Tuesday, December 30, 2003

It's finally Dead night!
Getting ready to go to my last show of my 44th year! Spose that means tonight is my last show of young adulthood! Onward to middle age!! Time seems to go by so much faster since I turned 40 but I also seem to appreciate so much more than I used to.
Well, no time to ponder the passing of time as it's shower time and soon enough Christine will be by and off we'll be going again!

Monday, December 29, 2003

Did everyone have happy holidaze??!! Scott works almost nonstop these daze. The Ratdog dates are trickling out as slowly as possible. A friend who "knows things". Tells me that Ratdog will add a Los Vegas House of Blues gig to the upcoming shows...I went to see Ratdog there on December 26th-I think it was 2001? A great show. I was in Vegas for only 22 hours! It was the first time in a very long time (20 years!) that I travelled completely alone..Of course, once I checked into The Mandalay (the venue is in the hotel!) I was surrounded by Dogfreaks. Had a great time!

Its been quiet this week, no Bob sightings that I've heard of...Last night, I tagged along with Christine and Ben to go to The Avalon Ballroom to see Mark Karan sing and play with an assortment of musicians including Melvin Seals and Bobby Vega that call themselves "The Avalon Allstars". Christine is a few years older than I am and indulged me with her tales of "Back in the day" when she was a teenager and going to see the Grateful Dead in St Michael's Alley and the Fillmore.
This was best to my recollections, my first time at the Avalon...It is pretty, clean with a fancy ceiling and carpeted floor. The Allstars came on sort of late- I don't wear watches but Ben said it was about 10! Lots of jamming- to the delight of a mostly younger (school's out) crowd. Mark sounded great as did Melvin. Saw some of the people from Ratdog.org and a few from Deadnet.com plus all the usual suspects who don't (as far as I know) post but who never miss a show. It was a nice night!

Onward to Tuesday Night and NYE!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2003

Saturday was a major black out- This morning was an earthquake-I felt the house shift a teeny bit, while the dog barked and thought maybe I was dizzy but then noticed the shutters waving...Argh, tomorrow the rain starts up again! Somehow, I will make it to both the Oakland and San Francisco airports. Jase is an adult and can get himself on his flight. Sash is just a girl, I will need to park and go through check in and the security lines with her..Why my mom decided to put them on separate flights out of 2 different airports is beyond me .With the Terror Alert so high, this should be quite an adventure...They better have a great time!!
December is always the craziest month!!
I might have to do some flying around myself soon- Look what was found online today!!!!

Ratdog at the House of Blues in Anaheim on 2/23. Tix seem to be on sale:


And, ratdog at 4th and B in San Diego onb 2/27



Sunday, December 21, 2003


Had fun at Mark's show last night. A bit of an adventure getting there. Normally it takes between 45 minutes to an hour to get to Mill Valley but last night there was a major power outtage in San Francisco which caused all the traffic lights (about 24!) on 19th boulevard and through the park to go out. Because we had to stop and wait at each intersection - it took over 2 hours to get to Mill Valley...But before going into Mill Valley, Kems drove us over to Vista Point-a parking area that looks at the SF skyline from the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge, so we could the extent of the outtage- very strange to not see the town lit up.

We had a fun time at Sweetwater- Reisha and Maria were also delayed by the outtage and didnt get there til 11:30! Ben made it and was dancing all night! Great to have a few minutes to chat with Mazzy..And Elizabeth too!
WDP's Jay (Allie's brother) came out all the way from Colorado just for this gig! I love that he did that- I may not be the most extreme Ratdog/Weir/Quack head in the world after all?
I have no setlist and am not certain exactly who else other than John Molo and Bob Gross are in Jemimah Puddleduck with Mark..but the band rocked! Mark will be on the upcoming Jambands cruise in January along with Robert Wasserman, David Gans and other assorted musicians..Know that I did give MK a bad time about sneaking that Bahamas gig in at the last moment! Well, let's all hope he & Maile have an insanely great time so they sign up again and we can all sail along with them.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Happy Winter Solstice!

The plan is that after Scotto gets home from work-we will do the blessings, light the candles and- I'll be out the door with the one and only Kems and on the way to Mill Valley (about an hour away) to see (Ratdog guitarist) Mark Karan and his band Jemimah Puddleduck play at The Sweetwater! Show starts 9ish-but its a tiny venue which gets really crowded. We need to be there early to grab a table in the front.
check it out!

Friday, December 19, 2003

Happy Berthaday to Monet!!!!!!!

Love to all today!

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Wish I knew how to put links here-more nice old Bobby photos here:
Here's something that appeared on Deadnet not too long ago...Some small details are inaccurrate. It's from a book that either was published or is about to be published-

The title of the book is Lessons From Our Fathers.

Bob Weir – Founding Member of the Grateful Dead

Both my natural and adopted fathers were military men. My adopted dad attended Annapolis for seven years and came out with the military equivalent of a doctorate in Engineering. When they gave him his first commission and put him out to sea he was seasick from the time he left port to the time he got back. It was so bad they had to put him in the hospital. Then he tried it again right at the beginning of World War II. He wanted nothing more than to serve his country but it just was not going to happen. He showed a lot of perseverance.
He was quite a guy. In fact, never in my presence did he ever use bad language. Rarely did I see him ever become angry, and it was not that he wasn’t a lively, energized person, he was just a consummate gentleman. He was born with three kidneys so he could drink all he wanted and was never affected. He did not drink much, but as far as getting a little buzzed, it was not a doable deal for him. I think one time my parents had a party and he was drinking pretty much all night and toward the end of the evening I may have seen a twinkle in his eye. That was about it.
My natural father was born and raised in the Tuscon, AZ area. He was 19 when he joined the Air Force and they put him behind the wheel of a bomber. He later became a test pilot and rose to the rank of Colonel. In fact, when he announced he was retiring, they offered him a Generalship but he declined because he had a son who was terminally ill.
My adopted parents passed on in 1972 from separate illnesses. My mom died on my dad’s birthday and a month later my dad died on my mom’s birthday. So you don’t argue with that kind of stuff. Then about ten years went by and I came home from a tour and it was my first night home and I was trying to sleep in. I had this very strange dream about my family home, my brother and a stillborn baby. And at the point of the dream where my brother and I pick up the baby and hold it, and each other, I was awakened by the phone ringing in real life. It was the Grateful Dead office calling to say there was a lady on the phone by the name of Phyllis who says she’s your mother and did I know anything about this. Apparently she had known for some time who I was and had tracked me, but had to sign a promise not to contact me while my adopted parents were still living.
I myself had actually done some research to try and find her but she pretty effectively covered her tracks. But I went and met her the next day and unfortunately we did not exactly hit it off – she had twelve other kids. So I could ascertain with a fair bit of ease that she didn’t really have a need for me in her life. But I kept in touch with her, called her on Mother’s day and over this time she gave me some information regarding my dad; his name and where she last saw him which at that point was 40+ years.
The story was that when she got pregnant she ran off to San Francisco without his knowing, and had me, and then came back but never let on that I existed. So he had no idea he had a son. When she told me who he was I had a private investigator track him down. It took all of an hour for him to find him. As fate would have it, it turned out he was the commanding officer at Hamilton Field, the local Air Force base in San Francisco. But because I am almost pathologically anti-authoritarian I figured this would not go well for either of us because it does not get much more authoritarian than the commanding officer of a military base. Then I just sat on the info for close to ten years. Finally I figured this guy’s not getting any younger, I guess I better just buck up and do this. But there was still some apprehension because I didn’t know what I was going to find. If my dad was an @#%$ what does that say about me? I just assumed that military officers chose that profession so they could boss people around. So I figured I had three choices for contact: I could write him a letter – but he might crumble it up and throw it away. I could go see him – but the last thing I wanted was for my first and only memory of my father watching him clutch his chest and fall over backwards. I decided to call him.
It was early evening the next day and I called and said
“I’m looking for John Parver,”
and he said “That would be me”
and I told him “well, I’m Robert Weir and I live in Mill Valley and I’ve been doing some research and have dug up some information that may be of considerable interest to you. But first I have to ask you a question or two.”
And he replied, “ok.”
And I continued, “ It concerns events that took place in Tucson about fifty years ago” and he said “ok” and then I asked “is it possible that you were romantically involved with a woman by the name of Phyllis?”
and he said “well, yes”
and so I told him “sir, in that case there’s a very strong likelihood that, even though I’m not sure how many children you have, but you may have one more than you know.”
This was followed by a long silence and then he said
“The only Robert Weir I know is the guy that sings and plays with the Grateful Dead.”
And I said “well sir, that would be me.”
So we arranged to meet the next day at a local restaurant of his suggestion which was coincidentally a favorite of both of ours, and we have become very, very close.
We both share a singular inability to take anything seriously or an ability to make light of pretty nearly any situation. The more time we spend together the more similarities I see and realize that the apple does not fall far from the tree. And even though I didn’t grow up with him, in many ways I am as much, if not more like him then is own sons.
On a weekly basis my family and I have been going up and staying with my father in Nevada where he now lives. We stay over for a night and each morning Grandpa cooks me and my family pancakes. Towards the beginning of this Towards the beginning of this year he and his wife Milenna began to leave a guitar out that belonged to his eldest son who tragically died of Spinal Cancer some time ago. He had been a professional musician in a fairly successful band and had a collection of guitars when he died that the remaining sons divvied up but because nobody really wanted this one it was left behind with his parents. They pulled it out of the closet and it was in a funky old case and it was just sitting in the corner of their home. Now I saw this case for a month of so and finally rose to the bait and opened it up and inside there was this beat up old Telecaster with one pickup kind of sprung out of it’s moorings and broken up a little. So after looking at it for two or three weeks I finally said, “okay, I’ll bite, can I take this to rehearsal with me and have my roadie / tech guy fix it up?” and they said “we thought you’d never ask.”
So I took it to him and he had it working in no time at all. And I plugged it into my rig (amplifier) at our first rehearsal for the tour. Now I had not even picked up a Telecaster in years, let alone played one, but I started playing it and from the first note it was obvious, for me, for the band, for everyone that the characteristically tin sound really was perfect and helped everything. It became my “A” guitar.
After no one wanting this guitar it fell out of the sky one me.
All of the family, as opposed to feeling forsaken, are really overjoyed at seeing a piece of their older brother and eldest son make it on the big stage.
The whole story is really a little bit of mysticism.
The lesson I learned from my new dad is confirming for me that fate follows in your footsteps so you need to have faith in your path and live life with a sense of wonderment..


Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Geez, and I havent even been smoking or drinking anything! Natural born ditzy!
http://www.kfog.com/default.asp<-the kfog site...Read previous blog..........
You know, this feels so out of sync- My advice is to scroll down and work your way up but ..
Okay, here is the link to KFOG that I forgot to add in my last blog..
Too excited about the new dvd ..
Okay, Scott's waiting to check it out..
I better get going!
What a week! Tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:10 am Pacific time, Bobby is going to be on KFOG! I'll put the url up in just a moment...

Well, we received a midweek treat today..Our dvd of Closing of Winterland arrived at last! We watched the bit of it shown on public TV and in answer for to them using the footage for their membership drive, we joined the station- our gift from them for joining is this dvd. Now, I already have a video copy of this show, but its old and its from trading. I do look forward to seeing and hearing it all in digital perfection..
I forgot where I ran across the Easter Egg cheat sheet for it but here s a guide to finding those hidden snippets:

On Disk One go to the Main Menu, then Set 1 and the Song List. Select
"Intermission". The Blue Rose appears, illuminated. You can click it four times
for four more recollections of Steve Parrish.

