Friday, August 22, 2008

The best gigs never get listed on the itinerary

A retired cop who drinks at The Tap Room once told veteran barkeep Paul Jensen that the amazing thing about police work is "the stories you don't read in the paper."

That's probably an amazing thing about many vocations. The working musician definitely learns that the real glory of making music is seldom represented in print, and the best gigs are almost never the ones listed on the tour itinerary.

Paul Jensen was just telling me about his last trip to Alaska. His buddy, the brewer and master taster Mark Naski, was entertaining his fellow alumni from The University of Helsinki. Naski knows some of the St. Louis music scene old guard from hanging around Paul Jensen, so he thinks to invite Tom Hall and Charlie Pfeiffer up to perform at the U. Helsinki reunion.

Jensen said, "So I call Tom Hall and say, 'We're going to fly you and Charlie up to Alaska to play for us two nights.' They went, 'Wow.' I pick them up at the airport in Anchorage. They say, 'We can't believe this is happening.' I drive them three hours deep into Alaska, through the mountains. I'm thinking, 'This is neat, this is cool.'"

Jensen and Naski are now partners in The Stable, at Lemp and Cherokee in South St. Louis. I am cohosting a Taste for Tunes benefit dinner for KDHX Community Media (that's 88.1 FM on the STL dial) at The Stable, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9. All invited.

Tom Hall donated an experience (he plays your next barbecue, if he gets a few cold ones and a supper plate) to the 2007 Experiential Auction. SAVE THE DATE: The 2008 Experiential Auction is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21 at The Atomic Cowboy, on Manchester in The Grove. Keep your eyes peeled for announcement of auction items (Eugene B. Redmond tour of The Katherine Dunham Center, horseback riding in Rolla with Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a custom case of homebrew in bottles with your face on it, a tour of The Old Courthouse from Dred Scott's great-great-granddaughter ...).


Picture is of Tom Hall playing music at the grave (well, one of the putative graves) of Robert Johnson. Pic by me, from Tom's first trip to Mississippi, ca. Back In The Day.

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