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.
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.