the VII. Coffee Shop, S. Florida. February 20, 2013.
The Day of the Presidents
you ever had one of those days, that wherever you go you feel
like people are staring at you and giggling a bit, and you start
to wonder what's going on--are you imagining it or is it really
happening? You start to get a little paranoid, maybe. Then a breeze
hits you in the face, and the place where your underwear would
normally be but because today is the first day back from a tour,
and you're doing laundry, and went commando to go grocery shopping,
and you suddenly realize the wind is hitting you where it can
because your zipper's down. Has that ever happened to you? Have
you ever experienced one of those days? Nah, neither have I. Just
Winter Tour, Part I, hath endeth, and on a very upward note. The
band back-ended the first leg of the winter tour with 10 shows
in 11 days. That's a lot of shows. On Sunday, February 17th, everyone
in the band and crew went the four points of the compass out of
Atlanta. Some drove, most flew, in search of much needed rest.
Even the previous four days seem a blur, now. moe. doglegged through
the southeast and left 4 great shows in its wake at the historic
Bijou Theater in Knoxville, the Lincoln Theater in Raleigh, the
Fillmore in Charlotte, and the legendary Tabernacle in Atlanta.
It's a good feeling to watch moe.rons, young and old, old and
new, pack into theaters to see and hear some of the best music
this country's got to offer. It hit home for me in Atlanta, sometime
during the first set, when I walked out from backstage, and looked
up at a sight to see: the floor and double balconies at the Tabernacle
filled up to the hilt with smiling faces. That's a lot of good
karma, there, moe.rons!
of which, you'll be happy to hear, how much the folks who work
at the theaters have a genuine affection for you, the average
moe.ron. I hear it directly from the people at the venues. They
like "our" fans, I'm told. Apparently, "we"
shatter stereotypes they hold of the average rock concert goer.
I guess it's not that often they deal with hard-drinking, chain-smoking,
music-loving, hedonistic, pacifists, who stumble in, stagger out,
and tip handsomely. So, mi amigo.moe.litos, not only do you have
exceptional taste in music, you're very well-liked and welcomed
wherever you go to see moe. Of course, I've known that all along.
I've had the pleasure of getting to know many of you over the
years, at least your smiling faces, as a merch-toting, book-hawking,
slob. So keep up the good work.
meantime, I'm kicking back, chillaxing, and catching up on reading,
writing, and cigar smoking. I was gonna go to the bank, but I
can't. It's the third Monday in February, Presidents' Day, a Federal,
and therefore, a bank holiday. The thought of which, has really
got me percolating about reason 4,573 of why the country's gone
to shit. Once upon a time, there used to be two days off in February,
associated with two American Presidents, Abraham Lincoln (February
12) and George Washington (February 22). The holidays were unofficially
collapsed into a single day in 1971, under something called the
Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Contrary to popular belief, US Postal
Workers were not the driving force behind the "Saint Monday"
holiday scheme (there are 5 of them), they were only beneficiaries.
No, the Act was a marketing concoction of the national travel
industry's lobby. As a result, Washington's Birthday, now called
Presidents' Day, officially moved his birthday from February 22
to the third Monday in February, which meant that Washington's
Birthday would never again be celebrated on his birthday. More
sadly, the observance of Lincoln's birthday-the President whose
will and leadership saved the country-and because of that, is
widely recognized as the nation's greatest President-would soon
become as relevant as Warren G. Harding. I could go into a rant
about how, over 40 years later, in a microcosm, Presidents' Day
has come to symbolize a radical mind-shift away from people thinking
about civic responsibility and history, to conspicuous consumption
and spending on anything and everything travel--cars, planes,
gasoline, destinations, shopping, self-absorption--the usual.
Or that when the passage of the Uniform Holiday Bill occurred
it was done during great social conflict and war, when Americans,
civilians and soldiers alike, were being bombed, shot at, and
killed, at home and abroad, over said conflict and war--in Southeast
Asia and on American college campuses and public buildings. (And
you think Congress is oblivious now?) Today, George Washington
is a caricature for ad campaigns, and Abraham Lincoln is so far
gone, well, it's like this-there are people going to see the movie,
Lincoln, who: a) have no idea how it ends; or b) think
it's a movie about hot rods. Okay, maybe "b" is a little
too cynical. But let me add this: Before, when there were two
holidays in February, most people, if they took either of those
two days off, thought about two great American Presidents at least
once during the day. But now, after 40 years, the only people
who have the 'holiday' off are the moneyed interests: the banksters,
Wall Street, and Government. Otherwise, you're either working,
unemployed, or happen to have the day off (like me), and at some
point today, will probably curse the American presidency for it.
all I gotta say, except, if you don't believe me, go ask yo' mama!
Oh yea, that and enjoy the break!