Someone once said, "Touring can make you crazy."
This week Zappa Plays Zappa begins another month of touring. In the past 10 years we've experienced all kinds of things on the road, the good the bad and the ugly - (most very good things.) Some of the not so good memories we've experienced are things like being held hostage by an incompetent lunatic bus driver who took us on narrow 2 lane mountain road detour ( turning a 5 hour drive into 13 hour drive and arriving at the venue an hour after showtime was to begin) - (fortunately our amazing crew got us up and running very quickly and we were still able to play that show!) Other not so good experiences have been trailers of gear unhitching from the bus on the highway because of poor welding on the tongue, a trailer catching on fire on the highway from friction due to poor maintenance by the bus company. Occurrences of buses breaking down and making us late to venues, gear not working to the point where we had to cancel the show and of course the very unpleasant experiences of having my main SG's headstock snap off in Santiago Chile due to an accidental fall at soundcheck. Or the worst, significant amounts of cash stolen from my dressing room and of course my white custom Fender Stratocaster being stolen last summer. There always seems to be a new kind of gremlin waiting to greet us out on the road. Recently we arrived at a venue and the owner had the place completely locked up. No-one ever showed up to let us in. That show canceled.
This fun ride down memory lane is all setting the stage for what we experienced today. This morning we woke up to a brand new touring mishap that until now had eluded us. Some of our equipment didn't show up to the gig. It had been shipped via cargo and there was a mishap with a plane causing a delay. Even though it had several days to make it to us for the start of the tour in Florida it still didn't arrive on time for the gig. It wasn't really that important... it was just my guitars, Kurt's bass and Scheila's horns and flute.
Wait... what??? Oh yeah, those are pretty important.
We found local solutions for Kurt and Scheila but I still didn't have a viable option. As the old adage states, "The show must go on!" So I raced off to buy a guitar. I found a Derek Trucks signature SG at Guitar Center. It was the closest thing to any of my guitars that they had in the store. It was surprisingly comfortable to transition to, even when playing the hard stuff on "Inca Roads." So I have written all of this to say thank you to Derek Trucks for his part in saving our show tonight! While I'm at it, thanks for your great slide playing too!
As I said before, touring is mostly filled with great experiences, especially of the musical ilk. Thanks again to our crew for helping to problem solve and McGuyver all of the square pegs into round holes in order to make the shows happen! Extra special thanks to Pete Jones tonight, who hung in there during the show while face-timing his wife who was giving birth to their second son in New Orleans. Congratulations!