Archive for May, 2002

Ken, you forgot that near 180 we did in the van on that ice. With me driving. I think we looked for a hotel to hide out in after that, and if they weren’t all full we wouldn’t have tried for Chappel Hill, but we did and just in time for load-in. We were wound up all right – that was crazy. Seems like just a month or so later we barely made a Chicago Schuba’s show same way. Bands: In all seriousness, be wary scheduling shows through the snowy parts, it can get pretty hairy out there. But those were some fun days.

Yup, 97’s are still breathing. More later, I reckon, from Ken and I, and maybe we can get Philip to pipe up. Country rock on.

Murry

Awesome it worked

May 29, 2002

Awesome!! It worked. One word of caution before you get your panties in an uproar: I dont’ usually spell check or even reread what I write. So please excuse the occasional misspelling or misusage of a word. This is the web age. Up with information and down with rules!!!!!

Hmmm…. Here goes nothing. I’m trying this thinga-mah-jiggy the frank has rigged up for us to speak through. HELLO!!!! Can anyone hear me?????

This is Ken the guitar player. I used to type all the time on our old website. If this works then maybe I’ll start typing again on this one. So what’s REALLY happening with the band these days? Does anyone wonder? Or care? Let me give you some rundowns:

For starters we have no gigs booked. We would like to play some shows at least in Dallas and Austin in late July but who knows. It’s hard to set things up with Rhett’s solo cd coming out the following month. If we don’t get to play in July then I’m guessing maybe October. All depends at that point where, if and how Rhett is touring. BTW, people have asked me and there is nothing in any sort of Elektra contract that prohibits us from playing together. Just recording. And even that is somewhat temorary.

Some of you may know that Philip and I have been working on a little side project in Dallas called The Scrap Hotel. I sing. Which was scary at first but I’ve already gotten used to it. The music isn’t much like the 97’s but it’s fun. It’s folkier and quirkier and features Jim who plays sax, trumpet, trombone and accordian. We don’t have anything else booked right now because I bought a new house and will be moving during June. The new house is in Dallas btw.

I think we may take a Saturday in June and record some of The Scrap Hotel songs. I’m not sure what we’ll do with them. Probably demo them around and maybe find someone to release them. We’ll see.

Philip just had a new baby. A boy named Aden. His little girl Ava is nearly two. Audie, my boy just turned two. Dad types we are.Lately I’ve been thinking about how much life has changed since we first crawled in our old ’81 Dodge van in 1994. We were so poor. One crazy tour in 1995 started like this:

(Money in the band fund, $350)

Day one-Oxford, MS – Freezing outside. Ice everywhere. 15 people in club, one of which who was coke (as in caine) salesman. He hung around us all night… annoying hell outta us. Later we bummed the floor of someones house. On the way to their house we saw the coke salesman pulled over by a cop. I wonder whatever happened to him?

Day two-Memphis, TN – We got the the club, Barristers I think it was called. It was downtown Memphis. Still freezing. Not a sole in the club. I mean, no bartender, manager or patron. Was kind of spooky. The front door was ajar and there was money in the cash register. Not a lot but like 40 bucks. They entire club was trashed. A complete mess. We were nervous. I figured someone had come in the previous night and killed the manager. So we poked around looking for a dead body but nothing. An hour and half later the club owner showed up. Dishevled. Said, “Shows been cancelled guys. The roads are icing up and people in Memphis don’t go out in the ice. Plus, last night we had the Grifters in here and as you can see this place is a wreck. No one will be going out tonight, especially for a band that honestly, no one has ever heard of.” Beautiful. We hinted around for some “guarantee” money. Nada. What about beer? He hooked us up with a 12 pack. What a guy eh?*

Day 3-Just outside knoxville or nashville, I get them confused- Snow was hiney-hole deep.This means all of Tennesee was shut down. We scraped together enough cash to buy a hotel room. I remember there was a mexican food restaurant next to the hotel. We ate and it wasn’t half bad. Tonight was a scheduled night off. So far 3 days out, gross: $100

Day 4 – Our hotel room to Chapel Hill – We had a big gig. Headlining a festival in Chapel Hill, NC at the Local 506 club. We HAD to make it. Problem: snow snow everywhere… consulting the map, we figured crossing the smokies outside Asheville would never work so we drove up through Virgiania, then back down to Chapel Hill. We guessed right as the the roads in VA were clear. Apparently the snow plow is still a thing in the future for TN. But our drive that day was 12 hours when it should have been six. We got to Chapel Hill around 10:pm. Our set must have been at midnight. NOTE: This was the first night we met Ryan Adams. He was playing in a different band, not Whiskeytown. Payout-$200 There is, btw, a video of this show floating around. Pretty crazy to. We played every song 99 miles an hour. I guess we had been cooped up too long.

