Tag Archives: Paper Gods Tour 2017

Happy 4th of July!

So today is my favorite holiday of the year. Yes, it’s a huge cliché. Yep, I run the risk of being labeled “patriotic”, which is apparently a bad thing these days. No, I don’t really care. This isn’t about politics or race, or even American pride, so much (for me). It’s about having fun.

For me, this holiday is all about summer. It is about gathering at my sister-in-law’s house. It is about making some of my favorite homemade dishes to share. It is about pineapple sangria, music, talking and laughing, and yes – fireworks. I LOVE fireworks. Not a big fan of firecrackers, but the aerial fireworks that are done professionally (along with a few fountain type that we light in the street) are my favorite. My son Gavin was born on July 1st in 1999, and I forced my doctor to release me (I had a difficult time of it ) so that I could see the fireworks on the 4th. It was so silly (and stupid of me), but I remember sitting at our local park that night, watching the fireworks and thinking about how I hoped he’d learn to love the holiday as much as I did.  He didn’t. He hates “sharing” his birthday.

This year, it feels more like the opening day to a half-marathon for me, because I begin the day with a parade (my youngest is performing in a 4th of July parade and we had to be up at stupid o’clock to have her there on time), and then tonight I’ve got to finish packing because tomorrow I get to go pick up Amanda from the airport!!  I’m so excited I can barely stand it!  Once Wednesday arrives though, I want time to slow down.

I can’t wait to see her and head north.  I insisted she fly into LAX rather than San Francisco purely so that we could road trip together.  I’m sure there will be video along with tales from the road and so forth – so be on the lookout. I don’t know if she ever figured out Snapchat (I have to work on that myself), and maybe we can even do some sort of Facebook live thing, too).

I hope the band is ready!

Happy 4th of July to our US friends, and to those of you in the UK – happy “getting rid of us” day!  To the rest of the world, happy Tuesday!

-R

Beautiful Clothes….and Me

I am beginning to bounce off the walls a bit. It’s been a couple of weeks since my school year ended, I’ve been at home…and now I’m ready to hit the road. I’m punchier than usual, and anxious for the weekend. It’s Thursday and I’m acting like it’s Friday.

Yesterday, I went shopping with my oldest. She works at what I would characterize to be her idea of a candy store at one of our local malls, which means she works at a clothing store. She has been after me to go in and take advantage of their sales and her employee discount ever since. Heather knows that most of the time, she has to take charge and insist we go shopping to get me to buy myself things. So yesterday, she announces she’s going to take me shopping, meaning I’m going to get in the car with her, and drive us both to a store and use my own cash card to buy myself new things.

I hesitantly agree, and set my expectations incredibly low. To begin with, as most know – I’m curvy and not a size two.  I’m also not, well, 20 years old. In the past, this has been difficult for Heather to grasp. I appreciate her vote of confidence, but seriously. Look at me. It’s a delicate balance, and the store she works at is geared for a younger crowd.  Then again, what stores REALLY reach out to the 40-something who wants to look good, but not quite hoochie-mama?? It requires a careful eye, and someone who has no trouble calling herself out and getting “real”.  So, I was prepared.

First of all, if I had my way—I would live in jeans. Oh wait, I already do. 😀  You’ll never see a dress on me, and if you do, someone needs to ask if I’ve been drugged. Dresses are for those people who don’t run the risk of tripping, and can behave like a lady.

Well, I’m a lady.  I’m just not a lady.  I’m Rhonda. I’m a Duranie. I’m a mom. I’m also a klutz, and ‘graceful’ is not a word that has ever been used to describe me. I’m one of those people who will be in a crowded bar or restaurant, and will stop to map out the path I’m going to take to get from point A to point B before I even set foot out of my chair. The chair is safe. Typically I don’t quite fall out of chairs, so I tend to grab one, sit down, and not move. It’s just too dangerous to have me out and about. So, I really do think about where I’m going to go before I bother to get up. Heaven help me if someone comes out of nowhere and gets in my way. I’ll fall on my face, and that would be a scene from hell. So, there’s that. Hence, dresses are really not my friend.

