Wednesday, February 22, 2006

High-Speed Police Chases, Snow, and the new B3. Tour 2.16.06-2.18.06

Well, it’s Wednesday and I’m just now getting a chance to blog this past weekend…sorry, been busy.

Picture this….last Thursday. Southern Kentucky. I-65 North. Green pastures. Overcast, mid-afternoon. I’m on my way to Cincinnati (well, Hebron…but who’s heard of that?). I’m on my cell phone trying to work out the scheduling for an April gig. I’m talking to my manager (formally known as da’ Burn, Coach, or just Burns… At the same time I’m looking at the upcoming horizon and trying to figure out why 8 police cars are flying down the southbound lane with lights and sirens blazing. My eyes slowly work their way to the front of the line and I finally notice what they are chasing…a Honda CRX, mid-90’s model, and it looks like it has been beaten half to death. I have no idea why they were chasing it, but it cracked me up…what idiot really thinks he’s gonna’ pull that one off? It was like a pack of cheetahs chasing an aardvark (yeah there’s 2 A’s…I looked it up). I can just see the doped-up punk at the driver’s seat, skull-cap, pointy sideburns, a cross earring, Chinese tattoo, eyes wide-open, two hands white-knuckle on the wheel, pedal to the floor, cursing in Spanish, almost doing 80….downhill.

[That may have been politically incorrect…so let me correct myself….it could have been a white Anglo-Saxon protestant male, white collar, black tie, who was at lunch with a gambling buddy who had been caught in an illegal gambling operation and was secretly turning in his cohort as part of a bargain to get a lesser sentence. When the man noticed the wire on his friend (do white people look for wires?), he fled the scene but found his Benz blocked in by an officer so he stopped the guy with the skull cap, sideburns, cross earring, and Chinese tattoo who was next door in the Taco Bell drive-through, threw him out of the car inciting him to curse in Spanish, and then proceeded to steal the CRX and head for the interstate…but only after killing the car twice b/c he’s used to an “auto-stick”…. There. Better?]

Now I’m generally pretty good with directions, but I somehow got distracted and took exit 25 instead of exit 35 when bypassing Louisville via I-264. This put me on I-64 toward Lexington, not I-71 to Cincinnati, and the next exits was 10 miles….I was ticked. However I did recover, but later missed a turn in Hebron (this one was Google Map’s fault) and ended up in the most beautiful expanse of nowhere-near-where-I-need-to-be that I have ever seen. I was ticked again. I did make it to the gig however and stepped out of my car to 40mph wind gusts. Needless to say, with my curly hair I looked like a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan that night…with just a touch of Kramer.

Kyle Cruz ( and Brandon James ( met me there, along with Kyle’s dog, Chapter (look for an upcoming blog about the single-guy/dog phenomenon). It was a fun night with the crew and I really appreciate Fabiani’s dad letting us crash at his place afterwards.

As some of you have discovered from Kyle’s blogs, I have been affectionately dubbed “Beau Biceps.” It has recently become “Biceps” for short, and the running joke is that anything that needs to be done can be accomplished by my biceps. Now honestly, I’m not sure how this developed. It may have some relation to the name of Bo Bice (add “ps” and it is biceps), and surely has little to do with my actual physique….though I’m in the gym trying to live up to the title.

That night saw the birth of yet a new nickname, “B3.” Now I’m sure it has to do with the plethora of B’s in my name (Beau, Bruce, Bristow…Biceps?), but it also is a steal from the title of the well known Hammond organ. Either way you cut it, it’s just one more addition to a long list of nicknames that I will avoid listing here in order to save myself certain embarrassment…

Friday we hung around the house. I did some booking for future shows and then sat down to try to pick up some of Kyle’s guitar skills. For those of you who haven’t seen Kyle live, you have no idea what sort of craftsman he really is with a guitar. I guess there are so many guys with acoustic guitars that people just tend to ignore them…(hmm, I guess that would include me). Kyle has a very unique style that is the refinement of a percussion background and an ear that is not restrained by the burden of music theory (not that I am against such knowledge, but rules can be restricting if you never grasp the freedom to bend/break them). I picked up a couple of techniques that have honestly rekindled a creative element in myself that has been dwindling due to the heavy workload in the past few weeks. This being said, you can expect new songs the next time you see me.

Friday night we played at Kofenya in Oxford, OH. This is always a fun place and I really appreciate my friends there. The show was great, but the moment that sticks out was my mispronunciation of the word “Arabic.” I accented the second syllable when I should have accented the first. It happened when I was asking a friend that I met my last time in Oxford how her study of the Arabic language was going. I corrected myself after my folly, but she was quick to console me with “that’s okay, you’re from Alabama.” She swiftly followed her own comment with, “Oh, I’m sorry, do we know each other well enough for me to say that?”

We laughed about it, but it was too late. Brandon picked it up from there and for the rest of the night I was given gratuitous forgiveness for a variety of things with “that’s alright, you’re from Alabama.” It was all good fun. Actually Kyle’s goal for the weekend was to make me mad, just because he couldn’t imagine me mad….he failed. In the end we dished things out pretty evenly.

We drove to Lexington after the show in Oxford to stay with our friends Jenni and Lindsay. It was butt-cold (less than 40 degrees if you are from Alabama…). Actually it was hypo-butt-cold, the wind-chill had to be around zero. Needless to say we were miserable when we got locked out of Jenni’s house…after 10 minutes of banging on doors and windows we finally woke someone up and got in.

Saturday morning found us with 2-4 inches of snow. It was a great day…too much fun to list here, and the show that night was great. New friends, old friends, good times. I left Lexington at midnight and made it back to Nashville a little after 2:00 AM. (Don’t worry Mom, this is not counting the time change…it actually took 3 hours.)

In all reality, the crowds weren’t the biggest and it would be hard to argue that the weekend was financially productive. But forget that. It was as much fun as I’ve had on tour and I’m sure Kyle and I will be touring together again soon. You’d better be there….


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