I want to tell you about a certain 15 minutes of our weekend.
We drove to Branson, Missouri to see
Starship starring Mickey Thomas
We had a great time, as usual.
I mentioned in BCR
141 that I was joining the band, but that was
only on paper.
They were scheduled to play Friday at 8:30, but the clouds were dark
It would rain, then stop, so the locals worked on the stage and the
PA and amps
during breaks in the rain, then the clouds got a lot
Meanwhile, they finally finished the stage and covered everything up
like food in the fridge.
The band and we were ushered into a small, white tent, about 20 x 20
for some great food.
Sidebar: I was teasing them all weekend, "You guys live the life. You
go from 5-star hotel
to 5-star hotel, you have somebody else set up and tear down your gear,
you get free food
and comped drinks and all you gotta do is show up and receive the worship
of your fans."
So we're in this tent, and the rain is really pounding the tent - and
we're chowing down
on some really tasty roast beef, mashed potatos*, green beans, peach
cobbler, fish, cake etc
but the sky kept getting darker and darker.
The rain was pounding harder now, and the floor of the tent became a
Sidebar: Do you know about the new Branson landing? Two
years ago, they called
the dudes who did the waters at The Bellagio and asked what $7M would
buy them in Dogpatch.
Not only did they get water, they got fire, too.
There are 16-18 tubes, maybe 20 feet tall, that spit fire like in the
angry Wizard of Oz.
The fires shoots out maybe 30-40 feet in the air and the water shoots
up to 140 feet.
So we're in this white tent, clouds darker than Cheney's heart, the
wind blowing, the rain
pounding - then suddenly those 18 tubes shot giant blasts of fire into
the darkened sky.
Each time a fire blast ignited, we could instant see the blast and
feel the heat thru the tent.
I thought I knew about fire, but I didn't know heat could travel at
the speed of sound.
Even from 60-80 feet away, the second you saw the fire you'd feel that
blast of heat.
It was one of the strangest places we'd ever been in - and I wasn't
even high, dammit.
We always have a great time when we see Starship
starring Mickey Thomas
We've seen them six times now, and they get better every time.
Stephanie Calvert is in her second year with the band.
She sings the Grace Slick
vocals and harmonizes great with Mickey. Her stilletto boots look great
on stage, too.
She gives the guys in the audience something to look at during the
show besides men.
My good friend Phil Bennett got a lot of applause that
night with his dramatic
playing on the keyboards. Phil, why didn't you join us for some
Perhaps you was busy "signing autographs" for a couple of Branson girls?
Darrell "The Beast" Verdusco had a great night on the drums.
The dark river was
just behind the stage, and Darrell was working so hard, when the fires
you could see so much steam coming off his bald head he looked like
another fire tube.
Then there's Mark Abrahamian on guitar. I like Mark, he does
He looks like a guitar player, he has hair like a guitar player, he
has the perfect stage
persona for a guitar player and he plays a Les Paul thru Marshall amps
- and he plays
it real damn good, too.
Jeff Adams plays bass player, and you can't take your eyes off
on him when he's playing.
Not only is he a great bass player, but his vocals are excellent, too.
Plus, he noticed me and
Mrs Bart watching them set up and he was nice enough to comeover and
Then there's the star of the show.
better than Mickey Thomas?
I don't think I know anyone who does - and he does it so effortlessly.
I'm old, I've seen
everybody and I know a lot of singers, some young pups, too, who have
to throw their
head back and launch themselves into some high note, but Mickey just
opens his mouth
and that incredible sound comes out like he's not even trying
Special thanks to Scott for masterminding the entire road show.
He's the brains of the outfit
and he always knows what's going on and who needs to be where. He's
also the guy who
has to handle all the hassles and potential crisis than inevitably
come up on the road.
Then there's monitor manager Ray from Sweden who shared a few
shots with us.
We had a great weekend, being treated like VIPs when we weren't.
One lowlight, tho.
Right after the gig, Mrs Bart went to our room and I was trying to
follow Scott back
into the big white band tent and a security guard put his hand out
and asked who I was.
I wasn't sure what to do, since I'm nobody, so I said, "I'm with
Scott," and the
smart-ass security guard asked me if I was Scott's father.
You might have to know Scott to think that's funny,
but you can't beat a security guard with a sense of humor.
So if you ever get a chance to see Starship
starring Mickey Thomas take it.
They might surprise you with how many hit songs they had over the years.
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