Sunday, October 8
[Update re: John Lennon tribute show discussed below. The Green Pajamas’ Joe Ross was kind enough to let me know which musicians played on the various songs. Since I am lazy, I just copied his email at the conclusion of this post.]
Sunday would become the most intensely packed day of this trip…and most of it was cat-free.
After playing a little guitar on the Inn porch, and annoying some of the guests with an acoustic version of “Drain You,” I headed down to a bar called Buckley’s in Belltown. There, I would take in a football game, which started at 10 in the morning. That takes a little getting used to…drinking beer so early in the day.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a long-suffering Philadelphia Eagles fan, who began following the team in 1975 when it was especially horrid. I had found that a group of 40-50 Eagles fans congregates each week at Buckley’s. So, I took the light rail from Capitol Hill to Westlake Center, and walked to Belltown from there. As I neared the bar, I saw two Eagles fans in front of me, one wearing a Brent Celek jersey (tight end), and the other donning an old school Randall Cunningham uniform. They almost got hit crossing one street, so I couldn’t resist shouting, “Figures, a couple of Eagles fans causing problems.” They turned around, saw the bird logo on my shirt and smiled. New friends.
I chatted with these guys, Matt and Brian, for most of the game (which the Birds unfortunately lost, 24-23). About an hour in, I mentioned how I heard about a new Eagles-fandom documentary called “Dallas Sucks” (we fucking hate the Dallas Cowboys, by the way, and their cockroach “fans” who live in Philly but have never been to Texas.) Matt smiled and said, “Brian’s the director of that documentary.” Wow. So apparently this Eagles thing will end up on Showtime soon. Brian (last name Bennett) is working on a Sun Records piece now. Life can be so incredibly cool sometimes. (Here’s a link to a story about the project: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/real-time/Eagles-fans-raising-money-for-Dallas-Sucks-documentary.html)
(Fellow Eagles fans. From left: Matt Ferguson, Brian Bennett.)
After a bit of sulking following the Eagles loss, I headed over to get my burger fix at Two Bells Tavern. Jim Tillman from the U-Men told me about that place and yeah, their burgers rule.
Following that, it was off to Fremont to meet my writer friends Dave O’Leary and Clint Brownlee. Dave has written two fantastic novels: Horse Bite and The Music Book. Both are semi-autobiographical pieces centered around Seattle music, love, and coffee. I met Dave in 2011, during my book launch, which was about a week after Horse Bite came out. Both of these guys are the among the coolest people I know. Clint is working on a novel, and I’m excited to see how that comes out.
We met up at a Fremont bar called the George & Dragon, which is a pretty authentic English pub (except they wait on you and the beer is cold), owned by someone from the UK. It’s funny…I’ve only met Clint & Dave a few times, but they feel like old friends. When we get together, it seems like no time has passed, even though it’s been over a year. I wish I could hang out with them more often. Good people.
As it started to get late, Clint had to leave, and Dave invited me back to his place to watch the first debate. Sounded great…hang out, make fun of Trump, and enjoy some homemade lasagna. That was until I walked in the door. Guess what Dave has? That’s right, a cat. So, I had to leave. Again, why oh why does everyone in Seattle own a cat?
I headed back to Capitol Hill and grabbed a tuna sub at Subway for dinner. It reminded me of why I don’t eat at Subway. It sucked. (By the way, we call them hoagies in Philly. Don’t ask for a “sub” here.) But things were about to get better.
Over in West Seattle at a small bar called the Parliament Tavern, a group of musicians gathered together to put on a tribute show to John Lennon, as Sunday was his birthday. Leading the group were two stellar long-time Seattle players: Joe Ross of the Green Pajamas and John Olufs of Red Dress. Early Green Pajamas…we’re talking 1984…were heavily influenced by the Beatles. Red Dress, well I’ve written a lot about them on this blog. They are kind of like James Brown meets Frank Zappa, played with sort of a Band aesthetic.
(Joe Ross of the Green Pajamas [second from left], and John Olufs of Red Dress, lead the John Lennon tribute show.)
The band offered up the Beatles repertoire more or less chronologically. The crowd of course loved it and sang along because: a) you’ve got some of the best musicians in Seattle playing it and b) it’s the freaking Beatles. Joining Joe and John at different times were James Burdyshaw, of the 64 Spiders and Cat Butt. James did a nice acoustic version of Dear Prudence, then went electric and killed it on Yer Blues.
(James Burdyshaw of 64 Spiders and Cat Butt performing “Dear Prudence.”)
One of the many highlights of the evening happened when the stage was cleared for Laura Weller-Vanderpool and Bonnie Hammond, also known as Capping Day. Capping Day had some wonderful songs in the late ’80s, done in sort of an Indigo Girls harmony style…none better than “Mona Lisa.” Anyway, they did “Across the Universe,” which actually brought tears to some of the fans. I was sitting with Chad Channing from Nirvana, who said it is his favorite Beatles song.
(Capping Day plays “Across the Universe.” From left: Bonnie Hammond and Laura Weller-Vanderpool.)
The band played a little past midnight. Such a wonderful way to conclude this trip…well, pretty much conclude. Monday would turn out to be a chill day before catching an early flight home on Tuesday. To repeat my Facebook post, I want to thank everyone for another fantastic Seattle visit. I look forward to seeing you again next year.
(Looking out across the water from Fremont.)
Update: List of players in John Lennon tribute show, from Joe Ross FB message.
The core band, besides me and John, was Kelly Van Camp on drums and Sean Wheatley on bass. Other guests up were: Mike Geglia and his son Mike jr., also Bill Preib did I’m only sleeping and Rachelle Write did I call your name.