Bart drove me back to Worcester in time to meet the bus to Hartford, and then tagged along on the bus on the way there. We had a lot of downtime that afternoon before they were actually ready for us to check sound, so me and Bart and Charlie worked on a rendition of “For No One” since his birthday was at the end of April. We actually decided it would go over better in New Orleans than St. Louis, though, and the song was so short it was almost more of an interlude if we didn’t put a bunch of solos into it. It was too early to tell what exactly we were going to do with it, but for now he and I had to get our parts together or it wasn’t going anywhere.
June 4: Sanders
June 11: Stef’s (memes)
June 25: Lenalena (book review)
August 20 Chris (fic)
Then we had another day off. This time we went to Boston, where Carynne had cozied up to the Lyons brothers, so we were given the VIP treatment, by which I mean we had access to the VIP room at the Citi Club. I hadn’t quite realized it, but I guess Citi was trying to be like Limelight or Danceteria. I had never thought of Boston as having that kind of celebrity culture, or maybe it was just that I had never been treated like one there.
You can find more Daron’s Guitar Chronicles art at Amy’s etsy shop.
The next night we played the Centrum again. Clarice and Fran smuggled me into their dressing room so we could do vocal warmups in the immense sports-team sized shower they had. Because, yes, everyone sounds better in the shower.
“M.D. got some range,” Clarice said when we were done. My range wasn’t especially good: my upper notes were weak and my lower notes were hard to keep in tune. I think they said things like that so I wouldn’t feel like chopped liver singing with them. These two had serious vocal firepower.
Author’s note: This story is told from Claire’s – Daron’s mom’s – point of view.
I had that dream again about my lost boys, the one that’s triggered whenever I catch a hint of their work in the open air.
I’m in my choir robes, but instead of the organ playing, I’m backed by Daron strumming a hymn on an acoustic.
It’s beautiful until Remo steps in. He plays a burning electric lick that makes the music change in a way I don’t want it to. I stop and look to the side in shame because part of me wants to continue singing with it.
That’s when I see Digger standing there in the wings, drunk-sinner pale. I can’t bear to look at him, so I head the opposite direction from where he is, seeking an escape.
I have to walk by Daron as I do. He reaches out like he wants me to stay. My mother’s heart feels pain, but he looks too much like his dad.
So I keep walking.
I look out into the audience to see what they think of me leaving the stage. I catch a glimpse of Courtney in the front row, arms folded across her chest, heart closed.
My older girls are waiting in the wings. They enfold me in their arms, and the evil noise dies down, muffled by their embrace.
The only thing that bothers me at this point in the dream is that I was too weak to save them all, and that when I look into my older girls’ eyes, it’s not grace I see. Instead, it’s jealousy and the look of sibling rivalry won by default.
I wake and know I have a lot more praying to do.
We blew the doors off the Worcester Centrum. I really think that pushing everyone to do “Baker Street” had heightened the whole band’s cohesion. Or maybe it was just that after a day off everyone was fresh and well-rested. Whatever it was, we were on fire.
We arrived in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the wee hours of the morning after the gig in Syracuse, at a hotel where the night clerk was very unprepared for the entire entourage to descend. As such it took an hour or two to get the rooms sorted out. A couple of members of the crew fell asleep in the lobby. All I can say is if you don’t want scruffy-looking, disreputable rock and rollers passed out in your lobby, have their rooms ready.
We drove all night to Syracuse. No, that’s no accurate. The drive was only five hours, but we stayed in the bus overnight, parked at the venue. I sleep better when the bus is in motion, so I slept about four hours and then just lay there in my coffin wondering about where we were.
The Carrier Dome is unbelievably fucking immense. No wonder it wasn’t sold out. We play all those hockey and basketball arenas, some at colleges, some in cities, and they usually hold around 18,000. This place had basketball but they also had football, indoors, under a dome, and it seated well over 40,000. In fucking Syracuse. No offense Syracuse, but your population isn’t that dense. I felt one really couldn’t blame anyone for this humongous place not selling out, though I don’t actually know what percentage of bands who play there come close.
I got sleepy again finally at the worst time, around noon when Remo had to go do a radio spot or something and so everyone else wanted to grab a “Baker Street” rehearsal, since that night we’d be doing it.