We turn our collective gaze to the west and nearly repeat the route we traveled yesterday save but 100 miles or so. I’ve traveled this road system so much the past 20 years that all I have to do is take a glance at the map and I’ll get us in the area of our destination. Of course I’m not perfect and I do make the occasional wrong turn and misdirection, which doesn’t go unnoticed by my bandmates with a few gibes and cracks, but rest assured I will find the mark and we will arrive safely too. So it’s off and on our way.
Arriving early we check into our modest motel, a Super 8, and while I’m sitting in my room I notice there’s this ‘BANG…BANG…BANG’, about every 1.5 seconds. Not really loud but an unmistakable industrial banging. It never stopped and as inquired down at the front desk, it’s coming from a satellite dish manufacturer. It’s got to be some kind of pressing contraption cranking that stuff out. It wasn’t even noticeable after I turned my AC unit on the fan setting so that covered it quite nicely. It’s just another quirk on the road.
On the itinerary it has the appointed load-in time so we depart with that in mind. Upon arriving in beautiful downtown Burlington and pulling around the side where the load-in door is we bang for a while on the metal doors but to no avail. No one is there. Well, we’ll just take a gander at some of the shops around town and then come back to the club about an hour before we play.
Burlington was like stepping back into the late 70’s mid 80’s. Not the most economically robust of places but a charm all to its own nonetheless. I did go in this Art Gallery shop and a couple of the paintings did look good but just a bit pricey for me. I’ll pass. I do have a number of original paintings hanging on my walls and one that is a Van Gogh copy of ‘Café Terrace at Night’ that I bought on the streets of Paris for like $30, then I went and picked out a frame 30 times the money I paid for the painting. Damn good looking I must admit but not one of my most thought out choices. Anyway we head back to the hotel and chill and get ready for our return.
We return an hour before show time at The Washington and they’re ready for us now. We set up in the usual manner and within 30 minutes we’re ready to go with sound check completed. The club here likes for me to play really quiet so I do my best to adhere to their request. It’s a different thing to play at a low volume. I really have to make adjustments with technique and I approach it in a different way. It can be done but it’s a gradual thing when I have to do it. I can’t just snap into quiet mode like that. We are doing well though despite our restrictions and the crowd, although light tonight, is really enthusiastic and it’s their enthusiasm that we feed off of. We give em’ two sets of wildness and one encore and we’re done. A different show for sure but we made the most of it.
Back at the hotel I notice the banging is still going on and when I look out my window towards the sound, I can now see inside the factory because the big window on the side of the building has reversed its visible properties and now since the light is brighter in the interior it’s one-way viewing is opposite. Even better, I see the big machine that is making all the noise. It’s a huge RV size rectangle and in the middle portion of it there moves this large yellow block-like assembly up and down with a corresponding ‘Bang’ at the bottom of the movement. I watch it for a while as if in a slight trance and awe for there it is – the beast that bangs out its mighty roar. As all around it, the Beast’s minions are feeding it and taking its refuse on the other end. Soon at the stroke of 12:30 or so the Beast retires for the night and sleeps while its minions prepare the Beast’s food for the next shift. Sleep well mighty Beast…….’BANG…..bang….bang….bang….’ I drift off to sleep….