5.27.2015

Did That Weekend Really Happen, or Was it a Pleasant Dream?

I think I had the most fun and action packed weekend EVER last weekend, which was Memorial Day weekend.

I took Friday off from work, planning to head up to Maybash, a camping and rocknroll fest on private property in Rio WI, early in the morning.

However, due to my dog’s recent medical issues (eye injury and some other stuff), I had to go to the vet on Friday morning. As a result, I was not able to drop Foster (my dog) off at Sherry’s (the dog sitter) until mid-afternoon.

In any case, I got to Maybash about 4 pm, ample time to set up my tent while there was still daylight and good camping spots left near the stage area. I grabbed a spot next to my buddy Tim’s tent and had my gear set up in a matter of minutes. I cracked a beer and set about enjoying the music fest.

I won’t even waste any time trying to describe the awesomeness of Maybash here, because I could write a book. But suffice to say, the mostly punk and metal bands started performing about 5 PM and there was much merriment all night. My punk rock band, EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE, played a solid set around 11 PM, opening for the headlining band LORDS OF THE TRIDENT, our faux arch rivals. I had a virtually biff free performance and the sound and lights were excellent (kudos to the pro sound team).

After the bands were done, there was much partying around the camp fire (it was a chilly night). I didn’t retire until the sky was already brightening with a pre-dawn glow and I did not sleep very long before I was up again to enjoy the better part of Saturday at Maybash.

Sadly, I had to leave Maybash Saturday afternoon because I had a gig with cover band BABY ROCKET in the Wisconsin Dells on Saturday night. That gig went OK, for what it was. I am sick and tired of playing covers as I get older and appreciate all the local original music that is out there. But it was what it was and the Chicago tourists enjoyed the music and danced. BABY ROCKET definitely has their demographic dialed in.

Next year, I am committing to all of Maybash. No cover band gigs. I might not even play with BABY ROCKET next year. We’ll see how this year goes. I agreed to a handful of dates. The money’s good. It would have to be…

Driving back home from the Dells I was so tired due to lack of sleep from Maybash the night before that I had to really concentrate on the road. The traffic was light and I wasn’t really afraid of falling asleep at the wheel, but I was so looking forward to my bed. I slept until about 1:30 in the afternoon on Sunday, getting up only to feed Foster and let him out (Sherry had dropped him off that morning).

The weather on Friday and Saturday had been awesome. Sunny and cool. Really perfect in most respects. Sunday it rained. I had planned to do a Sunday morning bike ride with Sherry called the Riley Pancake Ride. She went, but I was too tired from the gigs and I don’t like riding in the rain either, although I would have if I had not been so exhausted. Plus, I was still fighting the cold I had had for about a week. I needed the sleep.

Around 4 PM on Sunday, I went to Bratfest and saw my favorite local band (other than my own) SUNSPOT perform. The rain ceased for most of their set, which was awesome and proves that God likes good rock-n-roll. I had a couple of beers and brats. Rita Witter from my embryonic band THE RITA WITTER BAND was there and after SUNSPOT we went to another stage and watched cover band PILOT play. They were good, albeit a cover band. They kept their lineup simple: guitar, bass, drums, and singer, with some harmonies from the other musicians.

Rita had been at Maybash too, as part of the COUGAR TOWN burlesque troupe. She arrived at Maybash on Saturday, so we only had a little while to socialize before I had to go play the sellout cover band gig.

Sunday night, I headed over to Funks Pub for the open jam and jammed a set with guitarist/singer Phil “Why Does My” Dickert and drummer MG Sherry. We used to play in a band together ages ago. The set went well and we decided to rekindle an impromptu band called MG’s HENCHMEN, that will basically only perform at the Funks jam and we will learn the songs we want to do at home on our own time. Essentially a band that rehearses live every week.

In some ways, this is similar to HIATVS, my band that is always on hiatus and performs only a couple times a year, in that we learn the material on our own and pretty much play it live when we get together. But at least MG’s HENCHMEN will have a gig every week, albeit a short 20-30 minute one for no pay. Not many bands can play 52 shows a year. MG’s HENCHMEN will be the proxy for GUPPY EFFECT, which used to play the Funks jam every week, until the other members lost interest, unfortunately.

On Monday, it being a holiday, I got up early and drove to Sherry’s with my bike on the rack of my car. We rode our bikes over to Olbrich Park and met the Wisconsin Bicycling Group for a Memorial Day social ride around Lake Monona, followed by a picnic. The weather was gray and misty but it was not full on raining, so we braved it, cooking meats, veggies, and veggie burgers on a small charcoal grill.

I went home after the picnic, but in the late afternoon I biked down the Southwest Commuter trail and met Sherry and Alissa for live music on the patio of the Come Back Inn. On a whim, I invited a woman named Deb who I had connected with on an online dating site, but had not yet met in person. I was surprised when she agreed to join us, not knowing me very well or my friends at all. But she was cool and after the meet and greet, Deb and I went out to dinner at the Great Dane at Hilldale Mall. We hit it off great and talked for a long time. Optimistic.

Now it is Wednesday and Deb is actually coming to pick me up for lunch in 5 minutes, so I need to sign off. I wish I could elaborate on the awesomeness of the weekend. I hope yours was awesome too. Bye now.

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