Also on Disc One, at the end of Round and Round, the Blue Rose again appears.
If you click quickly, it will morph into 5 smaller roses, each with an item.
One is a Mickey comment about Uncle Bobo, another is another Parrish comment,
and there are three photos.

here's the rest... Disc Two:

Easter Egg #3

From the lyrics menu, turn the visible lyrics setting OFF, then move the cursor to the Main Menu button. Push UP on the DVD remote. A small barely
visible dot will appear just to the right of the rose on the left side of
the screen. Press ENTER to see another short clip from the Steve Parrish

Easter Egg #4
Again from the visible lyrics menu, turn the visible lyrics setting ON, then
move the cursor to the Main Menu button. Push DOWN on the DVD remote. A
small barely visible dot will appear just to the right of the rose on the
left side of the screen. Press ENTER to see a picture of Dan Aykroyd and
John Belushi at the afternoon soundcheck on 12-31-78.

Easter Egg #5

From the audio setup menu, turn the Dolby 5.1 setting ON, then move the cursor to the Main Menu button. Push LEFT on the DVD remote. A small
barely visible dot will appear just to the right of the rose on the left
side of the screen. Press ENTER to see a picture of Mickey Hart leaving
Winterland at 6:45 AM on 1-1-79.

The last three eggs are reached from different screens in the Grateful Dead
at Winterland section of the Bonus Menu.

Easter Egg #6

From the May 30, 1967 slide, push DOWN on the DVD remote. A small barely visible dot will appear just under the blue rose on the left side of the
screen. Press ENTER to see a picture of a Blues Brother performance at a
screening of Animal House.

Easter Egg #7

From the November 12, 1967 slide, push DOWN on the DVD remote. A small barely visible dot will appear just under the blue rose on the right side of
the screen. Press ENTER to see a hilarious clip from the interview with Bob

Easter Egg #8

From the January 2, 1972 slide, push UP on the DVD remote. A small barely visible dot will appear just under the blue rose on the right side of the
screen. Press ENTER to see a picture of Bill Murray leaving Winterland.

Last... the "swap" angle, keep hitting it repeatedly and the closeups get very intense---back and forth, back and forth......the colors form diffferent patterns from their original, and the faces of Garcia and Lesh are intense.......

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Seva stuff
for the ACLU Report: scroll down! down! down!
Here are photos from the SEVA Benefit taken by Binki (as she is known over at Deadnet.com

Eventually you ought to find the picture of Binki, Graceful Dead (she's another Deadnetter) and I surrounding Bobby...and he's smiling-unlike the picture Tiny Dancer and I took with him in England.

Okay, there are several colorful reviews of the entire Seva benefit over on Deadnet http://hotline.deadnetcentral.com/WebX?50@109.cfXgaJx2e1y.0@.4a8540c4/152
and if you scroll down here, the entire setlist is copied (thanks to Linda for sending it to me).

The Circle of Compassion entitled us to 2 event posters- each numbered (we have 120/ 600 and 121/600) and signed by Wavy Gravy. They are purple and have the eyes logo. Nice! When we went to a side table to pick up the posters, we each then received a laminate-ready for wear with the cord and clip. These were needed to get into the post show reception at The Down Town restaurant which is located up a block from BCT on Shattuck.
Our seats as I probably mentioned were row J which turned out to be quite close up! And probably due to Linda, we were right on the aisle-DBC as in Dead Bobby Center! It wasnt til Steve Earle was on stage that Bobby was visible, sitting at the back of the stage with Bonnie Raitt and another friend. Until the Dead came on the highlights for me were Hamza's one song with Mickey and the Jackson Browne with Bonnie Raitt pairing.
Finally, after setbreak, after the bagpiper played, our guys took the stage.. I was so excited,it took until about the 3rd song before I noticed Joan Osborne was missing. I have been listening a lot lately to her 'Days Between' from the Shoreline Dead show (Sept.03) and was looking forward to hearing more like that from her. Maybe New Year's then, I guess? It turned out fine though- more singing from Bobby! Bobby sounded fine and things were moving along and then they did a DarkStar that went into eyes of the world and somewhere in the middle of that, the show spun into that old timeless delirium phase...we all were dancing and smiling...The Dead's encore/last song was "Not Fade Away"..Wavy Brought out a bunch of people and some of the artists (no Dead members) for a song..I would need to peek at the setlist to remember the name but it was a bit familiar, I think my kids sang it at Camp Winnarainbow.....
Everyone poured out of the BCT..We found Graceful . We trekked over to the restaurant, flashed our lammies and entered. Foods that looked delicious were available on a buffet table..The place was well lit, clean and snazzy, a piano was being played in the corner. The grouplet of us hovered near a waiter's station as there were only a few small cocktail tables and they all were taken. After awhile, Mickey Hart popped in. Graceful went over to chat with him.
The restaurant had large windows all along the street. As conversations were taking place around me, I sort of drifted in thought and observed through the big windows a man walking toward the restaurant. With his shiny,swingy hair, sweater and leather coat he looked as though he stepped right off of an album cover. I teased Graceful- "Watch the door, Your next boyfriend is coming in!" She turned to see what I was talking about and with perfect timing, in He walked . Okay, so maybe that's an old joke - but it's not everyday one can do that and have Jackson Browne appear.
Tim and Linda took off for their home in Petaluma, just missing the arrival of Bobby! Graceful went over to chat with him. I stuck with Scott, afraid of embarassing myself. I was quite content to peep at Bobby from
behind the plant that was stationed atop the waiters station. Graceful came back and encouraged me to go say hello..So, I went with her..Bobby was wonderful..I managed to not fall at his feet or hyperventilate, I may have even squeaked out a word or two, I think I stole a hug (poor guy). A few people were now waiting for a go at Bobby. Binki's Rob had the camera in hand and Bobby agreed to having a photo with us...I somehow ended back by Scott..He watched the whole scene and was laughing at my big wide grin (I'm still grinning!)...til he realized we had about 4 minutes left to get our car from the parking lot (closes at 2am)...We quickly said our good byes, bopped out to the street and ran through the rain getting to the garage just in time!

Monday, December 15, 2003

Scroll down a few entries for The ACLU report.
Wow- I'm still smiling! Sad about missing tonight's Wasserman show @ Slim's, though...Especially since Rob almost looked a little happy to see me- Odessa of the rail- going for the stare down back through his Ratdog years...I was happy to see him - he looked a bit slimmer and well, happy...

Do I really have to talk about the entire SEVA thing? Okay just brief notes...,
The program went sort of like this:
Seva's Silver Anniverary
Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley CA
Saturday December 13, 2003

Ed Littlefield, Jr (on bagpipe) and Wavy Gray:

Film excerpt from documentary

Larry Brilliant:

Wavy Gravy:

Hamza el Din and Mickey Hart:
(1 piece)

Marley's Ghost (Mike Phelan, Dan Wheetman, Ed Littlefield Jr.
and Jon Wilcox) a capella:
I Can See Your Aura (and it's Ugly)

Buffy Sainte-Marie (with Kevin McKenzie & Neal Chapman):
Univeral Soldier
Up Where We Belong
Priests Of The Golden Bowl
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

Marley's Ghost (a capella):
Lay Down Your Weary Tune

Steve Earle:
Ashes To Ashes
You Know The Rest
South Nashville Blues
Now She's Gone
Just An American Boy
Christmas In Washington

Marley's Ghost (a capella):
I'm On My Way (the Story of Job)

Jackson Browne:
For Everyman
Lives In The Balance (with Ricky Fataar & Norton Buffalo)
Looking East (with Fataar, Buffalo & Hutch Hitchinson)
My Stunning Mystery Companion (with Fataar, Buffalo & Hutch
World In Motion (with Fataar, Buffalo, Hutchinson & Bonnie Raitt)
Nick Of Time (Bonnie with Fataar, Buffalo, Hutchinson & Jackson
I Am A Patriot (with Fataar, Buffalo, Hutchinson & Bonnie Raitt)


Ed Littlefield, Jr (on bagpipe):

The Dead (Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann,
Jimmy Herring, Jeff Chimenti, Rob Barraco):
Truckin' ->
Tomorrow Never Knows ->
Down The Road
Ramble On Rose
Jack Straw ->
Dark Star ->
Jam (with John Popper) ->
Eyes Of The World (with John Popper) ->
Dark Star ->
One More Saturday Night

Final Jam / Encores -
(The Dead, John Popper, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Norton Buffalo,
Earle, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Kevin McKenzie, Maria Muldaur, Marley's
and others):

Not Fade Away

Basic Human Needs (with Wavy Gravy without the Dead)

Sunday, December 14, 2003

For notes on The Bob Rob ACLU lunch show: Scroll down to earlier today's entry....
It already seems like a long time ago, but the SEVA Celebration was just last night...

Somehow, I managed to be ready to leave by the time Scott was home. Usually, it takes me forever, usually it's always that one shoe that is never where it should be which causes me to freak out at the last minute and have to change what I'm wearing- last night, I decided it doesnt really matter what I'm wearing and cut about 40 minutes out of my precious primp time....
As we were cruising across the San Mateo Bridge - we phoned Tim & Linda to remind them to leave our tix at will call. They were coming from the North Bay and were on the Richmond bridge when we spoke to them. We arrived in Berkeley at the same time. They directed us right to the parking spot .
The first people we ran into were Scott's cousin's girlfriend and her mom- they hadnt heard Bonnie Raitt was going to be there and were thrilled to find out.
Inside, it was a big ole love fest- at every turn was another familiar face...(((((Ben! Gwen! Mr Decker (my son's 1st grade teacher!) Katrinka, Dotty,Shady,Reisha,Jerry,Julie, Dave and well, the list goes on and on!!!) We picked up our special posters (numbered and signed by Wavy Gravy) and our post reception lammies. Then it was off to find out exactly where row J, seats 1,3,5& 7 were.
Absolutely Dead Bobby Center is where they were! Directly in front of me was the guy who works for Grateful Graphics- He saw Scotto was wearing the "Grateful Dad" shirt I bought from him at The Marin Music Festival and gave me stickers!!!
Will be back later with more of a report- am needed elseweir around here at the moment...check back 'kay?!
Okay, Today is still pretty fresh in my mind....Kemmie was willing to drive-her hub was home with the kids..Scotto(my treasure!) was fine hanging home with the 9er game and encouraged me to go along "Take some money-Have a great time!"
Still it felt a little like we were in high school and cutting class!!!
No hitches as we found the Argent, a rather posh hotel right next door to The Four Seasons Hotel on 3rd street...Happily, tickets were still available and up to the prelunch reception we went where drinks and cookies were available. Kem & I grabbed coffee & tea, found a table did a little people watching and gabbed a bit.
Folks were "guarding" the door of the banquet room-Kemmie has the big beautiful smile and without asking any questions the man at the door nearest to us, let us in.
The room was very large, tables of 10 and 12 had signs designating different chapters of Northern California ACLU on them. There were also tables set aside for a variety of groups including -Adopt International, The National Committee Against Repressive Legislation etc...
After doors had shut behind us- we realized we had wandered right into the soundcheck. Just hotel personell and the usual Weir/Wass crew were there. I expected for us to be asked to leave but we were left alone. Kem brought along her digicam (good going!) and used it- still we were allowed to stay!
The guys fiddled with Blackbird and KC Moan a little- Bobby sounded terrific! Time came too soon for the fun to end. Rob and Bob et al retreated to somewhere else and in came everyone else.
The elderly and disabled folks were the first to be let in, they found their tables then got into the (3) buffet lines. I was happy with my coffee and didnt eat or notice beyond fruit, cheeses or sweets what was offered. As the room filled to what I expect was full capacity, the opportunity to people watch was amazing.
There was a welcome given by Quinn Delaney, followed by a state of the union address by Dorothy Ehrlich. An award of courageous advocacy was presented to Judith Volkart for activism including speaking out about the dangers of the USA Patriots act.
Before Bob and Rob were presented, youths who took part in a youth Civil Liberties program reviewed their activities.
After that, Bobby and Robert Wasserman were introduced. Unlike the usual routine, Bobby stepped forward to make a few comments. He credited Dennis McNally for matching him up with this ACLU function and spoke about his own involvement over the years with environmental protection groups..He explained his own concern about orgs such as Greenpeace possibly having their tax exempt status revoked. He then was ready to do, as he put it, "what we does best" and the music started up.

