The Concert Tour: Day Three, cont'd

  Oct. 18th, 1991 (cont'd)

Me Maws now relegated to memory, we report, for the first time, to work. Northwest Louisiana State University is a nice-seeming smallish college, and it is one beautiful summer, er, Fall day. Another disorienting aspect of a tour like this—it isn't unusual to be "season hopping": one day it's Fall, the next Summer, the next, Winter, etc. Especially when you're equipped to log so many all night miles, for days in a row. This isn't awfully disconcerting, but it does disrupt the continuity of the change of season.

As we have time, PLENTY of time, folks more or less go their separate ways for a few rare hours of "alone" time. I go for a jog, people take a walking tour, folks go back to sleep. Sooner or later the Kentucky Headhunters show up. Lead guitarist Richard Young enthusiastically greets me: "Man, Fred (the drummer, his brother) sure has been talking about YOU!" It's pretty clear he's mistaken me for Shannon; I fill him in.

We will be splitting a number of gigs with this hot-for-the-moment band; the Austin gig is a big topic of discussion. Aside from Danny's appearance on Austin City Limits, we're booked to play what appears to be a concert, at a place called the "Austin Opera House." Thoughts of 19th century-style opera houses fill our heads; an exciting prospect. This is Danny's first visit to Austin, home of a million-and-one world class musicians. Richard speculates "every guitar player in the world will be there."

Showtime. The first gig. Finally. (Hey—hanging around all day is hard work!) When your entire day's work is concentrated in one concert-opening slot, the operative word is give it all you got for every one of the forty-five minutes. In Danny's case, this means play loud loud loud, and hard hard hard. Consider that Danny's gig is always loud and hard; adjust your perspective accordingly.

Our set goes fine, though as typifies the fate of the opening band, it's tough to hear onstage. It's amazing that the poor acoustics and high volume causes it to be incredibly hard to hear anything, even someone as close as 5-10 feet away.

The Headhunters are enjoyable, plain old fashioned rock'n'roll with a Kentucky accent. They're a real band having cut their teeth in the bars, and hit the mother lode with their remake of Johnny Horton's "Battle of New Orleans." ("Well we fired our guns but the British kep'a'comin'…"). Just named the Country Music Association's "Entertainer of the Year," this band is D.N.C. (Definitely Not Contry). Their latest record is a blues shuffle remake of the 50's TV theme "The Ballad of Davy Crockett." All the better to match drummer Fred Young's wearing onstage of a genuine coonskin cap. (Which by the way, had sparked a little coonskin cap fad. They are on sale at the concert concession stands.) Fred does a 20-minute feature drum solo, John Bonham/Led Zeppelin style, and the crowd eats it up.

The gig done and gone, a little socializing later, they pile into their bus, we into ours, and drive all night to the next one.

Next: Day 4. Destination—the Great State of Texas.

Introduction || A Hot Band || The First Gig || Tour Plans
Day One || Day Two || Day Three, pt. 1 || Day Three, pt. 2
Day Four || Day Five || Day Six || Day Seven
Day Eight || Day Nine || Days 10-11
Epilogue || Feedback


© 1991, 1996 by Brian S. Alpert. All rights reserved.