August 30, 2004

Boy, it sure has been a long time. I've been so snowed under with tasks to do, that by the time I approach the computer and deal with a portion of the e mail and bills, all my time is gone. I'm not saying anything that many of you have not felt yourselves, I'm sure.

Anyway, we have been playing in the USA with Thin Lizzy and Joe Satriani. It has been a very enjoyable experience since I already know these guys, and it is very relaxed and amiable backstage. We are trying to convince all the road crews that they need to bring back some equipment (after packing it up each night) to have John Sykes and Joe Satriani join us for at least a song. They are both playing very well, of course. John has a durable, genuine, rock and roll approach to playing that gives everyone a smile. Joe plays so much amazing stuff during his set that it's impossible to hear it all from the side of the of the problems about backstage life: you have to know the monitor man to be able to hear the mix you want of any band.

Last night in Houston, J.P., Kalpana Chalwla's husband, (she died with the rest of the crew on the Columbia space shuttle disaster) introduced our instrumental "Contact Lost". It was an honor to be there as he thanked the people of the Houston area for their help in recovering the Shuttle debris. I never thought much about that in the last year, but people searched and turned in an incredible percentage of the Shuttle.

Other dear friends of the families, and even current astronauts were all there. Lt. Cmdr. Virts autographed a photo for Kevin's school in Florida. J.P. gave me some treasured memorabilia, which sort of put me on cloud nine for the show and well after. All in all, it was a wonderful visit. Before I knew any of these people, I have always spoken to anyone that would listen about how important NASA research is to us in this high tech world. So, that's my hope, is that we come to realize how much we owe to them, and we should support future projects as much as possible.

Back to the bus.....we have a state of the art tour bus, with a celebrity driver. Steve, the driver, was a drummer with 38 special, and I even played at a gig with them when I was with the Dixie Dregs back in Atlanta. Steve, by the way, is a very professional driver and promises to not make us as famous as Dave Matthews Band anytime we're stopped on a bridge.........If you don't have a clue what I'm referring to, it's probably best that way!

See you soon, Western, Northwestern USA, and more Canada...... 2004