March 29, 2008 - THANK YOU Lansing!!
Amy Gore and me at Mac's Bar
In a typical punk rock move, I drove up to Lansing, Michigan on the morning of March 28 for my exhibit that evening at Mac's Bar and the rock show with the Gore Gore Girls and Chrome Spiders. Its a 537 mile drive from Nashville,TN, my starting point to East Lansing, MI. Yes, that's a work day of driving.
The weather was working in my favor. It was grey and overcast but warm when I left Nashville in a brand new sparkly green Ford Focus, a rental from Hertz. There was a little bit of rain - sprinkles mostly - in Kentucky (appropriate because "Kentucky Rain" has got to be one of my favorite songs Elvis Presley, the King of Rock n Roll ever sang). The drive is a straight shot up Interstate 65, where I passed all kinds of farms, barns and their associated animals. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to stop and take pictures of what I saw... but I was on a mission and stopping was not on the schedule... that, and I intentionally left my camera in its bag in the trunk.
The moment I crossed the Michigan state line, there was snow on the ground and it was a bit colder. Good thing I brought my NYC winter jacket! Michigan did in fact have some snowfall the day before I arrived and I was surprised at how much snow remained on the ground.
Mac's Bar is typical of a college town dive. The walls are covered with neon beer logos and photos of the bands who have played there over the years as well as flyers for shows past, present and future.
Rich Tupica, a student in Lansing, and big fan of punk rock and all my favorite bands, set up the show and he brought a few friends with him to help me hang up the pictures.
As always, I finally got to meet in person several people I know only via email - guys like Mikey and Dutch Hercules and Stefan "White & Nerdy." Nice to meet you fellas! And as always, I get a chance to hang out with my friends who live far flung from me, like fellow rock n roll photographer and April Fool baby, Windy Mayes.
The highlight of the evening was the wild rock n roll sounds of The Chrome Spiders and Gore Gore Girls. I've seen the Gore Gore Girls plenty over the years; they never fail to pull out all the stops, go to 11 and then some... but it was my first time seeing Chrome Spiders. Tom Potter is high on my list of men I call musical geniuses. I hope this band will do some shows outside their home turf of Michigan. I'd like to run into them all over the place the way I do with the Gore Gore Girls.
No night of rock n roll is complete unless there is a late night lagniappe of greasy burgers. This night was no different. Across a parking lot there's a 24/7 diner, to which three out of four Chrome Spiders, Rich and I decamped for greasy burgers and ice cold Cokes.
And as usual, this whole shebang is over too soon. After a short night's sleep, I was back in the car, retracing my steps down the Interstate, bound for Nashville.
Thank you Lansing for one of the best one night stands I've had all year!