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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

HOME SWEET HOME..


  •  

  • ….WITH LOTS TO DO!
Sept 13/15
In the coming days after the tour, we began to focus on other things. For me, it was
mainly to get what work done on Charlane that I thought we needed to prioritize. That
meant getting a fence built around our duck pond (to keep out the deer and hogs after
we plant it); site prepping some of the Bullard Tract so we could get some of it planted
this coming season; mowing our woods roads; taking down any dead trees that we
wanted to saw up; working with Emmitt Shurling on various projects on our buildings;
planning for staining our horse pasture fences; spraying herbicide in several areas at
Charlane and several other projects. It also meant getting our schedule together for the
coming months. I managed to book some good work. Karl Denson had invited me to do
two gigs with him...one at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY on Sept 11 and the
next day at the Lockin’ Festival. Both of these would be for Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
(with special guest Chuck Leavell). Widespread Panic was also to play Lockin’ and
eventually asked me to join in on their set with Jimmy Cliff as a special guest the same
night of Karl’s gig.
I also booked several speeches...the first would be on Sept 21 for the US Industrial
Pellet Assn. in Miami. After that, on Sept 24 I would keynote for the Colorado Open
Lands Trust in Denver. Then Oct 6 in Lake Tahoe for SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiate).
I also booked a conference called Fortune Brainstorm E (for “energy) in Austin, Tx. I will
play a short 30 min set with he band (Randall Bramblett Band) and then Joel Babbit and
I will be interviewed on stage by Brian Dumaine, the main moderator of the conference.
That would focus on our work with the Mother Nature Network. Oct 1 would be a 45
minute solo gig at the Idle Hour Country Club. Buck Williams also booked me a show
with Randall and band at Chastain Park in Atlanta on Oct 16. All these speeches and
music appearances would be nice lucrative income for me, helping us to get through
until our quail season starts in late October. Also....since Ashley is pregnant, Rose Lane
and I decided we would fly up to see her and Peter for a few days in Manchester right
after the Chastain show. So there would be plenty to keep us busy.
Relaxing In Rosie World
Rose Lane has been diligently working to book our quail hunts for our various
clients....the Stones had asked us to keep late Jan-end of March on hold as a possible
South American tour...so we would prioritize our most important clients to come before
late Jan. Finally, around Sept 8 or so, we got word that the tour is on. So now at least
we know the parameters and can work with more accuracy on dates. We will be leaving
around Jan 18 or so....which is just after Ashley’s due date...so I’m just hoping that she
will have that baby when I’m here!
The shows with Karl Denson went really well. The Capitol was not sold out...maybe
about 60%, but it was a fun gig. My partner in IROCKU, Howard Citron, brought a group
to the show there, and it was good to see him. The Lockin’ Festival with Karl also went
well, although there were some sound problems with the monitor system. I hung around
to play with Widespread Panic with Jimmy Cliff as a special guest. We did 6 songs with him.
     
The Harder They Come D
Many Rivers to Cross F
You Can Get It If You Really Want D
Sitting in Limbo D
Guns of Brixton (Gm)
I Can See Clearly Now D

I also did ”Stone Me“ with Widespread before before Jimmy came on. There was quite a
crowd attending...maybe 20K or so. Other artists on the bill included Derek Trucks and
Susan Tedeschi; Robert Plant; The Jayhawks; Gov’t Mule and others.
Lena Rosaline Denson White with Rose Lane

With all this on the books, another ongoing focus had been on Rose Lane and Alton's
mother. Her health, both mental and physical, had been in decline for a good year or so.
By this time, she was really in bad shape. So much so that we had Hospice
involved...they helped to get her a nurse that would check on her most every day in her
home...she was basically confined to a hospital bed that they had provided. Hospice also
assigned a Doctor to her....although it was the nurse and the sitters that were with her
every day. Rose Lane and Alton both spent as much time as they could with her, but she
had become unresponsive by early to mid September...and she passed away the morning
of Sept. 17 at age 92. She fought the good fight, but it had just become too much and she
finally let go. Along with the grief of losing her, there was relief in knowing her journey
had come to an end. The service for her was well attended and we laid her to rest in the
cemetery of New Richland Baptist Church where we laid her husband, Al, so many
decades ago...in '72, I believe. In the following days, weeks and months there would be
much for Rosie and Alton to deal with...the Estate, deciding where some of the furniture
and other belongings would go, Probating the Will....all of that. Rose Lane inherited
around 400 or so acres in a couple of different tracts, which we will attend to probably
next year in terms of thinning some timber. Alton inherited her house and maybe double
the land...but all of that had been determined many years ago so they both knew the
situation. Alton and Rose Lane both handled the whole event with grace, love and
togetherness. Time passages...

