Saturday, May 25, 2013

The end of the road....


Billy on his way to his last press day
Photo by David Elkins

Ben E., Ben G., and me and the batting cages

Billy and Rosie in one of the many watering holes in Tombstone

One of my favorite, and most haunted places: The Birdcage Theatre

The last photo of me and my Thunderstudy brothers

Ben and Lizzie with Sam after our closing performance in Tucson

The Music Call at the Tucson Convention Center

Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na....Bat Scott!!! 
The many cactuses at the Desert Museum



 A stagecoach from the 1880's, still in use in Tombstone
Tombstone Firehouse

One of the most famous graves in the world, for someone that no one knows
I apologize that it has taken me so long to write and post this blog.  Perhaps it was a reluctance on my part, because it is the last one.  Well, at least for a while. it is.....

Hello friends, and welcome to my blog from the Arizona desert! This will be my last blog on tour for quite a while. But enough of that for now....

We arrived in Tucson on Monday, and couldn't have been happier to find the warm weather that awaited us after our cold, rainy couple of weeks in St. Louis. I decided to rent myself a car for the last week, knowing that there was a bunch I wanted to see, and was just looking forward to a little independence and freedom. I picked up my car and headed to our hotel, and once I settled in, I headed out for coffee and a few things at Target. 

The next day, I was determined to get out and do some things before opening night.  So, I went out in search of food, and to get acclimated to the city.  Unfortunately, the entire city was under massive construction because they are adding a streetcar line; so, what should've been a 3 minute drive to the theatre became a very complicated 30 minute drive.  I wanted to drive over so I knew where I would be going that evening....and then I decided it was much better to walk.  I did, however, see a bit of the town.  I drove onto the University of Arizona campus and visited one of my favorite record store chains (a sort of sister store to Bullmoose in Maine), Zia Records.  I spent entirely too much money, and headed to Whole Foods to get a few supplies before heading home to chill before opening night.  After a successful opening night show, most of the cast, crew and I hopped on a shuttle and headed to a house owned by one of Peter's friends.  She had a wonderful spread of Tex Mex food for us, and we sat around eating, drinking, singing and being merry.  It was one of the only nights of it's kind on the entire tour, and since it was our closing week, it was not to be repeated. 

The following day, I headed to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (pictures above).  Really almost more of a wild life refuge, and scenic overlook.  After a long drive through the breathtaking mountains, I parked and walked around the museum for nearly 3 hours.  It was quite interesting to see all of the species of animals that live in the region, and to learn about why/how these animals and the plant life developed the defense mechanisms they did.  And, because it wasn't the heat of summer yet, it was certainly hot, but not TOO hot.  It was a gorgeous day to just walk around by myself.  On the way back I drove by Old Tucson, which looked much more like a theme park than an old west town....because that's essentially what it is.....but, it was only open on the weekends, so I just stopped to take a few pictures.  I headed back to rest and get out of the sun before the show that evening. 

On Thursday, James, Ben Eells and I headed a bit north to hit some balls at a batting cage I had found online.  It was a bit of an adventure to find it, but we had fun nevertheless.  It's always nice to be able to share my love of baseball with someone, and to get out and get a little exercise.  We headed back, and Ben and I threw the ball for a while before adjourning to the cooler temperatures of our hotel rooms.  I knew I needed to get a few things done, so I made the trip to FedEx to send out my guitar and mandolin for the last time.  I stopped and got a Chicago dog at a local place, and headed home to nurse what had become the first migraine headache I'd had in a few years.  That evening, Corey's father and step mother had set up a cocktail party for us at the Cushing Street Bar and Grill close to the theatre.  I wasn't feeling the greatest, so I didn't stay long.  But, I still wanted to go and thank them for having us.  At the show that evening, local celebrity/MDQ alumnus Robert Shaw joined the boys and m'am onstage to do a encore of Shake, Rattle and Roll.  We met afterwards, and talked about mutual friends, and our roles in the Johnny Cash world.  He's a pretty awesome guy. 

Friday brought our caravan of cars heading to Tombstone, AZ.  I had been before a few years ago, and after talking about it at length, I had gotten a bunch of people interested in joining me down there.  The town (though quite touristy now) has changed very little since the 1880's.  It's just fun to walk up and down the dirt streets and see cowboys dressed in period garb, buildings much as they were at the time, and even see a terrible reenactment of the gunfight at the OK Corral.  The highlight of the town for me is definitely the Bird Cage Theatre, which was closed in 1881.  It houses the original Black Moriah, used to take corpses to the Boot Hill Cemetery outside of town.  It also tells of a much seedier side of the evenings in Tombstone, and has tons of artifacts from the period of Wyatt Earp, The Earp brothers and Doc Holliday.  It's just fun to step back in time like that.  We all had an amazing time, and wished we hadn't had to head back to Tucson for work. 

I laid pretty low on Saturday, and between shows on Sunday I headed to the trendy 4th Ave area to visit a little art gallery/shop called Pop Cycle.  I had gotten a tip from James that they had a lot of Johnny Cash pop art for purchase.  I, of course, did not walk out empty handed.  Then, it was back home for a bit before heading to the theatre for our 552nd and final show. 

By all accounts, the show went amazingly well.  We all met in the office for our final meeting beforehand, and it was certainly a bittersweet moment to say goodbye to a show that had been a part of all of us for so long.  Some of us, for nearly two years.  But, with few tears, the boys and m'am rocked it out, and left it all out on stage.  After some time in our own rooms, we all headed to the pool deck to enjoy some cocktails, and pizza provided by Billy's dad.  It was a really nice way to relax and enjoy each other's company before we all went our separate ways the next day. 

So, that's all she wrote, folks.  Now, I will say, that the tour is going out again next fall, and some of us will be on it.  But, things are a bit up in the air for now.  So, until things are solidified, it truly marks the end of an era.  When I have updates on the cast, and whether I will be back myself, I will update you. 

Following closing, I had a wonderful week in Florida with Amy!  Now, I write this well overdue blog from the comfort of my home in Maine, as I watch it rain outside for the 5th consecutive  I'll be doing some different things this summer; I'm reviewing for's Maine section, which means I'll be seeing tons of FREE, great theatre.  I'm taking a trip to NYC next week to see a show or two, support Corey at one of his gigs, and to have a meeting concerning a possible upcoming project for me (fingers crossed).  So, I hope this blog finds you well, and I will be back with more as soon as I get more information.  Until then, take care, and keep checking back for news!!!


No comments:

Post a Comment