Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jack Russell checks in with a play by play recap of the America Rocks Tour!

As you all know, my band Jack Russell's Great White just wrapped up our summer package-AMERICA ROCKS-where we headlined around the country with our very special guests Faster Pussycat, Bullet Boys, Pretty Boy Floyd and Lillian Axe. It was quite an adventure.

We started the tour in northern California. To say that first day was a real life "Spinal Tap" is an understatement. All the buses, all the people (some I knew, some I didn’t, but they all seemed nice enough), all the gear...it was chaotic at best. On one bus you had a bunch of good ole' boys with a bunch of Hollywood rocker dudes (it took a minute for that to gel) although everyone there survived, some barely. On the other bus were the real pro road dogs, sharing their space with 1989, by the way that was a great year for me, so I’m cool with that. Some did not last the entire adventure, but I won’t speculate on that. We had our own bus, THANK GOD!

When the tour began, everyone was a bit under the weather, and I was definitely not feeling up to par. Things got worse before they got better, but eventually we were all happy and healthy.

We did a few shows in Cali. And then, in what seemed to be a random routing, we headed to Nebraska. Yep, Nebraska makes sense? So. Cal to Nebraska? Anyway, we had a really great show there, aside from the drunken in-house sound guy. He kept turning the speakers on and off, so we finally had him removed from the premises. We have our own sound guy, who is amazing, so we did not need his drunken ass screwing up our sound. However, every time he was escorted out the front door, he came right back in through the back door, we just could not get rid of this guy!

After that show we headed to Kansas, I don’t know if I had the flu or what, but I was not my usual fantastic self! LOL. The next day was the worst, Savage MN. People need to wash their damn hands, germs spread like crazy in this confined space...hint hint band members!

After that, we headed to a really cool venue right outside of Chicago. I have a lot of friends there, so it was an awesome night. Did I mention that the band kicked ass too? Better and better every show. I am a lucky man!

Then off to a show in PA. We got there late so all the bands just kind of threw their stuff on the stage and rocked. No real sound check or anything. It was one of the best shows on the tour.

Then on to Canada. After way too much prep work, we got in no problem (Canada is like Fort Knox these days ya know). However, one band, which shall remain nameless, could not get in, come hell or high water, so they went off on their own, no idea where. Faster's bus broke down or something, so we had to wait at the border for them for HOURS! We were told it would be best for us all to go in together, well fuck that! We gave up the wait and went in, no problem. Thanks for that Taime! We had a blast however, hanging with the border guards for four hours...Anyway, Faster and Bullet Boys finally showed up (can ya guess who wasn’t allowed anywhere near Canada?) and it was truly a great show, great crowd, and great performances by all. Just a really fun time.

Out of Canada… and heading towards the eastern gigs. More great shows in OH, and New Jersey. This tour really brought out the fans and they showed us so much love! I sucked that shit up like a mosquito in a blood bank!

By this time, we were all really getting to know each other, and were really making some good friends. Some of these guys are really a trip, and are great players. Everyone was pitching in and helping each other and things were running pretty smooth at this point. I know it may seem easy, but trust me when I tell you that having 5 bands on one bill, plus having some promoters add a couple of local openers, was a scheduling nightmare. Getting everyone play to nice was quite a challenge at times. Except for me, I'm perfect. No, really I swear!

Next we had a gig in Virginia. There was some kind of crazy storm and no power all along the east coast, including at the venue! Had a day off instead. We rescheduled and will return there in November. Then went to D.C. where some of my band mates wanted to vent to Obama, but instead ended up taking obscene pictures with the Washington Monument (check Dario's Facebook page).

My wife flew in and joined us boys on the tour bus for a week. Then it was the 4th of July in Alabama, what's more American than that! The promoter told us it was the first time in 5 years that the crowd continued to stay AFTER the fireworks were over to watch a band. It kicked ass!

Then off to Texas, the birthplace of our one and only Matthew Johnson. Texas LOVES us, LOVES their boy Matthew, and we LOVE Texas.

The antics also started here...an end of tour tradition. Different band members would randomly jump on stage and do some really wacky shit to whoever was on at the time. Check out You Tube for Lillian Axe joining Faster, that was some funny shit.

Everyone started joining us on stage for our last song "Once Bitten Twice Shy", and on the last night in AZ they all wore our "JACK IS BACK" shirts. I thought that was awesome, then I saw Taime...his shirt said "JACK ME OFF". Thanks Taime, way to ruin a moment, just kidding, it was fucking hysterical!

All in all, we all really had an amazing time! I can't thank Faster Pussycat, Bullet Boys, Pretty Boy Floyd and Lillian Axe enough. It was a great adventure and something I will never forget. We made some amazing friendships, and miss the guys already.

Source: Metal Sludge

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