 2011… I don’t know if I just got tired of writing or I forgot I had this (I did eventually forget, obviously), I’m guessing both.

Folks have been telling me to write a blog; then I remembered I have this one already started.  Sorry I’ve neglected it for so long.

Let me do some thinking, get some memories from between that last post and now, and try to get up to speed on things.

Stick around, I’ll be bach 🙂

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Been thinking this morning (the kind of thing that gets me in trouble) and thought I would do a count of all the States I hit between May-June and late August-September of this 2010 season.  I lost my GPS in New Mexico and my nifty Harley map took flight I’m guessing somewhere in Oklahoma, so I really got around during the September trip by just saying “that-a-way”.

I could list Towns, but towns I went through – way too many (I do highways remember?).  Towns I stopped in – still quite a few.  Towns I played in – that’s all relative to ones I was invited to versus the ones I just stopped & set up shop.

I based out of Arizona and Arkansas, so I went in & out of them a lot; and, of course, always cutting through Texas to avoid some of the harsher weather.  I may have also done East Kansas one trip & West Kansas the other … just like North & South Indiana, Eastern & Western Virginia, and so on.  Unfortunately it seemed that every time I had a break to go visit with media-types it would decide to rain; not your everyday rain but a downpour that lasted for days.

I’m less organized than I should be, generally just keeping receipts to jog my memory.  For some reason I learned a lot this year compared to previous years; I’m thinking maybe its because I got it into my head to actually keep track for possible publicity purposes; but I still didn’t do a very good job of it.  I think 2011 will be a whole new ballgame… people are starting to come out wanting to get involved – I like that!

For today, I’ll stick to States… Y’all Ready??

Arizona
New Mexico
Texas
Oklahoma
Kansas
Nebraska
South Dakota
Iowa
Illinois
Indiana
Ohio
West Virginia
Pennsylvania
Maryland
Delaware
Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Tennessee
Arkansas
Louisiana
Texas
Mexico
New Mexico
Arizona
New Mexico
Texas
Oklahoma
Colorado
Kansas
Nebraska
Iowa
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Illinois
Missouri
Indiana
Kentucky
West Virginia
Pennsylvania
Delaware
New Jersey
Maryland
DC
Virginia
North Carolina
Kentucky
Tennessee
Alabama
Mississippi
Arkansas
Missouri
Arkansas
Texas
Oklahoma
New Mexico
Arizona

Nice little run-around eh?  It was roughly 18,000 miles a shot.  I was very pleased with the way the bike held up, in fact not a thing went wrong unless I made it go wrong with my tinkering.  I do have a knocking in my lifters but I think it might just be cheap gas – whenever I add Sea Foam it goes away.  I wanted to rake out the front end this winter while I’m home, but that’s a $1000 project which I just don’t have the spare cash for.  Oh well.  Still hoping one of the bike makers will come through but I’m not holding my breath.  I mean, can you think of a better road test for your bike than one of my road trips??  Everywhere I stop people ask about the bike & the customizing that I’ve done…

Above & beyond list this year… I want to thank Ed at Team Apache in Mesa, AZ for letting me call & pick his brain a little while I was on the road.  There was also a place called Golf Carts for Fun in Aubrey, TX who took the time to try & fit my trailer with new tires.   There was an Auto Zone near Bristol, VA who set me up & let me change my oil in the parking lot (the entire year I used Mobile-One 20/50 synthetic oil and Mobile-One filters so I didn’t have to go searching for a motorcycle shop).  And there was Karen who kept my equipment safe, and Tom in PA who showed me some cool places – including a shop to buy heavy leather gloves that I needed for $3… I bought an extra pair.  Oh yeah, and Sunrise Honda in Searcy, AR who cleaned up my wiring and did a flawless job of hooking up my trailer.

Enough for today.

Just Stuff

Posted: October 18, 2010 in Motorcycle, Music, touring, Uncategorized

I didn’t tell you about my last road trip out did I?  There’s actually not much to tell, it was rather uneventful.  It didn’t rain in Tennessee!  But I got buckets dumped on me in Arkansas.  I’m usually pretty good at avoiding rain, I aim between the clouds.  But if the weather is just plain nasty and dangerous, I tend to find my way right into the middle of it.

