July 27 2014
A day off in Denver. Last time we were here it was Slash’s birthday. This is what they call in the touring biz a ‘travel day’. We have to get all the way from Kansas City to Los Angeles so scheduled travel stops have been made along the way. Today’s stop being the great city of Denver, Coloarado. We got in this morning and we will be back on the bus at around 1am tonight. If you don’t sleep well on a moving vehicle then this may not be the life for you. I don’t sleep either way so it’s all the same to me.
I forgot to mention in my last ‘Catpain’s Log’ that the Conspirators got to take in America’s past time at the legendary Fenway Park in Boston. As is no secret I’m not much of a sports guy but I love the spectacle of seeing a game live. Especially in a town like Boston that is so devoted to it’s team(s). I really enjoyed that. I should do that kinda thing more often.
I also didn’t mention that while the Conspirators were doing all that Boston stuff our pal, Slash, ran off to Atlanta to hang out with the cast of the Walking Dead. Whaaaaat? So rad. He told me all about getting to hang at the set. Norman Reedus and he are boyz. I love that show. Season 5 is on it’s way. When we get to Atlanta I’m told that members of the cast will be coming to the show. Damnnnnnn! That is super crazy. Being Slash is pretty rad.
When I last joined you we were about to take the stage at Hard Rock Live in Northfield, Ohio. It was our own headlining show for a change so that was nice. We tore up 2 hours for the fine folks of the Cleveland area. Frank Sidoris’ family was in full effect. Frank’s dad, Frank Sr or Frank 1.0 as I call him, flew out to take in the show with an abundance of Sidori (plural for Sidoris). Awesome people. Killer show.
The next day was a trip. Slash was getting a ‘Guitar Icon’ award at the first annual AP Music Awards. AP is otherwise known as Alternative Press. It was being held at the ever so cool Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame right there in the heart of Cleveland.
I was stoked to shake hands with Joan Jett for the first time in my life. I am an embarrassingly huge fan of the diminutive Godmother of Punk. She was a doll. Slash would be sitting in with her later that night.
There was an insane red carpet to endure that was pretty much chaos. I was happy to get inside the building in the relative calm of the green room. Eventually Slash was gathered his award from guest presenter and guitar God in his own right, Joe ‘Effing’ Perry. That had to have been a huge honor for Slash. He never lets too much of his emotions be seen but I know that had to feel pretty damned good. Especially getting such an award from his boyhood hero, Joe.
After that Slash played Star Star by the Stones with Joanie but not before we watched the Misfits play. What a trip. I wanted so badly to go get my pic with Jerry Only but thought better of it. I didn’t wanna be ‘that’ guy. It’s funny that his bobble head has been riding on my amp for the better part of 4 years.
It was amazing to watch Joan. As I mentioned I am a massive fan. I have now met 3 of the original Runaways who have always been very dear to my heart. I’ve even played on stage with two of them, Cherie and Lita.
After all that we rode the bus back to our hotel with none other than Joe Perry. Sitting there with him is almost terrible for your ego. The man is just effortlessly cool. I may have thrown myself together pretty well (well, I really didn’t…) but I will never, ever be as cool as Joe Perry. Joe is old enough to be my father but couldn’t be cooler. I mean The Fonz cool. It’s inspiring.
From there we overnighted to the great city of Cincinnati, Ohio. I believe this was the first night we started opening the set with You’re A Lie. That has been our opener ever since which I think is a good, bold opener. It was our first single from Apocalyptic Love and did very well for us. Up to that point we had been alternating between Hard And Fast from Apocalyptic Love or Ghost from the previous solo album. I think You’re A Lie is the best so far until World On Fire comes out. Then we’ll have a plethora of things to choose from the 17 songs on that. Oh, I can’t wait for y’all to hear that!
Cincinnati was another opening show with Aerosmith. It is always a sobering honor to get to watch Aerosmith every night. Steven brings it night after night. Again, very inspiring.
Cincinnati rocked. See you in 2015, brothers and sisters
Then we had some time off in the great city of Chicago which ended up being an amazing time.
Day one was Slash’s birthday which was a blast. We just kicked it at a restaurant and showered the man in gifts. Steven was in attendance and as on fire as ever. The man is a super nova of energy. He’s my parents’ age but wears me out!
