Saturday, August 10, 2002
One Woman Show Tour to the North West U.S Aug 2002
One Woman Show TOUR ... June 2002 on... First stop, Phoenix AZ 17th June gilli moon opened for Simple Minds in Phoenix: The Celebrity Theater was a buzz on Monday 17th June in Phoenix AZ. Simple Minds have just released their 16th record. They are know for their big hit "Don't you (forget about me)" from the movie "The Breakfast Club." gilli performed to a theater of 800 people, in the round, on a revolving stage. Thanks to Fred Florry on guitar for sitting in. Welcome to all who saw the show and who are now on the email list. Thanks to the Celebrity Theater, clear Channel, Toni Koch, and Guitar Center for providing gilli's favorite weighted keyboard, the Yamaha P80. Ok - gilli's words on this fab night: "It was sooo awesome! I met the band, and they all had Glasgow accents! The theatre is really beautiful. The stage revolves and as you spin around slowly the lighting is fabo and the sound, well I could HEAR myself. My god, it was wonderful. It's like a modern Roman colliseum. When I finished my set (after a few acoustic rap stuff and toe tapping tunes) i went up to the merch table and was amazed by these new stranger/friends who wanted me to sign their cds. I found new friends, a bunch I'm sure who are reading this email now on the Warrior Girl eNews list. I really have to admit that you build your fan base one fan at a time and I'm truly thankful for that. I'm looking forward to touring more." 12 july 02 - ok... so that was in my July enews... boy oh boy... the beginning of a new feeling, a new look, a new sensibility, a new woman. getting off the celebrity theatre stage was really hard. it's hard to "go back" to the old tried and true. i want more, more lights, more great sound, more people. alas, i will be schlepping my way up to vancouver and back solo, in coffee houses, small clubs and even a park concert. it will be, however, a magic trip. i hope to write about the drive and experiences in my online diary. we leave on thursday 18th from los angeles, and our (toni koch and I) first stop will be san luis obispo for a small coffee house gig. hopefully we will have the "woman" cd in tow. as you can see by the site, the "woman" cd is everywhere here now. i just need them in my hand. 101 distribution are manufacturing the cds in florida and it might be, due to timing issues, that they will have to courier the cds to me along the way. ugghghg. San Francisco July 19-22, 2002 Here we are in San Francisco. On Wednesday 17 Toni was able to pick up the Woman cds at the 11th hour from 101 Distribution (Damon you came through! YIPPEE! We love 101 Distribution!) and she drove the cds out with her to L.A On Friday July 19 Toni Koch (tour mgr) and I hopped into the 2002 isuzu rodeo LS (toni insists I write the full name of the car because she's very proud of her vehicle.) "It's the lucky star," she says. She's quite anal sometimes. Being as it may be sold on our return for fear we don't cover our costs, the isuzu's name is Amanda Ruth. So we drove up the 101, which turns into the 1, from L.A to follow the coast line so we could swim all the way up the coast. The problem was, we hit the marine layer all the way, that's this fog that everyone in california calls the 'marine layer' because they don't want to admit it's just fog. So it was sunny one minute, foggy the rest of the day! anyway, we drove through santa barbara, had a dip in the ocean at a state park on the beach just north, then drove through san luis obispo and morro bay. We stayed overnight at the San Simeon National Camp Ground for $5. It's normally $12 for a campsite but we arrived too late (it took us 2 hours just to get from Sherman Oaks to Westlake Village due to the horrible L.A traffic!) At the campground entrance we talked the park ranger into letting us stay the night as it was already 6pm and we were going to sleep in the car. By the way its 226 miles from L.A to San Simeon. And so we did. The camp ground was full of campers settling in by their camp fires as the fog turned into slow drizzle. But that didn't stop Toni and I wandering out onto the gray/black beach (sand color is really weird) to sip some of our own Merlot in plastic cups and give thanks to the winds and the hawks who were circling in praise of our tour (Toni would not hear of it that they were really just watching for things that moved to prey on!) We slept in the back of Amanda Ruth, with the keyboard under our heads. It was a little tight in the back but we survived. By morning we were