07.07.07 – Summerfest

I just spent the last twenty minutes zooming in on the scab on my arm with iPhoto. I was hoping to crop it so it looked like something else entirely, and I stopped when I thought it looked like a bird’s eye view of a picturesque rocky red beach in a canyon. Next to a couple of arm hairs.

Here’s a look at the photo in its original splendor. This is from a little bike spill I took during our June break:

(note to self. and to worldwide web. gross-but-sympathy-inducing injury photos might help distract my few remaining readers from the fact that i left the road diary here to die over the last two months while we were touring sparingly. my apologies. i am back with a vengeance. i am back with a scab that looks like beef jerky.)

I’ve reached the stage where these scabs are itching to come off — they fall off when I take a shower, or roll over in my bunk at night, or when I scratch one until I can get a fingernail under the edge of it to peel it off. I lost a few on stage last night in Interlochen Michigan and I’m sure I’ll lose the rest tonight at Summerfest in Milwaukee on the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Sponsored by Miller High Life Stage.

Dave Schneider of the Zambonis / LeeVees is in Milwaukee, helping to lend perspective to the phenomenon that is Summerfest. When we greeted him early this afternoon he said “I’ve already heard two different bands play I’m a Believer!” — this was before 2pm. Then Dave got to shit-stirring. During a set by latin band “Cerfus Project,” Adam was on the side of the stage packing up his guitar and trumpet. Just to review, Adam played trumpet in junior high school and we made him learn and memorize some licks for Ruby Falls and Brazil so now he plays trumpet again.

Dave caught the lead singer’s attention while Adam was oiling his trumpet and made a gesture where he pointed to Adam, charaded like he was playing a trumpet, and then nodded his head up and down. If it’s not clear, he was asking the guy in the salsa band if Adam could jump in. The singer sized up the situation, and then nodded his head approvingly. Dave tapped Adam on the shoulder and said “they want you out there with your trumpet.” Adam looked up and the guy, mid-song, beckoned him out.

As I understand it, Adam said “shit” and tried to shrug his way out of it. That just made the singer apply more pressure. The crowd noticed something was up. There was no turning back. Dave took control and suggested he find a note in the key of the song before he went out. Adam found one that worked. Dave suggested he find one more note. Adam found one more note. “Just play those two,” said Dave.

So Adam walked on stage and some Guster fans up front, who would later unsuspectingly be showered with scabs, went crazy. The crowd waited for Adam to rip it up latin-style on his horn. Adam played his two notes — back and forth, back and forth — and then the *actual* trumpet player in the Cerfus Project went up to another mic and played a blistering jazzy solo, only to stop and look in Adam’s direction a few measures later. He was trading licks with Adam! Adam played his two notes again — the first one, followed by the second one, then back to the first one again — and the song came to a merciful end soon thereafter.

The singer in the Cerfus Project at least told the crowd afterwards “I think that guys name was Adam — and I don’t think he really plays trumpet.”

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