Laundromats and rock stars! No this is not a title to a Beck song. Before I go into why this is so bizarre and important I want to tell you a story of what happened to me back in 2007. On a thursday night at 11 pm the phone rings. Its an old friend of mine: Bob Medeiros.
He asked, "Mike, can you do a last minute gig?"
"Where?" I asked
In a cheerful tone of voice he said,"At a Laundromat in Oakland called Norge Laundry."
Without hesitation I said yes for 2 reasons. My chops were down and there is nothing like the unknown to keep you on your toes. Laundromat . . . Oakland . . . Anything could come from this. Within 2 minutes I was on the phone with a woman named Genny the owner of the place.
" What do you want me to wear?" I asked
"Just don't come naked, thats all I ask."
Who the hell is she to tell me not to come naked?
I played the gig and went home scratching my head about the situation. When I ran into Bob on facebook a few years later he was telling me how the shows at the Laundromat were a monthly thing featuring other artists. In June, Bob wanted to do a music festival at the Laundromat called "The Festival Of Suds." The first festival at a laundromat that I know about. On the bill were Bobs band The Clarences, Stallones Holy Roller, Paul Pot from the Happy Clams, Blake Jones & Trike Shop, me, The Tinnitans, and last but not least Tina Turner impersonator Deltrina Johnson. The show got some press and word got around about the festival. A month later something amazing happened.... Norge Laundry wound up in East Bay Express' "Best Of The East Bay" as a music venue..... A Laundromat!
In the Bay Area I'm seeing more of these "Weird Little Places" to play. In my opinion its given the bay area some charm that has been slowly disappearing. Another trend that I keep hearing about that I would love to take part in are house concerts. Is anyone really reading this? Am I just farting my 40 minutes away? Did I tell you I'm doing research on the kind of shopping cart I want when I retire? I already have a nice little place under the overpass on I-5 that I like a lot. Though there are no restrooms for a good quarter of a mile I can just get a shovel. I'm really into the Dollar store carts. No one will steal them. Its like driving a Pinto and parking it in Piedmont. No one will touch it because . . . . Shit I'm losing my train of thought.
Speaking of shows, I will be playing at the Hippie Gypsy Cafe in Berkeley on October 13th with the Tinnitans. I will keep all my web pages up to date on this because I'm going to get some guest artists to perform with me. I'm now starting to make plans to do road stuff next year. I miss doing that a lot. I'm going to start out doing California stuff, then work my way to Oregon and Washington. More on that as well. I miss Hollywood a lot. Its Berkeley without all the protests. However, LA is like the Bay Area in many ways. When I go there I'm just another asshole with a guitar.
Im already planning the next blog but I'm not going to tell you what it will be about. I'll give you this clue . . . What do you get when you shine your car with roadkill? Sleep on that and I will get back to you soon. Goodbye turkeys.