The trip to Manchester was most enjoyable...a nice getaway, and the leaves were just
hitting peak colors. We had a nice stay with Ash and Peter...helped them put together a
new baby bed and some other furniture in the house. Their house is pretty much done,
with some things still to be finished...but the focus was definitely on the upcoming birth
(she is due Jan 15) and getting the baby room in order.
Upon our return, I set my mind mostly to Charlane hunts, a timber thinning that we had
going on on around 100 acres or so, and the site prepping of the Bullard Tract that we
would plant about 70 acres of Longleaf Pine on. All of that went really well....until I had
a most unfortunate accident. I was doing some final mowing of the tract when my John
Deere 4240 caught on fire. I was by myself and there was no fire extinguisher on the
tractor. Within about 3 minutes it began to flame up significantly and within 6 or 7
The Burning Tractor
  • minutes there was nothing to be done. Chris Gordy, who was supervising the actual
planting, was driving by and ran to try and help...as did Alton, who was also passing by. I
had called Hal Hamilton quickly, and he got there as soon as he could with one of my
four wheelers with a water tank on it...and Alton had a fire extinguisher. We managed to
save three of the tires, but that was about it. A total loss....and it was not insured. Oh
well...I loved that tractor...it was my real workhorse. 110 horsepower, and very tough. I
had just bought a new starter for it to the tune of $350 or so...and only a couple of months
prior had bought a new rear tire for it. So now I have to see what can be salvaged from it
and just move on. I don't know if I'll have the time and money to buy another similar
tractor before our upcoming South American tour...probably not. But I'll deal with it as
best I can.
Our hunts have gone really well so far...fun repeat clients for the most part, but one or
two new ones...with everyone enjoying their experience, and I expect most of them will
continue to patronize us in the coming years. Our staff have it down quite well now and
things have run very smoothly. We've also managed to get some hunts on the books while
we will be gone....which is good as it will keep our staff busy and create some income.
I got a call from my friend Warren Haynes in late Nov to invite me to be a special guest
with his band Gov't Mule in NY at the Beacon Theater on New Years Eve...and I
accepted. Not long after, Buck Williams called to say that a couple of days before that,
Widespread Panic would invite me to guest with them at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. So
that worked out nicely and I booked both gigs. I was given a somewhat surprising and
heartwarming reception at the Fox by the Widespread fans...and they also gave me a very
strong reaction after every tune...especially ”Dead Flowers“ and ”Jessica“. Very cool.
The Mule gig also went well....but not without some shaky moments. For one thing, some
of the tempos were, in my opinion, way too fast, making it difficult to settle into a
groove. The ”theme“ of the evening was Watkins Glen...so Warren did 3 sets...one of
Grateful Dead tunes, one of songs from The Band (neither of which I played on) and then
the closing set of Allman Brothers songs. We didn’t start until midnight...making for a
very late night. But at the end of the day, it went fine and the fans seemed to enjoy it. The
players were all the Mule band, Jack Pearson added on guitar, Paul Riddle and Sean
Pelton (from SNL band) on drums.
While in NY, I took a minute to call Bernard Fowler to ask him who would replace Lisa
Fischer on our upcoming South American tour with the Stones. He told me a girl named
Sasha Allan. I googled her up, and she seems to be very talented, and she is quite
attractive...so I’m sure she will do fine.
On Thanksgiving, we had all the family with us for a couple of days. Amy asked us to
keep the boys for two days before she and Steve would get there, which was a real treat.
Ashley and Peter had gone to stay a couple of days in our Savannah house before driving
over to spend Thanksgiving with us. So in the end we had all the family together, at least
for a short time. Peter and I managed to get a little half day hunt in, which was good
fun....and we all had a wonderful time.
For Christmas, since Rosaline had passed away and the Bransfords would be spending it
at their place...and with Ashley too pregnant to travel, we decided to spend it with just
Rosie and me in Savannah. A nice little 5 days of just us. We had a party on the 23rd with
some friends we have made there and some new folks that we had not met. That went
great. The only sort of weird thing was the weather...80 degrees most every day....and that
has been the case all winter. So far we are on track to have the warmest winter on record.
But no mind...it was kinda nice in a way.
So today is New Year’s Day. Having finished the Mule set at 2:30am, Rosie and I had a
couple of drinks at the bar of the Americatania Hotel where we were staying...and got to
our room just after 3am. The car to take us to the Newark airport arrived at 10:30 and we
departed about 15 minutes after that. Flight was on time, and as I write this we are 30K
feet up in the air with an hour and a half to go before we land. Then it will be the drive
home and we should get there around 6pm. We have a couple of days before the hunts
crank up again...and from there we have hunts every day until we leave to go up to
Manchester to hopefully be with Ashley and Peter when the baby comes. We leave Jan
13. With all of the stress I’m feeling at the moment...burned up tractor, being dissed by
the Stones and always worrying about money...the thought of a new grandchild gives me
something to look forward to. I keep telling myself to rise above it all and to keep things
in perspective....and to keep the faith that things will go as they should....and for the
better.
Indeed the hunts we had on the books went really well. Roger Austin’s group...Pilgram’s
Pride, had a great hunt with us as did Don Whyte’s group before him. His friend, Bing
Kearney, was actually the host of the group for everyone. Bing owns a couple of big
outdoor stores called Shooter’s World down in Florida...as well as a construction
company that does road building and such. All really great guys and we enjoyed having
them.