Our first treat was "Ashes and Glass" Kem filmed all of it I believe. The sound was unbelievably clear and strong. The next song was "Throwing Stones" I was into it- but sitting on a chair facing tables, I wasnt aware til the sing a long "ashes to ashes" part- that there were Deadheads in the room- Everyone turned at the same time to see maybe 4 guys in tie dye up and dancing in the back..It was funny because they hadnt been visible at all til then- this was a suit and tie, sweater and skirt set.. Still sounding really great with a WONDERFUL jamming just going - a tall man at one of the centermost tables, leaped to his feet- tore off his coat, tie and (a gasp from the seniors) ripped off his shirt to reveal a big ole tie dye, then ran across the room to where the 4 Deadheads were dancing..(lawyers!) It was just another weird moment that seems to happen wherever Bobby happens...
Crowd applauded but that was all for Bob & Rob. Kems and I spent a few moments with Bobby & Rob and Dennis in the foyer on our way out. Everyone was in the best mood. I meant to thank Dennis for getting Bobby and Rob there..but like all my best thoughts- that one fizzled off and I said some lame thing about books..argh!
Bobby and Rob were all smiles and very relaxed..I was so happy to have been there, I couldnt really think up anything to say and so stood there smiling at both of them..The beautiful thing was having them smile back...
I love December!
WOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO! Aces back to back indeed!!!!!!
Last night was the great SEVA benefit and today was Bobby and Wass at the Argent Hotel doing a short performance for the Bill of Rights Day Celebration for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California...

Weir should I begin???????

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Bonnie Raitt to be a special guest at the SEVA benefit next week! What a night that's gonna be! The Dead, Jackson Browne, Steve Earle and now Bonnie Raitt! I'm really really glad to have pushed Scotto for the Circle tickets! We've landed in row J - with center of the house seats. At the BCT -with excellent acoustics-well, it doesnt get much better than that!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

I love that Bobby is gooey!
check it out-
AH! This just in- Another Bobby (with The Wass) event this December in the Bay Area!!!!!!!
here's a link:


Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Oy- such a day! I had jury duty..didnt get called up but did have to hang out in the Juror's room for about 3 hours..Who knew wasting time could be so exhausting?
Found this old but sweet interview with Bobby regarding his enjoyment of mountain biking.
Here ya go:


Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Very sad to report that Smmy has cancelled the Marin Civic center gig...Heart was in the right place but apparently it is a little too close to get it together and unfortunately, Mazzy reports that The New George's Tavern has closed down...sigh...Not only was New George's the scene of last year's spur of the moment Dead/Red benefit but it was also where the Grateful Dead's "Hell in a Bucket" video from the 1980's was filmed...The "HIAB" video is about the funniest Bob related film ever to be seen- I have a copy of it on video but do hope the guys that are putting together the dvd series add it to one of them. It starts off at the bar, as Bobby sings of this wild woman the scenes go back and forth from the party at the bar to the leather clad "catherine the great" to the Rhythm Devils racing around. All the extras in the video were members of the Dead's extended family. It's fun to watch - well, it's always fun to watch The Bobstar- but, except for that Midnight's America video- this is about as fun as it gets!

Well while we may not have that extra Bobby siting in December- there will be a Mark Karan show at the Sweetwater on the 20th! I'm hoping Kems will want to go over to Mill Valley with me. Scott will be recovering from retail madness that night- he works twice as hard during December than at any other time of the year, so he will probably be crawling home on that night, too wiped out to want to go out after 9pm........

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Bill Walton is not the only Sports enthusiast in the family...

Okay, so I couldnt wait...I bought the Dan Zanes cd with Bobstar singing and playing guitar on "Wabash Cannonball". Liner notes mention Yoki Waki on upright bass and Dan Zanes plays mandolin,guitar and sings.Thesong was recorded @ Club Front-engineered by Mike McGuinn-2nd engineer was AJ Santella..

In the production notes special thanks are given to Robin Sylvester.
portions of the proceeds of this are going to www.smallplanetfund.org.

Nice, eh?

Friday, November 28, 2003

Hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving! Ours went smoothly-if you don't count the 2 times Mom's artfully arranged Fall foliage table top decorations caught fire from the multiple tea candles also scattered about the table...My sister and BIL are the epitomy of Marin suave- they quietly put out the flames mid conversation.

A while back, I was rummaging through a closet and came upon a perfectly sealed set of Bobby's "Baru Bay" book with audio cassette. It mustve been a gift for me that I put aside as I already (of course) at the time had the book and tape. I brought it along and seeing as my nephew and niece are no longer tots- I gifted them with it...My sister loves the illustrations- which along with some of the story were created by Bobby's sister Wendy Weir.
There is also another story by the Weir siblings- it's "Panther Dreams" and it's also on video tape. You know I have these also! On the audio and video of these stories, Bobby does the narrations as well as arranging the background music....These are really nice books, I don't know if they are still in circulation or what, but, I know I've seen them on ebay, so if you can't find them on Wendy's website or GD merchandising- check ebay for Bob Weir items. I've been showing the video and the books to my classes for a few years now- it's nice, not too scary - a good tool for a little geography lesson too.
Next, on my "Class Wish list" is The latest Dan Zanes kiddy cd, Bobby (among several guest artists) sings a song "Wabash Cannonball"... Of course, what we really need is an entire Kiddy CD by Bobby...Don'tcha think???

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Here's a little something to look forward to :

The Doors' Ray Manzarek hosts “The Temples Of Rock” this Sunday from 9-11PM on the Travel Channel. The show focuses on notable music venues and recording studios including an extended segment on the Fillmore featuring interviews with Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Dennis McNally

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Hippy Thanksgiving! <---In case I'm too stuffed to blogin manana..also-
Happy Berthaday to David in Wales!

I am grateful for many things. Having Scotto to share my passion with. Having parents, siblings and kids who accept us and our Bobsession.

That our Bobstar continues to continue! I can't wait to hear that "Best of" cd!
That so many are so generous about spreading the music around!

I'm thankful for being able to travel after BobDog these past two summers and especially, Scott and I feel blessed by all the wonderful people we met on tour. We love all our doggy companions.

We love you all!
Gotta run- 10-20-03 is playing,dinner's ready and Jason is home from college for the weekend...

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Hey Now!

Woke up to find this online!

"December 22, Red or The Second Annual Red or Dead Electric Benefit at Marin Civic Center in San Rafael with Sammy Hagar & the Waborita's, Bob Weir and Friends, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and guests. Additional details coming."

ya baby! 

An extra night of Bobness coming up! Was hoping for another casual New George's Tavern thing but this will be fun- Wow, no joking about finding an all month Baby sitter!

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Alrighty then!
Bobdog Fall tour is over and so, my guys should be on their way home!
The tour ended in NOLA at the HOB.
My first out of state show was Ratdog @ HOB NOLA - I think it was 3 years ago. We met Topher there as well as Neal Smith and his crew from the Rat Trap. It was the first time Scott and I went anywhere without our kids. The show was taking place on Scott's birthday and it seemed to be about time we saw a show on Scott's birthday- since we always see a show on mine. We both had longed to take a look at New Orleans- He loves the Anne Rice series and I like anything with flavor and New Orleans has plenty of flavor! Somehow we found someone to watch the kids and the dogs and so, we took off to NOLA .

We were only away for a few days. The first night we just sort of wandered -Scott wanted to play at Harrah's- I don't gamble so paced around and got lost inside - it's one huge casino! Finally, Scott got tired of losing money and so we hit the all night buffet which was enormous. From the corner of my eye I saw Jeff & Jay with Kris Z. I thought to be cool and let the guys alone- but as Scott and I were both wearing tee shirts with "RATDOG" emblazoned across our chests- the guys noticed us first and commented on our shirts...So what if it was 3am, these fellows were great! Friendly and gracious- they wished Scott a happy birthday and chatted a little before filling their trays up.

The next day we continued to wander the streets of the French Quarter, shopping and eating our way back and forth. At some point a few familiar looking charactors- Mark and Wass with his fiancee passed by us on the street. We got a quick "Hey There!" from the always friendly Senor Karan and kept moving along.

A very nice feature for rail grabbers is that if you dine at HOB-NOLA right before a show, you are put in an early venue entrance line. We enjoyed Scott's birthday dinner and got into our line and soon found our space on the rail (Under MK- wearing his orange sneakers) and met Topher who was standing by us, dazzling us with his extensive Yiddish vocabulary.

The show was smokey and yummy. Irwin Mayfield (I think it was him) was a guest horn player. It was a grand old time!

The next morning, before packing up, we went for coffee and beignets. My mind was swirling around from everything and biting into a hot greasy beignet I flashed on an idea for creating a dessert with Weir Sauce. Once home, I but thoughts into motion and came up with the Weir Bananas recipe which won me ,a meeting with Bobby and then ended up getting published in Chili Pepper Magazine. I think the recipe is still up at www.weirsauces.com

Saturday, November 22, 2003

I asked for a Blog upgrade and now that I can see the options, I have no clue on how to work with them- oy!
I've been listening to cds all day and its been Heaven! Today my favorite song is El Paso. I'm loving in particular, the 03-04-03 El Paso. While we were on the rail at that Fillmore show - the El Paso slipped my mind. My favorite memory from the show was that it was my first Robin Sylvester Ratdog show. I missed The Wass but not as much as I had expected to. When the show was over, I lingered on the dance floor as most of the crowd scrunched together to file out through the narrow hallways then down stairs to get outside. During my loitering, I found Robin standing around. I went over to him, whipped out my tourbook and sharpie and asked him for an autograph...He looked surprised and perhaps a little skeptical, I tried explaining that I have all the Doggers signatures and needed his as well. He seemed really uncomfortable with the entire request and the women yelling teasing remarks from the balcony where the Aftershow party was taking place did not help the situation at all.
Some months later, in Milton Keynes, I approached Robin again, after the show,on the dance floor and this time requested a photo- the one with Luke. Robin had been having his photo taken but mightve been about to spring for freedom when I asked, but he was a good sport and did the photo with us and was already gone a second later (it turned out really dark and its not on the website).
The mood in Manchester was exceptionally festive. It had been a short but great tour. By this time, I think Robin realized that as weird as I am, I'm harmless and so the photo I had taken of him at that point is labelled as the real Robin smiling one. I love his contributions to the band as I much as I appreciated The Wass's uniqueness. By all accounts that I'm hearing - Bobdog is peaking this Fall- Robin is being highly praised by all. YAY TEAM! Gonna go back and give that El Paso yet another good listen!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

At long last, The NYE thing is nailed...We have 12 folks in one suite and not 24 in 2. Moon Devyl (Joe) and his friend are joining Arrow, Tree, Dave,Hillary, Tim, Linda,Karen, Ron, Scott and I.

