For ten long days the “news” page and several others here at Hit By A Train have been down. In addition, all e-mail addresses (and that means the “Satellite Rides Sweepstakes“) have been kaput too. And while the immediate crisis has passed, the cause of the original problem hasn’t yet been fully determined, so please let me know if you encounter other problems with the site.

Since the last news update, “Designs On You” is making one nice splash, thanks to you guys! Elektra began it’s push to radio this week, and already “Designs” is the number 1 most added single on “AAA” Radio and the #6 most added on “Hot AC” Radio. I’ll do some checking, but this may well be the best ever debut for any Old 97’s single!

But on the downside, the Old 97’s last week suffered their first cancelled show in eight years. It was the Saturday June 16 show at Hooligan’s in Long Branch, New Jersey, and occurred after singer Rhett Miller reamed his voice into a whisper with several brutal weeks of touring and a blistering 6/15 show at Manhattan’s Irving Plaza. Read on, as guitarist Ken Bethea dropped a line on the night of the cancelled show, as the band sat bored in their hotel:

We cancelled our show tonight in New Jersey.

For the people who came, we are soooooo sorry. We’ve never done this. We want to apologize.

Rhett’s voice, for the first time in 8 years, was gone. Shot. He couldn’t talk. Only whispers this morning and coughing up gross stuff.

We talked about playing like, 6 Murry songs and some instrumentals but it would have probably just made Rhett want to sing and hurt it more. I know a couple of jokes. Murry and I can juggle a bit. We could maybe have gotten Noah to jump onstage and do the splits.

Worst news is yet to come…

Springsteen was coming to the show. He was on the way when the club owner called him and said we had cancelled.


So Murry and I are sitting here in Philly on a Saturday night with nothing to do. We’re watching Justice Files.

At least tomorrow I’m going to Gettysburg to look at battlefield and he’s going to DC to look up train stuff…

We’ll be back home in July. Hope to see ya then.



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