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Mike Keneally's Guest Host Hall Of Fame

Michael Umanoff

The Saint
Asbury Park, NJ
October 21, 1998

Hello Keneallafreaks,

First off I would like to thank all of the freaks who showed up at the Knitting Factory for the ill-fated Wayne Kramer show. I had great time with all of you, it's too bad we didn't get to see Brother Wayne, his music is bad!! I mean that in the 60's radical term, bad! Get well Wayne. So onto my Guest Host experience. When I found out they were having the Guest Host thang again I was really psyched, cause I was going to be one this time, no fucking around.

I e-mail Scott telling him I am the man for the only man for the job and my persuasion must have worked cause I got Scott's e-mail soon after telling me that I am the Guest Host for The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ. I immediately flipped out, me onstage with Mike the great? I tell you I almost shat my pants. I started calling and e-mailing everyone I knew and they all thought I was more nuts than I already am. You see I live, breathe, eat, drink, shit and vomit music. Sounds yummy, huh? Everything else, except for my fiancee Lauren, is meaningless next to music.

So I start making flyers and distribute them to all the record stores and guitar shops I infest. I e-mail everyone I can and start looking for lodging for the band. Turns out my job would be pretty easy as you will see. So I get my shit together and wait for the big day October 21 to arrive. Finally it does, I receive word from Scott that lodging would not be needed since they were driving up from South Carolina after their show and it is a long-ass drive. Since they were also going to Rhode Island after our show, my job got easier. So I head down to Asbury Park to hang with the boys doing the E-Street shuffle, Oh sorry I forgot Asbury is not the same Bruce Springsteen childhood fantasyland anymore, it's a shithole! Welcome to Joisey, folks. So I hang out there waiting for the band to arrive. After a long wait around seven-ish I see this huge ocean liner coming down Main St. I am half asleep in my truck listening to "White Music" by XTC along with other insanity when I see Scott get off The Boat. I greet him and wait for them to find a place to dock. They dock and all the street folk are mesmerized my the bus, as am I. I see Mike get off and introduce myself and we briefly talk. I see the rest of the band and entourage and they start to unload quickly cause they were running late. Unfortunately I didn't get to chat with everyone cause they had lots of shit to do. But I don't care, I am just happy to be there. I have never been the kind of fan who hordes and consumes the members of the band, especially when they are running late. So I give them their space.

I help them unload the gear and proceed to the bar for drinks. I start out with Captain Morgans and cranberry w/ a splash of pineapple and don't stop until..... well I don't remember. Finally my fiancee Lauren and friend Marc show up. Thank god too cause my nerves were getting the best of me. I seek out Mike when things start to calm down and chat some more, by the way he is the coolest human being and musician I have ever met. So I am hanging and drinkin' a lot when Bryan comes up to me and we chat for a while about Joisey and stuff. Then I see Andre from Project/Object one of the opening bands. We chat for a while about all sorts of wacked out music and shit.

About this time the first band, IZ, with Carl Restivo on vocals (what a nut by the way) goes on, and let me say they were real good. Normally I hate opening bands especially young bands from Jersey, but Carl and Co. did a great job. They even did a song about urination, this of course gets me laughing hard and gains my respect for the band, cause I love all forms of urination especially songs about it. Hats off to IZ. Then P/O goes on and does a killer set of FZ material as usual. Mike joins them for a couple of songs and I almost cry with joy, cause no one does FZ better than Mike especially with P/O. They finish, I drink a lot more and my nerves are in full swing now. So I duck outside for a big bowl of herb to calm myself down (not the best town to be white with a pipe in yer hand, if ya get my drift). NOT A RACIAL STATEMENT BY THE WAY! So I come back in and track down Mike again to find out what I can say onstage. He gives me carte-blanche, which I thank him for.

I find Lauren and she reassures me I will do fine and not to worry. So the crowd is ready and there is a decent amount of them too. So I refill my drink, hear Mike call me to the stage. I shuffle on up and announce that I am Hans Moleman ( I am a huge Simpsons freak) and the guest host for the show. I thank IZ and P/O, then do my best at capitalism and try to persuade the crowd to buy hordes of MK/BFD stuff. Then I announce the band and walk off to the cheers of the crowd. My friends are psyched I did well as am I. I grab another drink (think I may have a problem?) and lose myself in the music as usual.

They play everything I want to hear and are awesome, just like the last time they were here. I know Mike didn't like the last show at The Saint but I loved it and you never lost me, Mike. Two songs played stand out tonight. One is Strange Impulse, which I never saw live. I love this song a lot, very passionate and beautiful and they do a good job at it. Chatfield Manor was the other, and I think it was the first time they attempted it live (if I am wrong, sorry, blame the Captain) and they did that great too. All in all it was a great show, good length and very tight. Mike is so fucking good on the gee-tar I have trouble putting it to words. Same with his keyboard playing and vocals. The rest of the band rocked hard and is so in sync with each other it is frightening. During the encore Mike comes out into the crowd and plays for everyone. He sees me and comes over to where I was and shows me his magic up close. I almost fall over with joy. So this show is done, as am I. Boy was I wrecked! I find Mike again and thank him numerous times and give him my thoughts on the show, then he proceeds to give me a big hug! Man is he the coolest or what? I thank everyone else, especially Scott, for letting me have the time of my life onstage with Mike, Bryan, Marc, and Jason. My only regret was not getting a chance to talk with Thomas Nordegg 'cause I wanted to pick his brain and talk shop but he looked real busy from the minute they arrived till they left, and being a tech myself I know what it's like, so I leave him be. Well hopefully next time, Thomas. Well that's it folks, sorry I got long-winded and sounded like a Life Of Bryan episode, but I needed to tell my story. Thanks again to everyone and hopefully next time we can hang out at my house. Can't wait to do it all again. Mike, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!


Michael Umanoff, the letter Z and the number 3!!!

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Mike Keneally's Guest Host Hall Of Fame

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