Tell us a story, Auntie Wordsmith!
Once upon a time some really weird sh** happened.
You can't have spent so darn much time in cars, vans, motorhomes, tour buses, airplanes, taxis, trains, subways, shuttles and ships without racking up a tremendous load of you'd-never-believe-it tales.
Scroll down if you dare.
And for those of you brave enough to contribute your own, send it to us below.
Friends in High Places
Yeah, we hobnobbed with the leader of the free world, what of it?
Truth be told, our involvement in the Clinton campaign and his first inauguration remains one of the highlights of our career. It all came about when our publicist was contacted by the then-candidate's away team, looking to incorporate local bands with large followings into rallies...in this case East Lansing and Ann Arbor. While we had relocated to the east coast years before, we were still a big name back in Michigan.
We must have made a hell of an impression, both with the candidate and his team, as we were invited to numerous events, including the election day rally at Detroit Metro Airport, where we actually got some private time with Bill (as well as Leon Spinks and Ted Koppel). We all had a few laughs together. Bill was kind enough to sign a few of our instruments.
But the real thrill was yet to come: a personal invitation from the President to perform at his inauguration, first 'on the mall' alongside Taj Mahal, Fleetwood Mac and a host of others, then at the Faces of Hope Ball, where we shared the stage with Ben E. King and some of the E Street Band.
Along the way we became good friends with some of the campaign staff, many of whom attended our Halloween show at the Majestic Theater in Detroit. Strangest moment: when drummer, Scott Culling, recognized a hometown friend - as a Secret Service agent! Turns out that the secret service road life had more than a few things in common with a touring band. Whoda thunk it?
Invading The Thanksgiving Day Parade
If Santa had known what we were up to, we'd've gotten the lump of coal.
Early 90's, Youngstown, Ohio. B(h), awaking on Thanksgiving morning after a rip roaring show the evening before, heads back to the club in order to load out and head to our next gig: Thanksgiving evening in Detroit. On our way outta town we are stopped by police barricades and impatiently watch the local Thanksgiving parade strolls by, blocking our exit. Immediately following the last float - Santa himself, of course - we file neatly behind, and in a fit of mischief, we become the last float with Word E. Smith in his 'Santaman' garb, waving to all the confused kids and parents. Things get creepier when Joel dons a Jason-esque hockey mask in the front seat. Strangely, we completely got away with it. Later we heard it made the local news. Youngstown always was a wonderfully demented place.
Our Beloved Mascot, Irie
If you knew this band personally, then you knew our pooch, Irie, a border collie/lab mix with more brains and personality than most humans. She may have come our way via Wordsmith, but in no time flat she had 7 dads. She literally traveled with us everywhere, both as canine pal and guard dog. More than once we returned to the van only to find a broken window...but nothing missing - and her sitting patiently. Needless to say she could be as threatening as those big fangs and jet black coat could afford. Check out our Conan appearance to see her in all her been-there-done-that charm. That episode, shot during Conan's debut season, actually was replayed 4 times, mostly because the producers loved the dog. She was known to play catch until she collapsed, loved the beach and sand, and always seemed to have a good nuzzle ready after an exhausting night's work.
The Price of Fame
Sometimes ya gotta warm up for the Fabulous Shitheads in order to get ahead. Sad but true.