A relief to not have to figure this out anymore- Instead it's time to focus on more pressing concerns such as getting revved up for the Seva benefit!!
And also, that Ratdog is about to wrap up the Fall tour- which to the well trained Bobby watcher, indicates it's time to get resources prepared for the spontaneous Bob pop ups around the Bay Area- Anyone remember last December 23rd?? Out of the blue with 2 daze warning, Bobby and Sammy Hagar put on a show at The New George's saloon in San Rafael. It was a benefit for Ritter House and admission was $25 bucks and a giftcard suitable for a teen ager. This was Hagar's idea and wasnt it fantastic of Bobby to jump right in! It was quite a show- Sammy's style is almost the opposite of Bobby's- Sammy is quite a ham and chats the audience from the stage, chides and jokes with his band. He got Bobby going! Never saw or heard that crazy side of the usually low key Bob on stage before! He was REALLY funny! Of course, it may have been the Cabo Wabo talking as Sammy made everyone on stage take a swig from a bottle which then was passed through the audience!
Yes, must now make a list of last minute school night Babysitters as well as earmark some funds for who knows what & where Bob might be up to! Gots to be ready for Going where the wind blows!

Sunday, November 16, 2003

NYE in the suite at the Oakland Arena is a go! At the moment, a pair of friends are trying to get a "better" suite and if they do come up with another suite then we will have room for another 4-8 people in our suite. The suite's maximum limit is 16 people. If they don't then we are maximum capacity...Here's what we have:
We have an Al Attiles Suite which is located at the very back (facing the stage) of the arena. Obviously not close in but the view is unobstructed (bringing telescopes & binoculars. There are 12 Theater seats looking out on the action there are additional barstools looking over the theater seats.

Dealing with the changing number of people has been occupying all my Weir Freak time. Now it's just a matter whether the one couple are able to come up with their own suite or not. Hate to admit it's kinda fun to watch em scramble around to find something better than what fell into our laps. But if anyone can ferret out a better deal it's these folks!

Ah, I'm listening to one of Ratdog's recent Beacon shows- I had heard it might be as good as Bilston was...So far it is intense. But it's impossible to expect a show on cd could ever exceed a live experience. Portland, Santa Cruz, Bilston, Cologne are my especially favorite shows having been there and zoning out to the magic as it was being created.

Okay, back to painting this chair for little Hayden- The guy who commissioned it needs it by tomorrow night, so I better go focus on finishing it!

Will be back as soon as there is something Bobby Weirthy to discuss.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Deep breaths..

Yay! We got the suite! Now the next part is figuring out who is going to be in the suite...We've got Arrow& Tree, Dave & Hillary, Scotto & Yo,Ron, Tim & Linda. These are all the absolutes as of right now. The next wave is Karen & her friend (I need to double check) then, Ben & Cris-who want to bring another friend-They will know for sure by tonight, I hope...Is that 12-16 yet? If the tentatives don't go, Tim & Linda know folks who want to go and I also have a list of newly interested folks...Yeow! Maybe we ought to have gotten 2 suites!

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Weir Freaking Out..........Scott's cousin found out we can only get suite seats if we buy an entire suite (that's 12 seatsx$125). So far we have 8 confirmed- 2 maybes "will call tomorrow for sure").............I'm gonna be going crazy now until this works itself out........ARGH!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Still Weir Freaking!
It's suddenly all about New Year's Eve!

As we had actually decided to bring along our 9 year old son (our other kids go to Maui with my folks during Winter Break) Friends from Los Angeles phoned to say they were coming up to go to New Year's with us (they automatically knew we would be going). They have sons-older than our guy and their oldest agreed to babysit for us. Our kiddo was definately thrilled to be hanging out with the big guys instead of schlepping out to Oakland with the folks (phew!).

Okay, now that put a decidedly different spin on NYE! But wait! It gets better! Hubby's cousin is a full on multiseat Golden State Warrior season ticket holder (the arena is their venue). Cousin Grateful has the option as a season ticket holder to buy luxury suite tickets to non Basketball events and has most graciously offered to order suite tix for us for NYE! THe new goal is to find enough folks to fill a suite with.
Suites are rooms on the mezzanine and concourse levels of the arena with party areas in them- they have private bathrooms, closed circuit TVs, you can bring food or order it (like room service) up to the box. Has its own entrance and parking..Best of all- room to dance and nice seats.....I teased Scott about not being able to hang on to the suite idea and have my 50th birthday (NYE is my birthday) party in one (almost 5 years to go) He says we gotta grab it now-who knows from year to year what will be. So glad he does most of the thinking around here. So far there are 6 of us in on the suite seats..Wouldve been more had we heard about this prior to buying tickets (we now need to sell our regular tix)
To hear more about the suites go to:

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Gotta find some babysitters!

It's so hard to belive it's already November. Here in the Bay Area, it was like Autumn didnt exist. Went from a heatwave to hail in a day! Well, the true sign of time whipping by is that the New Years shows have been announced and tickets are already available. I purchased 2 for the 30th and 3 for the 31st. The 31st is my birthday- can't miss Senor Bob then!

The 3rd ticket is for my nine year old Noah- in case we can't work out a babysitter for him. My other kids will be going on vacation with my folks to Maui. Good thing Noah, really does like the music and knows lots of the songs.He takes Djembe lessons and enjoys watching the drumz segments on the View from the Vault series.

On the Eurodog tour of 2002, we met Austin- a young boy who was enjoying the shows with his folks. Whenever he wasnt dancing along, he had his gameboy & headphones to keep him busy. If he could handle a tour like that, Noah ought to be able to make it through a night.

All sorts of fun stuff coming up- this weekend is the Rex Benefit- I finished all the funky shroom birdhouses and the smoker - Scott sent them over to the Rex offices today. That show is happening this weekend at the Fillmore. On the 13th of December is the Seva benefit which takes place at The Berkeley Community Theater (wonderful acoustics!) The Dead & Jackson Browne (and others) areplaying. Scott and I bought (donated for) premier seating and will be hitting the post show reception. It's not every month we have so much going on around here.

After spending a few days painting funky intensive mushroom shaped birdhouses & smokers- I went out on a nonshopping trip to my favorite shops. At a bookstore, I finally got to thumb through the new book "Illustrated Grateful Dead". It's incredible! It's big and heavy and crammed full of stuff like timelines...The first page I opened to had a bio on Jeff Chimenti (as a player in The Dead). I was afraid of spending too much time looking through it- it's a thing to be savored. Will have to purchase it as a gift for "us" closer to the holidays.

The various weirsites are mentioning that the profile on the Charlie Rose segment of 60Minutes2 will be on November 12th.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Weir Here! I put that on my SpunBob tee shirt which I wore to the Canterbury Festival in the UK.

So, I love that "Weir Here" is the title of Bobby's forthcoming ( this coming January) CD!
Last January, the Ted Kurland web site mentioned that Bobby would be promoting his "greatest hits" compilation album on the Summer UK tour- well we did the tour but I guess the CD wasnt ready yet. I'm not the only one that hopes this release will help get us all returning to Eurdog it in 2004.

In the meanwhile, I'm waiting for the mushroom houses to arrive- they need to be ready for the Rex benefit at The Fillmore! Good thing I can paint faster than I can type!

I've been hearing rave reviews about Bobdog's Beacon show (the Saturday show) and I'm jealous. However, Avery from Deadnet sent me the Bilston show (August 23,2003) and it's more beautiful than I remembered. It's consoling me right now...mmm-mmmm!

Friday, October 24, 2003

So happy it's Friday! I've got projects due that I need to get out of the way before the goodies I'm painting and donating to The Rex Foundation's silent auction which will be held at the upcoming event on November 8th at the Fillmore. Last Spring, the Dragon smokers I sent them sold for a pretty penny- I am very proud to help out in this way..This time I'm painting a trio of wooden mushroom shaped bird houses (very cute unpainted, but I can't wait to go nuts on them) and also a mushroom forest house which is a smoker...A smoker is a kind of incense burner that burns the cone shaped incense...The dragon had incense smoke fuming from the nostrils...The mushroom forest house has a little chimney for the smoke.

Wouldnt it be fun to do both the Beacon shows this weekend? I better just finish off my projects- November 8th will be here in no time!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Life still unsettled since a week ago...Happily, things are moving in the world of Weirness...A benefit for SEVA was announced. A show featuring The Dead and Jackson Browne among assorted other musicians will be held at The Berkeley Community Theater in December. BCT has wonderful acoustics, is clean and caters to the audience being able to HEAR the performers rather than squishing folks into a big old room, letting the chips fall wherever.. To get the best of the best, Scott and I bought Circle of Compassion tickets which lands us in about the 6th row. It also gets us into a post show gathering and gives us posters.
I've said it before and must say it again, I love the benefits. Now that we have some money we can afford to make donations to kind organizations...Rather than spend $400 on airfare to go see Bobstar in some off the wall place, we can give it to SEVA and have sweet seats and feel well treated. True, its about the music but railing it each and everytime gets to wearing thin.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Hello Hello! I'm still around....Love reading the show reviews located at Deadnet.com and Ratdog.org...Really enjoying the fantasy setlist thang over at Ratdog.org....I have risen from 242nd place to 177th place...I'm up to 24 points so far....There's no prizes or anything- just a matter of honor...if I had any notion of having an intuitive "bond" with the band- well, I've been humbled by low scores in the past fantasy setlist games....but this time, I feel lucky...we shall see.
If you didnt get in on the Setlist game at the start, you can still go by Ratdog.org and compute your Ratdoggy stats there... That was a lot of fun- Shows how many times you've heard specific songs plus what percentage of shows you've seen- I already forgot my stats- either I've seen 42 Ratdog shows or 42% of all the Ratdog shows...My favorite stat is that I've seen my guys play in 4 separate countries and 4 different US states...Not bad for a middle aged hausfrau from the suburbs.

Thursday, October 16, 2003


Wish I could be at the show- I'll bet it's quite a party out in Philly right now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Funeral was yesterday. At the end of a long and sad day, Scotto and I were comforted by viewing many messages and e-mails of condolences from our Ratdog family. It's a kind family, that is for sure, Thank you all...I have items that are overdue to go out in the mail to Ratdoggers. I'll definately get to the PO in the morning so hold on...

A thousand apologies for screwing up my own Blogspot with poorly pasted in UK tales...Maybe in time, I will be able to take a few hours and polish it up and put it back on here in a more organized manner...I've got a mind to upgrade this page- I went to try to do that but the page I need is currently under maintenance. I hope there will spellchecking btw....

The house here, is an utter disaster- nothing has been taken care of since Sunday..better go clean up some pots and pans before someone calls social services on us!

Monday, October 13, 2003

Sigh, My mother in law passed away yesterday..
Scott spent yesterday with his mom and was with her when she died..no matter how prepared you are -you are never ready to say good bye when the time comes.
He got home late last night. We listened to the Milton Keynes show...It was a special show to be at- sort of other worldly. The songs fit right into our mood last night. Thank you to Ian in Aberdeen for sending it all the way to California...

