The day started slowly for me which meant I didn’t make the breakfast club meeting at Tempo, our favourite touring deli. Hell, I didn’t even make it to the gym. Orange Juice, Cappuccino and a Peninsula Bircher Muesli was ordered via telephone to the room almost without internal dialog. The Peninsula was and I think (I’ll tell you in 5 days) still is, our favourite hotel, full stop. It’s nothing particularly special, it just all fits and works perfectly. And the windows open!!! Something that most modern hotels in the US fail to deliver. The reason? It’s cheaper to build and their insurance premiums are lower. I don’t know anyone who likes staying in an airless hotel room (AKA cell) no matter how sophisticated the air conditioning system is, without opening windows, do you?

With such a late hotel departure today, there was simply no excuse for my lack of exercise. I’ll make up for it tomorrow. The lateness was written into the schedule as the crew journey from Kansas City was a long one, so an extra hour and a half was figured into the timings.

Taking off from a VERY busy Midway airport at 5pm for a show in Minneapolis seemed unusually late but it all worked out. Traffic was also factored into the timings. A good job too as the run out of Chicago was solid. No-one seemed to know why Midway was so busy, it was extraordinary. Planes taxiing and launching from every direction and shuttle bus drivers sweating and shaking their heads, trying to ferry VIP’s smoothly to their luxury Lears and Legacies.

Captain Gray Gibbs and 1st Officer Blake Spencer (recognise him from yesterday?), our pilots for today…


This is our 4th visit to the Orpheum theatre, Minneapolis and once again, the audience was wonderful. Nothing odd or strange to report about the show from the stage apart from the usual ‘good time’ had by all.

Sometimes it’s hard to get the whole band to the stage for sound check. Dave Dixon waits patiently..

Johnny ‘Trem’ with his new Don Grosh electric..

Once again, as we visit the great cities of Wisconsin and Minnesota, friends and relatives of local lad Glenn Worf kindly donated a care package – more like a care trunk – for the plane. It has become a band tradition in these parts to spend at least one after-show flight drinking ‘Leinies’ and eating sausage and cheeses from the region. To compliment the airbourne feast, Debbie expertly served up generous portions of Shepherds Pie as we guzzled beers.

We are fans of Leinenkugel beer but it seems with the beer world’s desire for ever more flavoured beers, the Leinenkugel Original is actually now quite difficult to find. This is madness of course. As a consequence of market pressure, the esteemed brewery now produce many varied flavours, presumably for the younger market. Heavens, it won’t be long before we see Key Lime Pie and Ice cream flavoured beer!

Mark is pictured here with an old fashioned original Leinie and a ‘perfect’ sausage.


Pic Glenn Worf

Today’s Track of the Day is One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer – Amos Milburn (Milburn excelled at good-natured, upbeat romps about booze and partying, imbued with a vibrant sense of humour and double entendre, as well as vivid, down-home imagery in his lyrics)