made it in to Des Moines and our hotel is right downtown
which is close to the club. It is called the Hotel Fort
Des Moines and it is very old. We are told that it has been
used by many of the candidates during the primaries when
they were running for president. During our stay here a
Miss Iowa competition was convening. Over 300 beauty queens
from around the state made for quite a sight which, pleasant
to look upon, tended to overload the elevators. I remember
having to wait 15 minutes for an elevator car and finally
giving up and taking the stairs. On the eleventh floor of
this hotel is a public radio station where we played some
songs acoustically and Laurie was interviewed by Ron Sorrenson,
one of the radio hosts for WFMG 99.1. He was very gracious
as he was a stand-in for Scott the Big Dog. Scott had other
pressing matters that he needed to attend to and could not
make the interview. Thanks for helping us get the word out
Blues on Grand is a great club. It looks little iffy on
the outside (after all it is a blues club), but inside are
great people and great music. Many of the great players
currently making the rounds like Walter Trout, The Neal
Brothers, and Coco Montoya play here. The owner Jeff Wagner
is truly a great guy and quite a character. We pull up to
the club and there is a no parking sign in front of his
establishment. Obeying the law we park around the back but
Jeff tells us to park in the front at the no parking sign.
He tells us that he put it up so the bands would always
have a convenient place to park when at the club. Clever.
He must have some friends in important places. Later after
we set up and do a sound check we are all sitting around
the bar and Jeff says, "I suppose you guys want to
eat now." We tell him we do and that we are starving.
He proceeds to pull out all kinds of stuff for us to eat.
He starts with little bags of salted peanuts. Ha, ha. Then
he shows us various jars of pickle pigs products like pigs
feet, pig hocks, and pig lips. By now we know that he is
pulling our legs in a very entertaining and humorous way,
but when he pulls out the jars of pickled male and female
body parts we start to get squeamish. I ask him, "Are
you trying to make us loose our appetites so you don’t
have to buy us dinner?" He says, "You bet"
and we all laugh. So if you want to have a good laugh just
ask Jeff what he has to eat. Jeff sends us on our way for
a wonderful dinner at The Raccoon Restaurant near the hotel.
The band had a great time playing and found the club very
enjoyable. Jeff told us that the night we played was one
of the opening nights for the state fair. He said that this
would cut down on the attendance but to our surprise we
had a respectable turn out that made the night fun. At one
point during a break between songs we hear a guy on a cell
phone tell someone, &"Yeah. There's two blondes
and a couple of guys tearing it up. Get your ass down here."
No finer compliment could have been made that night. Thanks
everyone at the Blues on Broadway. You made this one of
our more memorable road gigs. Hope to see you next year.
Here's an interesting and, I am told, true story.
A man and his wife are awakened one night by some sounds.
After investigating the man finds that there are some people
in his garage and it looks as though he is being robbed.
He calls 911 and says, "There are some people in my
garage robbing us." He is told that all patrol cars
are already on calls and that if he stays on line they will
get the next available unit to his house. After waiting
a while the man hangs up and calls 911 again. This time
he says, "There were some people in my garage trying
to rob me. I shot them all with my shot gun. Can you send
someone to help?" Within five minutes, six Police
Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic,
and an Ambulance showed up at the residence,
and caught the burglars red-handed. One of the Policemen
said, "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"
The owner said, "I thought you said there was nobody
available!" Way to go.