B.O.R.E.D. Tour

A week later, as I fly to Florida for a surprise
visit to my buddy Dougg for his 40th B-Day, I finally have some time to reflect
on all the goings on with the B.O.R.E.D. Tour
2004.

I have very mixed feelings about
this year’s show. I think anyone who attended the event could tell I was not
myself. If I snapped at anyone or seemed short with you, I apologize. The 2004
B.O.R.E.D. tour was a thing of beauty until Friday afternoon at 3:30pm and then
all hell broke loose.

Settle in,
this is going to be a long one.

First
you must know that I was not dealing DIRECTLY with the Queen Mary. I was
dealing with The Laugh Is Hope Comedy Club, which is basically 2 guys. Steven,
who runs the show and Jeremy who was my main contact for the event. I found out
about the club when I was asked to play there a month or so ago. I mentioned to
Steven that I book a yearly comedy music show and he immediately suggested i do
the show there.

After some thought I
decided against having B.O.R.E.D. there for a few reasons. First, the sound
system was horrible. Second, they have a giant screen on which they show “The
Queen Mary Story” to tour guests on it about 5 feet from the lip of the stage.
This is good if you’re just doing stand up. One or two folks in front of the
screen is fine, but there’s no room for a drum set and I had a feeling that some
acts would need that room this year. The last major thing was the $20 ticket
price.

The guys from Laugh is Hope
Comedy club, especially Jeremy, insisted that I should do the show there and
said they’d “Do what it takes to get you to do the show here.” So I gave them
my thoughts:

1. Better sound
system.

2. Move the
screen.

3. Do something about the $20 ticket
price.

Jeremy ensured me they’d have a
different sound system and that I’d “Really like” what they had lined up. As
far as the $20 ticket price goes, I was told I could run a TWO FOR THE PRICE OF
ONE deal. All tickets were handled by their website. This led to some problems
as their site is pretty confusing and doesn’t seem to be too secure. Also, I
heard from many folks, that they never received a confirmation e-mail after
ordering tickets. People came to me looking for answers and all i could tell
them was to call Laugh Is Hope (who are only open select hours on Friday and
Saturday). Not good.

Then something
else came up. When I arranged to have Steven Banks, this year’s headliner, come
do the show, all he asked for in return was a room on the Queen Mary. So
several weeks ago I asked my contact on the Queen Mary, Jeremy if this was
possible. I was told he’d look into it. A few days later I received and e-mail
that said, “Yes, you are confirmed for two rooms on the Queen Mary.” (The
second room was for Dr. Demento whom I was trying to secure for the
show.)

The day before the show, Friday
afternoon at 3:30PM, Jeremy called me and told me that there were no rooms
available and so Steven did not have a room. This put me in the position of
telling my headliner, the day before the show that I would not be able to get
him a room on the night of the show, the one and only thing he really wanted in
exchange for doing the show.

Jeremy was
very apologetic and said it was out of his control. I then asked if everything
else was set up and asked if he got the list of sound requirements I had
e-mailed him. He then says, “Ummmm, yeah. We don’t have any of that stuff. We
have one mic. That’s it.” WHEN WAS HE PLANNING ON TELLING ME THIS?!?!?! It
would have sucked monkeys to show up on the night of the show and only have one
mic! WHat is this, the Grand Ole
Opry?

So I hung up and I was pretty
mad. I thought about what to say to Steven when I called him and then I
thought, “Why should I call him?” This is not MY mistake. So I called Jeremy
back and made him call Steven and explain the situation. I then went about
making arrangements for mics that would be needed the night of the show. Now,
this was all Friday afternoon and all I had planned was a rehearsal with the
rest of the band. It was slowly beginning to Dawn on me that I should probably
go down to the Queen Mary that night after rehearsal and check everything
out.

As I was packing up for rehearsal,
I realized that I had left one of my mic cables at the Sportsmen’s Lodge the
previous weekend so before rehearsal, I should drive by there and pick it up.
When i arrived at the Sportsmen’s Lodge I missed the entrance and I went into a
residential area to try and turn around and missed seeing this huge dip in the
road and I hit it HARD. HAAAAARD! There was a big crunch. But I was running
late and didn’t think about it.

