Welcome to this weeks installation of “Sunday’s Child”. I realize today’s title has nothing to do with the song in and of itself. Instead this is an association game. Be aware this is probably gonna be one of my longest posts ever, especially since I started this blog thing. Ok, where to start? Do I begin with what happened between Friday and Sunday that led up to this choice for today? Or do I begin with the background on this song and how it relates to me… Hmmm…
Duh, the story from the past day’s event’s will likely be better to start. So, I played a show Friday night in Huntington Beach. It was a long one, 3 sets. Did half covers and half Originals. A big LA magazine was there to review the show. So the first set is a disaster. The sound guy is manning three rooms in the venue and so after he sets us up, he leaves and actually never came back, which was a bad thing. It also didn’t help that we were playing like we’d never been together as a band before. I was flubbing lines in all the cover songs, as if I had never heard them before. We were sloppy. How nice that a reviewer was there to catch that.
Second set. We got some shit together and actually had a much stronger set. But I’m having people complain they can’t hear the vocals. What can I do? The sound guy is nowhere to be found. I fight through the rest of the set. I felt a bit vindicated in that the reviewer was still there. She asked for a CD and asked for the lyrics of my songs so she could read through them. I gave her what I could to help her out. By that point the photographer for the magazine had left. Her friend that was with her, asked to buy a CD. So I sold him one. That was cool that he didn’t want to copy it from her. That made me feel a lot better. Then they had to leave.
Third set. We finally kicked it in the ass! The third set was as if we belonged on the stage. Unfortunately the reviewer was no longer there to witness the fact we are actually a very good band. Ugh. However, after the show the staff at the venue came up to us. Several of the waitresses and the Bartender all told us how good it was. The big thing was they liked our choices of cover tunes and that we had a good sound, despite the lack of the sound guy. They all liked my voice when they could hear it. Every one of them also mentioned that they would tell the venue owner to get us back there. So that’s a plus when the staff actually comments on you without any provocation. But that’s not the real story for this post…
So, we all piled back on the band bus “The Big Orange Crush”. I fire it up and we’re off. Whoops; Let me backtrack a bit. You might not know that I own my tour bus – yes, a real tour bus. I had it outfitted to run on used vegetable oil back in January of 2006 (yes this year, but I’m thinking for years to come when people look back on songs I’ve chosen). Ok, so I had filled the veggie tank the night before with some veggie oil and we drove to the show with no issues. Da da dahn – mood music cue. On the way back we’re driving on the 110 freeway when all of a sudden I have a loss of power. So I decide to switch back to diesel thinking we may have run out of veggie – despite the veggie gauge reading that there was some veggie left. But to no avail. The bus is losing so much power we decide to pull off the freeway. So I get the bus started back up having fiddled with the throttle and it’s running again. We head back to the freeway.
We get on the freeway and there’s no power when stepping on the gas in the bus, but we’re moving. We come to another hill and we slow to a crawl. Essentially we begin pulling off and on the freeway from the shoulder probably 6 times to get the band guys back to their destination. I finally get it into Hollywood at 2:45 am. I drop the guys off. However, now the bus stopped this time and won’t run. So I hop on the ‘net to see if I can find a 24hr truck service company. I finally find one at 3 am and call ’em. The guy is over an hour away but agrees to come help. I had suspected the fuel filter wasn’t working and told him that was my issue. So he gets to me, he replaces it. We get the bus started! Wee, I’m on my way home. Two blocks later trouble rears again and the bus stops, again. Argh.
I call the guy back as he couldn’t have gotten far. He agrees to turn around and help me out again. Now it’s 5:15 am and I’m stopped on Highland blvd a block from the Hollywood Bowl. The sun is starting to come up, the sky is getting light. He pulls up behind the bus and goes to work, again the filter is empty. Not sure why. So he fills it back up and then we check the throttle linkage. He notices it’s a little loose. So he tightens it up. While he’s doing this, I’m sitting on the curb looking up Highland Blvd. What happens? I witness a car accident. I saw it coming like I couldn’t believe. I’m amazed that the driver that hit another car going through an intersection illegally didn’t see them. I saw it from a mile away (so to speak). I was the only witness as its like 5:30ish or so. So I leave the bus to go give my information as a witness – at which point one of the parties involved asks me to call 911. So I did. Luckily there was no deaths or blood spilled. Though three people were injured and both cars were easily totaled.