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Okay- if you managed how to read the tour tales and want to view photographs my homepages with tons of pictures are at:
Okay, I've obviously didnt think it through when posting my uk tour tales- I now see they are upside down-or rather in reverse order - so to read along you will have to scroll all the way down to today's first blog post and read your way back up...sorry!

One good ride from start to end!

All dolled up, Scotto escorted me over to the Life Cafe around 4 or 5pm, then left to continue his quest for the elusive VAT forms...The party was already going downstairs in LIfe Cafe’s basement social room aka The Late Room, a girl about 16 years old was our security! Just nod yes to her asking whether you had a ticket to the show and in you go! My first best hug was from Ratdog.org’s Cousin Bud- if I have a regret or 2 about anything, its that I hadnt ditched my passed out husband in Amsterdam and run off to play at Rookies with Cousin Bud & Sam! Great couple of guys- EastCoast Philly style.I hung out and around with my new & various Eurotour friends for awhile and headed back to the street to see what was up there....Stepping out of the dark cellar which was the Late Room, I ran right into Theresa, Robin and others dancing on the sidewalk to the Ratdog soundcheck which was loudly and clearly coming out of the Life Cafe...More hugs and loves..and I turn around and to my delight stood the beautiful little Geraldine and her father the (yum) handsome David! They seemed just as happy to see me as I was to see them, we compared notes on the what we had been doing since London.. since then the blushing Geraldine had become a complete Bobfreak..Well, why not? I told her, I have loved Bobby since I was younger than she is now...sigh.....
Playin with the band...
While I was enjoying everyone on the sidewalk- welcoming David , Angela and their GratefulRatdog newbie friend Stacey (this was going to be his first exposure to Dead related music), along came Scott- no VAts to be had..We all headed back downstairs where the party had grown to become a standing room only crowd . Theresa had snuck downstairs and secured a big booth where we toasted David- it was his 30th berthaday! I had brought over a Grateful Dancing Bear birthday card which is still sold in my town’s one head shop. For David, I also had (still pritsine and unopened in the original cellephane) a pair of Rockwings purchased at Kaiser last December from Deadnet’s own Legendary Rob. I still need to send on some Weir sauce- that will be my next job, after /if ever I finish writing these last few hours of tour tales..We were having a truly great time- it almost couldnt have been any better but then members of the Band started showing up.

I don’t know if they got there one at a time or straggled in one or two at a time but, I poked my head around a corner and there was Robin holding court with a group of tie dyed Eurotraders..a few feet away Jeff and Jay were inspecting the beautiful cake expertly baked and beautifully decorated by Ceceila, who was all to happy to explain her cake decorating technique to me (at last, someone to discuss the wonders of royal icing with- I so wished I had a spare bottle of Weir Snake oil for her!).. Mark off to the side, getting swarmed by all the usual camera bearing suspects....In the background, on a small stage Workingman’s Deed was playing FOTD.....David wandered off to get a berthday ale at the bar...Angela and Theresa borrowed a pen and got the band members to sign the birthday bear card for David..by the end of the evening everyone including Bobstar wrote birthday greetings on it...Which fulfilled Scott’s written birthday message to David “ I don’t remember my 30th, but I guarantee you won’t forget yours!”
Maybe because it was tight quarters or because the party had started hours earlier or just the fact that Jeff,Jay, Robin and Mark were around and being accessible to everyone who wanted a handshake,autograph, a hug or take a photo- it seemed the time to move up and out to get in line came all too soon...

Scott and I placed ourselves in line, right behind us was none other than Darlenie, the Scottish Bobbyhead I stood at the rail with back in London with...big hugs and another round of updates...this lady drove, I forgot how many miles ALONE to get to London and then to Manchester for a Bobby fix...I felt outright guilty telling her that I’d be seeing Bobby and Ratdog again in about a week, then Bobby with the Dead a few weeks after that, back home in California....I don’t think I’d be able to wait as long as she has out in the heathery hills of Scotland for a Bobdog fix....

The inside of the Life Cafe was set up a little like Astoria with a balcony over the floor..except of course, the Astoria seemed to be about twice the size. Not much time to find a spot- tiny Angela had some space for me behind her at the rail. Looked like an excellent spot- as we were closed in to the corner by the big speaker. David was next to her at the rail. Scott was as usual, right behind me..David and Geraldine next to Scott, Keir somewhere behind Geraldine, Stacey, the newbie on Scotts other side ..for a few moments it looked like a good space...but the place kept filling up and folks had squeezed in so much that I started wondering if maybe there was a better place to be- looked around and realized EVERYONE in every corner and up in the balcony were packed in ala Sweetwater . Even if I could spy a place to go- there just was no way out of there...As expected, once the music began, folks sort of spread out a bit...They opened the show with a rockin Loose Lucy - perfect choice!!
“Thank you! for a REAL good time!!!” has been ringing in my head ever since! The show stayed high energy and kick ass all night...We all got our awaited favorites..Got my Black Throated Wind and She Says..Scott got Aiko and his Candyman...We all smiled at the blushing Geraldine when Bobby sang “Good Morning Little School girl”
I turned and grinned at the Newbie Stacey- he was beaming, dancing and nodding like crazy to the music... The ceiling over the band was slanted with some sort of reflective covering on it..like a huge mirror - we could see everyone in the audience out of normal visual range and that made for a great memory! A glance here- I could watch Cousin Bud do his happy dance, a glance to the side of him and there was WDP, Robin and Theresa.. A glance in my own direction and I had a clear view of Scotto doing the head bop thing he does..I loved it- makes me want to put a mirror on my own ceiling....Another great show...except of course, for the one guy who just can’t maintain...and at least, it was just the one guy...

Wherever he goes the people all complain

We saw this guy at one of the other shows- perhaps he was the jerk who had to scream out “WharfRat” during the end of a quiet song in Milton Keynes. Before this particular Jerk shoved his way over by us, I had seen him via the reflective ceiling- bugging our friends along the rail...He caused a stir everytime he passed by us- knocking into and pushing folks as he moved along..At some point, probably during WharfRat, he lost his mind and jumped right up on the speakers which were behind me, kicking my back in the process ..I got mad!! and tried reached up to pull his hand off as Scott (tuffer than he appears-he’s a pawnbroker, ya know) and others tried pulling the rest of Jerk down....Chris Charucki appeared on stage- like a wild man, pulling out his pocket knife -with the plyers facing out (plyers?)- he fixed an angry eye on the Jerk and lunged off the stage coming toward me! I got out of his way real fast as Chris flew past me after Jerk guy...The band of course, played on through all of this...Things were soon alright once again - The Jerk did reappear by Scott a few moments later- causing Chris to pop out again..seeing Chris, the Jerk took off not to be seen again- at least by us...

After another few minutes, we recovered our groove and got lost with everyone else in the St Stephen>William Tell Bridge>the eleven...Everyone sang along to NFA...Encore was Brokedown Palace. Again, as with Milton Keynes,the everysong in the setlist had a lyric or two with special meaning.....Before everything broke up on the the stage, Jay grabbed a mic (ruh-roh!) and introduced the crew with Ringmaster/Game show host flourishes...when Jay got to Charucki- our little corner cheered a bit more loudly...

Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand

One of the best bits about the UK shows was that except for London, Dogheads were encouraged to hang out and buy drinks..It is one of the factors that made the shows feel like a big party- the being able to hang and compare notes about the show..made for a very festive time...In Manchester, it was a last chance for getting everyone’s proper e-mail addies, for hugs, for promising to send cds and pictures along, more hugs, to be inviting new pals and to be invited by others to come stay over...cameras were flashing away and mine was no exception...everyone wanted to hold on to these precious last minutes of a really wonderful trip..It was a time when the folks you hadnt quite met but “knew” finally asked you your name and introduced themselves...I was scribbling my addy for one of the Germans, when Luke came by and told me that Bobby was taking pictures with fans on the other side of the bar, would I mind taking one last picture of him with the ultimate bandmember?...Scott and I followed Luke around to where Bob was being blinded by flashes.Sure enough all our camera toting friends were paparazzing it up... Luke took his place next to Bobby and Flash! Flash! Flash! Chris or Norm told me to run over to get my picture taken..So, In the madness of the moment- I threw myself right into what would probably have been a nice picture of Tiny Dancer and his Bobness. Flash! Flash! Flash! step away and someone else stepped right in for his turn....What followed was a random hugging binge - I don’t even know exactly who I was hugging sometimes- but I remember not wanting to let go of anyone from Cousin Bud to David and Angela to Jeff Chimenti ( bandmembers were blending in with the after crowd) to crazy Chris Jones.....Finally, the bar was closing and everyone was being moved outside...our group hung outside for awhile and then divided up....Scott and I along with various friends found out that a Donor kebob take out- another form of gyros/shwarma/something in a pita was just around the corner..and because, it wouldnt be right to be in a new town without eating something in a pita ( which sometimes is called a “Bap”) we had to order....
A running joke among some of us was how “He who shall remain nameless” kept getting into little mishaps everywhere...This particular night, he innocently tried to order fish and chips (the photo display seemed to be advertising such). This simple order caused the big mean lookin Kebob guy to loudly and angrily go off on “Nameless” ala John Belushi “NO FISH!!!! No Fish!!!! Just cheeps! Just cheeps!!JUST CHEEPS!!!” Okay, so maybe you had to have been there, but in light of Nameless’s misadventures, we laughed til we almost cried..that set the mood for the next half hour- standing around and being silly - I wouldve been still standing there, but there were only a few hours left until a taxi would be coming to take us to the airport.

Goin’ home, goin’ home,

Scott stretched out on the huge bed and conked out...I carefully repacked all stuff I had flung around while primping...this left me with time for about a 40 minute nap, before it was time to go downstairs and meet the taxi....Groggy as hell, Scott and I limped to the lobby, dragging our luggage along...We were almost through the door, when our van navigator Robin found us.
Hugs & hugs & hugs and then Scott and I were in the cab on our way to the Manchester airport, where we would catch a flight to Gatwick International airport where would catch a flight to Philly and from Philly we would take a final flight home to SFO...
We were all happy, I think, that the Manchester airport was relatively small and the airport had a fixed rate cab service. We couldnt get to the Crowne Plaza hotel fast enough for me....Now here, we would expect a Crowne Plaza to look pretty much like any other Crowne Plaza, but in Europe and the UK..The US chains often just take over an older establishment- like the Radisson Marlborough...and back in Amsterdam- our apartment was part of the Best Western chain- don’t be afraid to book at a familiar chain, at least you have an idea of what the standards are like ..This Crowne Plaza was once known as The Midlands Hotel. The building was about 100 years old and beautiful..lots of fru-fru on the exterior and a big grand hotel feeling in the lobby .Here we had the best room and biggest bed of our travels...not that we had time to sleep much.

