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.