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Road Reports By Steven Sweet
El Passout , TX
Danville, IL Feb 2010
Jan. 31st, Clinton, OK
Year End Report 2009
Chicago July 4, 2010
Lawton, OK June 2009
Red Rock , OK April 2009
Clinton, OK Jan 2009
Denver, CO : Dec 2008
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Road Reports from the mind of Steven.

 


 

El Paso, TX

What the Fuuuuuuuhhhhh… I mean, Wow – what an awesome trip this one was! Now before I even get into details, don’t misunderstand me, the show in El Paso was great fun, the El Paso-ites were the best of-the-best people this side of Juarez and beyond! The story must be told from the beginning and with as much pleasantly worded tact as I can muster.


(Cut to Sci-Fi special effects – a blinding flash of iridescent light combined with an explosive high pitched roar cross-fading into a past moment in time where the clock radio at my bedside transmits Tom Petty’s familiar “Don’t Come Around Here No More”. The date is June 24th, the time… time to get up of course). I have just spent a whirlwind week-plus of spending time with my parents and younger brother who are visiting from Ohio, Mom and Dad are heralding their 50th wedding anniversary and we’re all proud of and impressed with their accomplishment. My Warrant schedule is beginning to pick up as more shows are booked and the summer is fast approaching. This particular morning I am ready to navigate my 1997 Toyota Tacoma (Ex-Cab and air conditioning are just a few of the star features of this trusty vehicle of mine) to LAX for our scheduled departure to Denver, CO and onward to Des Moines, IA where we are set to play the early slot at the Water Works Park annual Rock fest. The early slot was the key to this whole weekend playing out as planned for after the scheduled set wrap-up time of 1PM we were then to be off to the airport for a 10:30 PM show in El Paso. Some might say we were ambitious, crazy, and maybe even just a little bit optimistic – why not, we’ve done two shows in one day before, maybe not 3 states away from one another, but it’s been done nonetheless.

After having a bite to eat and final packing details are tended to, I am loaded (not “Loaded” loaded – I’ll save that kind of behavior for other “Rock Stars”… you know who you are!) and ready to hit the road for what promises to be a fun and lucrative weekend. I am literally 100 yards from the parking lot at LAX where we always convene for a road trip and my trusty ghetto sled… er, I mean Tacoma begins to shimmy and shake (not in a good way, as in put a quarter in the cheap motel vibrating bed control and lie back and enjoy…?). The light I’m at changes to green and I pull into the parking lot with just a little bit of worry about what my little truck might be trying to tell me. Not being a car guy, or a truck guy for that matter – I do what most people like me would do and choose to ignore and forget about this little warning sign, until further notice of course. (Flash forward past the 2-minute shuttle ride to the United Terminal and then again further past the tedious security checkpoint harassment and following trek to the gate). Our United Airlines flight is on time and promises to get us into Denver with time to spare before connecting onward to Des Moines (the last flight available I might add), still, no worries we are on time and on the plane and flying at a rather nice clip, thanks to the tail wind off the pacific coast (sometimes a little air up your tail is a good thing). United airlines have these nifty little LCD screens in the headrests in front of each seat so that you can conveniently monitor your flight progress, including, but not limited to, outside temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, speed of that tail wind I just spoke of, even ground speed which at this point was in excess of 500 MPH!!! There is also a GPS map of the flight pattern as well so you can make sure you’ve not been hi-jacked off course or something. We are about 2 hours or so into the flight to Denver when I notice the little airplane on my GPS map is circling right about the same time the captain comes on the intercom to say “Some of you may have noticed we have been circling”… uh, some of you? How about the entire plane is beginning to get dizzy from all the circling (not really). The captain (let’s just call him “Captain Connection” as in Mr. Connection as in further… MISSED YER CONNECTION) then informs us that Denver is now closed due to extreme wind shears across the runway and that no flights are going in or coming out until further notice. So we’re circling and circling to the point that Capt. Connection then comes on the intercom to say we are low on fuel and have been diverted to Colorado Springs for refueling along with at least 6 other flights. Colorado Springs, as we were soon to be informed, is a small airport not properly equipped to handle all these “big planes” all of which “apparently” needed refueling also (Hmmm, coincidence?). Just imagine a row of hungry elephants standing in line for food, which is then being delivered by a troop of short-staffed field mice, each of which can only carry a crouton on their backs before returning a country mile to the crouton store for another load to feed the hungry row of elephants. (It’s really a word problem meant to provide a comparison to our hopeless situation… there really were no elephants involved in our trip, or crouton bearing mice for that matter, although there was an eco-loving bird flipper… I’ll get to that later). 30 minutes quickly became an hour, which in turn quickly become 2 and then 3. After sitting for about 3 hours on the runway with zero movement or croutons to our elephant, Capt. Connection announces that to his “best estimate” we may be moving in about 15 minutes to “sit down and buckle up”… yeah right! Those 15 minutes quadrupled in no time. I then began to notice the crew shift customer service modes from, “can I get you some water” to, “I shall refuse to look you in the eye, even if your pants were aflame and your head was spinning around on your shoulders screaming for peanuts” (not meant to be an elephant reference but I guess it could work). The faceless voice on the loud speaker, our “Charlie” if you will, Captain Connection makes his final announcement “Uh, yeah, this is your Captain speaking (I’m gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday to finish up those PTS reports) due to FAA regulations we are into illegal overtime, anything after 4 hours (sitting on the runway) requires the plane be evacuated, de-boarded, disembarked, emptied out, get the “F” off!

