I love summer, and I’d hate for anything to hasten it to the end, but I am really looking forward to the beginning of August, when we get to take the stage of the fabled Fox Theater in Boulder.
I remember, many moons ago, in July of 2001, seeing Blues Traveler there. It was the day after seeing them at Red Rocks, and my friend Isaac got wind they were playing a last minute show at the Fox.
After the show, we met some folks from Seattle who were traveling around with the band on tour. They had recently gotten busted for possession of pot (in my day, it was a crime) and were a little riled up from the raid on their Winnebago.
We noticed one of them was holding a drum head. “Are you a drummer?”
“Yeah, but I got this so I can get their autographs.”
About this time it dawned on Isaac and I that we had hung out in front of the Fox for a good while, and surely Blues Traveler had to leave some time. Sure enough, they started to exit the front doors with a small entourage. They were in no hurry to get anywhere.
The guitarist, Chan Kinchla, was talking with a couple of people he looked like he knew pretty well. His younger brother, Tad Kinchala, the bass player was talking to a couple other people. The drummer, Brendan Hill actually approached us and started a conversation.
He noticed the guy’s drumhead, “You want me to sign that?” he asked. The guy was like, “Yeah,” (of course) so we approached, and asked if we could borrow the dude’s sharpie.
“Sure, you can actually keep it. I’ve got another one.” Sometimes things work out that way.
We gave the drummer what we had to sign: a couple bumperstickers we got from some hippie on the Hill outside of the Fox that said, “Never trust the son of a Bush.” He read it and laughed and sort of nodded his agreement. So there, we had Brendan Hill’s autograph and a Sharpie. We though we should try to get the others’ autographs as well.
Isaac and I conferred over how we should approach these dudes. John Popper was the last to exit, but the first to leave. As he rushed to a car with his driver, we were able to shake his hand, but that was about it.
So we went back and approached Tad, who wasn’t that interested in starting a conversation, but was willing to sign our bumper stickers. We thanked him and moved on to Chan, the guitarist.
I never thought meeting a rock star would be like meeting Chan. He was feeling really good at the time, and when we told him, “You rock, man!” after he signed our propaganda, he threw that love right back at us tenfold.
“No, YOU GUYS ROCK!” He said back at us. He then gave us a speech about what it means to him to be able to play music and to have people enjoy it, and about how blessed he felt to be in that position. Pretty much the nicest thing you could expect a rock star to say to you. So that made us feel pretty good.
The good old days. I spent a lot of evenings on the Hill in my youth. Isaac and I on another night witnessed a brawl from inside the Fox spilling out into the street. A man smashed a car window with his forearm right in front of us… and right in front of some cops, who asked him to sit down on the curb. He must’ve considered the condition of his bleeding arm, because he did just that.
So anyway, there you have it. The good and the bad. There was way more good. Blues Traveler wasn’t the only show I saw there. I’ve seen Jon Butler Trio, Ben Harper… too many to name. And soon, I’ll get to say I was there, along with my band mates and brothers… and the dudes in Eugene’s Axe.
Hell, Rolling Stone even called it the fourth best club in the country.
Saturday, August 3, 2013 is gonna be the night everybody’s dreams come true. Rock on. Get Tickets, before they sell out!