In the summer of '96 I spent several weeks on a bus traversing the United States. My friend Eric Pritchard was with me as far as New York City, which we were both visiting for the first time. It is funny all these years later to be walking around and recognize something from that first trip. Our last night in town we didn't have a place to stay as we were staying with a friend of mine from college at his parents' house and they didn't want us around anymore. Not because we were bad guests, but because they were going out of town soon and wanted to straighten up the guest room before they left. This didn't sound too plausible to me either. I will say that commuting from Great Neck was a pain in the ass (and in deference to Michael Caine I vowed then and there never to live in the suburbs. If you read What's It All About? that last sentence might make more sense), but I did enjoy seeing whichever of the Eggs from The Great Gatsby it was. In any event, I digress.
Our last night in town Eric and I went to a show at CBGB's, an exciting moment for two young punk rockers from California. What we discovered when we arrived was that every band we had actually heard of had canceled. We stayed anyway, as we didn't really have anything else to do until we boarded two separate buses in the morning - his headed home to Newbury Park, CA and mine on to visit friends in Bettendorf, IA. During the course of the show I found myself talking to one of the bands, Blueprint from Houston, TX. I mentioned to them that I was headed to Houston later in my trip and it turned out they sort of knew the person I was going to stay with. At the end of the night, I was approached and asked if I like June Of 44. I admitted that I did. I was then asked if I would like to drive with the band through the night to see June of 44 and godheadSilo in Cleveland, OH the next evening. I replied that I would quite enjoy that. I felt a little guilty for leaving Eric on his own for the night, but I think he understood. We recently got drunk together in Los Angeles and he didn't mention any hard feelings, so I think it is safe to assume that it is water under the bridge.
When we arrived at the house they were staying at in Cleveland we were greeted by a Jolly Green Giant on the roof. I found the sight somewhat impressive, to say the least. We slept a bit of the day away as we had all been up all night, so I didn't really to get to see the city at all. We arrived at Speak In Tongues in time to see the first band, Shake Ray Turbine.
They were great. I purchased a shirt, one that I still wear and has actually become the shirt I travel in. I realized at some point that quite unintentionally I found myself wearing it whenever I was going somewhere far away, so I have simply carried on with that tradition.
It was my first time seeing godheadSilo and June of 44 as well, it was all in all a pretty amazing evening for a young (not yet 18 in fact) man such as myself.
A few years later Clay spent some time in San Francisco and discovered that I had seen his band when he saw me wearing said shirt.
Many years after that I found out that my friend Chris played drums in the band. I have not seen him since I made that realization, so we have not been able to discuss it yet. There is still time, there is still time!
Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, 2 sides of Shake Ray Turbine.
Shake Ray Turbine/Full Service Quartet (Landmark)
1. Charter Flight 55
2. Heat Girl No. 1
Shake Ray Turbine/The Divine Hook-Up (Donut Friends)
1. One Loose Gigawatt
2. Look Who's Watching The Launch Pad