Tony Levin Band

California Tour

October 06



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   October 7th - show before the first show!
Hark the Lark, it's in Quark Park

Tour of California starts, of course, in New Jersey.
When you can work it in, it's always good to have a "warmup show" before a new leg of a tour, especially if it's been awhile since you were out. And, with our last show having been in July in Mexico, this is a good time for that - you forget some of the lyrics, the exact tempos of songs... stuff like that.

But, what makes a "warmup show" any different than a regular show? Nothing, really. Except, this time, it's in Princeton New Jersey, a few days before we fly to San Diego to play shows in California.

So... whether you call it a warmup or not, here we are, playing outdoors in October, at a park that's right in the middle of Princeton - ears of corn growing next to the stage, mirror art, lights, statues, buttons, bubbles, a teepee, and more all around, exhibiting differnent science/art projects. And what's more the park is scheduled to be replaced in a year, so there's an element of something special in enjoying it while it's here.

Cool show (literally and figuratively!) - then drove home, packed up for flying with our gear, and hopefully warmer weather, and Monday we headed for San Diego.

Some confusion on arrival (hey, that's nothing new for us!) ... more equipment than would fit in the rented van.
No problem - we reached Jerry, who'd flown into L.A. to pick up gear in the equipment van - had him drive to San Diego airport to help us out.

Sundown over the Pacific ... it's going to be a fun week!

Now, this hotel is right by Route 5 (or, "The Five", as they call it here) and, though you can't quite see it in the photo, we can hear the traffic on the busy highway, night and day.

This will become a theme to the tour, as we'll be driving up and down that highway all week.

   October 9th - San Diego - the first show!

But first, I have a little errand to run - and it's got a bit of a story to go with it.

It begins back in the early 1980's when I became friends with a group of guys in Detroit who shared not only an interest in prog rock, but in vodka. They would come to the Crimson and Gabriel shows in the MidWest, and afterward we'd share our discoveries of favorite vodkas (high quality vodkas were pretty unsual back then, unlike now.)

One standard treat, though nothing exotic, was Stolichnaya's pepper vodka, called Pertrovka. We always had it around for when the 'contests' to determine the latest favorite were done.
This all continued for many years, but then just about three years ago, we were shocked to find that that pepper vodka had been discontinued - just like that. Why the flavor was dropped, when so many sweet fruity ones were kept on, is a mystery to me, but anyway we realized once it was gone that it had been pretty special. (This also set us on a spree of blending our own pepper vodkas, which is another story.) (Mine was named Peplevska!)

Since then, in my travels around the world, I've always kept my eye out for another bottle of Pertsovka, but didn't find one, even in Russia - nor did the other guys, until...
Last year, Lee was travelling down the Pacific Coast and happened to see a few bottles in a small liquor store north of San Diego. He was able to buy a couple of bottles (which we drank in no time when he got back) but more importantly he got the phone number of the store, which said they could get more.

So here I am today, driving half an hour North, (up The Five!) early in the morning, to get ALL the Pertsovka they have - I'll figure out later how to get it home!

Yay! It's here.
(Yeah, I've consored the name! First time ever on my site, but ... they might get more, and, much as I like you, I don't want anyone else buying up whatever bottles can still be found!)

What a happy sight!

Yeah, I did get quite a bit.. but keep in mind, I have a show in Detroit at the end of this week (with California Guitar Trio) and since my vodka pals live there, I know whatever I bring there will not make it home.

On to our first show - in a small club called Brick By Brick. I'd played there before with the CGT. Was please to see some folks involved with the BajaProgFest had come up for the show - hopefully I'll see them again next year when I play at it.



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