After settling in, ironing my evening stuff and whatever, we set out to find the Life Cafe- Keir (he gets GRANDE HUGS for cluing us in on the Crowne Plaza) had said it was close by..Sure enough, about a block from the hotel entrance was the Big blue Ratdog bus..Camera had about 100 pictures to go so SNAP! We approached the Life Cafe-SNAP! We saw yet another outtadate Ratdog poster in the window- SNAP! A door opened and SNAP! out popped Jeff Chimenti! We spent a moment or two telling him how much fun we were having and how great the music was...then out popped Jay, Blonde AJ and Chuck (c’mon doesnt he remind you of the Ben Kingsley charactor from the film “sexy beast”?).....Scott and I felt it was time to get out of the way and moved back down the street to where we were sposed to be meeting up at St Peter’s Square with our tour navigator,Robin....Don’t know where she ended up, but Scott and I took a table at an outdoor cafe because, as you know by now, the munching never stops....
While hanging out in the Square, we got to chat with WDP Allison and later on with Taper Leslie from Scotland...Getting late-ish it was time to return to the hotel and begin primping..Scotto went out to find some VAT forms....Value Added Tax is a kick back for tourists for spending $$$ in their country- the cash is reimbursed to you right at the airport- that’s IF you have your receipts and also your expenditures written on a special form...the trick is finding stores and hotels that havent run out of these rare forms..in the end, we couldnt find a single VAT form in all of Manchester-and no, they don’t have them at the airport where you cash em in...next tour, we’ll stay on top of that, for sure!
We met TinyDancer in our hotel lobby and shared a cab to Victoria Station. From there we boarded a train “The Gatwick Express” which took us to Gatwick airport. Grabbed coffee(blech) and some sort of breakfast pastry right by our gate...Why do these moments at the airport always seem ten times as long as moments anywhere else? I couldnt wait to be in Manchester and get this crazy day going! Our last day among the excellent Ratdog UK crowd-small enough to know almost everyone by sight-but big enough to fill most of the venues we had been to. At tour’s end, I knew about 45 people by first name (not including the bandmembers) I started writing names down in Bilston when it was obvious, my poor brain was overloaded with info..
Milton Keynes
This must be Heaven!

We met Tiny Dancer in the lobby of our Washington Mayfair Hotel- quite luxurious with a nice sized room -nice bath, complete with robes, minibar 7 little bottles of shampoo & lotions (The Radisson had all that stuff too- but not quite as nice). From there we set out to take the underground (our only ride in the tube it turned out) over to the St John’s Wood- Hampstead area where we were all meeting at David’s (London Werewolf) flat. We took pix and hung out for a bit and at last were back on the road, off to Milton Keynes. This ride was a quick one compared to the previous ones.
About the countryside, normally the beautiful rolling hills are green and lush but last week the minidrought was still in progress- the landscape resembled parts of California...We had heard Milton Keynes described as a “Concrete Cow” by an English cabbie and so, hadnt expected the place to live up to the photos found at The Stables website. Down a woodsy lane, left here- right there and suddenly we were there- A very pretty place, and where you would expect to find an actual Stable, was The Stable Venue! A very contemporary glass building, bright and clean too! To make sure we all felt a little like we had arrived in Heaven- there was a parking spot right in the very front of the entrance..And just where one might expect to find God welcoming you in, there was MK doing the greetings!
Realizing there was still quite awhile to go before showtime, we all packed into the blue van and went out in search of (yes) food....The ride was really confusing- every roundabout looks exactly like the next or previous roundabout...We couldnt quite find a town but did find a shopping mall where of course, the only food outlets open were Burger King and McDonalds (not so heavenly)..and both places were getting ready to close early (it was something called Banker’s Holiday)...We ate what we could - Warren’s tray -full of food, had been picked up and dumped by a zealous Burger King employee before he had even unwrapped it- so he had to order all over again!
Back in the van again, we returned to The Stables which now had quite a bit of familiar faces milling around. At last count in Manchester, Scotto & I have made over 30 new tour buddies (LOVE TO ALL OF YOU!)There was no smoking in the venue but in & out was cool. Hanging outside, it was like a party- everyone knew or recognized each other from the other shows. Going over and striking up a conversation with anyone was never easier to do. It was friendly and everyone was happy. I was happy to see that Luke and also Teelo had made it- I didnt see them at Canterbury. Luke is a young and friendly fellow, felt badly we hadnt had the room to offer him space in the vans-but with Saint possibly showing up somewhere plus everyone’s assorted luggage....While I was mid chatter with Luke, I realized from his haircut, build, youth and Southern friendliness that he might be military..so I asked where he was living- he looked a little surprised but the answer was Manheim Germany...I ventured to ask him if he was a soldier and he told me he was but that folks seemed really uncomfortable when he mentioned that so, he hadnt been mentioning it. Delving , I found out that he had already been to Iraq and was hoping he wouldnt have to go back again. His one word summary of his time in Iraq was that it was “Serious”.

Well, my heart opened up to this soldier, just a few years older than my own college aged son. From then on I bugged whichever bandmembers I could find to get in a picture with this boy- which is why you see him all over my webpages (really! as cute and buffed as he was, my interest was a maternal sort...really!)

Showtime at last! I don’t know what I can add to what already has been saidabout the venue? It was really a slice of Heaven- no bad seats, small, great acoustics...Those who wanted to flooded the floor. I was happy up in my seat (on the aisle) It was a great view of everyone (I could see Tiny Dancer and Cousin Bud dancing!! for the very first time! ) There was no one anywhere near me- even Scott was down front somewhere. When someone did come to sit near by- I moved into the aisle...at one point, a lady usher was heading directly toward me- which had me thinking that I was going to be told to sit down or move but when she got next to me she turned to the band and started doing her own dance!

It was another awesome show. As I posted elsewhere- Bilston and Manchester were great shows but Milton Keynes will probably have more meaning in the long run for me.
Earlier in the day, I managed to find an internet cafe in London and read my daily e-mail from the SF Giants fansite. I found out that Hometeam favorite, Bobby Bonds (pop of homerun legend, Barry) had passed away. Scotto and I wondered if our other hometeam legend, Bobby Weir knew and if he would honor Bonds with a “He’s Gone”.
So, now look at this setlist and imagine having just had a serious conversation with a young soldier as well as remembering Bobby Bonds, our friend Saint falling off tour and add all the untold tour moments into the mix and see if you can understand my point of view:
Feel like a stranger>she belongs to me>october queen>the deep end>even so>Lost Sailor>saint.Tennessee Jed
FOTD> Karina>eyes>He’s Gone>Knocking on heaven’s door>Help on the way>Slipknot>Franklin’s Tower and the encore: Liberty

Time out in London

Back in London at The Mayfair, Tuesday was our only No Show day & night. Scott and I were off to do shopping - couldnt be returning empty handed ! We hiked over to Picadilly Circus, passing through Soho- which is London’s ChinaTown, Theaterland- past all the famous old theaters,and on and on...At St Martins of The Fields Church was a small outdoor market...We found a pair of jester type hats with Union Jacks on them and decided they were just the thing to wear at the Manchester show and also to wear when our kids got home - the kids loved them but Bobby scowled at them-yikes! Well, I’ll just hope I thought he was scowlin at them-that he really didnt see them or us and some other odd thing was on his mind....

Onward we stumbled to Covent Garden- Covent Garden is NOT a garden nor a park but a series of stalls and shops - a tourist-market area that I thought would be THE place to buy major amounts of the sort of shlock I love to bring back and give away..But things have changed, Covent Garden is a nice sort of upscale shopping place now. The stalls are really nice artsy items- very unique handcrafts...I found an incredible scarves stall which had really lovely one of a kind painted velvet items- something for mom and my pal Julie-who was taking care of my daughter while we were gone...As I said there are lots of unique little shops at Covent Garden and we filled Scotto’s backpack with a variety of trinkets for the kids...Time to get back towards Picadilly...first stops at some of the gazillion used book stores.Not a single 2nd hand Harry Potter in the whole district...I promised my kids Harry Potter as written in the Queen’s English- ended up having to buy fresh versions afterall...I’ve not read any of those books so couldnt tell if there was any difference tween the UK & US versions til we got home and the kids noticed that to begin with, the titles are all changed..

I was disappointed that there are no low priced schlock shops..Everything is priced high in the UK. I did find a souveneir stand, the salesguy loved my enthusiasm for his shlock and started giving me extra schlock freebies! If only I had a free hand, I wouldve taken his picture...moving right along Picadilly, We finally arrived at Fortnum and Mason- http://www.fortnumandmason.co.uk- A major stop for foodies. Scott was lost immediately in aisles upon aisles of marmalades and jams...I had my own work to do...hunting around the store, I found just the right spot to whip out a bottle of Weir Sauce and start snapping pictures..I wanted Bobby’s sauce to feel special, ya know?

Weir sauce
Like last year, I brought some bottles along to give away..last year, I used the bottles as trade for tour posters. This year the venues have been using OLD print outs from last year- advertising Rob Wasserman instead of Robin- so, I didnt want em..This time, my bottles were going to go to people who made the trip special- unfortunately, I hadnt packed nearly enough to give to everyone I wouldve liked to...My first give away was to the lad from Canterbury-Neil for being the coolest kid in the UK- maybe the only kid in the UK who is into Ratdog..I gave it to him at the rail, when the show ended- I walked away quickly and spied on him from afar...He stood there, turning the bottle around..then rushed across the lawn where a gathering of folks were sitting on a blanket- I could see him showing them the bottle, a man (the dad?) and then a woman (the mom?) took turns inspecting the bottle (it was sealed). Then, their friends came over to see it...then the mom told him to do something and he turned around and looked all around til he saw me then walked over to thank me once again....:O)
My next bottle of WeirSauce was given to my soldier Luke at Milton Keynes. I had only 2 bottles left. One was for Theresa for doing ALL the driving and the other one I had to give to the beautiful Geraldine and her handsome Dad, the little family I had enjoyed meeting back in London..I will be sending a Weir Sauce care package to David in London for organizing the vans...

We werent finished at Fortnum & Mason til we had one of their famous ice cream concoctions- So beautiful and delicious! Unfortunately, Scotto refused to let me take a picture- afraid It doing such a thing would have us forever banned from Fortnums...

I wasnt the only one to bring treats to the UK though, Less Than/Brian had dog tags made up with Ratdog UK Tour August 22,23,24,25 & 27 2003 on them- these were the most coveted prize on tour - Scott hid mine til we got home so I wouldnt end up giving it away...

Scott and I met up with Tiny back in Mayfair- the plan was to go on a double decker tour of London by night- but I hadnt checked into it- just assumed such an activitity existed (wouldnt it make sense?) Sadly, no night tours according to the concierge...however, he knew someone who for the right price would drive us around to look at stuff- PASS!
We toddled over to Shepard’s Market grab some dinner---Pizza...Then we three moseyed back to Picadilly and got creative with the route back to Mayfair...Not very sure of where we were, we eventually found ourselves wandering through Grosvenor Square..a block or two later we were passing by the US Embassy, complete with concrete barriers to block would be attacks, or so I guess....Eventually we ended up back on Curzon street- where our hotel was located...Bed sort of early because bright and early we were off to Gatwick Airport to catch our flight up to Manchester for The tour’s grand finale

Scott and I originally hadnt planned on making it north for the Manchester show...Wasnt that we didnt want to go, it was a matter of finding our way to Gatwick Airport (not in London but about 40 minutes south of London in a place called Crawley) the morning after the show .Manchester is something like a 4 hour train ride from London..Unless we flew into Gatwick from Manchester, there wouldnt be enough time to catch our plane back to the US ....
..After many hours of probing online, I found that it would be cheaper to fly RT from Gatwick to Manchester than it would be to just fly one way up to Manchester. Go figure?
We wouldve otherwise taken a train & joined the remaining van pool members- Theresa, David, Angela,Robin plus a variety of tour friends (Brian, Ellen,Warren and Les had already left the UK for their homes in the US)...
.It was hard to get the idea of missing Manchester out of our heads- knowing it was the last UK/Eurodog show until whenever....knowing a big fun Eurotrader party would be happening preshow...knowing it would be an experience which might never be repeated, we had to go....even if it meant no sleep til we were USA bound 24 hours later...We did it!

