On the road for Prine...
|quick look in green bay just for the hell of it,
okay we were a little bit lost
||teaching Doug to roll
my cigarettes the Mark Twain way...
|Meeting Priners at Gipper's
||tailgating before the party in the Town Motel
was taking pictures and not part of the numbing... after all,
this was a college campus, with campus cops and possibly
security jerks... I wasn't taking any chances.
We arrived at Green Bay about 2 pm and loaded into our lovely accommodations
of the A1 Tower Motel run by a guy named Anil. That's
all we needed for an excuse to have a tailgate party. The cold
sun away to some tropical place, and after a few cold one's in the
parking lot - we headed toward this Gipper's Sports
Bar to meet up with fellow Iowan Prine fans Patti and Tod. Gippers was actually
a decent place, something we're not used to
when we're all together. Bar trivia, laughter, wieners, and way too much
Arriving at the Weidner Center in Green Bay, we could see the storm
clouds full of rain heading towards us. This place was a whole lot
different than the night before, and lot of campus cops running
around (I panicked a bit inside, but, I was still on the wagon of good behavior - except for
that bit of birthday Cherry wine that
Rich and Julie brought me from PawPaw Michigan... it tasted
just like the water up on Bear Creek.
The Weidner is just like any other university venue, plenty of room,
a bar, gift shop, places to stand, sit and wait. Many concert goers were
dressed in evening wear, a whole slew of them arrived in formal attire -
I suddenly felt severely underdressed - the feeling passed
We were escorted in to our seats - the whole center row and readied
ourselves for more of the previous night. The place was much bigger on
the inside than the Coronado, not at all ornate - the third tier had a
few rows of people in it, as did the second, and the main floor was
full. It looked like an excellent turn out for Prine.
The lights dimmed, a hush of excitement passed over the crowd and the smattering
began to grow into a welcoming round of applause for Todd Snider. He strummed his guitar - then it was quiet. Tonight's setlist consisted of:
1: Can't complain
2: Class of 85
Todd told the story of the brief blink of an eye moment of when you
realize you are
going to crash your car and when you actually do is when he wrote this
3: 45 miles
4: Long year
5: Statisticians song
6: Let's Get Out of Here
7: Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues
The crowd certainly enjoyed Todd, but were much more
subdued than the night before. Not to say that they didn't love him just
as much, it was obvious that they did, they just showed it differently.
The lights went up, and I went mingling. It was
nice seeing whatserface, Pickles, Redeye's, JimS and wife, and SSWriter....
of course, I recognized them.... next time I'll have to leave a note of
what I will be wearing so I can meet those friends I haven't met yet.
Again, the lights darkened this place.... the
applause began and we all rose to our feet as the other man in black Johnny Prine,
vintage suited Dave Jacques,
and Jason Wilber in an updated 80's kind of country western leisure suit
strolled out to create another evening of pure Prine
1: Spanish Pipedream
"I called my mom today and told her that they have 'All the
Walleye you can eat here" and she said "Oh Lord, all we got is
catfish down here."
2: Six O'clock News
"I used to write songs as a hobby, and I got up on stage at a
local club on a dare and did my songs, they liked me so much, they asked
me back. It didn't take me long to decide to stay inside and sing
instead of deliver snow.... Deliver snow? - that came much later.... I'd
take my guitar into the bathroom and figure out a song, it was easy
since they were the same 3 chords"
3: Souvenirs - "That's for Steve Goodman"
"In 1966 I was drafted and 5 of my High School buddies took the
aptitude test - we decided to be all we could be. I didn't look at the
questions, just filled in the answers ABBCDABB and so on. They ran it
through and I came out a f*ckin' mechanical genius, and they made me
the head of a construction crew. I didn't know what I was doing of
course, and didn't learn much except how to drink beer..."
4: Fish and Whistle
5: Grandpa Was A Carpenter
I wrote this one for my first wife which was 2 wives ago or 30 years
- whichever you prefer
6: Late John Garfield Blues
A lone voice requests 'Illegal Smile' for about the 3rd time from the
balcony. John looks up and nods, yeah, he knows that one too.
7: Picture Show
In the quietness a female voice offers from the
balcony "Johnny Prine, We Love You!" followed by a deep
"Let's Get Naked" - John did a double take with the ohboys and walked up to his microphone: "Probably best if
not" - they sure were having a good time up there.
8: Storm Windows
"Here's a good song to sing at your Ex's wedding if they want you to
sing a song and you get to come":
9: All the Best
"I was in Austin, Texas Thursday with Bonnie Raitt and we did a song
for her T.V. show":
10: Angel From Montgomery
11: Jesus, The Missing Years
"This one is for Reeda, the webmistress," he grins looking out
at the sea of faces. I tried to stand up, blow a kiss, say thank
you or at least grunt... instead I froze mid seat with beat red
cheeks and all hot and bothered... Rich is nudging me, 'You ought to thank him
Red' ... I thought that was what I was trying to do. So, Thanks John,
you know how I feel...
12: That's The Way That The World Goes 'Round - complete with the
Happy Enchilada story and extra verse. I'm still hot in the cheeks (yes, the
ones on my face) can't move...choking up and feeling
stupid. It was cool. (attention live music collectors: contact me if
you have this show.....)
"I come from a family of 4 boys and the only girl was mom. My
dad worked at the American Can Company and liked to get us out of the
city once in awhile. So he would save for a couple of months for a
weekend and come home with a couple of quarts of beer and a map. He'd
draw a big circle on the map, so we wouldn't have to pass the same place
twice. Now my father wasn't a particularly great driver, and he would
pass a car and a truck would be in the oncoming lane. My mother would
yell, 'My God Bill, You're going to kill us all!' My brothers and I
would just look at each other - this woman has never lied to us before'
(lots of chuckles) "That particular trip was
to Devil's Lake" (more chuckles)
13: Bottomless Lake "You know if your going to write a song
and it doesn't have an ending, it better have a good moral": and he
finished the song.
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