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Backstage with Baldy

Mountain View – September 11th

There’s a term in the music industry for hitting a bad note.

It’s called a clam.

Well, a few of my more recent blogs have been clams.

Sorry about that.

But that’s the danger in writing a blog every show day.

Duff McKagan is a man who’s not only written one of the best rock autobiographies I’ve ever read, he also continues to write numerous articles on a regular basis, mainly for the Seattle Weekly.

Duff is a very talented writer, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he’s read my drivel a time or two.

Well, a million weeks ago when the Uproar tour was just getting started, he asked me how often I write my blog. “Every show day” I replied.

And his eyes popped out of his head.

“Wow. That’s a lot.” He said.

I noted that prior exchange for two reasons: to drop Duff’s name once again (he’s in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame), and to frame what I’m about to say, which is that it was only a matter of time until I hit the wall.

Our lives out here are so much like the movie Groundhog Day that it’s ridiculous.

Same people. Same situations. Same time frame.

Some days it seems like the only thing that changes are the cities.

So the odds are that unless something out of the ordinary occurs, I’m in trouble in regards to finding something to write about.

Fortunately, something out of the ordinary happens enough to keep me going.

But not always.

And here we are.

This day flew by just like so many others, and nothing unusual or particularly interesting seemed to stick out.

I did, however, keep getting assailed by flashbacks all day long though, as the Shoreline Amphitheater was the site of a gig that sticks in my mind to this day.

22 years ago Alice In Chains was beginning a run with Van Halen, and I wasn’t on the road for that particular tour.

So my pals Stinky D & KR decided that the three of us should take a little road trip down to the Bay Area and check out the show.

A lot of things happened at and after that show, and it remains one of my fondest memories.

Which is ironic because I got so blind stinking drunk on a 5th of whiskey that I blacked out a small portion of the evening after meeting my childhood hero Eddie Van Halen for the first time.

I don’t know how many of you out there have had the opportunity to meet your childhood heroes, but the proper way to celebrate the event is not to overindulge on Canadian Mist and vomit on your own shoe in the parking lot of a Best Western hotel.

But somehow that’s what I did.

It’s interesting how memories spring up just by walking on site at a venue you’ve been to several times over the years.

I have great memories of that show here back in 1991.

Memories of Layne, and Mike Starr, and how much fun we had that night.

Memories of Sean introducing me to Eddie Van Halen.

Memories of tripping around San Francisco with a nuclear hangover the next day.

Who knows? Years from now I may look back on this Uproar gig at Shoreline and have a whole slew of memories pop up.

For now though, in lieu of writing about current events at the Shoreline, I had to resort to telling an embarrassing 22 year old story involving Van Halen & vomit.

Sometimes you just have to do the best with what you’ve got, take those clams, and cook up a nice chowder…

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Backstage with Baldy

Yokohama – March 9th

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