Eventually the fire dept. and medics arrive. I’m asked to stick around and I say, ok. Let me go see about my bus. So I run back down the street as the fire dept. asks me to park it in the bus parking at Hollywood Bowl. I get back to the bus, the repair guy has me start it up and it seems to be running good. So he leaves and I move the bus. I get the bus to the Hollywood Bowl spot probably 50 to 100 yards away and the bus dies again. I call the repair guy yet again. He can’t believe it, but again turns around from heading home to come help me out. What a trooper. Ok, I go back to the fire chief. Three of the people involved are taken to the hospital for injuries sustained. The chief asks me to stay and wait to talk to the Police. I’m like sure, I’m not able to go anywhere at the moment. But I do ask about getting the bus back out of the parking lot cause it’s in a weird spot on Highland Blvd.
The repair guy comes back. Proceeds to ask me if I have gas in the tanks. To which I reply, the gauge reads half-full, so I would think I do. He taps on them with a hammer and tells me he thinks they’re empty, thus I’m sucking air and that’s why it’s not getting very far. So at this point, he decides that he will help me get the bus to a gas station. This is where the real ordeal begins. It’s now like 6:45. We get the filter filled back up after I explain the veggie oil thing to him. He mentioned that it seems I’m getting a weird oil in the filter. So I had to tell him. But it didn’t make sense cause it was switched off.
The Police finally arrive. I go to talk to him and give my information. He was very grateful that I had seen the accident. It apparently made his job very easy. Because now there’s a coherent third party that actually saw what happened and how, etc… After that, I ask the officer about getting out of the Hollywood Bowl bus area in a safe manner. To which he gave a strange reply. He wasn’t concerned so long as I just didn’t do anything dangerous. Uh, HELLO?!? The intersection just had an accident and it’s in a very tricky area! ARGH.
Ah, back to the repair guy. We now get the bus started and I pull out onto Highlight and veer to Cahuenga. I get up just past the bridge to John Wayne Ford Amphitheater. The bus stops again. So he fills the filter up again. We get a little further and repeat the process. I eventually get to just near the top of the hill of Cahuenga. We unfortunately stop traffic for a moment to fill it yet again. We crest the hill and now the bus is moving better going downhill. Just past Barham is a gas station but it has no diesel. Continue on with the stop / start process and past yet another station, no diesel. Onward with the stop / start process, all the way to a Shell station right near Laurel Canyon and Ventura Blvd. They have diesel on the sign! I pull in, and pay the man for diesel. This is a good thing because the repair is just about out of diesel.
I get back to the pump to pump the gas. Nothing happens. I ask the attendant who smacks his own head and says we ordered more yesterday and they haven’t come yet. So he refunds my money and tells us there’s several stations on Laurel Canyon and he thinks one has diesel. So repeat the stop / start process again. Get up to Laurel and the 101. Pass another station, no diesel. Stop right in front of a 76 station, no diesel. Stop / Start. Two more stations a block up, no diesel. So I ask an attendant at the 76 station who says, yes on Burbank and Laurel is a Chevron with diesel. Yea! Stop / Start three more times. The last time is literally 10 feet or less from the pump. We’re now on our very last drops of diesel in his can and my little spare can too. I get to the pump. I pump the gas and we determine my gauge is right! It was half-full. Now I’m topped off with diesel.
The repair guy is puzzled. So now we pull out from the Chevron and stop on Burbank, where he goes through the switching system for the veggie. He thinks he sees air in the veggie system. But we’re having a problem getting the switch to operate. Eventually he is able to manually make the switch switch to diesel using a couple of live wires. Then disconnects the switching system to prevent it from doing something else. We start the bus back up and it’s able to run. He follows me to Lankershim Blvd. Where I pull over again to give him some more money and finally part ways. Let me say at this point, this guy has gone way over and above the call of duty with customer service. His name is: David Randle. His business is David Randle’s Mobile Repair. His Website is: www.davidrandlesmobilerepair His phone number is: (909) 770-4009. If you have a Semi-Truck or Trailer, or even an old Eagle Bus (Like me) and you’re in the vicinity of Fontana California in need of repair in the middle of the night, I highly recommend this guy David. He is a straight up guy. He’s legit, he does what he can to help and for a price that is more than reasonable. I can’t say enough good things about him and how he went so far out of his way to help a struggling musician to overcome some stupid shit on a one-off tour date. Seriously, maybe you read this and you just want to call him and say “David, dude you rule for helping Jody out with his bus.” I’m sure he’d get a kick out of it. I offered him a CD and he actually mentioned he didn’t even have a CD player to play it on, so he wouldn’t take it out of a lack of a way to enjoy it.
