June 5th, 2004

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Back From Charlotte

I'm back from my adventure at the Derek Trucks Band show at The Visulite Theatre in Charlotte last night. It was one of the best dTb shows I've seen or heard to date.

I left work a little bit early so that we'd be able to get to Charlotte in plenty of time before the show. Even so, we were a little late leaving, but we still got to Charlotte in plenty of time. In fact, we would have been first in line had I not dallied about getting a few things out of the car. Just like when we were there for New Year's Eve, I was able to park directly in front of the venue. That was great. Anyway, a couple of other people walked up and started the line about ten seconds before we got to the doors.

So we stood in line for the hour before the doors opened, anticipation growing. We got a chance to chat with several other people in the line and made some new friends. I even had a short chat with Kofi's parents (Kofi plays flute and keyboards for the band), who came to see the show. Once inside, we were able to get great seats against the front rail, where we'd have a clear view of the stage. Again, we had a chance to meet a couple of other fans who were as excited about the show as we were. In this case, it was a couple from Mount Airy -- so they had an even longer drive than we did. It seems like everyone we chatted with before the show were big fans and had either seen the band several times, or was the guest of a friend who had seen the band several times.

About twenty minutes later than the posted show time, the band came out and played a great set. They took a short intermission and came out and played another great set. They were all in a great groove and you could tell they were having a great time. They seemed well-rested from their recent Japan tour. There were several tapers recording the show -- I think I counted at least four mic rigs -- so I'm really looking forward to some high-quality sources once the tapes get processed.

After the show, I headed outside to try to get some autographs from the rest of the band that I wasn't able to get autographs from while at the Raleigh show. I was successful -- the entire band was very gracious in mingling with the fans, signing autographs and just chatting with everyone who wanted to chat. I also chatted with a few members of the dTb support crew, who were also very friendly with the fans. I came away from the show with a signed photo of Derek and me from last year's Ziggy's show, a pickguard signed by all members of the band, and an autographed Yonrico Scott Band CD cover.

All in all, the show was great and being able to mingle with the humble and gracious band members after the show was a joy. On the way back home, we ended up finding ourselves driving next to the band's bus. I guess the time we spent stopped at Waffle House was enough time for the bus to catch up from the head start we had. We got to our exit and headed back to the house. The bus continued up I-85 north -- headed to Baltimore, where they're playing tonight.

Once again, I heartily recommend seeing this band live if you ever get the chance.

Now, there is lots of stuff for me to do today, and I've already slept through half of it.
  • Current Music
    "The Freshman" on HBO
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Ronald Reagan: February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004

The news must have broke while I was napping, 'cause I just woke up and it's already over many of my friends' LJs, but I'll go ahead and recognize it here, too.

Ronald Reagan: Feburary 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004

Due to his suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Reagan has been out of the public light for quite some time. I know many of you reading this loved him as a President. I also know that many of you didn't care for him much at all. I fall in the former category and mourn his passing. Perhaps if you didn't care for his politics, you can remember and enjoy one of the movies he was in before moving to a political career. Regardless, I think we can all agree that Reagan had a large impact on the recent history of the United States and the world. Out of respect, I am going to be refraining from joining the inevitable debates over Reagan's policies that will no doubt be popping up over the next few hours and days. There will be enough smart people on both sides of the debate chiming in as it is, no doubt.
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    sad sad
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Memory of Reagan

meep shared one of her memories of Reagan and it reminded me of my biggest memory of the President, which I will now share with you.

It's a non-political memory. Having been born near the end of 1972, I was really too young to have any appreciation for politics when Reagan was president. I was familiar with the basics of United States government and civics. I know that the President was a very important person and that people got to choose who they wanted to be President every handful of years. I remember my parents having participated in elections.

It was a pretty big deal when my grandfather acquired tickets to the 1985 inauguration ceremony, for Reagan's second term. My grandfather has been involved in the politics of Eastern North Carolina forever -- he's been the mayor of the small town of Columbia, NC in Tyrrell County for as long as I can remember, e.g. -- and would visit our family from time to time when he came up to Washington, D. C. to drop in on his representative in the House. I guess during one of those visits, Congressman Walter Jones (D-NC) gave my grandfather enough tickets for the extended family to attend the ceremony.

When it was time for the inauguration in January of 1985, I was 12. I learned a lot about the history of the inauguration that year, because I ended up writing a letter to the editor of the local TV station suggesting that the inauguration date be moved to July 4. As a twelve year-old, I didn't realize quite the effect that would have had as it relates to having a lame duck president for 8 months instead of 2 -- I just thought it would be more patriotic.

Why did I write the letter to the editor? Because I was sad that the 1985 inauguration outdoor ceremonies were cancelled due to the incredible cold spell that held the nation's capital in its chilly grip. Even though the outdoor ceremonies were cancelled, we ended up going to D.C. anyway. I took advantage of the frozen reflecting pool to slide around like I was skating. It was so cold, the streets were practically empty. There were a few vendors out trying to unload their souvenir buttons and shirts.

So I missed going to Reagan's second inauguration. The TV station ran my letter. I think that somewhere I have a BetaMax tape with them reading it.

Four years later, we were able to attend the Bush inauguration via the same connections we had tickets for the Reagan inauguration. I was older and understood politics better. Our seats weren't nearly as good as they had been four years previously. And my brother, ccohoon, tried to smuggle a single hole punch in his denim jacket, didn't make it through the metal detectors, and was carefully and methodically patted down by several Secret Service Agents who were concerned that he had some sort of weapon. I think they all ended up having a good laugh at the thought of someone trying to assault the President-elect with a hole punch.
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dTb on iTunes

I just pulled up iTunes to provide some background music while I finish up tomorrow's Sunday School lesson. I was very impressed to see that a link to The Derek Trucks Band was featured on the front page of their music store. The band recently released a new album -- Live At The Georgia Theatre -- which is currently exclusively available via the iTMS. Physical CDs will be available in a week or so. Download a track or two at a buck a piece, or get the whole album for ten bucks. It's a great bargain and the band's live efforts are much, much better than their studio work.

I hope this album is a great success for the band and they release other live albums. Sure, since the band encourages taping, it's pretty easy to get your hands on audience recordings of the live shows. What the official release has going for it, however, is that it's got the different band members on separate channels, so it can be mixed much, much better than an audience recording can.

Now playing: Softly And Tenderly - Johnny Cash (Just As I Am)</span>