So here we are in Colorado Springs, NOT Denver on our way to Des Moines as planned – in fact we long ago had missed our connecting flight - the next being not until later the next morning, too late to even make it to Des Moines to play our matinee show at Water Works Park. There was much ado in the terminal with all the displaced passengers full of questions like, who wants to sign a petition to file a class action suit? The airline assured us all that busses would be coming to shuttle everyone to Denver… NEVER HAPPENED! Mr. Dixon, our “General Patton”, immediately made arrangements for us to be picked up and taken to a hotel, as the 300-some other passengers on our ill-fated flight NOT to Denver were quickly ravaging accommodations and ground transportation. We had explored all options in an attempt to still make it to Des Moines some how, no airline schedule would suffice, we were considering driving the 10 plus hours through the night but that was risky at best. Resigned to spend the night in Colorado Springs, I braved walking down the side of the interstate to 7 Eleven for a 12’er to share with any takers back at the hotel.


Flash forward to the next morning where Robert Mason had just spent the night in Des Moines having arrived safely from his home port of Phoenix, obviously because his was NOT piloted by Captain Connection, OR his brother, Captain Connection (what?... they’re brothers, of course they have the same last name!?). Okay, maybe not his brother but his unmarried sister-in-law who also happens to be a captain, Capt. Direction (give it a second you’ll figure it out). So Robert goes to the show site in Des Moines to report that there had been rain the night before which meant there was some clean up to do the next morning as this was to be an out door show. After all was said and done the show was running late any how and it wouldn’t have mattered if we’d actually made it to Des Moines in time, the show was running late which meant we would have had to miss our time slot to catch the plane to El Paso (also the only flight out that day). Now rewind, but fast forward just a little through the night in Colorado Springs where the rest of the band, sans Robert are readying for our flight to El Paso which STILL takes us through Denver for a connection. All is seemingly well, we make it to Denver with nearly a 3 hour lay-over, with food, drink, some cigarettes are smoked, some World Cup Soccer is watched, I happened to eat a Quizno’s Sub at one point. Our flight to El Paso is out of one of the higher numbered gates, after some observation I believe the higher the gate-number the smaller the plane? Anyhow, we are in place and ready for the boarding call when they announce the flight is delayed by an hour. We are already cutting it close as the flight lands in El Paso with only about an hour and a half to spare before our scheduled show time. A half an hour passes and they then announce from our departing gate that the flight is then delayed another hour on top of the first one (for those of you counting that’s 2 hours later). At this point I think it is safe to say we were all thinking that we’ve just spend a boat load of money to fly to Colorado Springs, Denver then back to Los Angeles, for some airport food, drink, extra wear and tear on the old skeleton (a Quizno’s sub) and over priced Starbuck’s. Just when all hope seemed to be lost, there is a gate change announcement made for the flight to El Paso… could it be? Could this really be happening, an act of God, a gift from the heavens… you mean we are actually going to get to play a show this weekend??? YEP, no more Captain Connection – but Captain Kangaroo (It’s my road report, I can name my characters anything I want to, besides Captain Kangaroo rocked the 60’s and 70’s – plus, Captain Kangaroo makes it sound like we are just a hop away from our destination… okay maybe that was a bit much, sorry). The little plane that could got us from our big gate number to El Paso with only an hour to spare – it was to the hotel to suit up and 2 minutes later back on the shuttle to the gig where the stage lay waiting. “Speaking Rock” rocked… (Flash forward to after the show… we are asked if there is anything we need… cigarettes, cartons of cigarettes, more food, more drink, I think the accommodating nature of the tribesmen of Speaking Rock more than made up for the shortcomings of our Captain Connection and United Airlines – maybe I’m sugar coating the seething-disgust and hateful-loathing we felt at the time we sat like elephants on the runway waiting for croutons that never came only to be kicked out of the circus and left to fend for ourselves, wayward pachyderms without a big-top to perform. Maybe I’m not… we made it through the weekend perhaps a bit more forgiving of the powers of mother nature, perhaps more thankful for more important things in life, like being able to land without being sheared by wind and walk away body and souls intact.

