Where do I begin? How can I put so many incredible feelings into words? I guess the beginning is the place to start.
Many weeks ago, when I found out I was the Albany Guest Host, I was thrilled. I took my responsibilities seriously, keeping in close contact with Chatfield, the club, the clinic store, hanging posters, getting radio and newspaper publicity. By the time the day came though, it was in the gods hands.
Unfortunately or fortunately, the bus did not come to my house for a few reasons. Instead the got day rooms in town and I was to meet them at the clinic. I showed up at 2:25, expecting them to be there. Nope. I talked with some of the nice folks at Parkway music, and less than five minutes later the big Full Sail bus pulls up. Out jumps the driver and next is Beller and Marc Z. I introduce myself and the enthusiastically greet me. I shoot the shit with Marc for a minute as Beller runs into the store. He soon says to me, "Hey, you wanna see the bus?" Well, of course I did. I climb on to see the entourage sitting around the lounge area watching "Caddyshack." Marc says: "Hey everyone, this is Ryan Kimmet." Dozens of handshakes and hellos are spilled upon me, in between Caddyshack laughter.
Soon everyone is off the bus and I sit down outside. What happend next? Keneally himself comes over and sits next to me. I wasn't really nervous but I didn't know exactly what to say. So we talked about how the tour was going so far and its differences from the last one. It was a nice moment.
Before long, everyone has gotten set up for the clinic. I find a good place to stand and they play Cheddar after trying to work out some King's X tune. It officially begins at this point and one of my buddies shows up just in time. I don't remember the set list exactly, but I will say, "Backwards Deb" is my favorite of the new tunes. The clinic is like an hour long or something and my buddy happens to win the Full sail shirt. Cool.
I offer my assistance to Scott Chatfield who says they've got it under control but appreciate the offer. I agree to meet them at the club in a few hours. After giving the bus driver some better directions than he had, we parted ways.
I had just enough time to go home, unwind, eat dinner and hit the road again, this time for Valentines. This place is pretty cool, I had been twice before. There is a comfortable bar downstairs and a big room for music upstairs. I arrive at 7:15, over two hours before show time. I get to see the soundcheck and a mini-rehearsal, where Jason keeps trying to get the fast part of Quimby down. He has a lot of difficulty with it, but completely nails the fucker in the show.
A little after 8 or so, I go downstairs and get a beer. Soon band members come in. I offer Beller an Absolute Screwdriver and he graciously accepts. Many games of pool go on and I have a really great time talking to Marc. What an awesome guy! Around nine, my friends show up, and after another beer, we go upstairs to prepare for the 9:30 start time. Once I'm up there, I notice Scott Chatfield running around trying to solve a problem. He tells me that their Van got towed and asks me to drive someone to the towing place to reclaim their vehicle. I of course am glad to help out, even if it means missing part of the show. At this point, Scott, myself and a employee start figuring out how to get there and it is eventually decided that another club employee will take care of things, a relief to Chatfield and certainly to me.
Finally its time for the show to start and I am called to the stage. I had thought about what I was going to say and decided to keep it short, no one was there to see me. I ended saying something to the effect of "...the best band in the galaxy, Mike Keneally and Beer for Dolphins!" Whatever. It was fun.
The show. What can I say about the show other than Bryan told afterwards that he was glad I was at this one because it was probably their best show ever. Christ, they never once stopped kicking my ass. My highlights were "Looking for Nina," "Bullys (sic)/Missile Dick or Bullys (dick),"" Frozen Beef" and "The wreckage was large." It was simply fantastic. During one of Mike's audience walks, he stood right in front of me, facing me, as I stared dumbly back at him. I was just so in awe.
Afterwards, I talk to Marc, Bryan and Jason and tell them how sick they were. Let me just say here that these guys are so fucking nice. They treated me like a friend and I am forever grateful. OK, more story. We start packing up the bus and reclaimed van. It doesn't take too long, and it gives me a chance to be with the band without anyone else around. Mike and I finally get a chance to talk. He pulls me over to his table and tells ME "nice job." I return the compliment, plus a few more. We talk for a bit and eventually head outside. Once the bus is packed, Mike turns to me and thanks me for everything. He gives me a big hug and I thank him. He gets on. Everyone else takes a little longer to get ready, but soon I've said my goodbyes and gotton hugs from Beller and Marc. We promise to keep in touch, and I get in my car to head home. The whole ride home I'm buzzing from the experience.
All in all it was a really wonderful day. These guys made me feel special and played amazingly well. I got to meet Scott Lurowist, a really nice guy, and some others from Cyber-Keneally-land. As far as Guest Hosting, despite what Ron says, I'd do it again in an instant.
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