Backstage with Baldy

Brisbane – February 22nd

After three months off, it was nice to finally get back to work.
Unfortunately, three months is a perfect amount of time to develop a little rust on your professional skills.
Of course I’m not talking about the skills of the band members. I’m talking about myself.
Actually, most of my duties were performed ably while on site at the festival, but as is usual, I tend to forget things on occasion, which happened once we returned to our hotel after the show.

We had apartment style hotel rooms in Brisbane this time around, which was really nice, especially since we were in town for several days. It’s helpful to have refrigerators & microwaves in your room, along with all of the other kitchen amenities.
And it was especially nice to have a washer and dryer.

Over the years, I’ve been tasked with doing the band’s laundry on several occasions. I don’t even mind it really.
But I’ve learned one valuable lesson along the way: check Cantrell’s pockets.
Whether I do his laundry myself or take it to a laundromat, I check his pockets, because without fail, there will be lip balm, gum, or cash in there. Usually it’s a combination of at least two of those things.
And guitar picks. Always guitar picks.
If you ever happen to have an encounter with Jerry and he hands you a guitar pick, rest assured that it’s clean, because chances are it was washed with his last load of clothes (I’m not always around to check his pockets).

Anyway, if you’re familiar with the old phrase “physician, heal thyself”, then you’ll understand the context of its new literary relative, “Baldy, check thine own pockets”.
Unfortunately it wasn’t gum or lip balm I washed when I did my own laundry after the Brisbane show. It was an SD card containing all of my photos from the show, along with a bunch of backstage shots as well.
It was about 10 minutes after I started the laundry when I began to search for the SD card, and probably another 5 before the possibility entered my head that it was still in my shirt pocket.
And as long as I’m exposing my own stupidity for you to enjoy, here’s another example: opening the door of a front-loading washing machine in mid-wash will result in a small flooding situation in the laundry room of your hotel. I knew that before I did it, but I was holding out hope that maybe the card wasn’t ruined yet (it was).
So my photos of Alice In Chains at the Soundwave Festival in Brisbane reside in the rinse cycle of a washing machine in the Quay West hotel.
(And the laundry room floor of room 2003 is especially shiny and clean!)

However, once I tell the band what happened and add this event to the majestic catalog of dumb stuff I’ve done over the years, they’ll forgive/thank me, so all’s well I guess.

Occasionally I’m able to use this forum to highlight my own mistakes in the hopes of not only entertaining, but also enlightening and teaching.
And that’s really what today’s write-up is all about.
There’s a valuable lesson for you all to glean from my error.
Check your pockets before every load of laundry you do.
I needed to apply the Cantrell rule to myself, and didn’t.

So please learn from my mistake, because I’d hate for you to repeat my blunder and lose your own photos.
Or God forbid, wash your own lip balm.

Who would have thought that reading a blog about Alice In Chains could result in having worthwhile housecleaning advice imparted upon you?


Backstage With Baldy

Bethlehem – August 16th

The last day of any tour is always a little extra hectic. You’re clearing everything off of the bus, dealing with travel plans to get everyone home, making sure gear is going to the right place, and on top of...

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