by Gary Pihl
Sixty-eight concerts in the USA, Canada and Japan with sun, rain, wind, friends, relatives, a bunch of terrific bands and memories we’ll never forget! Like the show in Bangor where Tom had his guitar done up with a checkerboard motif as an homage to Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. Or the thunderstorm in Cleveland when the power went out for a couple of seconds but the band played on. Or the show where there were so many bugs in the air that I may have swallowed one while singing and thereby lost my vegetarian status for the day.
I think we all had former high school bandmates come to one show or another and make us laugh and remember the crazy gigs we did in the past. We got to see aunts and uncles and cousins we hadn’t seen in years. And some that weren’t even born the last time we came through town.
What a terrific crew we’ve had working with us! 24 guys and 5 women that became our immediate family for five months. They put in long days, every day, to get the audio, lights and video set up and working perfectly whether it was in the L.A. Forum or the infield at the South Dakota State Fair.
We were very fortunate to have been able to share our stage with some terrific bands this year. Cheap Trick, The Doobie Brothers, Blue Oyster Cult, Night Ranger, Mickey Thomas’ Starship, Kory and the Fireflies, .38 Special, Kansas, Reb Beach Project, Don Felder, Sweet, April Wine, Joshua Scott Thomas, Scott Bratcher, Random Manor. One sad note was when we heard about Jimi Jameson passing away just a few weeks after we shared the stage with his band, Survivor.
Our four final shows in Japan were a wonderfully unique experience. The audiences were so attentive and supportive. But whether in Japan, Canada, or the US, what we’ll remember most are the fans who sang along so loudly, we could barely hear our guitars! Thanks for making our summer so special for just another band out of Boston.