Friday, April 14, 2006

Eric Slick/Project Object on Tour - Night 2 - The Starland Ballroom

Robbie "Seahag" Mangano on guitar, Eric Slick on drums, Dave Johnsen hidden back there on bass, and Ike Willis looking on while waiting to resume his vocals.

So last night Project Object played the infamous Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey and opening for them was the Mahavishnu Project.

Tonight, if anyone is in the Albany, New York area, they'll be at Valentine's and I wish I could make this one -- Ed Mann will be joining them on vibes and I've seen him perform at Toad's Place in Connecticut -- he is fucking amazing!

By the way, you might have noticed that the tour is being billed as "Project Object with Ike Willis". For those of you not familiar with Ike, I found a really cool wiki on him right here and if you click on the links, well, your jaw might just drop. Yep, my son is his drummer and what's really cool is when I met up with Ike Wednesday night before the show, his first words to me were "I've been waiting three years for this moment!"

Three years ago, Ike first heard a sixteen year old Eric play drums with the Rock School All-Stars at Zappanale 14 in East Germany.

"He's on the list!" Ike said to me backstage.

"The list?"

"He's going to be in my band. You mark my words. He's first on the list."

At the time, I was really thrilled and flattered, but Eric was just about to enter his senior year of high school and I was busy worrying about college applications for him and didn't take Ike's remark seriously. Har har. Like there was ever any doubt that Eric would go straight for a career in music and that despite the odds, he'd be lucky enough to see it happen. What was I thinking?

Anyway, I'm waiting to hear from Eric later today to find out how the show went last night and as soon as I do, I'll come in and edit this post and add in whatever interesting things he tells me. I know at World Cafe in Philadelphia the other night, tons of people asked him for his autograph and wanted their photo taken with him, and that was quite cool.

But an even funnier thing happened at the Philadelphia show I neglected to mention yesterday. I was standing next to a woman who was maybe just a little younger than I am and she was going on and on about how gorgeous the drummer was.

"That's my son," I said proudly.

"Oh really! Oh my god, he's so beautiful! Would you mind if I flashed him?"

Now any other mother would have been horrified, but I thought it was hilarious.

"Go ahead," I urged her.

(She was not unattractive, but like I said, she was definitely forty something)

"My husband will kill me," she said, but her hands were already tugging at her t-shirt.

"Where is he?" I asked, because really, she seemed to be all alone pressed there front and center at the stage.

"At the bar."

"The bar is all the way in the back, he won't notice."

I am so, so bad. But it totally cracked me up that I was standing next to someone that age who wanted to flash the band.

She did it so quickly that I don't think anyone noticed but I did, I did!

(Thank god she had a nice body)

I see the Project Object website has updated their "Journal" link to include Eric, and since he's got his laptop with him and practically every venue they're playing has wireless, I'm counting on him to continue the family tradition of blogging and doing me proud.

Okay, so I'm the only one in the family who blogs but Eric is a great writer with an awesome sense of humor so I'm gonna be really bummed if he doesn't do it. Eric Svalgard, P/O's keyboard player, keeps a good one and he's Eric's roommate on the tour so here's hoping he goads him into it, too.

But truth to tell, they have an exhausting schedule and their shows are three hours long (and grueling because of the complexity of Zappa's compositions) so between driving hours and hours between cities -- I'm guessing the ride to Albany alone today is going to be at least four hours but I'm geographically challenged -- I don't know if that's going to be physically possible to do on a regular basis. Looking over their schedule, holy cow, they're even driving from Connecticut to Ohio to Chicago over the course of three days. So if Eric doesn't blog (sob), I'll understand.

And it's just another way Rock School prepared him for this. Christ, the Rock School west coast tour included thirteen hour bus rides with no hotels or showers for two days at a time over an almost three week period so compared to that this will be a piece of cake for Eric. And for Eric, that west coast tour was like the greatest time he ever had in his life, so I'm not worried about him at all. But I did go out yesterday and buy him every treat I could think of to take to him when I see him in Vermont tomorrow -- Kudos Bars, toaster-free Pop-Tarts (when did they come out with those?), Smart Food (the world's greatest cheddar cheese popcorn. Oh, if eating that only did make you smart and healthy. I could live on it, it's so good.) and a couple boxes of cereal.

What can I tell you? Despite the fact that I think I'm so cool and hip, what I really am is a neurotic Jewish mother.

So here's something really weird and if I were really a delusional fan, I would be reading all kinds of cosmic meaning into this but in reality, it means nothing other than a bizarre coincidence. When you go to Project Object's website you will see right away that the tour is called the "Mission Accomplished" Tour. Now I know the reasons for this but I'm not going to go into that now. Also, in my post yesterday, I mentioned that of all the bands in the world, Uberlord of Rock School Paul Green had my son's girlfriend Carolyn sing an Abba song when the Rock School All-Stars opened for Project Object Wednesday night. Fucking Abba! Yikes! (Though as I said, Carolyn was magnificent and she belted it out like Janis Joplin). Sooo....I refer you to Neil Gaiman's journal post of today -- both the title and content.

Ha ha - yes, we know. He's sending you secret messages, Robin. Now. Get yourself a life before you are wearing Depends and confusing the dog with your significant other.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to my trip this weekend. I've already gone on line and researched restaurants (ha) and much to my utter joy, found out that there's a world famous, award winning hand-cut french fry restaurant right down the street from Higher Ground, which is the venue in Vermont. I mean really. What more in life does a person need?

Heh. How about fresh Vermont maple syrup creme brulee? Trust me, I scoped out an awesome restaurant but hesitate to say which one it is in case I can't get reservations. Note to self: Do that now!