October 6th, 2005
October 7th, 2005
October 8th, 2005
October 9th, 2005
October 10th, 2005
October 11th, 2005
October 12th, 2005
October 13th, 2005
October 14th, 2005
October 15th, 2005
October 16th, 2005
October 17th, 2005
October 18th, 2005
October 19th, 2005
October 20th, 2005
October 21th, 2005
  10/21/05 - Los Angeles, CA

We made it! Crossed the pier around noon today. We were greeted by the Pier Restoration people and they put us right in the center of the pier to play a set. Well, it is a bittersweet feeling: joyous to be near home to have accomplished another tour through America’s soul, yet we’ll miss the constant newness, discovery, outpouring of support and the opportunity to live the mission of music and human interaction—which brings the arts to life—it gave all of us a sense of why we are here.

Shelby Eicher came in all the way from Tulsa to share in the celebrating and we picked him up at the airport on the way to the finish line. That speaks volumes, first of all, to have such a great musician join the band, but also that he supports the cause enough to take time from his busy life to want to take part in the moment. It means a lot to all of us, thanks Shelby, and we’ll see you again

On the pier, Pammy ran into her dear friend (whom she describes as her sister) and we encountered many people from far off lands. I got a chance to brush up on my Italian with some nice folks from Rome (I imagine that was an extraordinary sight to many of the bystanders: a bebop cowboy speaking Italian) but then again, what’s ordinary about what we all just did? It was a gray day, overcast, but our mood was anything but. The sight of the ocean added a dynamic to the finish line. I can only imagine the countless others throughout the years who have traveled 66 and seen the Pacific for the first time, and the feelings that it must have conjured. To us it is home, and who knows, perhaps it had the same quality to the others, yet with an equal amount of excitement and trepidation about a new life, with more questions than answers.

I guess our jubilation and giddiness shows, we even got Pinto Pammy doing a Babewatch thing with Debra, the newest SCO sponsor. What would we have done without their support, friendship, technology and ideas? Well, of course we could have made it—like last year, where we did it without even any gigs—but it wouldn’t have been near as happening, I can promise you that. I think they also saw how technology can help bring us all together, and that has always been my gripe about technology—that sitting in front of screens has served to isolate us from each other, in direct contrast to music’s purpose on earth, the purpose of the JazzMasters Workshop program, and the important preservation of the legacy of human interaction. Our kids and their kids deserve it and need it, and it is ultimately our responsibility to endow that to ensuing generations. The technology we used enabled us to reach out to more people, but never with the intent to keep us apart or to replace the need to be together. Conversely, it offered the ability to extend the interaction, and to encourage working and being together when we could, and to let everybody know what was happening in real time and how they could get more involved, or at least encouraging them to make an effort. That is what we lived and what we hope to continue to shout out to anyone who will listen. We have found people interested in the program and starting them in their communities, in hopes of empowering the music community, and challenging arts and business groups to help out. There is the need, there are the resources and we have shown how easy and efficiently the promise can be fulfilled. The commitment we have made should be proof positive to any doubters that this will work if we all do our part. Please help us in any way you can.

After the momentous finish line set at the pier we settled in for a relaxed meal and headed to the Westin for a nap before the party. Well, I can tell you that it was far more luxurious than we’d become accustomed to, and we were happy to revel in the creature comforts: Pammy in the tub with a bubble bath, others sawing logs or checking eyelids for leaks while I organized the final details for the gig. Thanks to Merle Kreibich, who runs In House Music (which presents Wednesday concerts at the hotel) we had a great place to play and a friendly greeting. At the gig, we set up our mini bass drum—an anatomically correct replica in miniature of the bass drum that has become an integral member of the Cow Bop family, we use it as a tip jar—and we played a set to nice house of people. Rick and Debra greeted folks and we had some dignitaries joining in, along with Aron Forbes—one of JazzMasters Workshops’ first students—who is now in LA, third year of Music school at USC, and playing many gigs, he sounded great. This is one of the many things it is all about, eh?

As we prepare to head back to life as normal, I want to take this time to thank all involved: First of all the band members who donated their time to this funraiser: Pinto Pammy, Mike McKinley, David Jackson, you guys fought the battles, reveled in the fun, and gave more than anyone could ever ask of you, you have my deepest gratitude respect and affection. To our main sponsor SCO: To all of you, you were not only sponsors, you became friends, gave far more than you ever committed to, always showed us your best side, made us feel important, worthy and supported. I can’t wait to see the footage we’ve got, I hope we proved that your ‘Shout’ technology is viable, vital and an important addition to the emerging world we live in. I sincerely hope we can do more together. Thanks again!

To our other sponsors: CALAA, who helped us get out to schools and art agencies, I’m certain we have both made an impact on the lives of the kids we met, and have shown that through a personal connection we bring the humanity to the arts. Long Live Arts & Humanities Month! (Too bad it can’t be the whole year!). To Mel Bay, thanks for the friendship, the great meal on The Hill and a night in comfort. To our radio sponsors Magic 63 and KKJZ: thanks for helping us get out the word and to keep in touch with everyone, you guys are not only pros, but you are fun and raised our spirits immensely.

To heffe.net, who conceived the website, then guided it through all of its changes, updates and challenges while we were out on the road, and whose phenomenal eye for design has continually in awe and looking our best, you da man!

To all of you out there who helped by finding gigs, housing or feeding us and generally proving that the world is a place replete with all the best that life has to offer, we offer our endless gratitude and love: To Uncle Lew, who set us up in Springfield, and played so beautifully; to Palo Patty, who greeted us, and helped us find our way; to Mike and Judy, who showed us that we can’t live without catsup or dedication to the community; to Bill and Rick in St. Louis (life-time members of the world-class guitar cartel) who made it possible to hang in play in St. Louis; to Corey and the staff at Mel Bay, to Bob in Springfield who found us an incredible hit and opened up his home, and showed more imagination than you could ever find in a library of novels; to Rick and Terry, who took care of us, played so great and shared more fun than I thought possible…deep into the wee hours of the morning (what a jam, eh?); to Sheri at the The Ranch, whose generosity and dedication is nothing short of superhuman; to Brian at the Jazz Lab, thanks for the hit, for moving aside so we could play the gig, and for your soulful tenor playing; to the Albuquerque Academy (John and Sid) great kids and great times; to Flagstaff and the Weatherford Hotel and Zane Grey, you kept us warm and swingin even in the snow; to the Anton School and the SB Arts Council, what a fun time meeting the kids and witnessing the dedication of the teachers; and of course, Merle at In House Music, we are in awe of what you all have done for us…we shan’t forget. (To any of you that I might have missed, my sincerest apologies, I’ll make it up to you). Yes folks, a resounding echo through all of this has been “next year”…let’s hope so.

Until then: We do this so that kids can get unprecedented access to world-class mentoring, to empower the music community, to show how it can all be done efficiently and of course to underline the fact the all we need to take responsibility for the world around us. I ask you to help us do this and to continue to expand to ensure that this vital element of our culture thrives. Please consider a contribution, you can do it right from this site. Thank you, and we’ll see you on the road.

A strong and insistent reminder: We’re out here doing this to support JazzMasters Workshop, a no charge music-mentoring programs for kids. Please consider a tax-deductible per-mile pledge, we’d appreciate it. You can do it right from this site! Come on, we packed into a van, played day and night for a couple of weeks…what more can we do to prove how important this is and how committed we are? Thanks!