"The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men . . ."

Friday, November 8, 2002: Lakewood Bar & Grill

This football thing is really kicking my ass. The Longhorns have played ten games in eleven weeks, and I have been to all of them. In addition, Diamondbag has played three Friday-night shows in the past six weeks. I've been to Austin five times, along with one-off trips to North Carolina, Nebraska, Kansas, and New Orleans.

"Wait," you ask. "Don't the Longhorns play on Saturdays? How do you get to the games on time?"

It's called sleep deprivation, folks. And sometimes it ain't pretty, especially when you consider how much alcohol is involved when you combine a Diamondbag gig with a 151-fueled Longhorn football game. But as Elton John once sang, "I'm still standing." And so are my Horns, by the way.

This last Friday, we played our second show ever at the Lakewood Bar and Grill. We've been looking forward to the show for a while, but when I booked it, I knew it was going to cause a nasty scenario for me. You see, the Horns were playing Baylor the next day, and that is not exactly a game that the TV networks were waiting in line to televise. Unfortunately, no TV usually means an early kickoff, and that was indeed the case last week: 11:30 in the AM. Ouch. In order to make kickoff, we had to be on the road Saturday morning after the gig by 7 a.m. at the absolute latest. That meant that I'd get at most three hours of sleep. But hey-sometimes you have to take one for the team. You know, play 'em one game at a time. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. Think about that.

Since I knew I had to be up before the crack of dawn on Saturday, I made a simple request of my friends: no shots, please. Everyone who has been to a Diamondbag show knows that I absolutely love my Tuaca. Ever since our first gig where the warm cough-syrupy fluid saved my flu-stricken voice, I have sworn by the stuff. It's become a tradition at our shows. This time, however, I wanted to take it easy. And I really do have to thank all of my friends-you cheap bastards didn't buy me a drop! You must really care about my health and well-being, and for that I am truly thankful.

Unfortunately, there were a horde of new Diamondbag fans at the Lakewood who didn't receive my "no shots" edict. I think I had at least four of five drinks purchased for me between the second and third sets alone.Sure, I could have refused them-but that would be rude, now wouldn't it? So in the long run, I was my usual semi-hammered self by the time we finished the show. I got maybe two hours of sleep before my alarm so rudely awakened me to leave for Austin. Damn you Tuaca, damn you all to hell!

So how was the gig anyway? Pretty damn good I think, if you discount the first four or five songs. To put it politely, we had "sound issues." In simpler terms, we sounded like shit. The Lakewood just got a new PA, and it was definitely not enjoying the amount of juice Diamondbag was trying to squeeze through it. After starting or stopping three or four times in an effort to fix the feedback, we were this close to calling it a night. But alas, the door opened and in walked two members of the Justice League: Super Kevin and Audio John. With a few twiddles of their lightning-fast fingers, we were back up on stage and soundin' good. Thanks boys-we owe you. Seriously. The check is in the mail.

Now normally, I provide a set list for each of our gigs so that you can look it up and go, "Oh yeah-they did play Copacabana, didn't they!" But this time, we have a problem. You see, I don't actually remember what we play after the shows-I make set lists in advance and keep a copy of them to remind me. Only this time, we had to throw the set lists out because of all the sound issues. We played a few songs twice apiece (since you couldn't hear them the first time), and essentially I spent all night just calling out song titles to the band. So in other words, I have absolutely no idea what order we played the songs in. Hell, for all I know we played Blood Sweat & Tears covers all night. But I do know that the crowd loved it and they danced and it was good. If you weren't there, you shoulda been-especially since it was the lovely Sarah's birthday. Happy birthday, sweetie.

Since the whole night was so disjointed, I will list off a few of the things I think I do remember. These events are not listed in order, and in fact I cannot confirm or deny that they actually too place. You see, I haven't slept since September.
  1. We played "Play Me" for the first time in months (by request). Thank you for asking for ballads. It makes me happy. We can play real purdy sometimes if you let us.

  2. Someone I didn't even know actually asked for "Desiree." Honest. No, we didn't play it.

  3. A nice woman named Rhonda bought me a few shots and made me sing "Help Me Rhonda" to her. Since I only knew the chorus, it didn't take long.

  4. Rhonda's daughter Amanda was very cute. Are all girls named Amanda cute? I think they must be.

  5. We ended the night with Mike singing "Sweet Transvestite" as birthday request for Sarah. Thanks Napo!

  6. Curtis bounded on stage to sing the nah nah nah nah's on "Hey Jude," and he was worried that I would be mad at him afterwards. He must not have heard the infamous Linda McCartney tape. Dude, you did great. Thanks for always coming to our shows!

  7. At least eight different people asked me how old I was. No one believed me. Do I really still look that young?

  8. We sang an impromptu verse or two of the Fat Albert theme song during "Brother Love." It was so fucking cool. Hey hey hey!

  9. Kris was not working (boo). But Bree was, and if possible, she might even be cuter than Kris! If this were Seinfeld, Elaine would be applying for a job at the Lakewood claiming discrimination.

  10. The best part: our friend Sandra (a big Neil fan) saw us for the first time, and we felt the love. That makes the lack of sleep more than worthwhile.

Until next time, boys and girls, I shall bid you adieu. Thanks again to those who came out, and we'll see you at the Barley House on Saturday, December 14. And don't forget about the No Commitment show at the Lakewood on Saturday, November 23!

Set One
A few Neil songs that essentially sounded like the Jesus & Mary Chain due to feedback issues.

Set Two
A lot of Neil Diamond songs that sounded like The Who because that's how we like to do them.

Set Three
What the hell am I doing up here? I don't belong here. I don't belong.here.

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