From: Kathy & Ken
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 16:09:59 -0700
Subject: The Last Friday the 13th Of The Century
(Dan at Freight & Salvage)

We tripped up to Berkeley to see Dan and the Warriors at Freight and Salvage, on the last Friday the 13th of the century. As you might expect from the date and the neighborhood, subterranean weirdness prevailed.

Since the Freight doesn’t serve alcohol, we first went to the same neighborhood gin joint that we hit on our last Berkeley visit. The clientele looked pretty much the same. In fact, they may not have moved since then. When I entered the Ladies’ Room, the pungent scent of El Smoko Ropo hung heavy. Not that this is a big surprise in Berkeley, but I grinned to myself and, out loud, said "Whoa!". The tokers and I were evidently separated only by a thin wall, because no sooner did I utter my syllable of amazement, than the sound and scent of cheap aerosol air freshener filled the room. Not that it really helped. Not that they stopped toking, either.

So after a drink and the contact high, we moved on to what should have been called the Smoke ‘Em If You’ve Got ‘Em Lounge down the street. Since the No Smoking In Bars law went into effect out here, there are a few places that get around or otherwise ignore the law. We think the bartender/owner was mildly shitfaced, too, as she had a butt smoldering at all times, and a bottle of vodka got knocked over by the cash register. The Ladies Room here was politically oriented, as the toilet-seat cover dispenser had inked upon it, "Dan Quayle Campaign Hats" and "Dick Nixon Ass Gaskets".

By this time we were definitely psyched for an evening of Dan’s music and wit, and we were not disappointed by either. The Warriors were Paul Robinson on guitar, Richard Saunders on bass, and Brian Godchaux on violin and mandolin. (Brian sounded particularly hot; so hot that at times, it looked like smoke was coming from his violin bow.)

The big CNN Factoid that day was that it would have been Alfred Hitchcock’s 100th birthday, so Dan was on it with references to some of the writers of the tunes he performed (Jimmie Rodgers, for example) and how old they would be now. According to Dan, Jimmie would have been 437 years old, and born "in medieval times", if he were alive today.

Dan introduced "Hell, I’d Go!" with a story about how all those sci-fi movies are real and that’s how the Martians learn about us. He commented that the phrase "Hell, I’d go!" sounded sort of like it would come from a redneck guy, not a more cultured kind of guy, who might say something more educated-sounding. Upon which one of the Martians would ram a long steel rod through his neck, and fling him up into the spaceship.

It was an F**k-this, F**k-that kind of night too, with a few choice F**ks directed at Private Music (the ephemeral label on which "Shootin’ Straight" was released, now part of Windham Hill) and the lack of income ensuing therefrom. Dan obligingly advised the audience on where to find F**ks on TV, like on Dennis Miller and "Sex And The City".

In no particular order, except to note that the second set was the "commercial" set, the band played:

*Topsy/Swing 42
*Strike It While It’s Hot
*Long Comma Viper
*Crazy (‘Cause He Is)
*Caravan/Four Brothers
*Capo On My Brain
*It’s Not My Time To Go
*The cello song, I think it’s called Why Won’t My Cello Play For You?
*Hell, I’d Go!
*I Get The Neck Of The Chicken
*Is This My Happy Home?
*Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy
*Humming To Myself
*Who Are You?
*Reelin’ Down
*Peach Picking Time In Georgia
*I Scare Myself
*Give Me The Simple Life (encore)

During "I Get The Neck Of The Chicken", Dan played the snare drum. Instead of singing the straight line, "I get the hair on my plate", he sang instead, "I get the hair in my pie", which he followed with a rim shot. He was in high form all night, both musically and comedically.

Mention was made during the show of the upcoming record; I think we can assume that "Strike It While It’s Hot" and the Cello song will be included on it. We think it’s likely that some work was done on the record while Dan was on his recent Southern California swing.

Jill Carole (Paul Robinson’s wife) will be at the Freight next month, opening for Al Stewart. We’ve ordered tickets and are looking forward to it. We saw Paul perform with Al in Houston a couple of years ago, and hope that he will be working with Al for this show.

Kathy & Ken