... join a rock band. Or in this case, have a rock band from LA call you in Florida asking you might want to hit the road, as their drummer, about 7 weeks after you moved ... From LA to Florida. That's exactly what happened to me when this opportunity reared it's hairy, tattoo-splattered head. I became a quick fan, then friend of the members of 'Swamp Boogie Queen', while living and working La-La Land as, among other things, a studio and touring percussionist. Eventually, my brother, Brooks, became their Tour and Production manager and my Uncle, (a brother from another mother, my grandmother) Tom Larkin, was enlisted as Chief Audio-Visual Technician. I warn you, this is a very Forest Gump kind of chapter in my life with many unbelievable (a few untellable), but all-true tales from the road.
To my friends, bandmates / sister and brothers from other mothers: Abi Lenz, Todd Bishop, Dave Bell, Gus Hinostroza, Brooks Paxton, Tom Larkin, I miss crankin' it up and Goin' Big with ya. And to Sound Management, Phil Ramone, Chris Campbell, Kristine, Lisa B, a boat load more of the best friends and supporters in the world, wide world (you know who you are and I know what we did!), and all the fans then and now -- thanks for the memories. That was a rediculously wild and kickass ride.
Gus Hinostroza (SBQ's ivory-tickler and vocalist) recently resurrected some tour footage and got it on Youtube. He's threatened to get more up so stay tuned. In the meantime, The show below was shot during a tour where we billed with Lynyrd Skynrd on numerous dates, including this one in Richmond, VA's ampitheatre. We got to throw down with some big names, and a few of our musical heroes that tour, but the dates with Skynyrd were just something special in sweaty, dirty, down south kind of way. Thanks to all the LS members, crew and organization for letting us ride your crazy train for a few whistle stops. I'll be telling somebody's grandkids about ... most of it.
Just hours after this show was packed away, a few of us shanghaied one of the tour vans and put the peddle through the metal all the way -- way down south to Marathon in the Florida Keys to slaughter and devour some mahi-mahi before making an amphibious assault on Key West. We were going there on top secret business. You can see more of that sideshow here. Just make sure you check out this performance of 'Mr. Benjamin' first. It's a song about northern California and things thereof, as rocked by: Abigail Lenz - Lead Vocals, Todd Bishop - Guitar & Vocals, Dave Bell - Bass, Vocals & Rockets, Gus Hinostroza - Keyboards & Vocals, Sean Paxton - Drums, Brooks Paxton II - Production Management, Tom Larkin - Sound & Lighting.
Another Night at the Office on Tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd
We'll get more from the long-lost video archives. Coming up; more Swamp Boogie Queen, but that's not all. How about the Paxton Bros in the 1980's playing bass and drums in their parent's band? All's I can say is wait till you see the hair. Hey, Man. It was the '80's. Best excuse in the world. Bottom line, though, if it wasn't for all those years kickin' out the jams with our folks, none of this other stuff would've ever happened.
So crack something cold and wet, turn your speakers up to 12 and forget about everything else for a few minutes ...