Rose Lane and I left on Jan 13 for Manchester. It was so great to see Ashley and Peter. Ash was ”full of baby“ and ready to give birth...but she didn’t do so on the due date of the 15th. We spent time with them at their house, and went out with Ashley a time or two to do errands. It was cold, cold in Manch, and it snowed while we were there. Quite beautiful to look at, but makes driving a bit of a challenge. Still, we had no problem getting around. We had dinner at a Greek restaurant with the four of us one night...Ash and Peter were friends with the owners. At the end of the dinner, the woman owner predicted they would have a girl...as it turned out, she was right!
Despina Rose Tziros (Precious)
So on the morning of the day before I was to leave, the 16th, Ashley went into labor. We all expected the baby would come within a few hours, but as it turned out she had a 27 hour labor...and had the baby around 5:30am on the 17th. Peter called us several times during the process, and finally around 7 or 8am he called us to tell us it was indeed a girl...Despina Rose Tziros. We made our way to the hospital by mid morning. So great that she came while I was there....I had about 5 hours or so before I had to leave for the Boston airport to head to LA for rehearsals.
The little gal was just beautiful, and we were all elated. I held her as long as I could, finally having to go back to the house to pack and head out. Rose Lane would stay there for another week to help out, and I had a 3:30pm pickup from their house.





Monday, February 29, 2016

END OF THE ZIP CODE TOUR


MONTREAL AND QUEBEC CITY

JULY 13-16

Two days off before our last show. On the 13th, I went to the concierge to ask about finding a place that would sell “tubes”....for rolling up posters to fit them into my suitcase. We had obtained many posters of the shows during the tour....I usually got two of each poster, and sometimes there were two or three different ones per show. So we had accumulated quite a lot of them and needed to get them back home Fortunately, there was a Post Office just a few blocks away, and they indeed had just what I needed. So we took care of that and decided to roam around Montreal a bit. We walked down to the Old Town area, browsing into several stores, mostly just looking and wiling away the hours. We popped into a couple of the Native North American places, looking at the art and crafts they offered. Walked into a few clothing stores and such, but couldn’t really find anything we couldn’t do without, so made our way back to the hotel. That evening, we had a tour dinner that had been arranged by the band and AEG in the St. James. A chance to share time with everyone and celebrate the success of the tour. Great fun for us to all be together, mingle and discuss our experiences and share with each other what we would be doing in the coming months. Joyce Smyth got up and made a short speech of thanks and congratulations, as did Mick. So we were at that juncture again, when part of us hates to see it come to a halt, and part of us is ready to go home and do other things. We were all grateful to have this special night together and I think it helped us to appreciate what we had accomplished over the 2 1/2 months of the tour. Truly a wonderful way to wind things dow.