First was a detour to Lincoln, NE for Boboo’s induction into the NE Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.  It was nice.   I bypassed Omaha and headed across Hwy. 2 along the southern border of Iowa.  That was a nice ride, I kinda took my time & just enjoyed it.  In West Virginia I couldn’t remember the helmet law so I pulled over a cop & asked for his license and registration.  Just kidding, he was already pulled over; but I did say that when I walked up to his car 🙂  Helmets are mandatory BTW, good thing he was there because I didn’t have it on.

So I hit the east coast again and then westward.

I got my hitch & wiring on the bike and picked up a trailer in AR.  Something to do while it rained.  The trailer is pretty cool.  Its a lightweight aluminum utility trailer with a canvas camper that bolts onto the top.  The camper folds out to sleep 2 people; pretty roomy & comfortable and keeps you off the ground.  I figure its a good idea for my tours so I don’t have to find a place to pitch a tent before dark or spend money on a hotel at times I really don’t need to.  I like it.

During the winter I can take off the camper and just use it for utility.  I can fit an entire solo setup in it (complete with portable generator for electricity) or I can fit the recording equipment to do remotes.  You’re real limited when just loading up the bike, so I’m tickled about having this thing around.  All right, enough about that thing.

Getting out of AR, I headed across Hwy 380 in Texas aiming for Roswell, NM.  I’m really glad I was able to take that route.  I came across 2 harvest festivals, a blues festival, a car show, and –  Oh yeah, a bike rally outside of Roswell.  I stopped at the dealer in Roswell for supplies to do an oil change but they were just too busy to help me … there was no one else in the place except for a couple guys talking about their long tiring ride from Texas (100 miles maybe, I’m impressed).

This place had vendors in the parking lot, but when I asked, no one seemed to know what was going on.  Huh??  Maybe they were just plain stupid.  I just shook my head & moved on… right through the middle of the rally in those mountains there.  It was kinda cool and the scenery was beautiful; might be worth trying to catch it next year.  Anyway, I ended up pitching camp at the Valley of Fire, which is actually a valley full of lava from the last volcano eruption.  There’s a trail of lava for miles, you cross it up on I-40 too.

So here I sit back in Phoenix wondering what’s next.  I’ve had this social media experiment going on for a couple years and I’m not so sure it works for me.  I watch other musician-types and most don’t interact with people.  They post “buy my stuff” “see my show” and that’s it.  Others interact a lot, pretty much keeping themselves in front of you.  I’m not that consistent but I pay attention to my friends.  From the people I talk to on tours and just observation, I find that most people who are into my type of music either aren’t on the Internet or only get on if they have to.  But I’ve gotten mail from all kinds of people of all ages, so I know there’s a whole lot of folks I’m not reaching.

When I started this project I was just wanting to peddle some songs, I didn’t expect that I’d be pulled back in.  But now, I need to get back the the old ways of doing things – that stuff works for me.  I mean, I’m not going to pay or enter some contest just to get a gig – which is the Internet way of doing things.  I can’t blame them, I’m sure every garage band in the world tries to get in on it and they have to weed through them somehow.  But not this guy; I’m not that hard up 🙂

Maybe I should get involved locally again.  I don’t really want to.  I have zero tolerance for people with inflated ego’s nor do I want to hear how they are working on songs and going into the studio tomorrow – which, by the way, they never do.  Well gee, if they were to help me get songs recorded they would get theirs done too.  I guess they’re doing me a favor actually.  And it’s not just here, that kind of attitude is everywhere; you know, big fish in a small pond kind of thing.  It makes trying to find people to work with really hard.

But I guess showing up at places and re-kindling old acquaintances would be a good thing… yeah, I suppose its always a good thing.  I’m having surgery on my hand Oct. 21 so I’ll definitely need something to do.  I won’t be able to work on songs except for vocals and maybe some piano.  Not necessarily get involved so to speak; been there, done that; but just get out & see what’s new.  Mostly I just get tired of the same places & things all the time, ya know?  I’m not a big phone person either for that matter…

I better end this before I start rambling again.  You guys already think I’m psycho so why help confirm it eh?  Thanks for reading though.

