Published: July 4th 2011April 4th 2011
Adventures in Tulsa
The floor at George's place provided a much more restful night of sleep than any so far. To keep it in perspective, the 3 previous nights were spent 1)freezing 2)fearing a meth induced stabbing and 3)quietly pondering all the previous guests who had slept on Misty Matthew's musty old couch and what they may have left behind. With that noted, I'm not sure if the carpeted floor with a thin layer of dog hair covering it was particularly comfortable, but it was relatively so.
We said thanks and bye to George, and hit the road for the 7-8 hour drive to Tulsa. The drive was pretty uneventful aside from Mike and I taking a nice lead in the Adam Rubs America Radio Contest. My Metallica pick and Mike's Foo Fighters were both up to 5 plays. And just to clarify, in making this pick I was in no way expressing desire to hear Metallica songs. In fact, I would instead like some circumstance to occur where I never have to hear another song by them again. I would say that I want the band to break up, but I know that once they
got greedy enough they would begin a seemingly endless series of reunion tours. Therefore, I think the only way to stop them from making more music is for another tour bus crash to finish the job. The great tragedy of that would be the numerous posthumous extra material releases and tribute albums sure to follow. Either way, Metallica will continue to pollute the airwaves for years, if not decades, to come. And I also wish no harm to any of the other bands that were chosen (I think Lynyrd Skynyrd's probably had enough hard luck).
At The Soundpony in Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Soundpony is a little venue off a little ways from what looked like downtown Tulsa. It's hard to tell, because I'm somewhat accustomed to real cities. The interior of the place was different from the rest of the venues Verona Red had played on the tour so far in that it seemed like a bar with an area for live music, rather than a venue with a bar. Also, unlike Austin, live music in a bar seemed to be the exception rather than the rule so there seemed to be a
nice crowd of people there to appreciate some good tunes. We ran into a bit of a surprise when we initially entered the bar and saw Adam's parents sitting at a table off to the side. They had not announced that they were traveling the 3.5 hours from their hometown of Kansas City to watch the show. The bar deal for the band: all the free hotdogs we could eat, and all the three-two beer we could drink to wash it down. For anybody who is unacquainted, certain states have regulations that only allow the sale of beer with 3.2% Alcohol By Weight at certain establishments. Since the bar clearly didn't want to supply us with real booze, it was incumbent on us to pound these weak beers as rapidly as possible before closing time.
Verona Red went on pretty shortly after everything was set up and played a solid set. Towards the finale, Chris began his ascent for a rockstar-esque leap off of Mike's drums. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a stumble on the dismount(possibly due to too much three-two beer) and Chris nearly took out Mike's toms and a cymbal. The three-two must have been flowing
pretty well in the bar also, as none of the other patrons seemed to particularly notice the gaffe.
After loading the van, Mike and Chris went to schmooze the audience, and Adam sat down with his parents. I was sitting outside enjoying the cool night air just before one of my several unscheduled therapy sessions with my troublesome patient, Steve. Bemoaning the fact that the band had not extended an offer for him to permanently join the lineup after playing together for 2 weeks or so, he began to self medicate a bit in the van. As I listened to him outline the myriad of injustices that had befallen him during the past several days, I suddenly noticed a group of 3 extremely sparkly ladies strolling up the street towards us. I took the beautifully timed opportunity to make my exit from the session and engaged Alicia, Allison and Laura in conversation.
It turns out, they had just gotten out of the Lady Gaga concert. Not being terribly familiar with Tulsa, they asked the cab driver to take them to a cool bar. Now, this is in no way an indictment against The
Soundpony, which is a pretty cool place, if a bit off the beaten path. The fact remains, however, that it's probably not the ideal destination for a group of 3 sparkly women in short skirts and high heels. In fact, in some of the blocks in the near vicinity their attire could have caused some rather unfortunate misunderstandings.
They were really friendly and a bit confused as to their location, so I escorted them into the bar and we all sat down. Apparently these girls were pretty ritzy, because they proceeded to buy several rounds of shots for me and the band. As always, we had an endgame in mind, which was to avoid cozying up in the van again. Through some wonderful combination of our minimal drunken charm and a lack of good decision making on their part, we ended up receiving an invitation to party and crash back at their hotel.
Obviously, since they took a cab to the venue, they needed a ride to the hotel. We were able to cram the five guys and 3 girls into the two front seats and one half bench. There wasn't a whole lot about that ride that
was probably acceptable from a legal standpoint. We found out a bit of their backstory, which turned out to be pretty bizarre. Two of the girls were actually part time employees at Maxine's, the Hot Springs, Arkansas venue that Verona Red had played at just three nights before. The three girls were meeting up in Tulsa for the concert, and since the third girl worked for Embassy Suites, their huge and posh hotel room was free for them.
They had some Jagermeister, Tequila and beer at the hotel, with which we proceeded to rapidly poison ourselves. I ended up sitting on the foldout sofa bed and talking to the cutest of the three girls for a bit while everyone else was boisterously drinking a few feet away. Things were going pretty well, until Steve flopped himself down on the other side of her. Not that I was particularly invested in the project or anything, but I thought it was a curious decision on his part to do something that could potentially aggravate the one person in the van who would still tolerate him. And also not being one to put any effort forth, I immediately rejoined the main drinking crowd until our hotel room was, sadly, dry. I cleared some floor space and went to sleep.