16th, 2004 - Sante
Fe is Aye OK!...
Woke up and got out of the room. Our funds have been dwindling
(but not quite running on fumes...at least yet) so we've taken
to getting big rooms and cramming into one room, it saves a few
bucks and we're getting so close, as if the truck wasn't enough.
I think I should have pursued a hotel sponsorship...are you big
boys out there listening?
Richard and Liz Arguello set us up with a great brunch at their
new pad at the base of the mountains. It is really different here,
front yards full of cacti and chaparral and some native weed looking
things, very natural, set in against adobe houses. Although, one
guy seemed to be trying to mow the stuff, he seemed hot and frustrated,
some people'll do anything to get out of the house. Richard and
Liz gave us some great ideas, pointed us to the scenic road to
Santa Fe and wished us luck...thanks guys. One part of this trip-very
different from my normal tours and hits-is that I am getting to
know more of the people in the places I am going, probably because
I am allowing myself the time, partly because I have to, and partly
cause we ain't got any gigs! And these people-strangers mostly-have
responded with lots of support and true generosity of spirit,
and so doing have discovered the 'Cow Bop way'.
Wove our way down through some small bedroom communities, and
reservations that seemed centered around casinos. It was suggested
that we try to play there, but somehow, I couldn't imagine the
daunting task of working my way through the managerial levels
to get a yea or nay, and while operating on the 'it's better to
ask for forgiveness than permission' theory most of the time,
it don't think it would have worked in that type of place. I imagined
myself like Wardell Gray, disappearing into the endless desert.
And from my experience, prairie dogs might be cute but I prefer
Cozy Dogs in my rhythm section.
We found a few possibilities that were closed and made note of
them if we had to return to AB, we had to come back this way anyway,
but the Santa Fe Trail called to us. We got there, stashed the
truck and cased the place. Pammy remembered we had a friend who's
mom has a store here, and I did some phone sleuthing by calling
a club I used to work for to find her husband, left a message
and the next thing I knew, she called me back and had already
made the connection. However, mom (extremely nice and helpful)
was busy today--we have been getting a lot of that, I mean people
do have their own lives, really folks, if Cow Bop calls, it is
your sworn duty not to feel guilty if you can't help us out, but
you gotta understand we couldn't very well call you in advance
cuz we don't know where we'll be or when we'll be there. However,
we promised to hang with mom in the am., sure that we'd stir something
up in this cultural mecca in the meantime. Santa Fe is an interesting
mixture, you got your Native Americans, whose culture, art, and
commerce drives a lot of the engine, but you got also high-end
places, tourist kitsch, galleries, eateries, and the place really
celebrates art and artists, all in a picturesque setting that
is extremely pleasing to the eyes. The high desert sky is vivid,
cottony clouds roll by and the dry air is soft on your skin. It
is a timeless place, and I can see why it is so well-loved by
its residents and tourists.
However, on a busy Sunday, finding a place to play wasn't easy,
but then that wasn't gonna stop us. I mean we're past the point
of no return, and frankly, we were determined to find something.
In a place like this, I got the feeling that playing on the street
is tightly controlled, and I can't say I blame them, small sidewalks,
lots of activity and commerce in a small area doesn't lead for
free-for-all exhibitions, even if it's Cow Bop. We pushed on,
determined. Pammy found a neat gallery space (she was really there
to shop I think)--slightly off the beaten path--and the proprietor
noted her snappy attire: western skirt, killer boots, great hat.
He complimented her and she said, "I have to wear this...in
case we get a gig." (Way to go Pammy!) He said, "You
are a musician?" She said, "That's right, we're playing
our way across the country and we need a place to play."
He said, "You can play here." Well, I got my guitar
out, Mikey confiscated a cardboard box and we were swingin before
anybody had a chance to think about it or change their mind. It
was a neat open plaza/marketplace with artisan booths ringing
it on all sides and a sculpture of a horse in the center, called
the Santa Fe Market. We managed to get enough financial assistance
to make it through dinner and to sleep the night,....again, in
the same room. Oh well, we'll be home before long and the laundry
isn't at a critical stage.
Two really nice women (Charlotte and Jeanette) sent us over to
the Cowgirl Cafe for beer and dinner. Now, let me tell you the
air is thin, a couple of times when I was playing, things weren't
exactly linking up and I noticed I was a bit light on air, I can
only imagine how it is for Pammy, but she powered on. We did play
a few instrumental inteludes so she could regroup. But I'll tell
you, the thin air makes the beer money go further...wahoo! I told
our story to the owner of the Cowgirl, he said, "You guys
are crazy," we hear that a lot, "you can work here tomorrow
if you want." Well folks, I took that gig faster than I can
play, which many of you know is up there with the roadrunner when
he's chased by Wily Coyote. So all is right with the world, we
ate, got a gig, reminds me of the story: This guy who turns his
back on the family business to follow his dream as a musician.
Well, things hadn't gone well, he was destitute, and decided to
eat crow and try to get back in the good graces of his family.
He wrote a letter: Dear Dad, I realize that your wisdom in regards
to my rash career choice was really in my best interest and I
hope that you will forgive my youthful arrogance and take me into
the bosom of our family and...(Right then, the phone rings and
he gets a gig on saturday night for $100) and he resumes writitng:
...and so Dad, if there's anything I can ever do for you, financially
or otherwise, just let me know.
That's how we feel about now, so, if any of you own a hotel chain,
let us know if there is anything we can do for you.
Quote of the day: "Are you kidding? There are plenty of
guys here in San Francisco who don't have a gig on Monday night!"
Mal Sharpe, on KCSM radio, upon hearing that we fell into a cool
gig at the Cowgirl Cafe in Santa Fe, with about 20 hours notice.
to check out pictures from May 16th