Back to shopping.  We get to the store, go inside and I’m already groaning. Spaghetti straps as far as the eye can see, and stop it already with the strapless!

My daughter insists on bringing over all of these camisole tops that I can wear under things, and the thing she wants me to wear them under is some sort of sleeveless dress thing that is actually a jacket. Well, I try it on with the tops she brings, and I have two thoughts:

  1. Is it a dress? Is it a jacket? Who in the hell wears this kind of thing…and why does it make me look like I just gained back the 30 pounds I lost?!?
  2. Why do clothing manufactures assume that all females are built without a figure??? I am not a rectangle, thank you. Oh, and BTW, if you’re going to make camisoles in sizes above say – a six – you might consider that some of us have boobs.  That’s right, I said it. Again, thank you.

I say as much to my daughter, who responds with a patient, yet slightly annoyed, “Mother, the jacket is EDGY. Don’t try to button it, and just wear it with a camisole.” I complain about the fact that I actually insist on wearing the proper undergarments to control my top half (no really…it’s a thing and y’all can thank me later), and that if some clothing manufacturer would just figure it out…women everywhere would appreciate it.  My apologies to those of you out there that don’t have to bother.

Wait, why am I apologizing???

Back to the clothing expedition…. I decide that although I would sincerely love to be “edgy”, that ship has sailed. Anybody who has met me or knows me that I’m the opposite. I’m not quite “grandma in the kitchen making cookies”, but I’m really more of the “martinis in the afternoon while Skyping with Amanda” sort.  There’s no changing that, and although I still have envy over those who can wear the smokey eyeliner, chokers, leather, and Doc Martins, I’ve settled into who I am. Kind of. It’s sort of an admitted annoyance, really.

Here’s the thing, I envy people who can stand in the audience, wear something as similar as a jacket over a tee and look like a million bucks. I know someone who wore a vegan leather jacket to a show last summer, and never ONCE did she look sweaty. She looked calm, cool, collected. Amazing, basically. Why can’t I do that??

I’ll tell you why.  I have zero fashion sense or even the confidence to pull off shit like that.

After some wrestling in and out of camisole tops that could have been perfect torture devices under the right circumstances (none of which included the hot, harsh lights of the dressing room), I come out of the store with some really cool buckled creepers (shoes) with peek-a-boo sides (they’re as cool as I can pull off), a faux-suede moto-jacket (Look Amanda, I bought vegan!!!), and several cami-tops that are truly miles too big on me in some ways, but they fit in others (I’ll be sewing this weekend). The thing is, my daughter is very good at sales. Like, too good, because as I looked at my closet this morning, I realized I have nowhere to wear most of this stuff.

I’m gonna need to go to some more shows, I guess. 😉

-R

Paper Gods Tour: The Final Leg

I know the final leg of Paper Gods #Duranlive is coming because I see the tweets from DDHQ.  The posts with a stage shot, sparking my anticipation a bit. I look at the calendar and recognize that next week at this time (I’m starting to lose track of what day of the week it is – which is WONDERFUL), I’ll be nervously packing up the last of the things I need and getting ready to drive up to Los Angeles to pick up my copilot for this final leg!

What a road it has been, and not all of it smooth or easy to navigate. In a lot of ways, I can’t believe this is really the last leg of Paper Gods.   It seems like just a few months ago that Amanda and I received the full album and gave it a good listen. Even less since I picked Amanda up from LAX and drove to our hotel near the Hollywood Bowl (apparently it’s been long enough for me to forget the name…), or since she and I hung out at the W in Los Angeles, or drove over the Canadian border. I don’t know where the time went, but I have to say, I think I really did love every minute of it!

