Seattle Music Pilgrimage 2018: Day 3

Posted: August 17, 2018 in My Seattle-Related Concert Experiences

After a jam-packed couple of days, Sunday, August 12 offered a bit of respite. I slept in (till 7…hey, I’m old) and ventured off to get some breakfast. There are a couple of ballfields near where I stayed in Queen Anne, so I went over there to play guitar for a while.

Then I headed down to the waterfront to embark on a seaplane ride! I’d checked a bunch of other stuff off the life list: sea kayaking, white water rafting, bi-plane ride, hot air ballooning, skydiving, so I had to finish it off. As there are a ton of seaplanes coming and going from Lake Union, it made sense to try it here.

I scheduled an 11 o’clock flight with Kenmore Air, a company that also makes commercial flights to the islands and Canada. I headed down a boardwalk toward the plane. As I was first in line, the pilot asked me if I was alone. I said I was. “Ok, you ride up with me then.” My inner 12 year-old bristled with excitement. Riding in the cockpit with the pilot! So cool!

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(Our pilot just prior to take off.)

And it only got cooler from there. The pilot told me not to touch the window or the pedals in front of me and we began to taxi on Lake Union. It seems like you have to dodge boats and stuff to take off, but not really. The flight was so smooth, as was the landing. And to see Seattle close from the air! It doesn’t get much better than that. If you haven’t done this, please add it to your own list.

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After the plane ride, I decided to walk from the waterfront back to Queen Anne. It’s only about a mile or so, but it’s pretty much straight up hill. That’s ok, workout was good…made me earn my burger and beer at the Paragon on Queen Anne Ave. Excellent.

After playing some more guitar, I Ubered it over to the Conor Byrne Pub in Ballard for my Seattle open mic debut. A couple of friends stopped by which meant I couldn’t chicken out…although I thought about it. This open mic was quite different from ones I’ve experienced back home. I arrived about 6:30, with sign-ups starting at 7:30. A number of players started trickling in as it got closer to sign-up time. I had no idea how it worked so I asked a few folks sitting up front. They were super nice, telling me to talk to the host who would get me on earlier since I was a first-timer. The host, I forgot his name–sorry, was also quite gracious and handed me a small tile with a number on it. They call your number and then you sign up for a two-song slot. I went on at 8:20.

When the time came, I made my way to the stage with my baby Martin, my travel guitar. As I sat down to play, my hands were literally shaking as one of my friends in the audience was Love Battery guitarist Kevin Whitworth.

Played two songs: Led Zeppelin’s Going to California and Mad Season’s River of Deceit. I would say they were average performances but the crowd reaction was positive. I even got a “Yeah!” which is a good thing. (I’ve heard if you receive any combination of 17 “Yeahs!” and “Woos!” you get a Nick Foles bobblehead.)

Afterward, Kevin said he enjoyed my rendition of Going to California quite a bit, even more than Zeppelin’s version and suggested I record it. I was stunned, humbled and a little embarrassed. I don’t take compliments very well (I don’t take criticism very well, either.) I mean Kevin is one of my guitar heroes and for him to think I didn’t suck, well that meant a lot.

I took in several of the other musicians (everyone was very good), enjoyed a beer, and felt an occasional breeze coming in from the propped open door. It was like 60 degrees out. Absolutely delightful.

My flight would leave the next day, but I’d depart Seattle with a big smile on my face. I’d have to say this has been the best trip there ever.

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