up, showered and on the road again north. I really liked Ragged Point which has nice hot chocolate and awesome views. There's a place called Ragged Point Inn. From this point on, it's all great cliffs all the way to monterey. These cliffs are really steep, and reminded me of the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, south of Rome Italy. Very windy road, and one lane, so we had to go slow. Amanda Ruth drove great along this coast line. By noon we arrived in Monterey and drove straight to Pacific Grove to the Victorian Cafe on Lighthouse. I had a mission. I had found on the internet this cafe which was run by Paul Aliotti, I guess a distant relative of mine. There have been many Aliottis who migrated to the Monterey Bay area in the 1930s from a little island called Marettimo off the south coast of Sicily. We rocked up at the cafe and I immediately recognized Paul Aliotti due to his diminutive stature and aliotti eyebrows. It was great. He was amazed I'd traveled so far to meet him, but I had to say I was on tour too! I told him I'm researching the Aliotti family tree and have posted everything at www.aliotti.com He was very impressed. He said that the Aliottis came to Monterey to fish, as they were fisherman, all from this little island. He also said that an Aliotto changed his name to Aliotti. So maybe, we weren't so closely related after all. Anyway, we had a superb club sandwich and then hopped back in the car to San Fran. We arrived in the Mission area of San Fran at around 5pm and parked the car next to the El Capitan hotel/hostel which cost us $28 for the room for the night (parking $9). It's the Latin quarter and El Ritmo Records is up the street. I'm writing this in the hostel now. At 6pm we walked up to Club Galia to meet Barb. She had organized fabulous smoked/grilled fish done Latin style and then I set up the keyboard. Barb runs Club Galia and is searching for bands, good ones. email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Club Galia phone is 415-970-9777. www.galiaclub.com The show was great. I was first on. The crowd was very attentive. Then other bands came on after, including Amee Porter who was promoting her new cd, www.smartasschick.com, and Kristen Slater, www.kristenslater.com Having driven all day, we made an early exit and crashed. Sunday 21st and we found a great internet cafe on 20th and Valencia, and "went to the office" for 2 hours. Hopped into Amanda Ruth and off we trucked backwards towards San Jose, to Mountain View, where I talked about the book and performed. It was a lot of fun. Thanks to Active Artists Alliance and Groovy Judy www.groovyjudy.com. What a great sunny afternoon. The evening, our second san francisco gig, was back at Club Galia. Barb calls it "Spaghetti Sundays." Wonderful vegie pasta for $5. the show was great. acoustic again, with a kind of cabaret light and sliver curtain backdrop going on there. we slept again at the hotel capitan down the road Mt. Shasta July 22nd, 23rd I am seeing I see I see how I can dispossess the stuff And repossess myself Escaping hell My own silent jail Embrace me, light so clear and pure Ever get the amazing sense that you must go somewhere because it's drawing you? We were driving up the 5 north and we hit Mt. Shasta, one of the 12 sacred sites of the earth. We spent the night sleeping in our car on the mountain. will update tomorrow. wow, what an awesome experience. We really wanted to stay up near Portland because it would be a long drive up to Seattle for the Tuesday night show. But when we saw the sign to Mt. Shasta and we stopped for a late lunch, we ended up staying the whole night. We couldn't leave. The one road street is filled with spiritual book, stones and paraphernalia stores, nicely done, which drew us in the read, notice and become aware. Having found a KOA camp ground just outside the town for $14.50 a campsite, we then drove up the hill wanted to touch the snow-capped mountain of Mt. Shasta. We reached 6,000 feet and suddenly came across Panther Meadows, one of the 12 vortexes in the area. It was quiet, serene and meditative. We could see, although hot summer, the snow capped peaks ahead. People were camping.... for free. We had to do it too. Even though we had paid for the campground down below, we decided to stay up here, go for a beautiful walk through the springs infested meadows, and then camp in the back of the car here like others. It was nearly a full moon, and perfect for our souls. 