Paper Gods, for me, wasn’t an easy sell. I didn’t fall in love at the first listen. Falling somewhere in between Red Carpet Massacre and All You Need is Now on a musical level (for me – your experience will be different and that’s wonderful!), I didn’t have that immediate bonding that I craved. It took time and patience, which was something I wasn’t expecting. I wrote many a review, and spent a lot of time trying to pinpoint what I loved, and what fell short.  Even so, it would be unfair not to recognize the musical genius within. The hard work is evident, and it is very clear that the band went full-throttle with heart, soul and everything in between to finish.

On the upside, the touring here in the states has been nothing short of phenomenal. The Hollywood Bowl, Ravinia, Red Rocks, shows on New Years Eve and New Years Day, but to name a few. Absolute craziness. Shows were announced without warning, and it’s a good thing I take blood pressure medicine religiously, because one never knew what would be announced next.

On the other hand, there’s the rest of the world. A handful of shows in Italy, a few in the UK, Lollapalooza in South America, Gran Prix in Singapore…and a scattering of others. The rest of world pretty much missed out. Yes, there are a million verifiable reasons why the tour shook out this way, none of which provide much in the way of solace for fans who have been waiting. I might also gently suggest that the band saying “We really want to go to the Far East!” or “Hoping to hit Australia and even New Zealand!” probably didn’t help, although, if one really listened and read through the lines, particularly just before the album was announced and the band was saying they probably would not get to a lot of places on this tour and that it would be shorter, maybe there wouldn’t be as much of a surprise. Even so, as a fan, I have to wonder what is really going on. No conspiracies, but to leave out the rest of the world seems odd. Promoters work to get the band booked places, and I have a difficult time believing there is no demand for them in say, Japan. Or Australia. Or anywhere in Europe besides Italy.

Here we are, standing ever closer to the edge—together. We’re near the end of one album cycle, one final leg of the tour left, not entirely sure of what will follow. There’s talk of the studio, of a three-year celebration of the 40th anniversary (I still have a hard time typing that number. It feels like a mistake and I have to remind myself that yes, it really has been that long.), of a musical, and still many other fans believe that band is going to retire and they’re on their way out. None of us really know what will come next, until the band tells us. So while I’m anxious to go see the shows next week, I’m also slightly apprehensive of the unknown. After all, I’ve had a lot of fun and I don’t want it to stop!

Nagging thoughts aside, I get the feeling we’ve only just gotten started.

-R

June 2017 Katy Kafe with John Taylor!

I marvel every single time I type the word “June.” I’m not sure if it’s just me, living in the land of denial that my son graduates from high school on Saturday, or if it is really that I’m shocked time goes by so fast. I would swear it was just March a few days ago.  Either way, it is June, and it is time for the June 2017 Katy Kafe!

By now, our readers know the drill – these are the highlights, not a full transcription. If you really want to hear the whole Kafe, get yourself a membership to DDM. Even on a “paying for college” budget – I manage to put together enough money for my renewal each year, so it can be done!

Each June, it is either Nick or John that joins Katy in the Kafe because, as we all know, they each have a birthday this month. This year, it is John’s turn and Katy wastes no time getting down to business. JT just returned from a trip to Arizona for a family wedding and is relaxing at home in LA.

Memories of the Glass Spider Tour with Bowie

After some discussion of various places they played on this tour, (You can check out the real dates here) John says the experience was priceless. Interestingly enough, Duran Duran and David Bowie never appeared onstage together. The closest was one time when the band was playing Bang A Gong, and David was watching off to the side of the stage.

Wrapping Up Paper Gods

At this moment, it would appear that the Singapore Gran Prix dates are the final ones for Paper Gods. The band wanted to go to South Korea, Japan and of course Australia, but the right opportunity has not presented itself. They are still really trying, but it sounds to me as though this is not going to happen. I know many fans are still holding out hopes for DD to join Chic in Australia, but from the way John spoke, it does not sound likely at this point. He mentioned possibly going out next year, but Nick is less inclined to go from touring, to studio and then back to touring again. As John explained, it’s difficult to be in the studio when you’re constantly tired from touring. I don’t know exactly what kept them from getting to Australia and the Far East this time around, but John says it’s very complicated, and given that I’ve never managed a tour (not many of us have), I’m going to take his word for it!

