New York City April 2008
On Monday, we were ready to hit the town when
Mr Technoid, (If you knew who he was,
you'd insist we call him Dr. Technoid,
but his good friends call him Greg) called and asked if
we'd like to join him and Terri at Gabrielles,
which is Bono's favorite New York Mexican restaurant.
We accepted their offer :)
It's my guess Greg called ahead and asked if they had Chinaco
They did, and it might've gotten me in a little bit of trouble - more
on that later.
Our cabby took the scenic route, but we eventually showed up.
We got a good table, and I'm not sure why, but I think we have have
been alone there.
Looking back, we might've been let in early, or maybe shown to a quiet
We immediately started talking about Frank! It was so much
fun, because unless you know Frank,
these stories sound like they're made up! But they've known
him for years, so we got to swapping
Franks Greatest Hits and we had the best time while we sipped on our
fine tequilas and wine.
The waiter brought sangrita with
our shots of Chinaco.
Veeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrry interesting, this sangrita.
It looks like a lil' Bloody Mary, and it might've tasted like one but
I never had a Bloody Mary
so I can't really say. And it's a Cardinal Rule that you don't add
to the tequila, but
alternating sips between the two was kinda cool. Further research
Then our super-looking food came.
I, of course, got the Beef Enchiladas, but they had a strange name.
Great Mexiacn food, a shot of Chinaco to my left
and another shot to my right.
This is how you do a great Mexican lunch in New York City!
Someone else had this.
A third one of us had this:
and the last meal served look like this:
Looking back, I'm thinking it might not be polite to photograph someone
Sorry about my insensitivity, guys.
As we enjoyed the meal, Frank called and said, "Where's
the party?" so he and Lorn
took a cab over and soon we were drinking fine champagne and more red
wine and more tequila.
I'll tell ya, sometimes it's not easy - hanging with Frank.
He's got the energy of a five year old and a stomach like Jim Rose
From that great lunch, Greg cabbed the whole lot
of us to Rudy's Music
...where we met Uncle
Lou, (A.K.A. Lou Pallo) who sometimes plays the clubs in Manhattan.
That's Uncle Lou on the left, his nephew Greg on the right.
Lou took time out of his busy day to meet the Gang at Rudy's because
to buy some of guitars and walking in Rudy's with someone of
Lou's stature - well,
Rudy and his crew treated all of us with much respect - wasn't that
nice of Uncle Lou?
He was so nice to us - if he'd been less nice,
or more indifferent, I'd still say he was nice.
but he went way beyond "How
you doin?" He treated us like we
were his old friends.
Last time I met people this nice I was in a dark Vegas lounge and the
thinnest woman in the whole club jumped into the barstool next to mine
and she licked my neck
and asked if I'd be willing to buy her a drink that would help support
three five kids.
Being the charitable dude I am, I said yes, and the next thing I remember,
I woke up in
the damn Rio Suites in a tub of ice - and I was missing a kidney -
and they called C.S.I.!
No, seriously, but sometimes people are as nice
as they seem. That's how nice these people were..
Greg and Terri, and Paul and Wendy, and now Uncle
Lou, all treated us like royalty.
Frank told me these were good people and he was
OK, back to business or we'll never get thru this Trip Report.
Frank was in the mood to buy some guitars, in
case we ran into any celebrities,
and since he plays guitar, he had to play each
one to see how he liked the feel.
All the time Rudy was saying, "You
gotta try this one, you gotta try
Frank, Rudy and Uncle Lou
Frank would pick up a guitar, play it a little
and say, "Damn, that has a nice feel,"
then he'd say, "I'll
Uncle Lou saw a sweet-looking Fireburst Les Paul,
and gave it a test drive.
Looking to my right, I saw a familar face.
Look, it's Les Paul, the inventor of multi-track studio recordings..
Les is the Thomas Edison of the electric guitar, recording studios
and rock music.
He invented that sound!
Rudy showed Frank another beautiful cherry red
Frank said he liked the feel of that one too,
so he said, "I'll take it,"
and Rudy said, "Instead
of the other one?"
Rudy has just met Frank - he doesn't know.
Frank said, "I'll
take them both."
Then Uncle Lou found a beautiful black Les Paul
and Lou said,
"Frank, you gotta feel the action on this
And sure enough, Frank liked it so he said, "I'll
take that one, too."
