It’s Saturday October 9th. I’m stealing internet from the lobby of the Moonrise Hotel in St Louis, and I actually have a window of time to compose a road journal for the first time in a while. The powers that be have had us on a busy promotional frenzy — lots of airports, lots of stripped-down-acoustic-performances-of-do-you-love-me, and one Whole Foods Wine Tasting.
There are so many things that ought to have been documented in a road journal but weren’t. I will do my best to remember.
TOP 5 THINGS THAT I SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT IN THE ROAD JOURNAL OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS
1. Luke Shows Up For Work Covered in Poison Sumac
Or, as we like to call it, Toxicodendron vernix. Poor Luke, all he wanted to do was take a break from learning 55 Guster songs and go for a walk in the VT woods. Instead, he ends up showing up for rehearsals drenched in Poison Sumac, all the way down to his amaze-balls. Apparently there’s very little you can do to minimize the itch except wait. Twelve days. The rash is gone now and Luke absolutely tore it up on Captain last night. Movin’ on…
2. Ram Dass Plays the Glockenspiel
We were in Berkeley CA standing outside Alice Waters’ restaurant Chez Panisse in late September. Our record label was paying. Sitting on the grassy median on Shattuck Ave was a barefoot, bearded, Berkeley-looking guy on a blanket. He approaches us because he recognizes us as Guster. He says his name is Ram Dass Khalsa. Naturally, we ask him if he plays keyboards. He says yes. Next thing we know he’s on stage rocking the glockenspiel like a gangster.
That’s Ram Dass on the far right in the pic below.
We had a great hang with Ram Dass and his friends, and it turns out that he tours with the same New Age group that Luke recorded guitars for. I think that’s how it went. Either way, they were instantly spiritually bonded from that experience. As were we from ours. After the show we went over to some massive food court for Afghan food, and I blew the biggest bubble of my life from one gumball. Don’t worry, it’s forthcoming as a special vanity merchandise item with the word ROSENWORCEL on it:
3. Watch Your Back Lil Dwayne Here Comes Guster
Amazingly, our album came out on Tuesday and lived for a brief moment at #2 on the overall iTunes sales charts. Ryan caught a screen grab:
We’ve since fallen out of the top ten, but it was nice to be in there amongst the Lil Wayne’s, Toby Keith’s, and Mr A to Z’s of the world for a moment. Thanks for the thrill, legal digital downloaders .
4. The River 15th Anniversary Party in Boston
Chad Carlberg, who directed the video for “Do You Love Me,” blew in like a tornado and dressed up the stage for this show with art from our video. And captured his daughter, Maggie Blue, in a magic pre-show photo:
You can see more cute footage of Maggie at the end of Chad’s Treatment Proposal for the video, which is an awesome explanation of how the video went down (or, was supposed to go down).
And you can see a damn cute photo of my daughter Jolene in her Halloween bumblebee suit (a hand me down from Maggie Blue) here:
5. Security and Sportsmanship
Thursday night we played an event for WXRT in Chicago — it was at the Cubby Bear, right across from Wrigley Field, a place where we used to open up for Lynyrd Skynyrd cover bands when we first started touring (1995). The format for the show was a slightly awkward interview-twice-on-stage-mid-show thing, which is how they do it for some CBS show that the performance is taped for. I think.
Anyway, while dealing with some guitar issue, we launched into a spew song called “Security and Sportsmanship” that we pray sees the light of day, awkward as it might be for a high profile radio show to air a sloppy made-up-on-the-spot song for three minutes. Okay, seven minutes.
After the show, I watched Rodd Tuffcurls & The Bench Press slay the crowd for three sets of covers, including a few that Gus(ter) used to play back when we were, umm, covering Tiffany and Madonna.
If the Cubby Bear didn’t make their bands play for four hours a night, we could have gone over to Ian’s for mac & cheese pizza with those guys.
6. Midnight Visit to City Museum in St Louis
Oh wait, that’s tonight…