Tour Blog

7th June, 2006
CPB U.S. Tour 2006, Day 18 – 13th Gig, The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA

Again, superstitious numbers not withstanding (this being our 13th gig), another great gig…

On the way to the club we passed the Pentagon… another photo opportunity… didn’t manage to see where the plane “ALEGIDLY” hit (very, very, VERY dubious if you ask me).

We must have been coming in to town in an election period as there were mini bill boards dotted all over the place. One that stood out to me was for a guy called ‘Jim Webb’. His election campaign slogan was ‘Jim Webb – Born Fighting’!!! To me that billboard highlighted everything that’s wrong with politics and politicians! ‘Born fighting’ – firstly don’t you think that’s such a selfish attitude? What was he born fight for? The rights of his fellow men? Justice in the face of injustice? No. Surely ‘born fighting’ suggests he was born fighting for himself… is that really a quality that we want in someone in a government position?

Secondly, haven’t we had enough fighting recently?

And thing that struck me the most was how pathetically show business that slogan is… ‘Born fighting’… a boxer or a wrestler maybe, but a guy who we’re going to put in charge of how our lives are run using a slogan like ‘Born Fighting’? Surely show business should pay no part in the decision of who gets that job.

Surely honesty should play a much larger part in who gets elected… not who was born fighting. Surely the 3 most important things in the character description should be honesty, integrity and a good work ethic.

I think he would do better to change the slogan to something like, ‘Jim Webb – Born slightly premature and underweight’. Now, at least that would be honest! It would show that he had honesty. What does ‘Born Fighting’ say? – absolutely nothing except that he’s a showman, has no substance and perhaps even can’t be trusted. Now, I don’t know anything about the guy, but that’s what his slogan says to me.

Anyway, another rant over, back to the tour…

The club was another restaurant – lots of cool people had played there… Take 6, Tuck and Patti, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Roy Ayers, Steve Vai, Buddy Guy…

Whilst I was setting up my pedal board I took the 4 way power box that had been placed at the front of my side of the stage and noticed that my power adapters wouldn’t fit in as there was a small raised L.E.D. type light on the front of the box that was getting in the way. On closer inspection I also noticed that the light on the box was loose – I pulled it out a little to see if I could make room for my adapters and all of a sudden there was a massive ***FLASH***. I jumped back, people came running from every direction – a little bit of drama for the sound check but thankfully no electrocution! (Although my heart rate did shoot up a few BPM!).

The gig was great – I personally think that we perhaps played better on this gig than any of the others before it.

After the show, at the signing table, I met a guy who told me that the reason he’d come to the gig was that he’d met Steve Vai in a studio a few days before and he’d asked Steve who he thought the up and coming guitar players were. Apparently Steve said my name! That to me is craziness! I’ve been a MASSIVE Steve Vai fan for years and to hear that he said something like that about me is a massive honour (I’m still not quite sure I can totally believe it though!).

Later, whilst we were checking into our hotel for the night, Stuart made a new friend in the lobby…