WHile
I’m at the Lodge I get a phone call from the Jim Henson company asking if I’d
like to be involved with a television pilot they are taping. Of course I said
yes. Then I was off to rehearsal. Rehearsal lasted about an hour and we came
up with a real kick ass version of SkrewU. Then after rehearsal I stopped by my
house to drop my stuff off then headed out to the Queen Mary. As I left my
apartment, my Oil Warning light flashed on for a second and then went off.
(That’s called foreshadowing. :-)

I
drive to Long Beach. Check out the room and the “new” sound system and then
drive back. By the time I’m back, my oil light is now on permanently along with
the Check Engine light. It’s 11:30 PM. I know something is wrong, but I can do
nothing until tomorrow.

I
sleep.

I get up EARLY and immediately
drive to EZ Lube where I’m informed that my Oil Pan is slashed open from the dip
I hit and has been leaking oil. It had been leaking all the way from Burbank to
Long Beach and back. Not good I figure. So I call my insurance company and get
their towing service to the dealer. I wait about an hour for the Tow Truck to
arrive and the MOMENT it gets there, my cell phone rings and it’s Bill Baretta.
Yes, THE Bill Baretta, Muppeteer of Pepe The King Prawn and Bobo the Bear. He
wants to chat about the Pilot Taping.

It was a true “Thanks Life” moment.
Here I am stressing about the B.O.R.E.D. Tour, my car and all else and I’m
trying to get excited and pumped up for this AMAZING experience with the
Muppets.

I gethome and all I want to do
is lay down before I have to head down to the Queen Mary for the show. I check
my e-mail and there’s one from Steven Banks saying that his friend called the
Queen Mary and there’s two rooms available. Grrrrrrrr! I call Jeremy and tell
him to make it happen. Jeremy then informs me that the “motorcycle rally”
taking place at the QUeen Mary that day has taken all the lighting from the room
and now there’s no lights. THE DAY OF THE SHOW! WE NOW HAVE NO
LIGHTS!!!!!

Luckily, I remember that my
manager has some lighting at her place, so I call her and she agrees to bring
them to the show and also agrees to be the MC for the evening as my other MC
calls and backs out do to a film he’s shooting. Timmy comes over and we drive
down to the Queen Mary together. We go down early to rehearse. When we arrive
I get a message from Jeremy saying he’s running late and I can get into the
theater to start setting up at 6. He then says, “And if the screen isn’t moved,
please go to the bathroom before you shit a brick.” WHAT!?!?!
GRRRRRRR!

We finally get in the room
and thank god that damn screen was moved. We then begin setting up and doing
sound checks. I must give a huge amount of kudos to “Musty” who really rose to
the occasion in helping set everything up for the show. Also raymond & scum
drummer Randy for bringing so much extra sound equipment. These two really
saved the day.

The show went well
despite a sound problem here and there. All the acts were great. The Mystery
Act was Tony Goldmark and Steven Banks taught a comedy music clinic. Steven
Banks was just truly amazing and I’m thankful every minute he was there.

After the show I was cornered by the
photographer that the Laugh Is Hope Club uses complained to me that no one was
taking her “prom type” photos. I could really care
less.

We will never do another show on
the Queen Mary. If we do it will not be in conjunction with Laugh Is Hope. I’m
not saying I was 100% free from blame in making sure things went smoothly. I
guess I should have probably been more clear about sound requirements and set
up, but Laugh Is Hope should shoulder most of the burden for the way we were
treated and the problems that troubled the
show.

What I’d like to do to avoid
things like this in the future is set up a B.O.R.E.D. Board Of Directors. A
group of people who each work towards a specific goal in making the show come
off good. One person in charge of publicity, one in charge of the venue, one in
charge of Artist Relations, etc.. In other words, I’m done doing it
myself.

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