I took the whole day off work so I could get some other things done before I used today as a travel day. I usually drive up after work but not today. At first I did a little Christmas shopping. I also bought Mrs. BassCliff a nice blouse (not pictured).
Then I took Big Betsy to get a bath.
And since I received email coupons for some free service, and I was driving out of town, I also took Big Betsy to get her fluids topped off...
...and she also received a free tire rotation and balance from where I buy my tires. Hey, they sent me an email reminding me of this free service. How fortuitous for me.
Big Betsy has a full tank of gas now too. It's time to head up over the Cajon pass and make our way to Las Vegas.
There was a little bit of traffic but not nearly the crowd I usually have to fight on the road. I made good time. I left the house at 3pm and pulled into Treasure Island before 7pm.
It was very odd. The valet has been shut down. I had to park myself in the self-service parking garage. I've never done that before. It's always so much easier to slip the valet a couple bucks and have him park my truck. Drat, this covid madness. Thank goodness the bellmen (bellpersons?) were still working. A nice young lady named Anita brought all my gear up to my room, bless her heart. I tipped her a dollar a bag because she picked it up from my truck and later delivered it up to my room. Before I checked in I parked and then made my way up to my room.
Look! It's a hotel room! In Las Vegas! It's been freshened up a bit. It's a nice room. I won't complain.
I'm on the wrong side of the wing so I don't have a view of the strip but this isn't bad at all.
After a nice bellperson named Anita brought up all my bags I needed to go hunting and gathering, beer of course. It's amazing how empty the casino is.
There is lots of plexiglass on the tables and every other slot machine is turned off for "social distancing". I even looked through the window at Gilley's. I guess they were dark tonight.
I got lucky during my beer run. The CVS next door to Treasure Island has a limited release Lagunitas brew in stock, the Little Sumpin' Hazy. I enjoy their Little Sumpin' so I thought I'd give the Hazy a try.
This is a terrific brew! It's light and refreshing, not too sweet, just enough bitter at the end, and just tastes great, even out of the plastic cup. (TI doesn't have real glasses in the rooms any more, probably due to the madness still going around.) Plus at 7.2% you are quite relaxed after a couple. That's all I need.
We'll have soundcheck tomorrow afternoon then play 9pm to 12:30am in the saloon. It'll be a acoustic, ambient-type show. The dance floor is closed and the tables are distanced, maybe I'll get to tell some more Dad jokes. The crowd loves my Dad jokes.
In keeping with tradition, how about a food shot? After I enjoyed my Hazy last night I realized that I had not eaten supper. So I wandered down to "The Sad Cafe", the employee cafeteria here in the casino. I was having a late supper so it was not busy at all.
TI is doing it's darndest to comply so they can stay open and take care of their people.
I asked the chef for some protein. He recommended the port chop and the fish. I needed broccoli too because there was no longer a salad bar. It was edible.
I'm sure this meal would've been much better if I'd gotten there earlier. It was tasty but a little dry because it had been sitting out under the warmer for a while. But I'm not complaining. That's what I get for eating so late.
When I got back to my room I noticed this mess was still in the hallway. Hopefully someone has picked it up this morning. I haven't been out of my room yet. I'm pretty lazy when I'm on the road.
If you noticed my room number you'll realize that I'm on the 22nd floor this weekend. It's been a while since I've been up this high. I think the last time was when the earthquake struck. Boy, THAT was fun! Here's the view from my window in the daytime.
I tried to take a picture to the left of this one, facing more West, but the screen material on the window doesn't allow my camera to focus properly. I like the geology of the desert.
Anyway, it's time to make myself presentable and maybe grab a light lunch before sound check. I will be right back with more.
Well, I didn't get an email with four songs I was supposed to learn. Trying to cram them now. Sound check was weird but we got it done. Friday turned out to be a pretty busy day once it got going. I slid on down to the honky tonk at the appointed time for sound check (3:30) and found a note from Gov. Sisolak outside the door.
Oh! The boots! Let me tell you about these boots. My dear Mrs. BassCliff met Arnie on his way up to Vegas so she could hand off my boots and get them here in time for the show. Mrs. BassCliff says, "You owe me something sparkly for Christmas."
Paul is in the midst of his setup dance. He's playing pedal steel and fiddle this weekend.
Our good friend Dave is playing drums and cymbals plus singing. Yes, it's the house kit.
Daniel gets Johnny's keyboards wired up. Johnny brought only half of us normal rig. After all, it's "ambient" music.
Here's a wide angle view of the overall mayhem that is involved with the setup dance here.
Here he is, the hardest working sound man on the strip, Daniel. He's a good guy.
Now we are ready to sound check, the masks are off.
Arnie and Paul wait for their turn to make noise for the sound guy.
After sound check I made my way to "The Sad Cafe". I think I'm going to stop posting pictures of this cafeteria food. The stir-fry broccoli and beef was pretty good today but, you know, it's just cafeteria food. But it's free!
The grilled chicken breast was good, the fried chicken breast was too dry. The black bean and corn "fiesta" was an excellent side dish. There was a little cheer in The Sad Cafe.
After my supper Arnie and I got together in John's room to run a few new-to-us tunes, a short but intensive rehearsal.
Then I put on my cowboy clothes and made my way to the stage. We are just about ready to put on the show.
Johnny Magic Fingers has to learn an intro right quick.
Again, Dave gives me the stick eye.
We had a pretty good crowd this evening. I took a picture of Debbie taking a picture of us.
Here's Johnny doing his boogie-woogie thing.
The band bellied up to the bar. We were just about to head up for the last set and I grabbed a selfie with the hairy legged pickers.
