Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Strangest Gig


For quite a while, The Kingston Trio has been enjoying wonderful concert experiences. During the past few months we have toured extensively through Northern California, Oregon and Washington with The Brothers Four. We met and sang for many delightful and delighted fans in Wisconsin and Texas. And we spent three beautiful days at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and a week at The Riverside in Laughlin, NV.

As I write this I am sitting in my hotel room in Oklahoma City, OK where we just finished performing a private show for the Metropolitan Association of Realtors at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. This was truly one of the strangest gigs we’ve done in many years.

First, the Museum is a beautiful facility which I urge you to visit. I recommend it as worthy of a vacation destination. It contains a fascinating display of Western culture, including the beautiful sculpture by James Earle Fraser entitled "The End Of The Trail" (see attached picture). Not to belittle this sculpture, but it certainly mirrors the way I felt after this show.

We were scheduled to perform a little before noon for this private gathering. We were asked to simply walk on stage at 11:15am, without an announcement since all the attendees were aware that The Kingston Trio would be performing. When we walked onto the stage, we saw that the room was set up to seat around 300 people at dining tables. Most of the tables were empty and there were maybe fifty people just wandering into the room. We finished our opening song, Darlin’ Corey, and were immediately approached by a lovely couple who were intent on showing us their High School yearbook, showing a photograph of Bob/Nick/Dave when they performed in Oklahoma City in the late ‘50s. That halted the show for about three minutes, but really didn’t permit too many more people to filter into the room.

As we continued the show, people drifted to seats and began chatting amongst themselves. Occasionally somebody would turn to us and smile, as if to say “Good boys.” Occasionally there was a smattering of applause. Occasionally a waiter or waitress would pass in front of us and look up, as if to say “We’re in the same boat: ignored.” As requested, we finished exactly at noon, and received no more applause to our departure as we did for our initial appearance.

What a mystery: why spend the money for entertainment such as us, only to disavow the novelty of having The Kingston Trio?

At this point we are all going home through the Christmas holidays, and will give our last performance in Billings, Montana on New Years Eve. I certainly look forward to ending 2008 with a wonderful concert there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Under Blue Skies

It’s lovely up here. We’ve officially been in the Northwest since the first of October and it just grew more and more beautiful the farther North we went.

Salem and Medford were the small towns, but we met with friends and made a good time of it.

Portland and Eugene were simply beautiful cities. They seemed like pocket sized versions of San Francisco with clean and stylish downtown areas but not so removed from the countryside that you couldn’t feel the land and the clean air all around.

Communities invest in things that they feel are important, and it was apparent that the arts were important to the people up here from a look at the their theaters. The medieval style of the Elsinore Theater in Salem, the grandeur of the Schnitzer Hall in Portland and the emerald green interior of Sylva Hall at the Hult Center in Eugene; each one simply gorgeous. I tried getting some interior shots but the lighting just blacked everything out. You’ll have to take me at my word. Better yet, get tickets to a show and make a trip out of it. Just entering the theaters will be worth the price of admission.

We had a day off to travel to Olympia but have a show again tonight, so I’m packing up and heading out the door for sound check. Maybe we’ll see some of you there tonight.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

my first blog


Hi All,

This may be a wonderful alternative to my Concert Chatter, for which I have written nothing in several years. Concert Chatter took quite a bit of time to conceive, write, edit, and have it come out reading as though some thought went into it. With all of the touring the Kingston Trio has been doing for the past three years, I simply didn't devote any time to writing, and for that I have felt some guilt...........okay, not that much, but some.
This blog won't really take the place of a long, thematic piece like Concert Chatter, but it will allow me to spit out some short pieces and perhaps attach some interesting pictures.
I thought that since this blog site shows in its initial offering a memorial picture to our recently deceased friend John Stewart, I would attach an odd little picture that was sent to me quite some time ago, from back in the days of the Bob/Nick/George configuration of the Kingston Trio. You must look twice to recognize that there are four of us here. It's just that Bob is obscured by his own halo !!!
There will be more blogs here, especially if you guys seem to enjoy it.......or if I find it to be an easy place to gripe, complain, piss & moan.

George