The upcoming west coast and Canada dates are hallmarked by one very special date in Hawaii – it is somewhere the band has never played, and they are very excited to get there. A night of paradise in paradise. I like the way that sounds! Wish I could be there, but I also wanted to stay married. Go figure.

40th Anniversary Plans

I wish I could say that these “plans” are taking shape. All I gleaned from this Katy Kafe was that they have a whole lot of ideas. It very much reminds me of the Kafes as an album is beginning to be made and LOTS of ideas are thrown out, but we never really know what is going to stick (or was stuck) until we fans get the album in our hands. I suspect the same will hold true for the 40th anniversary.

They do plan to get back into the studio in London before the end of the year, and this does coincide with the 40th anniversary (those are John’s words, not my assumptions). Katy asked if they’d be working on new music or perhaps re-examining old music. John seemed to indicate some of each. “There’s lots of talk and plans. We have to just get to it” (meaning the unreleased material)  He specifically spoke about Reportage, which should thrill some people out there (myself included) For those who are unaware, Reportage is the album they recorded with Andy prior to his leaving – and ended up being shelved. (They released Red Carpet Massacre instead) John says they are “keen to get that (Reportage) out”

He reiterated that the 40th Anniversary celebration is going to roll out over the course of three years, and culminate in the summer of 2020. Get your credit cards and bank accounts ready, folks. This is what we’ve trained for.

Nick & John’s TSP

As I suspected, this has everything to do with the musical that they’ve been working on. Nothing thrills me more to use the word “musical” in a sentence with Nick and John. Yes, it’s true – I am a musical theatre mom, and I can hardly wait to see what they’ve got planned. If they need a choreographer, I know some people. One may or may not be my daughter. She’s good. (Yes, I just plugged my kid. No, I have zero shame.)  So, my suspicion is that those people who were in the studio with them might just be working on a demo soundtrack.

John would love for this to end up being part of the 40th anniversary celebration, and he says it just might be – but he doesn’t want to say more than that.  I could hardly stop myself from jumping out of my chair at those words. LOVE IT. He says he’s really getting into musical theatre – and planned to watch the Tony awards on Sunday night (which was the day this Kafe was taped).

About Those Pre-show Playlists

John explains that because he makes his living in music, it is crucial that he remain on the lookout for music that interests, excites and inspires him. His playlists are mixes of music he’s curious about along with music that he’s discovered that maybe he was unaware of before. He uses the example of Cream, which was a 60s/70s group with Eric Clapton. He’d never really listened to them before, heard them somewhere and has really been listening now because they were the precursor to so many other bands – they were pre-Led Zeppelin, for instance.

John says, tentatively, that there isn’t a whole lot of new live music he’s really into (for the summer), but that there’s a few festivals he wishes he could go to, but they don’t coincide with DD’s touring. I got the feeling that John didn’t want to go into what he doesn’t like, rather choosing to focus on the positives, so he didn’t really say much. Katy responded exactly as I would have (given the opportunity), as she said that she’s beginning to find the whole “new music discovery” thing to take effort these days, whereas she might not have said the same five years ago. She explained that every now and then she turns on a station like Z100 (I am assuming this is top 40) and she won’t like what she hears (Oh, I feel you Katy) and she’ll wonder if she’s just getting old. (Same here) She said that she’s looking forward to when her kids are older and can introduce her to some new music.

I have to say that yes, as a parent of older kids – it’s been really nice having them to point out new music. Saves me a little trouble, but by the same token I’ve learned that my kids have wildly different tastes from me. Not that this is a bad thing – I’ve learned to have an appreciation for anything from dubstep to EDM from Gavin (and now he’s into a lot of really hard rock and even metal – NOT hair bands but true metal from the 80s, which is amusing), and Heather tends to like a much wider variety, probably because she uses so many different types of music for dance. I agree with what John says about it taking work, but that if you’re willing to put the work in to finding it – there’s a lot of great music out there. My issue is time. I want more of it. 🙂

I am really kind of sick of 80s music, I mean – it’s great and all but there’s a lot more to the world, and yet to set out to discover something new takes time. I feel like I’ve spent quite a bit of time on older music – The Beatles and the first British Invasion, for instance, and now I’m looking for something different.  The “new” music of today does very little to excite me, but I feel like I’ve just got to keep looking.