Ok, so now I’m able to drive the bus and get it home. I notice that I’m still not getting full throttle so I think I will need to get in there soon and do a little more wrenching myself to set it a little more. At this point it’s 10:30 am and I’m a wreck. I decide to get some rest, but I can assure you that come tomorrow morning I will certainly be placing a phone call to the Greasel people to give them a piece of my mind about their installation. I certainly hope the owner himself will fly out to CA to enjoy some our heat wave, and personally fix this fucking switch that has given me so many problems. I have the sneaking suspicion that my previous filter problems were also related to this switch.
Wow, ok, so if you’re still with me and want to understand why the hell it is that I relate this story to this song from Lillian Axe, and why is it that it’s a “Sunday’s Child.” Remember the title to today’s post? Memorable Experiences. Well, that story is certainly one thing, among all the things I can say about it: Memorable. Now, let’s backtrack a couple of years. I was driving once between Boulder/Denver Colorado and Park City Utah along I-70 to Highway 6 in Utah. It was very early in the morning again, just as I was coming through the canyon, probably around 5 am. I guess I love driving at night. I remember I was passing an entrance to a sulfur hot springs I had visited a year or two earlier with a roommate from music school who was from Provo Utah. I was zipping through this canyon in my Bronco II. I love driving mountain canyons. It’s one of those ultimate driving experiences. It was very late, or very early depending on your view of time. The moon was out in force. Thus it was very easy to see driving that night. I had just pulled in a local Utah rock station that was kinda coming in and out.
This song ‘Moonlight In Your Blood’ came on as I was passing that sulfur hot springs area. The station in question was KBER (I think it’s 101.1 on the dial). Anyway, they are known as the ‘hair metal’ station in Utah, a very popular genre there still to this day. I had never heard the song before. They didn’t announce the title, nor did they say who the band is. They didn’t say it before the song played, nor did they say it after the song finished. Fucking commercial radio – plays a cool song but typically doesn’t tell you who it is. And radio wonders why people find it annoying. I mean c’mon, if you play something and I like it – how the hell am I supposed to go support that artist if you don’t tell me who the hell they are. Anyway, there I am tooling along and I’m going nuts attempting to sing along with this song as I’m listening to it. The call and response in the chorus is just plain awesome and stupid catchy.
So, I never got to find out who it was. I tried asking some friends about the song, they said they never heard of it. I tried singing what I could remember of the lyrics. While my friends loved the melody they couldn’t place the title. Fast forward a couple of years. I’m in a music store called Big Valley Music in Newhall CA (don’t go looking for it, it’s no longer there) when all of a sudden I hear this song come on their store stereo. I go to the employee who tells me, yeah, this is Lillian Axe, but he didn’t know the title. I’m like who?!? So that night I went searching on the net to see what I could find out. I manage to find an e-mail address to someone in the band, I believe it was Steve the guitar player. I typed a few of the lyrics that I could remember. To my surprise Steve wrote me back and told me that it was most likely Moonlight In Your Blood. I was able to find the track and procure it. Yes, that was it! Moonlight In Your Blood. So now I present it to you.
I should be fully out of my mind pissed off about the bus. I am about some things, but looking back on it already after this short time, it’s so stupid it is a bit funny. Can you see the connection I’m making here? The point of all this is that I can remember really odd things. Like a song I hear once that is so striking that I recognize it instantly years later after only heard it once.
That is THE sign that a song is brilliant. C’mon being able to recognize something like that? That’s a Memorable Experience. Though I will say, I’m much more enamored with the music and the melody. I think the title is catchy, but I really don’t get the lyrics, oh well.
I don’t know what level of success Lillian Axe ever enjoyed. But from what I gather on their website they’re still getting out to play shows, though the singer on this track is no longer in the band.
Why are they not on iTunes? That’s something I can’t understand. I have no idea who they are/were signed to. But it’s astounding to me that this track and Lillian Axe isn’t on iTunes. It’s one of those things where, why if you’re still making music and no longer likely signed, would you not take control of your material and get it on iTunes yourself? I mean hey, I helped pave the road that makes it possible for non-signed and indies everywhere (that’s whole other story for some other time). Maybe Steve or one of the guys in the band will see this blog and post a thought here. Or maybe they’ll get the bug up their butt to get their music on iTunes. Either way, I’m sure if you e-mail Steve Blaze, he’d be happy to inform you as to how you can get a hold of this song and CD (Psychoschizophrenia) yourself. Which I’m obviously recommending you do.
Do you have any amazing stories of adventure? Post one here. Tell me about it. Share, it’s cathartic. Think I’m out of mind in making this connection? Tell me.