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Locations of visitors to this page

Two nights in Branson

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 and angry.
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 darker.

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 small stream.

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 luxury tequila?  
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 weren't shooting, 
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 everything right.  
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 say "Hey."

Then there's the star of the show.
Who sings 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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