Thankfully, The Killers are releasing a new single tomorrow and a new album in September, but this is a Duran Duran fan blog….

This wraps up the June 2017 Katy Kafe! John will be back in the UK for his birthday on June 20th, and back in the Kafe in Autumn. Let’s hope he’ll have more news about this 40th Anniversary by then!

-R

These Beautiful Colours – It’s All About Happy

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve had it. It’s Monday, and I’m already done.

I’d really like a day, heck, I’ll even take a MORNING, where there’s at least a little peace. Life is busy. My schedule is crazy and changing every single week because of various things going on. I never know where I’m supposed to be (and when). I have things written on my huge master calendar at home, in my phone, and even on a calendar I keep near my desk, and yet I still forget things. I’ve even had to turn down a couple of really fun and quite frankly, once in a lifetime type of opportunities for various reasons – all of which have to do with being an adult and putting my own feelings aside. On one hand I feel like I did the right thing, and on the other I wish I could just seize the day and take a chance for a change. Isn’t that just like being an adult???

I’m not even mentioning the world. I don’t really need to do that, as I’m sure all of you have heard the news each day. I don’t want this blog to turn into a political forum, but I will say this much – peace would be good right about now. It’s pretty bad when I am thinking about stocking up my trailer (camping caravan), throwing my phone in the garbage and heading north to pine trees, blue skies, and no internet connection.

There are moments when I see all that is happening here at home and abroad, and wonder if the “good old days” are totally behind us now. Sometimes I think that’s what the media wants us to believe. Sometimes, I even think that’s what we want one another to feel.  But then, there’s Duran Duran. The bright light.

The band tweeted this picture this morning from a show they did for a Princeton University class reunion this weekend. (Never before did I wish I went to an Ivy…) Dom retweeted it saying that he loves the colors. At first all I could think about was that in a month from today, I’ll be picking Amanda up at the airport and we’ll be headed to San Francisco. That thought alone made me smile. I can’t wait to see Amanda, our friends, and yes – the band.

Dom says he loves these colors. To me, they are joy and happiness.

I am no different from any other fan. I’m excited to go see the band in July. On one hand, I feel like I’m going to be seeing old friends that weekend, and on the other, I sound like a hopelessly deluded fan. They don’t know me. I only know them from their posters. Yet it all feels so familiar after thirty—nearly forty—years.  I can’t help but feel that way. Yes, I hope to at least make eye contact long enough to say hi and let them know they were missed, and I’m glad they’re back.

In many of my blogs, I try to remind the world that to the band, our relationship is probably more transactional than anything else. Very few of us have a real person-to-person connection with them. Yes, it would be nice if it were more than that after all this time, but realistically – how can they really know thousands upon thousands of people?? I’m even shocked when Simon says he recognizes faces in the crowd.  Even so, as I sit here writing this—I’m thinking of how lucky I am to be able to still go and see the band I grew up idolizing, and sure—a big part of me wants to pretend that when they see me standing in the audience, they recognize my face. Who doesn’t?

It is very hard not to feel like there’s some sort of relationship there, just based solely on the amount of time I’ve invested. Of course there really isn’t—I don’t know John, Nick, Simon or Roger—but as a fan, there’s all the loyalty in the world there. Of course, then there’s Dom. I’ve met him more than once. I’ve spoken to him while on a plane and traded emails a few times. Yet every time I see him up close enough to say hi, I’m pleasantly surprised he addresses me by name. I don’t really know why that surprises me so much, because if he were anyone else – any other guy for example – it’d be normal! There are many people I’ve met one time, and then seen again two or three years later, and we all manage to know and remember one another’s name. Yet with him, it’s different. I both love and kind of hate that all at the same time, I must admit.