The next day....another day off...we had a funny experience. We decided to go to a different area to shop around, and the concierge pointed us to  the Eaton Centre area, St.e. Catherine St. So we went there and went into some department stores, and walked along the streets checking out the various shops. We had lunch in a local restaurant and then resumed our exploring. Soon we decided to cross the street to check out some places on the other side, and in our haste we would up crossing against the light, dodging some traffic. Well....as soon as we got to the other side, a Cop come up to us, quite agitated, saying that we had broken the law. Geez....ok, so he asks for some ID, which I give to him saying I was sorry, we were from the States and had didn’t mean any harm in our actions. He was not impressed, and told us to wait. After 6 or 7 minutes he came back, giving me a ticket for J walking. Ah, well. We moved on from that and shopped some more...I bought a couple of silk tee shirts in one of the department stores and Rosie picked up a couple of items, and we finally made our way back to the St. James.
That evening we had dinner at an Indian restaurant that we had spotted a couple of days before when we were walking in the Old Town. There were actually a couple of Indian restaurants we had seen, and asked the concierge which one he would recommend....the pointed us to The Taj Mahal. We knew it would likely be quite a while before we could enjoy a good curry....as Macon doesn’t have much to offer in that regard and so we enjoyed a nice spicy meal there and went back to the St. James to finish the day.


OK...last show of the tour. This would be a biggie....there were estimates that we might have 70-80 thousand folks expected at the Quebec City Festival at the Plains of Abraham. Going out with a bang. We would fly from Montreal to QC....otherwise we would have had a 3-4 hour drive, which would have been exhausting. So we made the short flight and had a police escort to the venue. It was fun, as it made quite a commotion through little Quebec City....lots of folks stopping to watch and wave to us....shouting out to us, giving us “thumbs up” and such. Good fun. At the site, we got to our dressing rooms, had a sound check, went to catering for some grub and then got ready for the show. Indeed, it was a great one to end on. I think there was a feeling on stage that this would be the last gig for quite some time, and we should all pump it up and enjoy it....which we did. Great audience....huge crowd of close to a hundred thousand....even more than was expected. So now we are done....again, that feeling of having had another fantastic tour, sad to see it end but anxious to more on to other things.
Mick and Keith both took flights after the show to NY, and the rest of us flew back to Montreal. Most of us went down to the bar of the St. James for one more final goodbye to each other. Rosie and I had a fairly reasonable flight on the 16th...leaving the hotel at 10:15 for a 12:45pm flight. Bags all ready and picked up by the bellman, we met the car that would take us to the Montreal airport.
Our flight was on time, and there were no hitches....thank heaven. We boarded up and Delta took us to Atlanta, where our man Hal Hamilton would pick us up and drive us home. Great to see Hal....and we had a nice chat about things on the two hour drive to Charlane Plantation.
FIELD OF SUNFLOWERS
We got there before dark, and Hal and Scotty had the place looking fantastic.
HOME SWEET HOME
Yard all mowed nicely, grounds groomed, our Border Collies Molly and Maggie and our Mutt Charlie greeted us enthusiastically. Scotty was there to meet us, and they helped us get our bags into the house. We talked to them for a little while, then they left us to enjoy the late afternoon and evening to ourselves. Part of me wanted to ride around some in the woods, but as we were both pretty tired, I left that to do tomorrow and in the coming days. So...home again with some great memories and experiences of the tour and some wonderful things to look forward to doing in front of us. We are truly blessed.
LIBERATED LADY....I CAN GO HOME NOW....

SHUFFLE OFF TO BUFFALO


BUFFALO, NY

JULY 9
 
ASHLEY ROSE AND PETER TZIROS
Time to move along...and we were definitely ready for a change of scenery. We were excited, as our daughter, Ashley and her husband, Peter would be coming to Buffalo the next day, on the 10th. We bussed to the plane and got up in the air at 4pm, landing at 5 and then were bussed to the Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo. There was a big food festival going on in the city during our stay...the “Taste of Buffalo”. The locals told us that it would be a big deal, attracting lots of folks from other cities into the downtown streets. Indeed, that was one of the reasons it was so difficult to get Ashley and Peter a room at the Hyatt. They had actually booked a Bed and Breakfast room some weeks ago as we were told no rooms were available at the Hyatt....but then about a week or so before, one opened up and we were able to book it for them.
But the food fest would not start until the weekend. But folks were already beginning to bring in tents to set up, etc. For this evening, we roamed around and found a nice local Thai spot for dinner called Papaya on Chippewa St. Back at the hotel we wrapped up the day with some tv in our room until lights out.

