Got up early after watching Best in Show also known as Spinal Tap for Dogs @ Jason Huvaeres (www.Paxahau.com & D Records) the night before. Had a disgusting road breakfast. Practically finished with the so called meal before the toast finally arrived. How come even toast is so difficult to make in downtown Detroit?
Walked over to the site to locate my stage and scope it out @ 11:am. Found the Motor stage redubbed the Motor / Miller stage over by the water. The only outdoor stage without any tent cover for the expected rain. The stage was soaking wet and they were busy moving the turntables up into some covered scaffolding leaving myself as the only live PA for the first day to cope with the elements. Nice!!! How thoughtful of them.
Inquired with PCM about getting paid before doing anything as instructed by Tim Price a/k/a Superman. Naturally I was expecting complete disorganization and incompetence after Carol Marvin fired Carl Craig as artistic director 2 weeks before the event. Shes a genius!!! ; P Whether you like Carl or not, its great to be able to witness firsthand another Detroit soap opera, but after my years in PTV this is still a holiday.
Walked back to the Hotel. Collected my equipment and went down to the lobby to find out about the shuttle bus over to Hart Plaza. No driver in sight. Bumped into Becca from NYC with 2 of her friends and they offered to help lug my gear over since it was actually closer to walk from the Hotel to the Motor / Miller stage rather than spend 2.3 hours waiting for the shuttle bus only to be dropped off on the complete opposite side of Hart Plaza which was almost just as far as simply walking over from the Hotel anyway. Luckily I bought a little luggage cart when I arrived @ the Detroit airport for the 1 heavy piece I travel with, a 4 space flight case. Divided amongst the 4 of us, it was a piece of cake thanks to Becca & her 2 friends.
As we entered Hart Plaza we luckily bumped into Tim Price and he radioed for the golf cart. Popped my equipment onto the back and I hopped on the seat. Tim was the frontman warning people we were coming through. But the driver still managed to bruise the back of many calves. Terrence Parker was on and playing to a completely packed crowd which we just drove through as Tim parted the sea of people like a demented Moses.
The sound guys dug me up a mixer to use. A broken down Mackie SR-24 with the power socket on the back of the console hanging on bare wires. I was told the main outs of the mixer faders were dodgy too. Great!! I prefer to use an Allen & Heath MixWizard 16/4 but only one promoter in all my years of doing live PAs ever provided that. For my appearance on the Canadian Much Music Dance show, Electric Circus 1 month prior in Toronto on Good Friday / Friday the 13th. If anyone has a vidoe tape of that TV appearance please contact me.
Eventually a table was found and I set up and did a quick line check / headphone mix and went for a walk with an hour to kill before I was on. Got my check from the City of Detroit and no rain clouds in sight yet. I guess Ill actually have to play. ; O
There was an intermission just before I was due on in 10 minutes. The area was completely mobbed and I struggled through the crowd to get to the stage. Just before I went on I bumped into Viktor Mizo (Tronic Treatment / Trust the DJ / Christian Smiths roommate) and he said the company that makes Balance bars sent him 10,000 energy / candy bars to distribute. Did I mind if he dispersed them after I played. Sure I said. I liked the name, BALANCE. A message that needed to be sent to the Corporate sponsors with their tacky marketing crap everywhere.
The sun was out now and it was a lovely afternoon in downtown Detroit. Unfortunately most of my equipment uses buttons that light up and the sunlight washed out any visual indication of the status of any of my machines. I spent most of my set trying to hear what I was doing, pushing buttons, turning knobs, sliding faders and struggling with a clipboard trying to block the sunlight to see if certain buttons were lit or not. Usually when I perform its the exact opposite. I have to wear a headlamp and a mag light around my neck to see anything. Could only glance up to check the crowd occasionally but they were still there last time I looked.
Finished my set and the audience response was phenomenal. I was flabbergasted. Man Im really popular with people half my age in Detroit. Shit, if I had a kid when I was 20 or so like Richie Hawtins parents did, then the average age of the audience that day could be the same age as my theoretical child. Not that I ever get to practice making babies anyway... ; (
Looked down and saw the 2 cases of BALANCE bars and bent down and picked them up and tossed them into the crowd. I guess nobody got hurt because the boxes were heavy and I didnt bother to open them. Then Viktor and his friend came onstage and tossed more to the crowd. Wow!!! What showmanship, the crowd literally ate it up!!!
Surpisingly, that maniac from North Carolina, Jim Grindle jumped on the mic and told everyone to support Telepathic because I could really use the money and to go and buy my records and CDs. However, all of them are currently out of print and unobtainable, so I wouldnt see any profit from any sales. The only way to hear any new material from me is to book me to do a live PA.
Spent more time than ever before shaking hands, signing autographs and posing for pictures. Met fans from Toronto, Boston, Germany, Denmark, Malta!!! Crazy! Fittingly the last guy to congratulate me was none other than the first friend I made who isnt originally from Detroit but actually moved to Detroit years ago and currently lives in Berlin, DANIEL BELL (DBX / Seventh City) and Shawn Rudiman. If it wasnt for Dan, I would have never been invited out by Rich to do the collaboration we did for the Plus 8 offshoot called Probe which I named SPAWN, recorded 10 years ago. That project then spawned my label TELEPATHIC which then spawned THE KOOKY SCIENTIST.
Coincidently, I got an e-mail from a fan who noticed that while I was onstage performing, a cargo ship cruised by named the Fred R. White Jr. ---