I just think now, more than ever, if you get a chance to be close enough to say hi, give/receive a hug, or whatever – it’s important to let them know we care. There’s a lot of bad going on in this world. Even if, like 99% of us, you only know them for being Duran Duran, I think right now, it’s good to let them know how much they’re loved.  Love is a very good thing. We’re lucky to have this relationship, however confusing, messy, and undefined it may be. Not everyone does…and these moments are what carry me from one show to the next. The memories of a hug, a hand squeeze, or even a wink from the stage remind me that all is not so bad. So in the moments when I’m struggling to remember what paperwork I was supposed to bring to a doctor’s appointment, or that I need to contact the registrar at Gavin’s school about his high school transcripts, I try to think about those happy times. It helps.

I’m also really excited that for at least a couple of days – I’ll be nothing BUT happy. So the more I looked at the photo, the more I realized that yes, for me – the colors are happy. I need happy. Don’t we all?

-R

School’s out for Summer!

I am ready for summer! Today, as you read this, I am at work, and it’s the first day without students in the building. I am hoping for a quiet day so that I can get to the task of cleaning out my supply cupboard and packing away things for summer. I have two days to clean out – today and Tuesday, and then on Thursday I go down to San Diego for a final staff meeting, and then I am off for the summer. I made it through my first school year!

I can hardly wait to have real time to myself. I have a stack of books next to me on my desk (in my new office space!) to read, an office to paint, and maybe a book proposal to write with Amanda. Imagine that! My son graduates in two weeks, and then I have to get ready for Amanda to visit in July along with a wild and crazy road trip as well as a camping trip for the family. It’s going to be a busy and fun summer and I haven’t even gotten to the part where I take a bulldozer to Gavin’s room so that we can pack him up for college!

Of course, I’ve had summers before. I mean, they happen each year.  I just don’t know if I’ve ever really appreciated them quite as much. After all, for twenty years, I stayed at home. I became very well-versed in the art of procrastination because if I didn’t finish something, I always had tomorrow. But now, I have about eight weeks completely to myself, and then I’ll work from home for a few days, and then it’s back to the grind.

But first, it’s fun time, and that means planning for a road trip to the Bay Area. Amanda arrives in California on July 5th, and then we are going to spend a night somewhere up in the LA area, and then drive to San Francisco the following morning. We’ll have a night to ourselves, and then shows the following couple of evenings before we head back down to Los Angeles. It’s a short trip, but somehow I think we’ll find enough time for a fair amount of craziness! It is funny because this time, I haven’t given a lot of thought as to what the band might play—it would be lovely to hear a different set list, but I suspect we’re going to be getting a carbon copy of what we heard in Rancho Mirage—and we’re going to like it!

Yes, I’m excited for summer and am looking forward to having time to obsess over Duran Duran a little with Amanda and friends, too. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated the idea of summer quite so much, and I intend to make the best of it.

That’s a warning for those of you coming to the Bay Area in July.  Yes, you too, Duran Duran.  Good luck!

-R

 

You Won’t Miss Me When I’m Gone

Well, the spring run of shows is over, and the band has gone back to England.

I feel a little deflated, and yet my shows ended weeks ago. If that weren’t enough, I’ve seen a few people comment that they’ve never seen a tour happen this way – and so that must mean it’s farewell.

Oh come on now. Really?

First of all, I’ve seen a lot of tours like this. As in, most, if not all of them. The band always adds dates here and there, at least for as long as I’ve been actively paying attention. They do first, second…sometimes third and even fourth “legs”, and Duran Duran is FAR from the only band in the universe to do this. As John Taylor said recently in an interview, sometimes dates (like the South American shows) come up, and they have to get their whole group together, and so it just makes sense to add in a few more shows to make the trips worthwhile. I’m not going to find fault with that kind of sanity.