JULY 10-12


I wanted to do laundry one more time before the tour would end, and called a place that was on our “Daysheet” to make sure it would be open and could do the “fluff and fold” service. They said they could, so I took a cab to it to drop off the goods. Ashley and Peter would not arrive until later in the afternoon, so we had some time to kill. After I got back to the hotel, Rosie and I went out for some lunch and to roam around some. I asked the server at lunch where a street might be for us to do some shopping and wander around, and she made a suggestion to us to go to The Elmwood Village. What I failed to ask was how far it was....we walked a good  three miles before we got there. We almost decided to try and go ahead and get a cab back, but in the end we made it there. Maybe not a stellar shopping area, but we enjoyed popping into several shops just looking around. The funny thing was that after an hour or so, just as we were about ready to go back, I recognized the laundry place I had been to earlier...so I went in to see if my stuff was ready, and it was. From there we called a cab to get back to the Hyatt....and somehow the cab company managed to miss us....we called another couple of times before they finally got to us....causing us to wait a good 40 minutes or so. The good news is that we got back with clean clothes!
We hung around the room for a bit...me doing some packing now that I had fresh laundry, and waited until Ash and Peter arrived. Finally they called, and we were so excited to get up with them. It was Ashley’s birthday on the 8th, so this would be in part a celebration for that. I had asked the concierge about a good restaurant for dinner, and he had suggested a place called Tappo. I asked him to make a reservation, which he did. However, when we got up with the kids and discussed it, Peter pointed out that there was a steak restaurant in our hotel that was deemed one of the best in New York state....called “E.B Green’s”. I had seen the rating as well, so we switched to go there for dinner.
As it turned out, Keith (who had several members of his family with him) had taken up most of the tables in it in the main dining area...but his assistant, Tony, who I ran into trying to make the reservation told me that there was one table they had reserved that they would not use, and graciously gave it to us. So we wound up in the same area as the Richards....which gave Ash and Peter a chance to say hi to all of them and for us to mingle with them.
As for the food....we all decided that it was fine, but not what we would think would give them the “Best Steak Restaurant in New York” rating...but it made for a fun setting and we all enjoyed it.
The next day would be show day....Peter decided he wanted some time at the indoor pool in the hotel, so Ashley, Rose Lane and I went out to check out the “Taste of Buffalo” on the streets....by then the streets were filled with lots of tents of various venders and tons of folks there to try out the wares. After 10 minutes of that, it was apparent that that scene was not really what we wanted to do, so we went back to Chippewa St and found a spot for lunch. Soon after that, it was time for us to head over to the stadium to get things started.
The Buffalo Bills home field, Ralph Wilson Stadium. The usual routine ensued, sound check, etc...and soon it was showtime. Great show...another sold out gig...amazing. Ash and Peter had a great time, as we did.
After the show Rose Lane and I went down to the bar for a bit...and called Ash and Peter to see if they wanted to join us...but they were pretty beat, and as Ashley was at that point close to three months pregnant (she told us that just before we headed out on tour...but swore us to secrecy about it until we would get together in Buffalo...so we had spread the news by then), they decided to stay in the room and go to bed.
We got up with them the next morning....we would be flying to Montreal and they would be flying back to Manchester, NH....but we did have some time to hang out a bit before we would have to go our separate ways. It had been so great to spend time with them...so special. It was difficult to have to split and go our different ways, but we were infinitely grateful for the time we had! Their flight wasn’t until later that day, so we actually wound up leaving before they did. After hugs and an emotional goodbye, we got up with all the gang to head off to the plane and on to Canada.
The St. James Hotel
An easy flight and immigration process got us to the beautiful St. James hotel in Montreal around 6pm. The cool thing about being here is that we had the whole hotel to ourselves. No other outside folks staying there. We were here not all that long ago....in 2013 when we played in Montreal on the “14 on Fire” tour. This time we were actually playing in Quebec City for the “Le Festival d’ete’”. But they had decided to work it out of Montreal. After settling into our room, Rosie and I went downstairs for a cocktail. It was so great that we had the place exclusively. Keith, who rarely gets out of his room, had come down to enjoy some time with everyone. I had a great chat with him...and we both talked about how great the tour had gone, and discussed hopes of the band continuing on. We also talked about his upcoming solo record, which would come out in September. It was wonderful to have some one on one with him, and of course there were others in our entourage that were coming and going in the bar and restaurant in the St. James. Rosie and I eventually took a table for dinner in St. James...and joining us was our friend Sherry Daly, who helps both Ronnie and Charlie with their affairs. We’ve known Sherry since I joined the band back in’‘82, and she has always been an ally and supporter. She had come and gone on tours several times during the past couple of years and we kept saying we should get together for a dinner and personal time, and finally this was a great opportunity to do so. We enjoyed that very much, sharing thoughts about the past, the present and the future. She is a wonderful person and a great friend.
 That ended a fine day

