Pete's Blog

The Triple Door

The Triple Door is a big deal - proscenium arch, monitors set flush in the stage floor, a lighting director asking how much fog you want from the fog machine, a stage manager with a headset taking you to your place and running cues with the LD and the sound guy. And all those seats to fill. This last was my biggest concern beforehand but we did okay, better than okay for a Tuesday night. I'd call it two-thirds capacity - not too shabby at all. The show was called the Fast Folk Revival (Jack Hardy told me it was okay by him if we used the name) and we tried to harken back to the annual FF shows they used to have at the Bottom Line in New York. The idea was to hear from seven Seattle songwriters in two sets with me talking in between about the old days. I also began the proceedings with a song I'd written in the FF days ("Restless Youth in Chinatown") and ended them with one from lately ("From the Island"). The crew was Carrie Akre, Erin Corday, Eric Miller, Megan Peters, Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (Holly did most of the work), Jeremy Serwer, and Kym Tuvim. I told some jokes, reminisced about Village characters like Dave Van Ronk and Howie Wyeth, plugged Suze Rotolo's book "A Freewheeling Life," and pontificated about songwriting. A more or less typical remark in that vein was, "A good singer-songwriter can follow any act in show business. A good singer-songwriter can follow Wrestlemania." A lot of what I said was stuff I've written here. I had a script prepared and took it onstage with me at the outset, but I found I couldn't really get the performance out over the footlights looking down at the paper so after that I just studied the next set of remarks backstage and then went out and extemporized. That worked better. I don't think I've ever spent so much time standing in front of an audience without a guitar, just talking. It felt quite strange, and I find I'm unable to remember much of the music that went on, but from the audience reactions afterwards it seems that the whole show worked pretty much just the way we wanted, which is satisfying. Lots of friends were there. Greg Hoffer wore his red T-shirt. Stephan and Margot, Pete and Jackie, Saffy and Evan. Will Geuble missed the first ferry, took the next, and then ran the half-dozen blocks to the venue - what a guy! Karen looked utterly beautiful, like a cameo. I kept noticing her at ringside and losing my train of thought. Someone forgot to tell her that family sits in back.

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