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July 8, 2005

Live, Late

No, this isn't particularly art-related; consider it sort of a "since I've been gone" post.

Two weekends ago I jetted off to Denver for my older brother's bachelor party weekend. It was built around a pair of Widespread Panic shows up at Red Rocks (certainly not my scene, but they did rock, especially night two—and there's really no denying the virtues of good Southern rock). We rented a bus for transport to and from the shows and camped it out in a hotel downtown (the same hotel, as it turned out, as the band itself). That hotel, in the wake of Saturday's show, is the setting for today's riveting tale. And don't worry: though the evening's libations were most decidedly adult, aside from a smattering of gratuitous expletives, this shit's pretty much G-rated...

Around 3 am on Sunday morning, we're going strong in someone's hotel room, and there's a knock at the door.

"I'm a musician. Someone asked me to play a private show."

The guy sported a shaved head and stylish cargo vest, showing off his guns as it were. It seemed like it could've been a cheesy set-up to some fine bachelorette party fun, but what business this gentleman had at our doorstep, I couldn't fathom.

So, who the hell hired a musician?

Well, as it should happen, nobody. Someone from our cheerful retinue, however, (whose sobriety I wouldn't vouch for)—we'll call him "Brett"—had taken it upon himself to heckle a guitar-toting stranger in the hallway. And said stranger either took Brett's apparent requests for "a private show" far too seriously or just figured he had the perfect way to shut us the hell up.

"Whenever someone asks me to play, I always like to play them a song or two. Can I come in?" (Or something to that effect.)

The confusion must've registered on my face, but his next words kind of cleared the air: "You know the band Live?"

And it hit me: the bald head, the raging unibrow... This mysterious stranger, prowling the halls of Hotel Monaco, guitar in tow, so late on a Saturday night/Sunday morning, was none other than Ed Kowalczyk (honestly, we had to ask him his name). I suppose I didn't recognize him sans the bare chest and weird braid.

He came in and, pulling his top shelf acoustic out of its case, played us a quick unplugged set of "Lightning Crashes" and "Shit Towne." All through his first tune he had to endure sporadic, drunken cries of "Holy shit... this is the real guy!" (Not to mention a few heckles throughout from a fellow who didn't care much for his vest, and who'd have probably rather heard "some Stones, man"). And then he was off (though not before offering my brother his congratulations).

A postscript: as if just to finish off our rock star night (Live is apparently huge in Holland, by the way), an hour or so later found us partying with one of the guys from Panic (John "JoJo" Hermann, their keyboardist).

Now I'm thinking about looking into Ted Nugent for the rehearsal dinner. For what it's worth, it looks like Colorado's bow-hunting season will be under way by August, so if you're going to be in the vicinity of the Vail Valley, Ted...

(Lord knows, we really don't want to have to settle for Frampton or Kenny Loggins.)

"Live, Late"
Posted by Dan at 07:16 PM


Well, he showed you. Now you'll remember the name Ed Kowalczyk, or whatever. He's intense.

Posted by: JL on July 8, 2005 at 07:36 PM

Intense indeed.

"Her placenta falls to the floor..."

It did kind of make our night, though.

Posted by: Dan on July 8, 2005 at 08:34 PM

It did kind of make our night, though.

I can see how it would. Lord, I had no idea that was a line from that awful song. What a tool.

Posted by: JL on July 9, 2005 at 01:28 PM

Referenced in this post:

Colorado Division of Wildlife: Big Game Season Dates & License Fees—Season Dates
Ed Kowalczyk
Everyday Companion Online—06/25/05 Red Rocks
Friends of Live.com
Glide Magazine: John Jojo Hermann: Another Round Of Smiling Assassins
Hotel Monaco Denver
Kenny Loggins
Official Peter Frampton Web Site
Subculture of Live—Nederlandse Live Fanclub
TedNugent.com: Ted Nugent's Archery With Attitude
Widespread Panic