DETROIT


DETROIT

JULY 6

The good news about the hotel is that they had quite an excellent gym, and not many people using it. I had a very nice workout while watching some of the Wimbledon tennis matches on the various tv screens scattered on the walls. Checking emails back in my room, I had one from my friend, US Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
She had contacted me weeks before saying that she was hoping to come to the gig, but wasn’t sure she would be able to with all the politics going on in DC. But it turned out that she could attend, and that was the nature of her email. Very cool...she would come with some family members, including her brother, who used to play drums. Debbie is a musician as well...and they used to have a family band. I’ve worked with her on some conservation issues at the Capitol in DC over the past several years. She is a great champion of the environment, forestry and conservation. I looked forward to seeing her.
Another good friend, John Kulhavi would be coming to the show as well. John is an interesting guy...a retired General from the Reserves, he flew helicopters in Desert Storm and earned a Purple Heart. Then he went into the stock brokerage business and became one of the top representatives of Merrill Lynch, winning several awards. John is also a hunting client of ours at Charlane and he handles some of my portfolio...doing a fine job. John is also on the board of the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities...I nominated him for the position several years ago and was able to serve with him for a year before I rolled off of that board. He would be bringing quite a crowd to the show...about 18 people in all.  
Rose Lane had noticed that there was an exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Art on Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and expressed interest in going to it. So we had the hotel doorman hail us a cab to go to it. It was raining a bit, but we decided to go for it. Our cab driver was a nice guy named Floyd. We had a good conversation with him on the way, and he dropped us off on a side door that was closer than the main entrance, to avoid getting too wet. I settled up with Floyd and took his info in case we needed to call him later to pick us up. We entered the building and went to the desk to buy tickets...only to be told that it was sold out for the day and it only had about a half an hour left anyway. Geez, should have called in advance! We killed some time in the gift shop looking around, but didn’t buy anything and decided to try for an Uber car to take us back. Using the Uber App, it indicated that a driver was only 6 minutes away, so we waited a while. But after 10 minutes, we still didn’t have a car and the App indicated it was 8 minutes away. Another ten minutes went by...no car. So we cancelled that and called Floyd. He was back at the MGM, but said he would come get us, which he did. Finally we returned to the hotel, disappointed to have missed the exhibit and to have waisted the time.
As there really wasn’t any other interesting things to do in our surroundings, we pretty much hung out in the hotel the rest of the day, getting quite bored in the process. On the bright side, it did give us a chance to relax some and to catch up on this diary and some other things.
In the evening we tried to dine in the Wolfgang Puck Cuchina restaurant, but unfortunately it was closed, so we opted for the Steak House again. Food and service was as good as the night before, so we were content. Next day would be busy with the show and seeing our friends.

JULY 8
Entrance to The Fox Theater
That evening there was a party given by AEG at the amazing Fox Theater in Detroit. What an incredible place! We had never been, and while we have been to the other Fox Theaters in other cities like  St. Louis and Atlanta, this one takes the cake. The party
Chuck takes his turn at the organ
included the band, entourage and crew. Great to hang out with everyone. One of the
highlights for me was getting to play the fantastic organ. This is one of the very few
theater organs in the world that has been restored to its original condition and is in top
shape. I enjoyed experimenting on it for a while.
The party was a welcome relief from the norm...great to hang with all of us in the same
place. Robert Bull had been flown in after recovering from his heart attack. He gave a really special toast to everyone, thanking especially Lizzy McGoran, who performed CPR on him until the ambulance came. She literally saved his life. He won’t be joining us back on tour, but wanted to come and see everyone before we resumed the tour.
Domed Ceiling At the Fox Theater
Nice to know we have a show today to keep us busy! We were well over the MGM Grand and welcomed the day’s events. Rosie preceded me in departing for Coamerica Park, and I followed about an hour later with the other band members. In the dressing room I finalized the draft of the set list and checked with Elizabeth Curan to see what song was in the lead for By Request. That turned out to be “Rocks Off”, so I knew we would go over it in the sound check. We did, also adding in “Just My Imagination” in the set as a little tribute to Detroit and Motown. The rest of the sound check went smoothly and I headed back to the dressing room to finalize the set list and present it to Mick. All that done, I hit catering to get some nutrition. It was a nice setup with good food....which is the case 75% of the time...kudos to catering!
By then it was time to hit the VIP room to find my guests. I saw John Kulhavi first...his wife, Carole with him as well as his brother, Donald, who has hunted with us at Charlane with John. He introduced us around to his other friends and we enjoyed catching up some. I also took some pictures with them and with other fans in the room that requested them...and soon I saw Senator Stabenow. Wonderful to see her and I introduced her and her folks to John and his. It was great to catch up with her...she was really excited to be there, and was glowing in the aftermath of the incredible week the Democrats had. First was the Supreme Court’s ruling of affirmation of the legitimacy of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and the second was the ruling in favor of same sex marriage. In addition, the President also got approval from congress on his “fast track” Trade Deals request. Obama had also given a very moving speech on race relations in his eulogy of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine Afro Americans shot and  killed in the tragic  Charleston Church shootings by Dylan Roof, a young radical white supremacist. It was one heck of a week for the Democratic Party.
After a time, I offered her and her brother to go with me backstage. I had asked Mick earlier if he would take a moment to meet her and perhaps take a picture with her, and he had agreed. So I took them to his room first to get that done. Mick was truly gracious to them and the Senator and her brother were ecstatic to meet him. Then it was on to meet Keith, Ronnie and Charlie and get photos with them...that went well, and it was fun to see the joy it brought the two of them. I escorted them back to the VIP and said my goodbyes to them and to John K and company, promising to meet John at the MGM after the show for a short time.
I know I keep saying this...but it was another really great show...smooth, well paced and well played. And yet another sold out stadium. Mick had his usual comments and jokes ready to deliver to the crowd, very clever and well received. Chalk another one up!
Back at the hotel I got the call from John after a half hour or so, and Rosie and I went down to meet him and his party. The casino was buzzing...and the only bar open was the main one in the center, which was pretty crowded. There was no great place to sit, but we made the best of it, standing and talking to his folks for a while. Joyce Smyth, the Stones’ business manager and confidant, and her husband, Michael were there as well, and had some nice comments on the show. It has been good for her to see as many of these shows as she has...to let her know how well it is all going. We socialized for a half hour or so, then called it a night.