John Douglas, or JD as he’s better known, was Brent Fitz’s drum tech on our first tour back in 2010/2011 but he now works for Joey Kramer of Aerosmith. He’s a member of OUR family! For those that don’t know back when I was shipped home from Moscow with a detached retina it was JD who played drums in Moscow and St Petersburg while Fitz played bass. JD had been a Conspirator for one night albeit before we were actually known as The Conspirators. JD attended Slash’s birthday dinner and regaled us with tales of those doomed rehearsals with Michael Jackson that were captured in the documentary This Is It. A must see. JD was at that time working for Jonathan ‘Sugarfoot’ Moffat, Michael’s drummer. JD was there for the sad story of Michael’s demise. We had just watched the documentary the night before and were full of questions. JD is such a great dude and it’s nice to see him on a daily basis on the Let Rock Rule tour.
Slash’s was spoiled well as he should be. We are a tight knit family out here and we take care of one another. More than ever this team feels strong and very caring. From the crew to the band. I care about each and every one of these people. There is no drama, no dark negativity. Just a true pleasure to be around these people. I feel very, very fortunate.
The next day Frank, Ace (Slash’s guitar tech) and I went to see Jack White put on an amazing show at a theater I never retained the name of. Jack was on fire. Jack is one of my favorite artists. Whenever I see him I think of how I should have done things differently in my career. I admire the fact that he had a vision and stuck to it. I certainly believe there were people who would have told him that he should do this or that but he stuck to his guns and has managed to create his own little world. I should have listened to my own instincts more and to the opinions of people ‘in the know’ less. I don’t say this out of any dark regret. Moreso I say it out of a confirming rightness and a sense of ‘it’s never to late’. Life is funny that way. You never know what’s coming. I’m excited about that.
Jack was amazing. Jack was inspiring. The audience knew every word. It was a disparate collection of humans there. I expected it to be the hippest of the hipsters but there was every walk of Chicagoan from Led Zeppelin t-shirt and Budweiser in hand guy to Nickelback/Bon Jovi concert attendee cougars.
Ace said it best. He said the audience looked like a group of people you might see at a train station. Just a random collection of humans. I think that says something about Jack’s appeal. We had a blast. Stayed right through the 2 and a half hour show and I never tend to stay at any show that long anymore.
The next day we were back playing with our pals in Aerosmith. It is never lost on me how awesome it is to look over during our soundcheck to see Brad Whitford standing side stage watching. He’s always there. He loves music. He is genuinely excited when he gets a new guitar. I love that about him. That’s a true musician. We in Conspirators land are very much the same way.
The show in Chicago was awesome. We’ve been playing mostly outdoor sheds with Aerosmith which means we go on to pretty much daylight but that can be a lot of fun. Hey, I’ve never complained about any gig. I love to play, but getting to play to a crowd that size AND getting to watch Aerosmith on a nightly basis? It doesn’t get much better than that! Nothing I will ever take for granted.
Last night we found ourselves in Kansas City, MO at Harrah’s casino in the Voodoo Lounge which is bizarre to a Vegas resident as we are more than familiar with Harrah’s there. I even played a Voodoo Lounge in the Rio every Tuesday night for a long time before becoming a Conspirator.
This was another headliner show for us so that meant the full 2 hour show. Sweeeet! The show was amazing. I was instrumental in having a 1st rate, 4th grade dropout, jag-off removed because he was a little too free with his middle finger. There he was right in the middle of the crowd. For the first song or so I’m thinking, ‘Is he trying to express himself somehow? Is he handicapped and doesn’t know any better? Has he had the other 3 fingers of each hand removed in some industrial accident?’ Once I’m satisfied with a NO on all 3 of those questions I am left with the only option-This guy is a jag-off. I quickly nod to head of security and the guy is removed. I hope he spent $100 on scalper tickets only to be asked to leave after 3 songs. That would bring me great joy.
I completely forgot about that guy until just now. That’s the lasting effect that moron had on us. The night was amazing. One of the best crowds we’ve played to yet.
Then it was onto the bus and off to where I sit right now writing this. Denver, Colorado.
We’ve been having some issues with www.toddkerns.com so you may not get to see this blog for a day or two after it’s been written but I wanted to make sure I wrote one before heading back to the coast where life will inevitably be moving pretty damned fast. It’s moving pretty damned fast as is. I knew before even starting the tour that it would go fast. The tour wraps in September upon which time we will begin a flurry of activity based around the World On Fire album release in both LA and New York. By the time we take any sort of break it will be October at which point I’ll be planning Xmas holidays. In my head it’s already that time. Time to prepare for the onslaught of 2015. It’s only July and this is where my head is at. Slow down, brain.
As mentioned above I have no idea when this blog will be posted but we will get it up asap. By the time that happens it will give the illusion that the next one won’t have taken too long. It’s only been a week since the last one. That’s pretty good by my standards.
Alright, I gotta get ready to get back on the Enterprize to take me wesssssssst!
Your loyal and humble servant