Friday, November 06, 2009
Thank you, thank you, thank you
One thing to keep in mind about this whole Rocktober business, and one thing that I haven't made nearly clear enough, is that it would have been impossible without the help of numerous volunteers and kindhearted souls. Aside from the obvious role played by the bandmembers, who gave so freely of their time and talents; the typical helpfulness of Mr. Lichtenwalner, who came to as many shows as he could and helped make things run more smoothly than they would have otherwise; the unexpected generosity of the people who contributed to the fundraiser (we ended up raising around $800 -- not bad for a period of economic downturn); the incredible support of people who came to our shows, sometimes at great personal expense (e.g., driving half an hour, or staying out way past their bedtime on a school night); aside from all that, there were many people who gave of their time and resources in various and sundry other ways, all of which turned out to be essential.
First were the people who opened their doors to the group, ultimately saving me the huge expense of putting everyone up in a hotel every night. Many of those who helped out with lodging were friends of the band, and a few were in the band (Stephanie Richards and Jill Knapp both took on house guests). But some were -- get this -- more or less total strangers. Specifically, Jill's friends Jeremy and Mark housed and fed two thirds of the group when we ventured south of Philly. And Joe and Kristen Phillips, who I only knew through blogo-spheric and social media interactions, invited the whole group to stay in their beautiful Hudson NY home, accompanied by plenty of wine and delicious home-cooked meals, without ever having met any of us personally. (The above photo depicts all of us posing on the Phillips's porch on the morning we left.) If you're not already aware of Joe's music, or his blog, you should be. Really, do yourself a favor.
The second group of kindly-souls-without-which-the-tour-would-have-been-impossible are those who made generous loans of gear. Given that our rhythm section was traveling light (sans bass amp, drum kit, keyboard), we had to figure out how to obtain that bulky stuff for many of our gigs (because, as it turned out, some of the venues were gear-less). To the rescue came Joe Trainor and his trio (who helped us out in Philly); Stephanie's boyfriend Andrew (who let us use his drum kit multiple times on this tour); my childhood buddy (now a children's entertainment guru) Randy Rossilli (who didn't even hesitate when I asked him if we could borrow his PA); various members of the Bjorkestra and Secret Society (who generously helped us out with all of our gear needs at the Bell House); various members of the Skamatix (who generously helped us out with drum and keyboard needs at the Space), and Adam and Sarah Rabin (who made sure we had access to a bass amp and drums for our show in Montpelier). Adam, if you don't already know, is the mastermind behind the influential band Mailbox. But all of the projects namechecked here, it should go without saying, are deserving of your attention.
I have probably forgot someone, and if I have, please alert me to the omission in the comments.
And in any case, many thanks to everyone who helped us make the tour happen. You are all beautiful and we are forever in debt.