Second, if we’re talking about the fact that they haven’t gone many other places aside from the UK, Italy, the US and now South America – again I have to say it’s about money. Like it or not, the band has bills to pay, and they only go where they’re being paid to go. I know it’s hard to imagine, but the cost involved with doing a world tour – a real world tour – are staggering. They can’t just fly to Australia and do one show, and they can’t do more than that if promoters and bookers aren’t getting them shows. It’s that simple, whether we want to believe it or not. Sometimes, I think Duran fans look for conspiracies that just do not exist.

Lastly, even if this is their final farewell, does it really change anything? Does it change how YOU are touring? What shows YOU are attending? For me personally, I’m going to what I can. Even if I knew it was the final countdown, I couldn’t possibly do more shows right now, even if I wanted. I mean, what more could I really want though?

I’m not the type of person that is going to sit and wait for them outside of their hotel, or at an airport. I love them, but I also feel awkward doing that stuff. I know a lot of others do, and that’s great. It’s not my thing. There is only one time I’ve asked one of them to sign something for me, and in all honesty it was Dom, it wasn’t Simon, or Roger, or anyone like that. I’m just not that kind of fan, not that I think those people are wrong or weird or anything like that – it’s just that for me, I don’t want or need much signed. I’ve been to the UK. I’ve seen Birmingham – out of everything I’ve ever done in the name of “fandom”, that was the one thing I really wanted and it lived up to every last possible expectation and then some. Truth be told, I would really like to go back to the UK again. Very much so. I don’t know if I will have a chance to take that trip though, just because of timing and family expenses (again, college is NOT CHEAP).  I’ve taken long road trips with Amanda, I’ve had some wonderful experiences at shows, and I have made a lot of friends along the way. I just don’t know if there’s much else I could reasonably want, except more.

So while the idea of “farewell” bothers me, I can’t go on worrying about it looming overhead. A bit of advice my dad gave me before he died was that I needed to not worry so much about the dying. I’d call him at least a few times a week towards the end, and I’d always ask how he was feeling. It was natural, and I meant it in the most loving way possible – he was my dad and I was worried. Dad got tired of talking about how he was feeling though, because let’s face it – he already knew he was dying. It was no secret. He didn’t want to focus on the end, he just wanted to enjoy the living. So, he told me that the end was going to be just that, the end, and that none of us had much control over when that was going to be, or how that was going to transpire. What he and I could do though, was to enjoy the time we had. So I am, and I will. It was still a shock when the end arrived, and I still went through all of the same stages of grief as anyone might. But, I’m kind of glad my dad gave me that little pep talk though, because it’s come in handy more than once in the almost nine years he’s been gone. That’s my dad – watching out for me up until the very end!

Of course I’ll be wistful and sad when they stop touring. I have friends that I don’t know if I’ll see again when that time comes, even if I don’t think now is that time. I can’t imagine not seeing the band, or Dom, or even some of the roadies again. We fans have known them so long we can’t imagine not having them around and yet they really don’t know us at all. There’s really only one person in or around the band that truly knows me or my name, and I don’t even question whether or not he’ll know me in a crowd. It’s kind of like going to family reunions every time they tour or do a show, and I’ll miss those.

I think that’s really just it. Family. Somewhere along the line, this band and all of the fans that go along with them, have become a family, whether we like it or not! Some I might see as crazy uncles (there’s always one!), and others are probably related only by marriage and we don’t really know how they fit in, but they’re part of the group. I can’t imagine that feeling of family just ending, can you?

I don’t know what the band has coming next. I know that they’re coming back to California in July. I have heard rumblings of other possibilities, courtesy of the monthly Katy Kafes. I don’t think this band is quite done yet, but I’m not going to worry about that. I’m going to enjoy seeing pictures, chatting with friends, and planning for the shows I will see in July. I am going to work on a couple of projects I have going on here at home – including a high school graduation for my son, and I’m going to be reveling in the joy I have bubbling within for getting him to this point. I’m going to savor each moment as it comes, and live in gratitude for each day I’m given, and so should you.

-R