6am and we packed up the car again and headed north up the 5. We knew we were to return to Mt. Shasta again, very soon. We drove 256 miles to Eugene Oregon and dropped off my CD to KVRM 91.9 Public Broadcast radio station where I will be interviewed on Friday. We had breakfast, before Eugene, in a small town called Glendale, a lumber town. Seattle Washington, July 23rd, 24th, 25th Having crossed three states, California, Oregon and into Washington, by 5pm we arrived in Seattle at Jean Mann's house www.jeanmann.com. A fellow Indiegrrl, she has a gorgeous cottage right on the Lake at Mt. Baker. We hurriedly got ourselves together, our first shower in two days, and then hopped up the 5th a bit to 50th street and University Way - the university district, to the Irish Emigrant, a songwriters night hosted by Jennifer Savage www.jennifersavage.com. Email her for a Tuesday night gig at email@example.com or call the pub at 206-525-2955. Like most irish pubs, the venue was rowdy and lively and not really koshur for quiet, acoustic music, BUT the vibe was warm and very supportive and Jennifer rocked the house with her own band. I went on second, with keyboard, and sweated like a pig but enjoyed it. The girls from a local Camp America were the best call and answer voices I have heard yet for the song "Woman" and everyone clapped along to the songs. The Irish Emigrant make a delicious artichoke dip too, served with tortilla chips. Toni and I gleefully drove back to the cottage on the lake and spread our mattress and bedding out on the front porch. it was so warm and beautiful and a full moon night. we slept under the moon and stars on the front porch overlooking the lake. Wow. What a night. By morning, Wed 24th, the sun was beating down on us by 7am so we had an early wake up call. Up to the local cafe for brekky, chatting with the Seattle folk... SO friendly. I played Jean's piano all morning and then we hopped into the lake in the afternoon for a great swim (after I went to the office for a couple of hours working on the production of the Songsalive! Expo 2002) Today is our day off. We ate Thai at the marina in Madison and cruised the city. We even..... went to...... Hooters. Shame on us! Thursday day and we spent time with friends, touring the city, and by Thursday night the 25th I performed back at The Irish Emigrant. This night was less noisy and more intimate. I had more of a singer/songwriter crowd and less of a "pub and beer" crowd. Jennifer Savage's band members, Flick (guitar), Joey (Sax) and Gary (bass) sat in with me on Tiny Diamonds, Woman and Need You Tonight. Joey played also on Walk Away from the Girl in the Moon album. Eugene Oregon, Friday July 26th Toni and I hopped into the Isuzu to back track to Eugene, 5 hours south of Seattle. If we had known how far it was, we wouldn't have made it so "zig zag" although doing zig zag tours are quite popular.... not! So we arrived in Eugune, a cool college town, at 6.30pm for the 6pm radio interview.... yeah, good start! The radio interview was with Mike Meyer of KRVM 91.9 FM (ph: 1800-295-2895), a great public broadcast radio station. Mike knows every indie artist in the country! The interview was wonderful and he played "Woman" and "To Be With You." After the show we hopped over the 10 minutes journey to Cafe Paradiso on Broadway. (ph 541-485-3088). Randy Hamme is a fantastic venue manager who totally supports indie artists, and acoustic artists. Not really a cafe anymore, they also serve alcohol and the room is totally geared for music. It's like playing in a concert hall. With the help of my publicity in the papers (through Erica Diamond, my publicist) and the radio interview an hour earlier, we had a great crowd. Randy was really surprised and felt I had "broken Eugene." I played 2 hours, 3 sets. A long show of originals but it was fabulous. Truly a great show and many people bought cds and books. At midnight, having re-organized the back of the car again for sleeping with the bedding and off we trundled back north about an hour. Just outside of Salem, which is still south of Portland, we pulled over to the Rest Area and slept under the nearly full moon by the Santiago River, free. Wow, what a wonderful night. By a.m, the Masons gave us free coffee (we tipped them) and once again we drove north, another 4 hours, back to Seattle. Bellingham Washington, July 27th We arrived back in our wonderful city of the sea, seattle, but only after..... ARGHGHGHG..... me getting a speeding ticket!!!!! OUCH! All the income from Eugune gone to the WA police dept!.... and picked up Jean Mann, www.jeanmann.com, to head even more north to her home town of