When I woke later, Courtney was gone and everyone else was already up. I was the only one in the bus as far as I could tell.
I found Carynne inside the building, having a discussion with Louis and a guy I didn’t know. All three of them had very serious looks on their faces. The guy looked more like a tech himself, in jeans and a T-shirt, than like some bigwig, but the way he was nodding and listening while the other two did most of the talking made me wonder.
I steered clear and wandered the maze of rooms downstairs for a bit. There was one whole room just full of old desks. I guess no one bothered to lock it since who was going to walk off with a whole desk? These would’ve taken two guys to move, too.
I heard someone calling my name. Colin. I found him halfway down the stairs.
“Hey,” he said. “There’s some press on the schedule today.”
“I didn’t forget. Lunch with someone, right?”
“Just making sure you didn’t wander off.” Colin was apparently still taking his sherpa-ing seriously, despite my outburst this morning. Not that I expected him to go off and sulk or anything. He was more mature than that. I reminded myself he was older than me by several years.
“Any idea what that pow wow upstairs is about?”
Colin grimaced. “Venue security says we might have lost some lights during the night.”
“Lost? You mean stolen?”
“Someone broke in last night,” he said. “All they know right now is they used a ladder and were on the catwalk.”
“Probably those shitheads who think we’re not lighting them enough. They better make sure they didn’t add more lights,” I joked.
I shouldn’t have joked. Later, after they’d checked everything out, Louis told me nothing was missing and he did think maybe they were trying to add something. “But they’re too motherfucking stupid to know what they’re doing,” he said.
I was too preoccupied with that and so was Carynne for her to remind me exactly what it was I was doing at lunchtime. I had got it into my head that I was having lunch with some reporter. Turned out I was having lunch with a reporter, an MTV film crew, and taking a tour of Austin guitar shops. At the very first one, we “ran into” Stevie Ray Vaughan. So it’s recorded for posterity on tape somewhere that he and I shook hands. The whole thing was a set-up of course, either that or he was just totally nonplussed to run into a film crew while guitar shopping. I remember him saying something about Remo and I said something about teaching myself to play “Pride and Joy” off the radio when I was in high school.
Then I suddenly remembered that was the album that had “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on it, and I told him I was teaching my guitar tech to play.
All in all, it was a pretty shallow conversation, but we were on camera. I was hoping they’d have us sit down and play together. Wouldn’t that make more sense than listening to us blather? But TV people don’t think like me.
We went to two more places. There were no surprise celebrities at the other stops, though one of the clerks told me, I think quite sincerely, that we had just missed Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers.
They filmed a little bit with me back at the venue, as if it was our sound check, except it wasn’t yet, and then they had to leave. I heard one of the camera guys ask why the building looked so much like an airplane hangar and one of the others tell him it actually used to be. Before they made it into a concert and exhibition building, that is.
While I was out gallivanting, Ziggy was holding court with a long series of reporters himself, apparently. I hadn’t realized Austin was such a nexus and I put it on my list of places to go back to at some point.
And then came the show. Courtney, who I’d sort of forgotten about, was right down front with the fan club folks. It was a good show, but I think the night before was better. We didn’t play around as much. I didn’t cut loose as much. Still, a solid show. Christian was meek as milk until it came time to hit the drums, and then he was solid. No major problems. No more run-ins with Megaton.
What I really really wanted to do after the show was grab Ziggy and hide in a room somewhere and work on the thing we were supposed to be recording. But we wanted to hit the road as quickly as possible so that we could get to NOLA. We were looking at a nine or ten hour drive, and basically going straight to the studio when we arrived.
By the time we were packing to leave, it looked to me like Carynne had drafted Courtney to be a kind of assistant. No one said a word about her getting in the bus with us.
Chris disappeared into his bunk the moment we got rolling. I took Bart and Ziggy in the back and we talked about what we were going to do. Bart came up to speed fast, as usual, but there was only so much we could do until we actually sat down to do it.
In fact, Bart finally put a hand on my shoulder and said, “Daron. Quit stressing. We got this.”
“Okay. All right.” We all got into our bunks then.
I’d be lying, though, if I said I slept much. Or well.