Day 5 – Raleigh, NC – Not bad, not good. Played with Ryan again. Stayed at a friend of mine named Dylan’s house. Made the “Hello from cyberspace” .AVI movie that some of you may has seen. It used to be posted on our website. Maybe it still is. Started to warm up. Pay $125

Day 6 – Off

Day 7 – Wilminton, NC or SC i never can remember this either – Played with an annoying and crappy fake rockabilly band that was really just some cheap Rev Horton Heat. 5, maybe 6 people in the club. I through a fit. Pouted. Called a band meeting and said, “Guys, this is it. We’ve been out a week and this has SUCKED. We need to call that lawyer guy and tell him to get us a major label deal. Being poor sucks.”

And that’s what we did. Six months later we were on Elektra. Pretty funny huh?

Anyway, I guess that’s a good enough story for now. If this works out I’ll post some more. This was pretty easy if it works.

cya,

ken

PS… hang in there as far as we’re concerned. We’ll get back to playing someday. We just have other stuff going on right now.

*A couple of years after this we were foolish enough to book the same bar again. By then it had moved to a bit farther out from downtonwn Memphis. We got their and it was locked. Closed. We got in touch somehow with the owner’s (the same guy) girlfriend and she said he was out of town and the club was closed for the night. Can you believe this? Fool me once shame on you…

At this point, a real rock band would have burned the place and poo on the ashes. But all we did was put our stickers all over the the door and windows and break off some matchsticks in his doorlock. Wussies.

Jeff Neely who, along with his cohorts at Austin’s Bam! Advertising, is responsible for the design of this here website, muses on Wrecked that he’s taken up listening to Pavement, adding:

“Next up: the Replacements.”

“I am trying to better myself. Something has to fill the void until the next 97’s CD in 2004 (a CD whose 1st single, the full-on rockin version of ‘Won’t Be Home No More,’ becomes the feel-good hit of the summer and catapults the band into the upper deck of popularity, helping them garner the Grammy for ‘Best New Artist.’ You read it here first.)”

Sounds good to me too.

Two things, for the many who’ve asked: Rhett’s first solo CD was 1989’s Mythologies. Produced by one Murry Hammond, it’s reported that only 1000 copies were pressed, each hand numbered and signed by Rhett himself. And legend has it that a few dozen still sit, unopened, on a dusty shelf in the corner of Rhett’s mother’s garage. The album itself, though perhaps a bit marred by Rhett’s occasional signing in an English accent, was still an amazing first effort from a then 18 year-old, longhaired Brit-pop folkie. Get it if you can, but be prepared for sticker-shock if you come across it on Ebay. (Check out a review here.)

Mythologies (1989)Second: Largo. Unfortunately Largo doesn’t have a webpage, nor do they sell tickets in advance. However, you can reserve a table for a (reasonably priced) pre-show dinner, and be guaranteed very up close and personal seating Click here for the citysearch.com listing for Largo and more details.

L

May 21, 2002

The L.A. Times reports that Rhett Miller’s sophomore solo CD will be titled The Instigator, and is set for an August 27 release date. In addition Rhett will be making an appearance on John Doe’s first acoustic solo album, due August 20, along with Aimee Mann, Jacob Dylan, and others.

Finally, word is Rhett got his wedding on yesterday. Thanks to the Hitchhiking list for all the skinny and all the best to the newlyweds!

You know they’ve been busy the past few days, but Philip and Caryn Peeples just checked in with this: Their new baby boy, Aidan Merritt Peeples was born on May 6, and Philip says that the whole Peeples clan: Caryn, Aidan, and his big sister, Ava Belle, are “all doing great.” Also this month, Rhett and his bride, Erica did “I do” and “I do too” on an island beach before taking off on a good, long honeymoon.

So what do we have here this year? Thus far, this: two new marriages; one new band; one album in the works; one bouncing baby boy; and maybe best of all, lots of time spent with family, friends, and loved ones. Those who thought 2002 wouldn’t be a good year for the Old 97’s were right. It’s not a good year, it’s a great one. Mazeltov’s all around, and congrats to the Peeples, Miller, Morwood, and Iahn families.

And how could I miss this? Well, easily actually, since I’ll be out flying that night, but the rest of you North Texans are losing out if you miss the headlining gig from Ken and Philip and the gang in the Scrap Hotel at “The Best Live Music Venue in Dallas,” the Gypsy Tea Room, this Friday, May 17.

Yeah, I know, my favorite in Dallas is Sons of Hermann Hall too. Still, Friday’s show promises to be a great gig in a good venue, which beats a good gig in a great venue, any day.