Last night we played in Atlantic City, the first show of the last leg of the summer tour. That’s a very complicated description. I have never been to the actual Atlantic City… the beach and the boardwalk. I have been to the casinos before. My first publisher, Irwin, was quite the gambler in his day. He would arrange for a helicopter to pick the two of us up at a landing strip on the West Side Highway and we would zoom to AC and I would watch him gamble. As an apprentice electrician and part time songwriter I did not have a great deal of discretionary income to risk on the vagaries of the playing cards.

Irwin would play craps. I never understood that game. He would spread a whole bunch of money on the table and they would take it from him. That part seemed very simple. Every once in a whole he would win and they would GIVE him a bunch of money… and he would spread it around to other parts of the table and they would eventually take it away from him. They were quite insistent on that last part. Irwin lived in Brooklyn and his ¬†favorite joke was: “If I want to go to Atlantic City by road… they’ll send a car. If I want to go by air… they’ll send me a helicopter. If I want to go by boat… they’ll dig me a canal.”

We really like it when first shows go well. This had all the earmarks of a show that would potentially go well. It was a huge room…. about 2,000 seats. The problem is… as always… the casinos do NOT want 2,000 people sitting in a room listening to music when they could be spreading money around on a craps table. (see above) They put a strict limit on how long the combined BSR/Kenny show could be. They made it tough on us. The time was so short that there was no time for an intermission (no merch table for Georgia and me, so that means no CD sales.) There was also no time for the change over from BSR to Kenny… so they suggested that BSR just come out in the middle of Kenny’s show. That solution sucked in many myriad ways. The worst reasons it would suck?

1. My friend John drove in with friends and family (a two and a half hour trip) to see us play.
2. Georgia’s mother and sister flew in from Texas to see us play.

Not a good night to only be on stage for only three songs in the middle of Kenny’s show.

We cried. We cajoled (my, I’m using some bigass words today!).¬† We strategized. We came up with a plan. If we kept Kenny in the middle (we have Georgia on the middle mic on BSR shows to establish that this is a band of equals and not “Kenny and the….”) and if I did the show without a monitor on the floor in front of me (that means I will not hear anything the band is playing. I will be a disembodied voice floating in the void) we might be able to do a short opening set. Whatever.¬† Just let us play our six songs, cut down from eight. When this tour is over, no one will be able to say I wasn’t a team player. Hell, I’ll play for either team. Wait, that sounds like I….

So that’s what we did. We played a six song opener. It took a little while to get the audience to love us because the room was kept pitch black for almost the whole show and I really need to see faces to feel connected. Despite that, it was a lot of fun and our friends and family all had a great time.

I am looking forward to a normal sized show tonight at the Yonkers Racino. That is a combination racetrack and casino. Why they didn’t call it a Catrack I will never know. Tonight’s show hopes to be stress free and eight songs long. That’s the way I like it.