Bellingham. Bellingham is about an hour and a half north of seattle and is another cool college town. Both Jean and I performed at Stuart's Coffee House on Bay Street (ph: 360-752-2024 firstname.lastname@example.org or booker Katey at 360-676-1995.) This coffee house is the local hang for all the youngsters and is very quaint. I performed and when finished I noticed a guy, (later found out it was Michael) painting my portrait as I performed. What a trip! I'll insert a jpeg of the pic here soon. He's going to exhibit the painting in Sept then mail me the original. WOW! We slept at Jean's sisters house, Helen, right on the Sound (the water) which is awesome. Like a beach bungalow, with a boat ramp and wonderful views. It was really cold up here unlike the humidity of Seattle. Richmond, Vancouver, Canada, July 28th We woke up at the crack of dawn to avoid delays at the Canadian border. The border is only 30 minutes from Bellingham, actually only 20 miles. We got through easy ("yeah girls go have fun" said the customs officer) and we breakfasted at a local Richmond diner (no great story there!) Garry Point, right on the beach, is where Cherelle Jardine (www.cherellejardine.com e: email@example.com) hosts a wonderful singers and songwriters in the park series last saturday of the month. today it was moved to sunday for some reason. lots of people arrived and it's all outdoors, right next to an outdoor fish and chip shop which only sells root beer, not beer... being in the sun, I yearned for a beer! I was on second and for some reason my keyboard wasn't turning on. I freaked out. So I picked up Cherelle's guitar in such embarrassment. I can't play guitar.... but I didn't want to waste this trip! So i played 2 songs really badly (but everyone else says it's fine (and then they got the keyboard to work.) actually I think the sun was shining so I couldn't see the red lights on the keyboard before... daaaaaa! ANYway, I did the set and it was loads of fun. The boys from www.songcatalog.com and Modern Records were there plus some interesting characters. Great day. We finished the arvo at the Stevenston fish coop for late lunch, while we watched the whale watching and fishing boats come into the dock and one guy decided to jump off the restaurant balcony for a swim. He was drunk! We felt we needed to avoid the customs delays again so we reluctantly left Vancouver without being able to go to the city to see the harbour... Toni and I bet on how long it would take to drive through the border. I said 20-25 minutes, Toni said 45 mins. It took 1 hour and 2 minutes.....! We drove back to Seattle slowly taking in the beautiful old windy Pacific Hwy to savour the harbour views (3 hours total.. but lovely.) Sunday night and I'm exhausted. Another night sleeping on Jean's porch under the stars by her lake. Tomorrow we head to Mt. Shasta again towards San Fran. We turn sails for home. Mt. Shasta Monday July 29th The drive back to Mt. Shasta, on the border of Oregon and California (from Seattle WA) took all day. We drove about 10 hours with a couple of stops. Once again, 3 states in a day. We wanted to get to Mt. Shasta and re-live the feelings of the mountain. Toni and I took turns in driving as we were exhausted. The night before in Seattle we spent our last night with Jean Mann having celebratory wines with also one of Toni's long time friend Joyce. We got to sleep at 1am and then had to wake up for the drive at 8am. We drove all day and back at the Santiago River, south or Salem, Oregon, we stopped by our favorite free place for a gorgeous swim in the river. Toni and I took turns in driving because we were both exhausted, so the passenger slept, while the driver drove. Still, we didn't make it to the Mountain this time. We got as far as a rest area - Randall Collier Rest Area, just north of Mt. Shasta. It was also by a raging river. We slept wonderfully, and free again, and by morning we drove into Mt. Shasta City for a great breakfast of bagels and checking out emails at the internet cafe. San Francisco Tuesday July 30th It is approximately 807 miles from Seattle to San Francisco. By late morning, just before Red Bluff, we had a fabulous, fabulous swim in Mt. Shasta Lake which was like the mediterranean sea, crystal blue to the bottom. It's a man made dam and is absolutely gorgeous. We made many pit stops so we landed in San Fran after yet another long day of driving, at around 7pm to Club Galia (www.galiaclub.com) Barbara and Josette (owner) greeted us again and I quickly set up my keyboard for another show, with