This past Summer I went on a jazz tour around the U.S. with a jazz band by the name of Jerry and The Black Strings. They are a small time band nothing too big, but they truly are masters of the music and a fun group of people to be around. Me, Jerry and the rest of the gang know each other from back in the day when we use to do small gigs around San Francisco.
We would be on tour for a month going to small venues in San Diego, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, Denver, CO, Grand Junction, CO, Fort Collins, CO, Flagstaff, AZ, and many other cities. I would say my favorite concerts were in the big cities we visited, but Grand Junction, which was the first small town we played in on our tour, was sure nice to relax in. Playing in big cities you always have the big crowd and lots of commotion going on. Not that I get stage fright, I stopped getting stage fright a long time ago. It’s just nice to play somewhere with a small mellow crowd. You can say its quite humbling. The town of Grand Junction was somewhat of a desert, but still fun and beautiful in its own way.
Did I mention I have a nephew by the name of Benjamin; he goes to school in Grand Junction. He’s a junior studying business management at Colorado Mesa University. He’s my eldest brother Dave’s son, I have always been proud of Benjamin for being a straight A student and pursuing a degree in college. I never was an academic kid I was his age. I was too busy doing stupid stuff and focusing on music. Not that I’m ashamed of what I’ve done, I am satisfied with my life. It’s just nice to see those on a good successful path.
Benjamin works at an auto window tinting shop called, Window Tinting Grand Junction. He started working there part time, after his sophomore year of college to help pay the food and rent bills. After our first night in Grand Junction I visited Benjamin at the window tinting shop. Which was actually a pretty nice professional spot his boss has there. I’ve been to a window tinting shop before and usually they’re nothing too special, but this place was nice. It had a big waiting area with comfortable chars and a big TV. Their garage was massive, probably could fit maybe eight cars. They were working on a 67 Camaro and 2006 Ford GT when I walked in. So that tells you people around town definitely trust them with their expensive cars. Good thing Benjamin was able to land the sweet job; I guess those long summers of helping his father tint their own cars back home, finally paid off. I had a good time in Grand Junction; it was a nice mellow small town. It was nice to have visited with Benjamin and see that he is doing great.
Fast forwarding to the end of our tour in Portland, Oregon. Good thing it was summer or else it probably would have been raining in the good ole North West. We played at Jimmy Mak’s in downtown Portland. It was a beautiful small jazz and restaurant venue. The audience was wonderful and very supportive. We played three concerts in Portland before making our way back home to San Francisco.
After, our last concert in Portland we high tailed it on the road back home. Couldn’t tell you how nice it was to be finally back in my own bed for once, after being on tour for 2 months you learn to appreciate the small things.