Livin' Large in Syracuse - Family Style

report filed Wed., 9/22/99 3:04 pm - Steak and lobster. Lots of it. That's the sort of country club accommodations we luxuriated in after a wonderful afternoon outdoors at the Harvest Moon Jamboree in upstate New York. We stuck around the jamboree long enough to catch a way jammy set from Refried Confusion, a HGMN band from Orlando Florida, and soak in just a little more sun and kind vibes before hitting the road. After Refried, we mobilized.

Rolling toward Syracuse without any idea as to the finery we were about to experience, the groove armada drove for about an hour to hang with the monkey's good friends, Torin and Michelle Johnson. Talk about livin' large, hangin' with the Johnsons was all of that and more.

As soon as we invaded the Johnson's wonderful home, the water heater began a nonstop marathon- we're talkin' dueling showers for hours on end. One by one, the entire monkey entourage got cleaned up and settled into the Johnson's brand new, two story home. From the basement to the bedrooms upstairs, people were scattered everywhere. Around dinner time, Torin fired up the bbq and treated everyone to an amazing Vegas style buffet of steak, burgers and all sorts of salads, breads, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and other goodies that he and Michelle had prepared. Sunday night was football madness, as well as a bevy of alternative recreational options - ping pong, darts and chess included. Can you say -good clean fun?-

Monday was a day off and what better place to kick it than the happy house of Johnson? A few of the guys went fishing, the rest of us played more games, read books, played a little percussion, and capped off the day watching Monday night football. Once again we feasted in style, this time on lobster tails.

After dinner there was a little extra curricular excitement when a pan in the oven, unknown and out of sight, caught fire, repeatedly setting off the smoke detector. It was an action packed and noisy scene for about ten or fifteen minutes, until Scotty Manicotti shifted into the take charge mode and put out the fire without causing any damage...

Soon after, the post blaze excitement morphed into domestic bliss and everyone enjoyed another night of homestyle fun and games. In the morning the groove armada was treated to one final feast before making tracks, this time for breakfast at Torin's restaurant, "By the Way, Family Restaurant." Properly fueled on anything and everything imaginable, we bid our generous hosts of the past couple a days a thankful farewell. Ever the coolest - Torin and Michelle actually invited us to stay with them again next time the monkey does an East coast tour... are these people saints or what?

The drive from Syracuse to Pittsburgh for a show at 'The Pollinator' went smoothly. By far the smallest venue on the tour, promotion for the show was weak and the turnout pretty lame.

Didn't bother the monkeys though, they played well. Because it was such a small gig, all the guys driving the vehicles (Reed, Manicotti and Bob) stayed in the motor homes and slept. After the show, the snoozers made their appearance, we loaded up the gear and then fired up the armada to drive through the night.

The reason we busted the moonlight miles was to arrive in Rochester in time for a radio interview with 'The Weazel,' on 96.5-FM, the top rated morning program in Rochester. The interview was arranged by a new friend of the band, Scotty Palooza from Rochester. The whole gang crowded into the Weazel's studio and generally had a good time yucking it up with the foul mouthed and sexually preoccupied shock jock. In addition to the standard questions about how long the band's been together and what type of music they play, the Weazel was fascinated with Alley's mammalian protruberances and breast feeding, as well as Tim's dreadlocks, body odor, and his own sexual orientation. The low point of the show was his on air tongue lashing of a sales rep who came into the studio reminding him to mention the name of the venue, only to leave the room red-faced and embarrassed after being ripped by the Capt. Lou Albano meets Wolfman Jack record spinner. Although a bit unsavory and crude, the Weazel gave us lots of free publicity for tonight's show. I guess that's show biz...

Tonight's gig is at the Red Social Lounge. Refried Confusion, who we saw at the Harvest Moon Jamboree, is opening the show. The Red is a really nice club in downtown Rochester that has only been open for a couple of months. Lots of hardwood floors, velvet upholstery and swanky lighting fixtures. Cool staff too... by far the classiest room we've hit on this tour. The van and two motorhomes are parked near the club. We also have two hotel rooms a couple of blocks away. Right now the band is setting up equipment and I'm trying to find a way to get online, so I'm outa here in search of a hot shower and phone line at the hotel.