Giovanni on sound. Giovanni comes from a small town in Northern Italy near where my grandmother lives so we felt we were related! The show was really nice, everyone listened and I had some return visitors from the week before. Barbara let us sleep upstairs at the club this time, so we pitched our mattress and bedding, after a few green vodka shots (that I watched Toni and Barb take) and then we snoozed.... it was fun camping at the club! Pacifica, Ca, Wednesday and Thursday July 31 and August 1 We got up mid morning and waited for Josette to come to go to breakfast. We dined at Jim's Greasy Spoon (uh, yeah...) on Mission and 19th. Josette and Barb are brainstorming on all the ways they can promote Club Galia to bring in more business. If you are an artist, you'll love the club. Please contact them to play there and bring your fans! Toni and I said our goodbyes and off we choofed to check out San Fran a bit. We wanted to cross the Golden Gate bridge. As we were heading that way, we saw Castro street, which jogged Toni's memory about her friend Melissa who lived on this street but they hadn't seen each other in years and years. We FOUND her house and low and behold, she was home, with little baby Davis and partner Regina. Wow, what an artist studio she had. Wow, what a reunion they had. This was very serendipitous!!!! Saying goodbye, but hopefully not for the same amount of time as last time, we headed towards the Golden gate and crossed it. It's really a beautiful bay and we could see the old jail island of Alcatraz. By mid afternoon we had slid down the 1 freeway towards Pacifica, a beach town about half hour south of San Fran. We had an extra day to wait for the Thursday 1st Aug gig. I was exhausted. This was to be my last gig on the 2 week tour. So we stopped into the club to check the vibe of the club and all we felt was heavy metal, heavy metal and more heavy metal. Oh boy! What if we had made a mistake in our booking (the Octopus Lounge.) What were we to do for 48 hours waiting? What if we waited and got no money and no tips because everybody hated my acoustic music? What if, what if, what if??? With Toni's finesse we were able to score an upfront fee so that would pay for any hostel and we swallowed our fears and decided to stay. Then we went further south to Montara and checked in to the most beautiful hostel, the Lighthouse Hostel. It is right on the cliffs overlooking the crashing shoreline below, and the fog was rolling in that night. Just out of Wuthering Heights! We paid $15 a head and got a room of three but we ended up having the room to ourselves. I was so at peace. By morning we realized our faux pas... we had to leave the hostel by 10am and could not return till 4.30pm. What were we to do all day? We checked out and ended up at the beach, I ran and swam, and Toni collected more stones (we've been collecting different colored rocks on the whole trip.....the car is heavier with the rocks than the bags!) We wandered the Pacifica Pier and ate Mexican food and swallowed our fears again and headed to the Octopus Lounge for the evening's gig. WELL.... sometimes the best things are what you least expected. I played a rock n roll heavy club and had everyone in the palm of my hand. A little girl from Australia on piano and i reckon i rocked the house. I say that boldly because I was shitting my pants that I couldn't pull it off, but the room was silent, the heavy guys and girls listened, bought cds and threw money in the tip jar. They all came up after to chat and have me sign cds. I was really happy! What a night. The last show, the best show. Thank you Pacifica...! August 2 - Back to L.A We drove back with our heads in our chest, heaving a sigh of sadness for leaving the north west, but joy that we had had so much fun and that we could sleep in real beds from now on. Saturday Aug 3 Jeff Dean, Gordie Germaine and I performed at Long Beach at CURVE Women in Music show, at Que Sera. Melissa Ethridge used to play at this club all the time. This was an interesting night and since it was just the three of us, we went more jazz with some jamming and interesting experimenting. Jeff played the upright bass, Gordie on acoustic guitar, and me on my solid keyboard. I like Long Beach and I'm thinking of moving there for cheaper rent and beach, but where we played was not the greatest part of town so it kind of put me off. Notwithstanding, the club is great and it was full of people. Chase Frank (firstname.lastname@example.org), who runs the shows for female songwriters, is an awesome performer herself.