Indinapolis to Detroit


INDIANAPOLIS…NAPTOWN

JULY 3

Off day. There was a big Mall that was connected to the hotel by an overhead walkway. So after some coffee and our usual wake-up time, we made our way over there. There was a food court with a PF Chang there, and we decided to do that for lunch. Then walked all around the Mall...but not doing any “damage”. There was a Lucky Brand store that had, at least temporarily, had all Rolling Stones clothes in it. Actually some nice looking stuff...different from the “official” Stones merch. Mostly sort of “distressed” looking tee shirts and the like. We killed a bit of time walking in the Mall and eventually came to a Nail Spa where Rose Lane decided to get a “Manni-Petti”. So I left her there and walked around a while, eventually making my way back to the room and fooling around on the computer for a while.
That evening we met up with our friend Ronnie Finestone, who had brought a client of his that is the top buyer of merchandise for Macy’s Dept. Store...a nice guy named Kevin and his friend David that accompanied him. We had a couple of drinks with them in the Capitol Grille bar, enjoying the conversation. Then as it was our “Digital Queen”, Elizabeth Curan’s birthday, there was a group of ours in the hotel bar across the lobby from the Capitol bar and we went there to help celebrate for a bit.
Earlier in the day we had a call from Matt Clifford who told us we were invited to dinner with he, Mick, Ronnie and Sally and a couple of others. We accepted, and wound up having a really nice time in the courtyard of an Italian restaurant called Iozzos Garden Of Italy . Good to have some social time like this...great conversation, lots of laughter, good food. We dispersed around 11 or so and went back to the Conrad to end the night.

JULY 4

What a groove to play The Brickyard on Independence Day...we had some 60,000 or so people there, and the weather cooperated for a nice night.  The big deal of the night was the fireworks at the end. Our guy, “Pyro Pete” worked with the city of Indianapolis to partner up and do a spectacular display at the end of the set. It seemed to go on forever...and as we were rushed out of the Speedway back to our hotel, it went on as long as we could see and a long time after. I was told it was about 20-30 minutes. Even during the set, we could see fireworks going of in various other parts of the town...almost the whole time. We had some musical fireworks of our own...a hot set.