 

Yesterday is the past, today is the future.  Things can change in the blink of an eye.

I’ve been giving some thought to going to Bob’s hall of fame ceremony in Omaha this month.  Of anyone up there, they deserve it most.  For some 15-yrs Tight Fit played anywhere from 200 to 300 shows a year all over the country … definitely the hardest working band ever to come out of the Omaha area.

I haven’t been to an awards ceremony since the ‘80s; you might say I grew out of it.  I do miss the yearly MTV & Grammy invites though, it let me know I was remembered.  So should I go to Omaha to see people who won’t remember me for an award that had little to nothing to do with me?

It seems to be important to Bob that I be there.  Despite the fact I have to get limb pullers to get him to help me with anything, he is one of my oldest and best of friends.  In this business when you disappear for a while, you’re usually forgotten and have to start over, it can be depressing.  I should show some support.

If I do that then I’ll also head to Arkansas to pick up a camper/trailer for the bike. It’s relatively big & awkward looking, but at least the bike won’t look like the Grinch’s sled anymore.  I’m also still booked for 2 shows in the South… I should be able to pull that off.  Maybe cut myself off from the world & spend a couple weeks in the gulf.

Come October it’s time for my med follow-ups and get that surgery done on my hand.  Needless to say I won’t have much to talk about, but hopefully I can focus on studio work and get these 2 unfinished CD’s out the door.  Mostly it feels like no one wants to work with me; if I have to beg its not worth it.  Actually, if I have to ask its really not worth it either.

If I focus I can play all the instruments.  It won’t be great but it’ll be done … and getting these done – good or bad – will make me feel better.  On the other hand if I got out of here, problem solved.  People all over the world contact me about helping them or them helping me.  Only one person in Arizona has.  Ever.

I blew out my voice during a show a couple years ago; and for about 6-months I could not hold a note.  A few months later Ghetto from One Dollar Death showed up at my door with his equipment & said we were going to work on my next release.  I found out my voice came back (in some ways better) but my confidence still hasn’t, ‘cause I had told myself it was over.  Once something like that is in your head, its hard to get out – ya know?  I guess that’s why I go through so many ups & downs now, when something goes wrong it reminds me of all the times I had to quit when I didn’t want to. 

I know, I’m sure you’d rather hear: “Wow I rocked a sold-out stadium, trashed a hotel and off to the next town. I’m king of the world!”.  Tough.  If that’s the way I felt I sure as hell wouldn’t be writing anything now would I.  I don’t like talking about myself, but you can only do so much promotional crap before it starts looking pathetic.  So here I am, from me to you.  The good & the bad.

People know me by different names; and I’ve always liked that… it kept them out of my business.  But as I get older it gets harder to change character at the drop of a hat.  Fact is, I don’t want to anymore, but I don’t want to put it all together either.  There’s a lot of people out there who remember me by whatever; I shouldn’t have to explain it to the others right?

I have a lot to think about on this next trip, its what this whole summer was supposed to be about before it got ripped out from under me.  I agree it’s petty and insignificant in the scheme of things; but if you’re not right with yourself, you’re no good to anyone else.

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Took a leisurely day trip to Winslow, AZ on Monday.  Lynda wanted to try a road trip, so a run to the mountains turned into a 400 mile cruise.  More than she bargained for I’m sure, but it was a nice ride straight up Hwy 87.  When we got there a group of Swedish-speaking Harley riders with Illinois license plates were gathered in town.  It was my guess that they were following Route 66 from end to end.  Now that would be a ride to talk about!

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The way back was interesting.  On some maps there is a Hwy 99 that heads to Hwy 260 by Heber, AZ.  On those maps its portrayed as a finished road… well the first 30 miles or so it was.  A beautiful empty road through the middle of open range.  You felt so far into the middle of nowhere that I started thinking about the bike and what a lousy place it would be to get a flat 🙂  I think we saw 2 cars in the entire stretch.

