XR750

Arriving at an even busier Midland airport this afternoon, Cpt. Blake greeted us at the FBO (fixed base operator, an aviation business that serves the general aviation industry) and a waiting shuttle bus drove us all of 100 yards to the plane. The bus was manned by the same chap that drove us yesterday and he seemed just as busy, if not more so. He still doesn’t know why it’s so busy here this week. I’m beginning to wonder myself.

The journey up to Milwaukee is a mere 89 miles… by foot. We thought the plane would be the best way to get there. The views from the left windows as we ascended over lake Michigan to a cruising altitude of a mere 5,000 feet were special.

 

No ‘fly-dine’ service from Debbie today as we are only in the air 35 minutes. To be honest, I was starving but there were enough ‘nibbles’ on board to keep us all amused and satisfied.

We landed and were transferred to our vehicular transport for the afternoon, two SUV’s and an S Class Mercedes. “Proper car” Mark and I said simultaneously as we spotted and identified it during our taxi. We chatted to the driver who was Milwaukee born and eventually, inevitably, the Green Bay Packers became a topic. Quite normal up here I assure you.

The venue became more and more familiar as the day went on, the eight flights of stairs and the buzzy, battery intercom for the lift operator. The catering today situated on the top floor, excelled in every department. The food was delicious and more importantly, prepared with ‘love’. There was even a young Barista serving freshly ground coffee to all for the whole day. It was his first day on the job so I photographed him. Lovely coffee man…if you’re reading this. We all thanked the kitchen staff as we left. In the dining area along with couch seating for about 15 people stood a record deck, and system with attached Vinyl collection, about 500 albums. Could have stayed there for days and gone through it all….if we had time.

Milwaukee Montage – Ianto warms up with his customary paradiddles, Mark catches me unawares, the great coffee man and Dave Dixon oversees some subtle changes during sound check.

Being a big brew-town, it’s understandable that the Riverside Theatre was built by a brewing magnate, Captain Frederick Pabst. Info on its history can be found here

 

Mark was particularly loquacious with the audience this evening, he mentioned Harley Davidson – still being manufactured in Milwaukee – in particular the XR750 and his desire to own one, suggesting that if any audience members had one gathering dust in their garage or had ‘grown up’ and decided to no longer ride, to send it his way. When I looked it up, I was inclined to agree, a beautiful thing. During the band introductions this evening, Glenn Worf from Madison, Wisconsin received a huge local cheer upon his moment.

It was another great show in front of a well oiled Milwaukee audience with a set list which included a song which Mark and I haven’t performed since DS on October 9th 1992. Mark made a point of mentioning this to the audience, in the form of a musical disclaimer. We didn’t need it, the disclaimer I mean.

We ran back to the plane for a 35 minute hop down to Midway in Chicago with a view to having a drink or two around a windy corner or two from the hotel. Pippins Tavern is conveniently located at 806, N. Rush Street and serves up a great selection of draught beers until the very small hours. It’s loud yet welcoming. The whole band ended up there and jugs of beer flowed. It was then I bore witness to the quote of the day from Ianto. He looked at our assembled throng, toasting, laughing and joking then looked at me in the eye and said with a straight face “it’s a shame this band doesn’t get along”.

 

 

Today’s Track of the Day is [explicit] King Kunta – Kendrick Lamar (“When you got the yams (What’s the yams?) – The yam brought it out of Richard Pryor – Manipulated Bill Clinton with desires”…. I’ll leave you to look that up)