JULY 5

Gotta keep moving’....today to Detroit. All packed up and ready to go at the usual dedicated time...I had time to hit the gym for a bit before, which always helps to shake off the “bugs” and wake up the ‘ol body. A relatively short flight from Indy to MoTown...less than an hour. That put us at the MGM Grand hotel fairly early...around 5:30. Staying at a casino is not my favorite thing...and we were somewhat isolated as there wasn’t much around us. I have to say it was a bit sad to see all the abandoned homes and buildings. Detroit has gone through some really rough times over the past 10 years...and the city is still going through bankruptcy. But the spirit of the people is strong, and you can see some signs of recovery. Rose Lane and I took a walk around the casino to orient ourselves. The usual layout of slot machines and gambling tables in the main center of the complex and a few restaurants and bars scattered mostly on the periphery. Wolfgang Puck had two restaurants...an Italian Cuchina and a Steak House. We opted for the Steak House, having a cocktail in the bar first. A good meal...his restaurants have a great reputation and this was no exception. I just wish it wasn’t in a casino! Rose Lane and I have no gambling desires and with people smoking and the constant  buzz, dings and other sounds of the place, it just is not pleasant for us. But we enjoyed the meal and went back toour room to veg....

Raleigh to Indianapolis


RALEIGH

JUNE 30

A day off, and we spent it staying in the hotel. I went to the gym, which was quite small, but made the best use of it I could. Frankie Enfield, our tour manager, told me about a 3.1 mile trail that goes around the circumference of the golf course. He had walked it and recommended it to me. So I had a go of it. Fantastic trail, and was soothing for my mind and soul to be in that nice forest, plus it was good exercise as there were several “ups and downs” to negotiate. After all of that, I went back to our room to freshen up and get ready to meet David Zucchino, a top notch journalist for the LA Times. David was scheduled to come to Charlane Plantation several months ago, but got called away on assignment and couldn’t make it. He lives in the Raleigh area, so we arranged to meet and just have a “getting to know you” chat. He is actually on leave from the Times to write a book about a sad and tragic incident that took place in the area in the post Civil War era in which there was something of a mass murder of some black officials that were holding political office at the time. Sounds like it will make for a very interesting historical account. We had a nice and productive talk, and he expressed interest in getting down to Charlane some time after the first of next year and perhaps do a story on us.
After our meeting I decided to soak up the sun for a while and found a spot outside the indoor pool area on sort of a patio. I stayed out there for an hour or so...very pleasant.
Back in the room we killed time on our computers and watching the news...then made our way downstairs to sort out dinner plans. We stayed in again, but this time we dined in the main restaurant called. Nice and quiet dinner, great food and service. That ended our day and we retired to our room.

JULY 1

I would have lots of guests at the show tonight. Buck Williams, my good friend and negotiator and his daughter, Sarah and her husband Mathias would be there...Tom Burnette, an attorney and a Charlane client with a number of folks with him; some friends from Savannah, Howard Paul and his wife Patty...Paula Fogerty, and various other folks that I had arranged passes for.
But before we would get to that, I went to the tiny gym again and managed at least somewhat of a workout before getting ready to head to Carter-Findley stadium. I wanted to walk the trail again, but there wasn’t quite enough time, plus my right calf was a bit sore and I thought it best to rest it.
At the stadium I finalized the set list, leaving a couple of choices to make when we did the sound check, and found my way to catering for some food. Sound check went fine and we sorted out the set.
The setup was more than a little awkward...our dressing rooms were actually in the arena, about a quarter mile from the stadium. The VIP room was in the stadium, so it was quite a trek to get there. Darryl had some guests coming as well, so he and I arranged for a van and driver to carry us over there. It was another madhouse VIP, with lots of fans requesting selfies and photos, and me trying to spend some time with my friends. In the end, it was impossible to see all of those I had arranged passes for...so Darryl and I did the best we could and escaped back to the van and to our dressing room.
Yet another excellent gig...band remaining at the top of its game and a excited and receptive audience for the night.  

JULY 2  INDIANAPOLIS


Travel to Indianapolis. 
Nap Town. This will
be one

Gasoline Alley
for the books...playing the iconic Indianapolis Speedway...The Brickyard. But a travel day and an off day before the show. The usual routine ensued with our bags being picked up at 11:30 and a 2:30 departure from the hotel for a 4:00 wheels up. I worked on this diary for a while on the plane, and we landed about 5:30. Checked into the Conrad hotel in downtown Indy. Rosie and I had a taste for some Indian food....Indian in Indy...and located a place that was walking distance from the hotel. Had a drink in the bar of the Capitol Grille, which was right next 


















door to the Conrad and then made our way to the Haveli Indian restaurant on South Meridian. Nice walk, and we were checking out the surroundings on the way. It turned out that Haveli was a very casual place...and cheap. The food was good if not great...and we loved getting all those spices on our tongues. I think the whole meal with a couple of glasses of wine cost under $40. Afterwards we walked back to the room and shut down for the night.  
CONRAD BRAIN STIMULATOR