But it didn’t last – a dirt road appeared without warning and ran all through the forest.  It wasn’t bad as dirt roads go, but the bumps were enough that I had to go so slow it took a couple hours to do that last 25 miles.  We left Phoenix in the 8 am hour and got back in the 9 pm hour – drop an hour for dinner in Payson where a couple, in their 70’s or 80’s, thought I was a celebrity.  I could see in there eyes they were going to think about that for days.  Anyway …

But it was along the Rim and I saw some great places to go camping, and the scenery was beautiful, so it was well worth the exploration.  I know I’ve been there before, but for some reason it all looked new to me.

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One thing it did accomplished was putting me back into “road mode”.  My hand is doing well enough that I can get back out and do some more of this tour; but my guitar is sitting in Arkansas waiting for me, but I can also pick up a trailer there once I put a hitch on the bike.  I also have some miscellaneous equipment that KarenLee is holding onto for me.

Ok, off the subject, I do have a question.  Why is it that a pickup truck and trailer of anything makes people feel invincible?  I saw 2 or 3 near accidents happen just because somebody wanted to be first in line.  Doing 80mph on 45mph curves is not always the smartest thing, particularly with a top-heavy vehicle pulling a trailer, ya know?  I found myself hoping they would tip over (but glad they didn’t, it would have been a mess for the rest of us).

Like I tell ya, the road never ends.

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This fix on my hand seems to be doing the trick, and not a moment too soon – here come the monsoons.

What they did was to pull my thumb out of socket & stuck a needle in with a shot of something or other which is suppose to last up to 6-months.  It won’t, but it should buy me at least 2 or 3.  Talk about painful!  But I’m rough, I’m tough 🙂

The surgery they have to do is a 4-month recovery, not 4-weeks like I thought; so I figure I can hole up for the winter & I’ll be ready for next season – and better organized.  Meanwhile, I’ll be in & out of Arizona for the next couple of months with my standby touring that has kept me in the loop the past couple of years… but I’ll also take a good look at taking advantage of some of the acting & other opportunities I’ve been passing on.  The only outfit I can think of that’s capable of taking care of me properly is William-Morris Agency, but its been a lot of years since I’ve been in touch with them.  Anyone have any other ideas?

Hey, make me an offer I can’t refuse!  I’m game for something new, I’ll even lift my 20+ year boycott on Arizona for a few days if I have to.  Minus a couple articles I’ve just come across, the new press kit is finished and I’m feeling good about it for a change.  I do need to get back to Arkansas before I settle in for the winter and there’s plenty of places in that neighborhood wanting me to show up, so the year won’t be a complete bust.  I also need to line up some charity work to keep me occupied.

Which shifts me into biker mode.  I’ve already put on 9000 miles which is 5-times more than anyone else I know will put on in the entire year.  I should have another 5000 down easy before I’m done.  No where near what the year could have brought, but oh well.  Someone ought to tell Jay Leno that I’ll give him lessons – for a price.  The bike is running beautifully and that cheap-ass (Dunlop) front tire I had to buy has shocked the hell out of my service guys – it should be ready to be replaced but it barely looks touched.  Shows how much weight I’ve been carrying on the back.  But they have a special category for me called “things we’ve never seen before”.  In my opinion those bike makers that passed on sponsorship really screwed up.

For those of you who haven’t kept track of me the past few years I’ll bring you up to speed;  I don’t have tattoos (don’t understand the appeal), I dress the same every day as I do on stage (you can imagine the looks I get), I haven’t had anything to do with bike “clubs” since I was a teenager (seems like a hassle), and I don’t have any tolerance or respect for anyone who sticks their nose in the air… they will never see what I have.

Sounding full of myself? :)  Yeah, well, I’m tired of the bullshit; I don’t need it and finally letting it go was what I needed to do to move on.  On the other hand, I’m a blonde musician on drugs.  Hell, my IQ dropped 20 points just typing that.  Settle down, they’re prescriptions, I have a messed-up back, remember? 

The support you folks have shown me the past few weeks have given me a boost like never before.  You’ve been patiently following the ups & downs of an old fart on a mission and have read things I’ve been embarrassed to tell… as you’ve seen from the deletions.

You haven’t let me down and I won’t let you down … I know that Everything is possible.

Onward!