It’s hard not to bitch about the heat. I’m driving north to the Denver area from Las Vegas and I see the outside temperature says 112 degrees.
I planned this run in June to avoid blistering heat waves but they came early this year.
Arriving in Highland Ranch, CO and Roger greets me and we have a great catch up before we head to the show tonight. We’re playing Max Taps in (technically) Englewood but it’s near Centennial Airport.*
Max Taps has a nice outdoor spot, Mexican food truck and the occasional jet fighter fly by. There’s even a note on the Men’s room door that if you’re the one to play “Danger Zone” on the jukebox just previous to a flyby - you get a free beer.
Roger and I set it up and it sounds pretty good. He runs the extension cord over and around the chairs to the outlet outside the building. There’s one other thing sharing the same outlet plugged in here and it’s the food truck.**
It’s a small crowd but they’re listening and we start playing some songs and there’s a flyby by an F15 with a pilot named “Maverick”*** We pause and wait for it to pass. As we start playing again we lose power.
It’s just a tripped breaker, no big deal but we do have to find another place to plug in because this isn’t going to work - also the food truck lost power at the same time.
New plug found, power back on and Roger and I have a great time making a good racket, playing each other's songs and a bunch of covers. We mix it up and it’s a good time. As we’re packing up a large group of folks are starting to show up as there’s an “afterparty” here for the “For God and Country” show.****
Roger has to make a stop on the way home as he has a nail in one of his tires. This may be a thing we have to deal with tomorrow.
I’m awakened by Roger asking if I can follow him to the Subaru dealership to get his tire fixed. Sure, of course, no problem. I get to the dealership and I’m moving stuff in the car for him to sit down and I turn to put my boots in the backseat and I feel it pinch. I just fucked my back. Yep, putting boots in the backseat. As we start driving back I can feel my back tightening up. This is not good.
I rest up most of the rest of the day, ice my back for a bit and then icy hot and some over the counter pain stuffs. Doesn’t really help at all. Roger’s wife brought me some of the Alieve. I take some right before we go to do our show. I’m locked up during our whole set up. During the first set I’m pretty much ok for about 30 minutes and then it comes roaring back. I’m upright but I can’t really move much.
Bitching about a tweaked back is *almost* as exciting as bitching about how hot it is, which is to say - it ain’t exciting at all. It’s boring. You tweaked your back? Well, so has everyone at some point.
But the show at The Alley in Littleton goes well. As I’m standing there I see my friend Julie come in and she’s got a bag with her - she brought me her favorite bread***** for toasting (and also tells me how to toast it for maximum goodness) and she brought me some cookies for my drive. We have a great catch up and it’s truly great to see her. While I’m setting up my stuff she goes over to my merch suitcase and starts organizing the shirts for me and making it look pretty. Who does that? Julie does that and she’s wonderful.
Mary is running the bar and she keeps us hydrated and in chips and guac and the bar really enjoys what we’re doing. We kick around some more covers and originals and play until 11:30. It’s a good night. We finish rocking and break down. Roger is really taking care of me and carrying the heavy stuff so I don’t injure myself further and we hang out behind the venue talking about music and friends and future gigs that we’re going to book. We’re there so long that the staff has finished cleaning and they are going home now too - that’s our cue to leave.
Sunday morning I sleep late and barely move in bed. Maybe my back is better? Yeah, right. It ain’t. I go to urgent care because I really just want to know if it’s a disc thing or if it’s a muscle thing. If it’s a muscle thing, I’m not scared. I can stretch and work with it but if it’s a disc thing then I really don’t want to do anything to put me in traction. The doctor is great, she checks things and explains “if it was a disc thing then this would be really hurting you but because it only hurts when I do *this* it’s the muscles in your back.” She gives me some treatment options and I’m on my way.
The last thing I’m going to say about this, well last thing today. I have broken a rib. I’ve broken my leg. I have broken a finger. I’ve broken my nose, jaw and cheekbone. This hurts more than all those combined.
Tomorrow I will start driving down the mountains of the rockies towards the flatlands of Kansas and end up in Tennessee by Wednesday.
*cue foreshadowing of airplanes overhead like in That Thing You Do.
**cue foreshadowing power outage.
***this may or may not have been the pilot’s call sign, hard to tell at this distance.
****We were NOT part of the God and Country show or afterparty and I’m very ok with that.
*****Not only did she bring the bread but she also brought a large ziplock bag to put it in so it won’t get stale. That’s thinking ahead!