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Road Diary
on tour with moe.
by John Derhak

Entry the VII. Coffee Shop, S. Florida. February 20, 2013.
Winter Tour Breaks
and The Day of the Presidents

Have 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 wondering.

Anyway, 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!

Speaking 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, 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.

In the 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.

And that's all I gotta say, except, if you don't believe me, go ask yo' mama! Oh yea, that and enjoy the break!