At 9AM I found myself standing in front of the breakfast bar in the hotel lobby. Pleasantly rested and ready to kill this yogurt, banana and orange juice. We received a complimentary USA today (why does anyone buy that paper?) that I flipped through at lightning speed. I remember reading something about Tim Tebow's mother. And during the Super Bowl, he is doing an ad for some pro-life outfit. Maybe that means that he'll squeeze a couple more touchdowns out of Jesus when he gets to the NFL. Pardon the sarcasm. Actually, wait. No. Don't.
Dan Dryden (Philip Glass
' sound man of nearly 30 years) arrived safely from his home in NYC and checked in. Brian, Matt and I had a handful of hours to ourselves before load in so we decided to go check out the Warhol museum
and PNC park
. To our excitement, we learned that the hotel's shuttle service would drive us there for free. We were picked up by Mr. Chip. A little guy, that we could tell was loaded with Pittsburgh history. On our drive over we noticed a woman holding a cardboard sign outside of a city building. There were a few people gathered around. Upon inquiring with Mr. Chip we learned that fairly recently a African American student with dredlocks was beaten within an inch of his life by 3 plain clothes cop
s. They thought that the 20 oz. Mountain Dew bottle in his pocket was a gun. Whoops. As we drove by the woman with the sign, we finally got a look at what it said. In bold, magic marker letters it read "FUCK YOU PIGS!". We all know that there are alot of good cops out there, but as far as this goes? Fair enough.
Mr. Chip dropped us at the door of the Warhol museum. We had a few hours before lobby call so we didn't feel rushed. There was a Shepard Fairey
exhibit throughout the museum which was fun for me. I remember being in NYC in '89 and '90 and seeing those Andre Has A Posse
stickers popping up everywhere in the village. He's come a long way since. Even designing the now infamous Obama:Hope
poster that was everywhere. I was never much of a Warhol guy. I mean, I had a great appreciation for him for his role in contemporary pop art, but I was never really intrigued by his work. This visit changed that. I still don't really get the urinating-on-a-canvas thing amongst a handful of other pieces. But as a whole, the museum really helped me realize how important he was as not only an artist, but as a politician in some sense. He really helped force a new identity upon what was seen as taboo in this country.
One small pack of refrigerator magnets from the museum later, we were around the corner and down the street to PNC park. Being an avid baseball fan, I have heard from more than a few people that PNC is one of the nicest, if not the
nicest park in the MLB. Well, if it's not the nicest, there sure is an argument to be made for it. Sitting at the convergence of the three rivers, you'll be hard pressed to find a prettier view at any park with the exception of the park in San Francisco. We were greeted by huge statues of Willie Stargell and one of my personal heroes, Roberto Clemente.
My brother has been a Pirates fan his whole life, and being a Sox fan, I always found myself rooting for the Pirates as my favorite NL team. Nepotism is a bitch though, for the Pirates haven't had a winning season since the invention of steel. There is a certain charm in that though. The game is almost more pure that way. Without the fair weather fans and whatnot. It's just baseball. For baseball fans. I'll tell ya, I already liked the Pirates before this visit. And now it's safe to say that I love them. Can't wait to go to a game there next year.
Mr. Chip was as prompt as could be (he even ran an extra errand for Matt and sang him a tune on the way!) as we made our way back to go grab a bite to eat (a Lebanese restaurant where I had a excellent falafel sandwich!). And then back to the hotel to start loading the van. We loaded into Club Cafe at 3:30 and immediately went to work. It was great to see Dan again. He came out to do sound for us at our warm up gig at The Brass Cat.
And that guy knows his way around a soundboard like nobody's business.
There was a great second floor dressing area that had two separate rooms and a full bath. Everything seemed to be in place. Matty, Brian and I ran down the street to a sports bar and got a pre-show snack. When we returned to the club we met Doug Seymour
, who has done work with Lloyd before with the Folksinger series CD'
s. He is an amazing photographer who has worked with some pretty heavy hitters. Most importantly, he was a hell of a nice guy. He snapped a bunch of photos of us and even a video. This was the last song of our set. And you can hear from the video that the crowd in Pittsburgh was really excited all night long. Hooting and hollering along at all the right times. Click here to see and hear "Lost Weekend".
We had a great time playing, and after the show we met some really nice people. After the meet and greet Dan and Lloyd went back to the hotel. Dan was a little beat from the trip and Lloyd officially seemed to be getting sick. Matty, Brian, Doug and I went back to the bar that we promised to return to. The bartender from the night before wasn't working, but the guy that was heard that we were coming in. What great people. Damn, I wish I could remember the name of the place. Something with a K. On the same street as Club Cafe. I think?
A great time was had. We saw great things, shared great laughs, played a great show. It was official. We might be pretty good at this.
That's what she said.
Off to Cleveland in the morning. Stay tuned!
Labels: Andy Warhol, Club Cafe, Lloyd Cole, PA, Philip Glass, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pirates, Roberto Clemente, Shepard Fairey, Small Ensemble, The Brass Cat, Warhol museum, Willie Stargell