Since it took 4ever to write- and I expect it to disappear during the eventual ensuction at Ratdog Conference- Here are my tour tales from August UKDog tour- Sorry for all the typos and brain fuzzouts-I'm too lazy to go over it right now: Enjoy!

Pre Ratdog Daze

We left SFO early on August 17th, arriving at our first destination Amsterdam about noon on August 18th. We were excited to find that we had been upgraded from a mere hotel room to an apartment (living room, full kitchen,hallways etc) overlooking the Amstel canal. Scott owned a big house and I had a little boy when we met, so this was our first apartment and it was sweetly romantic.......An added bonus was that the living room was decorated with pictures of dogs.

We werent in town long before we needed to find something in a pita for dinner. After debating the merits of shwarma vs felafel, we decided it had to be shwarma ...We sat at a sticky table waiting for our order, discussing who all I knew from the internet we could expect to be in town. Abou then is when a bright eyed blonde bounded into the place. The shwarma dudes gathered round her to flirting and asking her if she was Australian. Blondie laughed and told them she was from Southern California. Scott had to add that hey, we were from Northern California. Blondie eyeballed Scott’s Rex/Dead shirt and said she had spent a few New Year’s Eves in Oakland.. which led to a conversation about Bobtdog’s UK tour- Blondie knew all about it and in fact, along with her husband and friends- would be flying across the North Sea to attend the London show..We started to exchange names and Blondie flashed on something burst ing out with the ever familiar “Are you IRENIE? From Deadnet?!!!!”.
Blondie turned out to be Deadnetter Rockin Robin..
Rockin Robin had been an active onliner Deadnetter til around the time she got married-3 years or so ago- checking back in from time to time. Hadnt seen posts from her lately online, though. Discovered that she and Milo (the husband) have been spending something like 7 months just traveling around the world. After London, they would be heading down to Africa and then maybe return to L.A...We all finished our shwarma and set out for Rookie’s, the coffeeshop-Bar (not a common combo-usually a bar is a bar and a coffeeshop is just for pot/hash) just across the ally from the Mama’s Shwarma shack. We met Milo and friends Rodney and (another) Scott. These were great folks with plenty of Tour tales for us...Rookie’s from then til we all departed for London was the place to meet...If you should end up there, do try the “White Widow”..

We spent the next day pondering the flea markets of Amsterdam, then pretty much eating and coffeeshopping our way around our side of town, revisiting all our other favorite places from last year..ending up with our new friends at Rookie’s for last call.

Saint/Todd made it into town on the 20th(met last year on Ratdog Conference and in 3d on the 2002Eurodogtour) met up with him at Rookie’s, then out for dinner...I got hit big time by jet lag and space cake so, left Scotto with Saint and floated back to the apt. to sleep..got woken up some hours later by a rather incoherent Scotto who pretty much collapsed on the bed. Now, I was fully awakened and refreshed- so go figure....At some point later, Cousin Bud and Sam e(from Ratdog.org) had managed to find our place and called us up...I hadnt met them in 3d yet but was excited to know they were around...I explained Scott’s condition and suggested they check out Rookie’s- which they remembered from last year- and introduce themselves to Saint & Rockin Robin and her people. They knew Norman and were happy to hear there was a chance that he could also be hanging there (Norman had e-mailed me earlier, saying he’d be checking in at Rookies too).

The 21st was our last full day in Amsterdam. It was also our 15th wedding anniversary. Some old friends of ours from the Bay Area, Judy & Joel Nelson had been vacationing in Tuscany but had made arrangements to spend the evening celebrating with us in Amsterdam..How cool was that? They arrived in time to bring them over for Amsterdam initiation at Rookie’s and on across the ally to Sherpa’s for Tibetan style dinner..We spent the next 7 hours showing them various sites around the city...Saying good nite at about 3:30 am....

London Dog

The weather was humid and hot in London, no real surprise as Europe’s heat wave was big news everywhere all summer...It was a surprise, though that the grass was pretty much hay colored around Hyde Park & Buckingham Palace -which we noticed as our cab passed by on the way to our hotel. Our first London hotel was the stately old Radisson Edwardian Marlborough..Not inexpensive but being just a few minutes away from the Astoria was worth it...Surely didnt want get lost in London’s crowded streets going to and fro the venue. Our room was suffocatingly small and hot after the Amsterdam apt...No ac but they did prop a fan upon one of the bureaus..otherwise the room had a very grand Great British manor style room..wall paper, dark wood, old world furnishings....Bathroom was nearly as big as the room and I wasted no time leaping into the shower....The bath/shower had three dials. By trial and error, I managed to get the water on and find a comfortable temperature for washing up....the trouble was, after I was done, I couldnt figure out how to get the water off...after perhaps a half hour of trying every possible combination of twists and turns, I gave up..swallowed my pride and asked Scotto to help me....I could almost hear him thinking “how dumb can she be?” as he approached the faucets...it only took him about 10 minutes to turn everything off...
Freshened up, we met up with Keir, a tour buddy from last year’s Amsterdog...first thing we discussed was the shower- seems we werent the only ones having trouble with turning it off..Keir almost had to call the lobby..We joined Keir for a drink then to find the venue for snaps and to meet up with various folks who were meeting up on Charing Cross rd- which is where the Astoria is located.

Pre Show Astoria

Keir was to meet his driving companion, a Eurotrader named Chris Jones at a bar called Molly Moggs. I had been e-mailed about something going on at “The Royal George” via someone on Norman Sand’s website. Later on, when we ran into Saint- who had been on a separate flight out of Amsterdam, he said some of our pals from Rookies/Amsterdam were meeting up at a bar called “Champions”...We hit each place but couldnt recognize anyone we knew..We pretty much stayed at Molly Moggs where we met Eurotrader Mike Baxter from Scotland and some of his mates...I don’t know how long we were standing around before I got antsy about heading up the increasingly busy street to the venue..I took my ticket and left Scott with the boys in the pub to find a spot in line.

..Gazing at the folks in line-which was still in the early stages of forming, I saw WDP aka Tattoo Allison! “Ratdog Only!” - another missing Deadnetter! Last heard from online around when Rob Wasserman left the band..Rumors wrt what happened to her included the one that she had finished the dissertation she had been working on these last few years in Boise (tween Ratdog tours, that is) and moved to England- glad to see that was the correct one! Finding her in her usual spot at the head of the line was sort of deja vu! Also, nearby in line was a woman, Darlenie, who had traveled alone all the way down to London from Scotland for the show- another total Bobbyfreak! I loved listening to her voice her lilting brogue sounding a tiny bit like my late Grannie’s South African accent..

The line was getting thick when Scott showed up...finally, the doors opened up and we ventured inside. This was the biggest venue of the UK tour, we found our rail space somewhere infront of Robin & Mark. Turning around to scan the place, I met the sweetest people standing sort of behind me, next to Scott..It was a Dad and his teenage daughter- David and Geraldine both looking as though they had just stepped out of a Dicken’s story. The Dad was a great looking jolly fellow about Bobby’s age.
The daughter, a beauty, delicate with long wavy hair and perfect skin. She was almost as shy as her Dad was outgoing. Her kindness and respect toward him made her even that much more lovely to know. I tried to put her to the rail but she wouldnt leave her Papa’s side..eventually she came up for the encore.

The Show-

I was next to WDP and my Scottish counterpart in Bobfreakiness, Darlenie at the rail- with Scott, Saint and the David and Geraldine behind me. The shows are apparently already available to listen to at Shoutcast- Topher’s creation- you can find it via Topher’s posts at www.ratdog.org. I also understand shows are already circulating- I need cds btw!- So, dear readers you can listen to the show and decide how great or not it is for yourselves. I really enjoyed this show but knew pretty much it wasnt THE SHOW of the shows for me just yet. Looking back and listening to it again for the first time since London, I’m thinking its sort of a sampler of various directions the doggy goes go in..perhaps audience reponse to the different elements set the tone for the rest of the shows-or not.lol, I’m really poor at explaining music stuff.. Nice setlist-included “Lucky Enough” and “Odessa”, enthusiastic and full audience. Some of us still stunned we made it all the way to the UK.
Setlist-from Cousin Bud->
Music Never Stopped>Maggie’s farm>Minglewood (London fillies)Mission in the rain>TMTTR>Loser>LuckyEnough>Playin
KC Moan@Bob,Robin,Mark
Odessa>Hell in a Bucket>The Wheel with Blondie’s Tide is High jam& TOO tease>
SOTM>Playin reprise>Sugar Mags...E: Touch of Gray.

Keir was assigned the task of sending DaveR the setlist and so we found the adorable Birthday boy, Cousin Bud ( celebrating his 40th that very nite!), who has the uncanny ability to remember exact setlists..The only thing he hadnt remembered to add was the Tide is High to the Wheel jam..and so there we were, Keir, Scotto, Saint and I tried humming and singing various Blondie tunes,and irritating the midnight geeks at the internet cafe on Charing Cross, til we figured out that it was “the tide is high”....

Bilston or Bust

After spending a late night wandering around Charing Cross from the internet cafe to the nearest felafel stand , back to the loud & crowded Molly Moggs and on and on..and on til around 2am...Scott and I left Keir and Saint to their own devices and headed on back to our expensive, overheated lil hotel room.

Morning came, we enjoyed (everything but the coffee, that is) a Britstyle breakfast in the hotel. Grabbed a taxi, dropped most of our baggage off at the Washington Mayfair hotel - which was the hotel we would stay in when we returned to London a few days later, then zoomed on to find the Enterprise car rental place, which was the designated meeting place for our van group-which was composed of charactors from last year’s tour plus internet folks: David/London Werewolf -originally from Canada- living in London and his Girlfriend and our only native English person, Angela, their friends- Bernadette from Ireland and Theresa-born in Australia, raised in the UK..Then there was the East Coast crew- Ruth/tiny dancer, Warren and his exgirlfriend Ellen and her sister Leslie ..Not on the bus til Bilston, would be Brian/Less Than from Baltimore..Todd/Saint had also been slated to van pool with us . Scott had been concerned earlier when Saint wasnt in the hotel lobby at the decided check out time.. he went up to see what was going on- turned out after a very late night out Saint changed his mind about hitting some of the shows and decided to stay in London... This opened up a seat in the van, so once we were at Enterprise, Theresa rang her friend Robin- originally from Canada but living in the UK and gave her the good news that she would be able to go to the shows with our van group We were happy to see the vans, one silver and one blue were not as small as we had feared. As we waited for the members of our group to appear, we learned that the nice looking couple also renting a car at Enterprise were also Ratdog bound. We all sort of nodded at each other. Our group was just loading up the vans when that couple left the rental place, they got about as far as the first traffic light when SMACK! they had gotten into a minor fender bender side swiping thing with another car....They had our sympathy, driving in England is not for the fainthearted....Of course, it was awhile later when we found out that the driver was the same fellow who had made the beautiful embroidered “Bilston or Bust” tee shirts...