Our friend Gladys drove up to see us.
Our friends Debbie and her husband Dave also drove up to see us.
And just in case you didn't believe me, just ask my friend Andy or read the sign. "Ambient" music is the thing in Las Vegas these days.
Tonight was fun for the most part. Unfortunately we put a couple of songs on stage that we hadn't rehearsed and they were kind of stinky. Now that we have our rehearsal out of the way tomorrow will really be killer.
Just a few pictures from today before I put on my cowboy clothes to go play the honky tonk. I actually got out of the hotel today for some activities. Click HERE to see how much fun I had this morning. When I got back I went for a little walkabout to the mall next to TI. Here I am by the street entrance for Gilley's. There used to be shows several times a day with scantily clad sea vixens on that ghost ship who would take advantage of any passing pirates.
It's a rather subdued Strip these days.
When I returned from Christmas shopping I headed down to the Sad Cafe for a late lunch/early supper. Yes, it's a wild time as long as you wash your masks and wear your hands.
It was a slow afternoon at the Sad Cafe. Here's a little something special for the pulchritudinous Mrs. BassCliff that I'll put under the tree for her.
I know I said I wouldn't post any more pictures of this cafeteria food but it wasn't bad today, grilled chicken, fish, salmon croquette, Szechuan chicken, steamed vegetables.
I had to check my appearance as I left the Sad Cafe.
And like it or not, this is the view from my window. Mrs. BassCliff wanted this picture for posterity.
OK, one more ambient honky tonk night in Vegas then in the morning I'm meeting Charles for breakfast on the way out of town. Unfortunately Tony could not join me earlier today but we're making plans for next time.
We had a really fun Saturday night. We had so much fun that I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do, but you'll get the idea.
After a trip to a local range, some Christmas shopping, and an early supper, I made myself presentable again, put on my cowboy clothes, and headed down to the honky tonk. I saw this guy in the mirror on the way to the elevators. He looks like an old country bass player to me.
Johnny Magic Fingers and I are unmasked, ready to put on the show!
Arnie and Paul check their tunings and other such stuff.
The crowd started off a little light but got much better, as much as 23% capacity can get. It was a really fun crowd.
I talked to quite a few folks who were in last night too, and they came back! This was despite how much the band sucked last night. Folks were really nice when they said, "You guys were so great we had to come back again, and you were even better!" You know what I say? If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you do succeed.
I took a picture of the stage while we were on a break. Wow. Remember when we used to get the biggest amplifiers we could afford and pile all kinds of gear on stage? Neither the bass player nor the guitar player had an amp at all. But that's OK, the pedal steel player used two amps as did the keyboard player. They were small ones.
Our friends from the OC were here again tonight. Dave and Debbie brought the whole band Christmas presents. These two are really sweet.
While the band was bellied up to the bar, our new friend Missy let us know how much she was enjoying the show.
And what's a weekend at Gilley's without the old country bass player and a Gilley girl? This is Casey. She's a sweetheart, always cheerful, and very hospitable to the band.
Last night I played my acoustic Kingman bass. Tonight I played my Kiesel five string. It don't much matter since I don't have an amp anyway. Oh, look. There's Casey again.
The night went by rather quickly because I was having so much fun. This is my tear down picture. I put two basses in cases and I'm outta there!
When I got back to my room, shortly after midnight, I opened the Christmas present from Dave and Debbie. They do glass work and engraving. Look at this! My name is on one side.
And there's a P-bass on the other side. How cool is that?
And candy canes! Woo hoo! Here's the old country bass player himself, already in his jammies and posting pictures to the bass forum and enjoying the last of his Little Sumpin' Hazy. This is a good beer.
I think I hear the fat lady singing. Oh. Never mind. That's just the couple in the room next door. I'm going to meet Charles for a late breakfast on the way back home tomorrow. (Hey, it's my turn to treat!) Charles and I always arm wrestle over the check.
Let's say we put a cherry on top of this gig report. First, here's a Friday night selfie that Gladys took with the band in the background. She also took a little bit of cellphone video. Let me review that before I post it. We kind of stunk up the joint Friday night.
Then on the way out of town Sunday morning I met Charles for breakfast. We dined on the patio at EggWorks. It was almost comical to see the pigeons descend on a table as soon as the customers left. I said to Charles, "Those birds are eating eggs. Isn't that canibalistic?"
Charles is ready to pounce on his breakfast burrito. I hope he gets to it before the pups do.
When I have a big breakfast late on a Sunday morning I want a huge omelette with everything and biscuits and gravy on the side, lots of coffee. Yum!
It was so nice to enjoy something other than cafeteria food. Then I hit the road for the drive home. Traffic was light and I snapped pictures of a couple of interesting landmarks. This is the solar plant at Ivanpah.
There are three of those solar collecting towers but I could only get two in view. Here is the big thermometer at Baker.
Baker is kind of the halfway spot between my place and Vegas so I often stop there to grab a drink, stretch my legs, make a pit stop, etc. This trip I didn't stop at all going or coming, drove straight through and made good time both ways. I pulled up to my house three hours and twenty minutes after having had breakfast in Las Vegas. Big Betsy did great getting over twenty five miles per gallon.
We've been contacted to play at Gilley's again in February (5th and 6th?) and again in April. We'll firm it up soon. So Andy, Charles, Tony, I hope to see you guys soon. Yay band!
EDIT: I thought we had a NYE gig. Well, we were offered a gig but it's 95 miles away and Arnie did not want to be out at 3am on New Year's Eve so he turned it down. If the $$$ was decent I probably would've done it, but that's OK. I'll stay home and bang pots and pans at midnight with my family.
Thank you for your indulgence,