This Okie was impressed.
If I buy two pairs of jeans at Wal-Mart, I figure
I've been on some big shopping spree.
Look, it's Uncle Lou with a Bartcop sticker!
This is a surprise - Frank must've brought that.
Uncle Lou, thanks - that
was a nice thing to do..
How connected is Uncle Lou?
He showed us his latest fax from Keef.
You know Keef, from Pirates III?
Apparently Keef hates e-mails, so he sends faxes,
Sidebar within a Sidebar:
This'll kill ya, but you know what Keith drinks?
Is it 30-year Chinaco Emperador?
Is it thrice-distilled Grey Goose?
Is it Moet et Chandon?
No, Keith drinks vodka with Orange Crush.
That kills me.
Keith must make ten times what I make,
and he drinks vodka and Orange Crush.
I didn't read Keef's fax, that would've been rude, but I saw he signed
Those of you who get faxes from Keith know how true that is.
That Keef, he's a cut-up, isn't he?
Hey Uncle Lou, next time you exchange faxes w/ Keef, tell him "Bart
So, Frank ended up getting three Les Pauls,
hoping to get them signed by the man, Les Paul.
By the time we left, Rudy and Frank were best
friends. I think Frank invited Rudy out to his
Colorado Compound to spend a few days. (Frank
has a compound like a James Bond villain.)
Rudy's is near The Iridium Jazz Club where
Les plays, so we walked over there - hoping..
It was just a few miles - and the sights were
The sun was going down on New York.
So, 3-4 miles later, found ourselves in Times
If you look real close here, what do you see?
Upper-middle-left is David Letterman's billboard, and dead center in
is Dave's Ed Sullivan Theater - where The Beatles played their
first American gigs.
Dang, that's twice The Beatles have come up in this Trip Report.
And then just a few miles after that, we arrived
at the Iridium Jazz Club.
Since we were with Greg and his Uncle Lou, they let us in.
I'll be damned if the one and only Les Paul
wasn't inside, doing his soundcheck for tonight.
There he is, the man who invented
Jimmy Page's guitar! Just kidding, Les.
That's a lady from Gibson Guitars, asking Les to autograph a guitar
for the Gibson gang..
I heard a rumor, not from anybody in our group, that Les can be cranky
- and good for him.
If you can't be cranky coming up on your 93rd birthday, when the hell
can you be cranky?
Hell, I'm 54 and my knees creak and my arthritis gets worse every month,
Les Paul at 92 playing for sold-out crowds and making them glad they
came to the show..
So that made us wonder - will Les be autographing any guitars today?
Soon, Greg approached Les with Frank's Black Beauty, and Les's face
I think Les likes Greg more than the gal from
Gibson guitars :)
After all, Greg is his guitar player's nephew.
So after getting the nod from Greg, Frank approached
Les with his other guitars.
Frank, Greg, Les Paul (it's so weird to type that) and Uncle Lou.
If you look real close, that's my ear on the very right edge of the picture.
snapped this photo - she accidentally cropped me out of it, darn! :)
Les had a lot of guitars to autograph.
So this kinda turned into one of those radio station
contests where the winner gets to fly to somewhere
and meet the band and go backstage where you
get a guitar signed by everyone in the band, but then
twenty years later, you look down and see that
"Poison" or "Winger" had signed some cheap-ass guitar...
But Frank's kids, in forty years, can show these
beautiful Les Paul guitars to their friends and say,
"My daddy got these signed by the real Les
Paul, and we have the pictures to prove it."
I don't even play guitar, but that gives me goosebumps.
This is a damn nice picture of Frank and Les Paul for the scrapbook -
thanks to Chicago Jim.
So after all the signatures and pictures, we got out of there so they
could do their soundcheck.
Uncle Lou and Frank outside the club, where I saw Keef's faxes :)
Uncle Lou must know every guitar player in the business. Can you imagine
any guitar player of note
who hasn't dropped by the Iridium to pay homage to the man who invented
the sound of rock n roll?
I'll bet Uncle Lou knows every guitar player from the Singing Nun to
Frank dropped the guitars off at some shipping place and we agreed to
meet again ay 7 PM.
for the Live Music part of Monday's trip report