On our road atlas, the highways look more like spider webs than anything. No apparent straight forward central highways. I had wanted to keep track of where we were going but it was just too confusing. Only four of our vanpools would be driving. Warren, David, Ellen and Theresa. I had drawn and colored Ratdog on sheets of magnet paper for the vans. They were sticking and spiffy looking but eventually all fell
off during the ride to Bilston.
Scott and I took seats in “The women r smarter” van- where Theresa ended up doing all the driving- and there was lots of driving! Turned out Scott was the only guy in the silver van. LOL- no baseball talk for him, instead earfuls of girl talk...He spent the first few hours trying to be useful by fixing the splits in the cord of the car plug in cd player...oh and one time, Theresa let him pump gas.....Our long trips were broken up by stops at very nice “Chef Parks” - rest stops with food, atm and shopping courts...Very clean and nice.

Bilston definately had that typical small city involved in a typical daydream feeling to it...Sleepy looking with nearly empty streets. Finding the Haven Hotel was quick. Somehow (see Tiny Dancer’s explanation) The blue van lost it’s back window on the ride down Claremont Street- about one minute or less before turning into the Haven’s driveway. glad that we had amply insured the vans back at Enterprise. Hopefully, Ratdog fans will still be welcome at Enterprise in the future....
Haven hotel is a cozy Inn with a pub and breakfast room. Toilets are shared though. We had a big room with a tiny shower. Almost immediately, we walked over to see where and what the venue was about. The venue was at most a 10 minute walk from Haven. The streets were vacant and a little eerie. The Robin 2 is a bright looking place- From outside looking more like an ice cream parlour than a bar and located directly across the street from a police station. I got my photo and so headed back to the Haven. Hung for awhile in the pub- looked as though Ratdog fans had taken over the rooms (all 13 of them). Then back into town to get dinner and wait in line. Chose fish and chips at the Bilston Bangladeshi - the food server there was all questions “Where were we from? Why were we in Bilston?” Told her we were from SF. She was incredulous “You have come ALL THE WAY TO BILSTON FROM SF to see a band?!!? A BAND FROM San Francisco!?” .

Scott left me to do line duty...Folks slowly stsrted showing up. I had hoped maybe Rockin Robin and her friends would make it but no show...Instead I was surprised to see the woman I had met on the rail at a Ratdog show in Portland how many years ago now? She vaguely remembered me- but I would never forget her- as I held her rail spot for her during thst long ago Portland setbreak, she returned to hand me a pair of backstage passes! Scotto wouldnt let me use them then..They are currently on the Bobwall of fame in my house....
Inside The Robin 2, I found an okay spot under Jeff’s piano. So close that the only way I could see Jeff was by sticking my head under the piano and looking up to see just the bottom of his palms and fingers strike the keys. An unusual but still kinda cool view.
I was inches away from his feet. Next to me was another (I assume!) Father-teen daughter couple. This daughter was greeting the band in a shirt decorated with a US flag. Dad seemed to know everyone too- including the very cool trio of Indian fellows, I hadnt ever met them but had seen them at the euroshows last year and remembered them for their knowing every word and singing along to every song.

The Bilston show, just about everyone we spoke with was the favorite show. It especially rocked HUGE live, people were singing and screaming along. and I can’t tell you exactly why that was- the struggle to find Bilston? The odd little venue?....or maybe it just rocked because it did? Give it a listen, music and love you can’t explain...
Set list:
Shakedown Street (shake it down-down!) Queen Jane, Easy Answers, Youngblood, WRSI & II, Dark Star, Blackbird, El Paso (an awesome El Paso!) Rollicking Ramble on Rose,Uncle John!, New Speedway boogie (heh) Estimated, So Many Roads, Dark Star, OMSN - Encore: Chinacat>I know you Rider

That’s Right-It’s Saturday Night!
We were all blown away by the show...Bar wasnt closed afterwards so we all pretty much hung around and toasted the show...Saw the Car accident guy and his glamourous wife. Found out they were Kidratdog & Marie. Told Kid about the blue van’s window which made him laugh- he had imagined that we mustve thought it was hilarious when he got in his earlier traffic accident- (we were actually concerned and spooked by it). Noticed that Kid had on a very cool shirt which had“Bilston or Bust, Ratdog UK Tour 2003” machine embroidered on it... I wanted to know where he got it as we hadnt been able to find ANY tour shirts or posters..Kid had made up 3 . One for Cousin Bud (who had celebrated his 40th at the Astoria) One for David (celebrating his 30th in Madchester) and one made for himself. I thought it was funny that of all people to think up the Bilston or Bust slogan it would be Kidratdog...The next funny thing was that Kid had yet to meet David (or Bud.) and didnt realize til I told him that David was the guy that Kid had been chatting with at Enterprise that morning...Went to find David and Bud to hook them up with Kid but neither one was around.

where they were at once swamped by folks. Both guys were good sports, taking pictures and doing autographs and letting folks ask them questions (someone did ask Bobby about the beard- and got a kind of an amusing reply). I somehow resisted the urge to fling my whole self at Bobby, wasnt easy but I did my best....In the next blink of an eye, Bobby & Jay were gone and the rest of us were being urged to move along as well...We returned to HaWhen the place cleared out a little, Bobby and Jay ventured to the edge of the dance floor ven where the pub was open for us to hang around in. I met Luke and Teelo. Teelo a young German guy and Luke a young ‘Merican guy. They werent traveling together but both were pretty excited about being on tour. Also hanging was Less Than/Brian whom I met via The Well and also at Ratdog.org. Brian had his laptop out and showed me some amazing pictures he had taken. We all stayed up a little bit longer still all buzzing about the great show we had just seen...


We were up and ready for the marathon drive to Canterbury..Scott & I hadnt really planned on going til we got to England and knew we wouldnt be able to stand to miss a single show on the tour. Back in the silver van we went. Bernadette (from the Blue van) wouldnt be continuing on. Brian, who had gotten to Bilston on his own was now part of the van groups- he rode with group in the blue van. Once again Scott got to be the sole male in the silver van not that he minded so much...but he did get an earful about what certain people were finding attractive about certain Ratdog band & crew members.... sigh.. Whenever there was confusion about how to get to Canterbury (often enough) David and Theresa would call each other on the cell phones...it got to the point where a collective groan could be heard whenever Theresa’s phone rang...
But, we did finally arrive, traveling on a dirt path , in the middle of a pear orchard which was the parking area...in a short distance, the distinctive aqua blue Ratdog bus was visible. Yep, we was there!

Wandering up the dirt path, beautiful groves of pear trees -loaded with nearly ripe fruit, on the right, we arrived at a tented check in point. Here we purchased our tickets and a Fayre shirt- except for Kid’s tee, the Fayre shirt was the only shirt documenting Ratdog’s 2003 UK appearance...NOTE TO BOBBY: TOUR SHIRTS & UP TO DATE PUBLICITY POSTERS NEXT YEAR PLEASE!! Heck, I’ll even design & distribute them myself!
Now, that we are home, I wish I had purchased an extra shirt (hmmm, maybe some are available at the Canterbury Fayre website?).
About 4 paces from the ticket booth, we found a very smiley Mark Karan. Taking advantage of his good nature, everyone jumped in for photographs. I think I took about 6 or 7 pix of the van people with MK. I even jumped in there with WDP for a couple myself...
We wandered up a little farther and found ourselves at the entrance to a bazaar type place- where some music acts were taking place inside an old fashioned circus tent. A little bit “Safety Dance” ish but not as much as I had expected. Our group broke up here to look around, planning to meet up about an hour or so later.
I wasnt overwhelmed by the merchandise (for a change) but did see some fun stuff. Of interest for sure was the mushrooms and unusual smoking paraphanelia. Mushrooms (only fresh) are legal in the UK I learned.. I had never seen Guarana served as a beverage before either...I was of course, tempted to try everything but it was going to be a big day and a long drive to London after the Fayre- ingesting strange stuff in a strange place=not a good plan.
We sort of met at the appointed spot around the appointed time and wandered down the hill to the rail area where a band was wrapping up it’s set. After they finished their encore- half the folks on the rail disappeared and we Doggyheads moved in. To my right was a young man of about 10-11 years old. He had the most beautiful strawberry blonde hair and was wearing the Grateful Bear US flag tee shirt (my 8 year old son has the same shirt)...Unable to stop myself, I had to ask “So, you see much Dead?” He fixed me a look that had me expecting a real smartass answer back, but the expression turned into a grin and he told me “Well, no I havent seen any Dead. However, I did catch a few Dylan shows”........LOL!

All was incredibly easy and roomy at the rail but once Ratdog came on- a great squeeze occured(in other venues the great squeeze comes on somewhere in mid second set). An older kid had managed to wedge right in between me &my young strawberryhaired guy..The big kid wasnt a tough guy-just a bit clueless- making a lot of noise, clearly not into the music but instead making faces & gesturing at another young teen who was hanging out on stage while Bobby sang Birdsong and the eagerly anticipated Cassidy (they opened with a rollicking Jack Straw)...Finally, the big kid decided to move along and after he left, my young man turned to me, hands in the air, & shook his head...we were both glad the big kid took off-more room to dance- and my young man had moves as though he had been raised on the Fillmore rail!

I was enjoying this show very much!
At every turn there was another tour buddy! In front of us- in the photographer’s ally- tween the rail & stage were Norman, Chris and Brian- doing their thing. I’m not trained at all to take pictures - but, seeing as I was right in the front and did have my trusty Kodak DC290 with me- I felt I ought to try to get some pix of the band at work. The end came all too quick we had enjoyed the show very much. Before Bilston, the tradition of setlist prediction was started with the Silver van group. The only songs called for that were played at Canterbury was my call for Dear Prudence and the group call for Cassidy! The Canterbury setlist was
nothing like what we had expected.Here was where we predicted an Aiko,Scarlet, Truckin and
Bobby McGee but what we got was :
Jack Straw>Birdsong>Cassidy>Rooster>2Djinn>Miss1/2 step>TOO
LWF>Terripin>at a siding>Terriflyer>Dear Prudence(yes!) Birdsong reprise>Cassidy reprise with a Touch of Grey encore- TOG was the only song repeated on this tour by the way...

After Dog, we all hung out a bit longer, with Scotto and I the munching never stops...Found some donuts and coffee (blech on English coffee) One big problem I had with the coffee was that it is served SCORCHINGLY hot with no protective cup holder thing...We slowly wound down the hill, back in to the silver van, back on the road to London....Somewhere in London the cell phones started ringing. Somehow both vans were lost...I think Theresa did know how to get back but had relented and followed directions being given by the guys in the blue van and had gotten completely messed up....We whirled around the streets til we found the Tower of London on our left (beautiful at night!) from there Robin was able to navigate us to Picadilly Circus- which was when I asked to be let out- We were all tired and It seemed to be getting late to be meeting up for curry as David had proposed we all do...plus, the curry place was in his neighborhood which would require that we find a way back to our hotel in Mayfair...Best thing to do was bail. Theresa let us out at Picadilly Circus. Years ago (30!), I had spent about 6 weeks of a summer vacation in a hotel off Picadilly in the Mayfair neighborhood in London. I assured Scott that the walk to our Mayfair hotel wouldnt be too bad....and it really wasnt - only about 10 minutes- I surprised myself and was able to find our hotel without even once needing to see a map! We checked in washed our faces and then went out (10:30pm) in search of food. Our hotel turned out to be just across the street from Shepard’s Market which is an older area- once (duh) a shepard’s market and then a bit of a shady night spot but these days it’s filled with restaurants and shops. We found an Indian restaurant -kind of pricy- but open and ready to serve. So, at least, we did get some curry after all.