Now this is the type of routing I can go for all the time. We just have the short drive up to Sioux Falls,SD from Sioux City, IA. A mere conversation away. The drive is on a relatively flat plane here in the heartland of the Midwest. The sides of the Interstate here as usual are teaming with corn and soybeans. Later as we get going across South Dakota you start to see fields of sorghum. Made obvious by the dark reddish tops on their stalks. The drive is easy and I continue to speak my bad Japanese with Yoshi in an attempt to get it better for the upcoming Japan tour in Nov-Dec. I still have so far to go with my Japanese. I had originally given myself 5 years to attain a rudimentary grasp with this eastern language. That goal was extremely ambitious given that I wasn’t taking many lessons and I don’t live there. I do know how to read some but I’ve got to practice my writing more. I have a collection of about three to five hundred flash cards that I’ll pull out and read as I’m going down the road, much to my bandmates’ slight anxiety on occasion, and it takes me about a little over 2 hours to go through them all. Its good practice for me but speaking and conversing of course is the optimum medium I require right now. I’m helping Yoshi with his English too so we’re engaging in an endeavor that helps us both. You never realize the subtleties of your own tongue until you hear someone trying to learn it. All the little eccentricities start to gain your attention on the slight inflections and cadence that can drastically alter the meaning and intention you’re trying to convey. There I go being an anorak again. May my curiosity live on till I shuffle off this mortal coil.
We get into town and then we head down to load in. Old Skoolz is an intimate setting and shaped like a long rectangle. Stage size is more than adequate for our trio configuration so we get set up in no time. After checking the monitor system on stage so we’ll be able to hear, we go out to procure our food for the night. We come back for the show and the club is comfortably full and we snake our way through the constricted space between the people occupying the tables in front of the stage. Of course I see many of my returning fans that have turned into good friends over the years that I have been coming to this city in Eastern South Dakota. The Pomp Room being the first place I played here. Alas it’s gone now but the memories still live on. We start in on our first set and I turn my thoughts to trying out new ideas and melodies. So the band plays on….
The load out is a fast one and I get a short time to visit with my Sioux Falls friends. Everything is good here in the heartland and my friends look well. Once again I’m overcome at times with gratitude for all my fans and friends coming out to see me for all these years. It’s my responsibility to keep getting better as a musician so as to make it interesting and or entertaining to keep them coming out. Now I just need to write better songs to attract more people en masse. The never ending striving for artistic gratification keeps me going. I hope I never lose this feeling.
On to Sturgis tomorrow. ‘Heavy metal thunder!…’