Postscript:

After deplaning in record time, receiving all of our checked luggage in record time AND boarding the shuttle back to our cars/trucks in record time as well we say our goodbyes until next week, or show date. I see my faithful Pick-up waiting to chariot me home, the engine starts (eureka!) and I motor my way down the boulevard toward the freeway – only to get 2 blocks before the engine is in total seizure mode and white smoke begins to ceaselessly billow from the exhaust pipe. At this point I am stopped at a traffic light where before me is a Prius Hybrid (It doesn’t necessarily mean the person driving it is pro human, just pro earth) the woman in the driver’s seat turns around what seemed like a full 180 degrees (Linda Blair/Exorcist style) and flips me the bird. Now, I’m really not the kind of guy who resorts to hand gestures, or even honking the horn to express my distaste for what other drivers may or may not be doing with their vehicles or driving skills – but this to me was the icing on an already stale and moldy cake. Sooo… I effortlessly pulled out my 45 Gloc and shot through her back windshield piercing the frontal lobe of her brain splattering eco-conscience biohazard material all over the interior of her Prius! Quentin Tarrentino wishes he had seen the beautiful carnage I had wreaked so he could include it in his screenplay to Pulp Fiction Part 2! (Rewind that thought in slow motion) That’s what I wanted to do, instead I was forced to turn down a side street and call the Automobile club for a tow all the way back to the valley where I live. A $126 tow job plus another $2,280.00 in repair expenses later and I am happy to report I am going to trade my truck in for an elephant!

Thanks for reading, catch you all later on down the road, just look for the elephant with white smoke billowing out of its ass!

 


 

Danville, IL

YES I SAID AAAAREEEEEENAAAAAAA!!!

Wow, it's been a long time kiddies... I'm not sure I can accurately recount this trip without some major brain strain or trauma... oh yeah! AAAAREEEEEENAAAAAA!!! The David S. Palmer Arena to be more specific, in Danville, Illinois (say - ILL-ANNOY - not "Noise" although who am I to tell you what to do, right? I don't want anyone to go NUKE-YEE-LUR on me). The David S. Palmer Arena, named after... anyone, anyone??? Huh, huh? THAT'S RIGHT - David S. Palmer - who was in fact the Mayor of this fine city from 1975 all the way up until 1985 where he was impeached for improper use of hand gestures at a Bris (just kidding, he was a fine upstanding pillar of the community who had an AAAAREEEENAAAA named after him for God's sake).

As I said, it has been over a month and my memories are a bit cloudy although I do distinctly remember how friggin' cold it was - I woke up day of show, no not from a coma or religious trip but from a lovely nights rest, to go forage for food - something we do when the hotel restaurant sucks. I walked at least a mile over a bridge which spanned a freezing river, while Diesel puking Semis barreled past me kicking up all kinds of roadside debris, including but not limited to... old fast food wrappers, discarded and smashed energy drink bottles, I think I even saw a dirty diaper or two whirl around in the gusting after draft. As I walked with the determinant stride of the Terminator towards the Arby's sign yet all too far ahead, I had fleeting thoughts of being thrown over the low profile railing that remained all that was separating me from hypothermia (and a warm meal of Beef-like sandwich filling).


I made it to Arby's and as my band-mates can attest, ate twice the amount of any normal human (food that is, not human's... don't be insane?!) before returning once again on the treacherous path back to the hotel - after all who's to say when the next opportunity to eat might be - at least that's how I live MY life.

Something else peculiar worth noting (something ELSE? where'd THAT come from???) is that while on my way to Arby's I passed McDonald's and to my incredulous dismay saw something uncharacteristically McDonald's embossed across the entire front window. NO, it WASN'T Ronald, Grimace, The Ham-burglar, or any of the other usual suspects that frequent our favorite family fast food franchise (or, F.F.F.F.F. - "just for you Robert" - He has a strange affectation for acronyms? go figure). It was an otherworldly combination of "local heroes" by the likes of which I would have never thought possible could all come from the same breeding ground - no not McDonald's but Danville, YES, DANVILLE, ILLANNOY (NOT NOISE!). Since you're all waiting with great anticipation I'll tell you. Not only did I see a larger than life-sized photo of Dick Van Dyke, but his brother, Jerry too, and not only that but standing right next to the Van Dyke brothers was Gene Hackman (I KNOW!!!)
of course he starred in Hoosiers but who would have thought, right! AND that wasn't all, next to the three of them was also Donald O'Connor "film star and dancer" (Singing in the Rain AND Out To Sea). In addition to the already stellar line-up gracing the McDonald's window was Philadelphia Phillies, MLB player, Jason Anderson.... and then some Astronaut, I didn't recognize or find on Wikipedia. Another notable (as they say) from Danville is Jared Yates (c'mon, you know... 2005 American Idol top 12 guys runner-up/Entertainer/Recording Artist/???).

You know what, I just realized something... my wife is having a hard time getting the grill to light while I sit here and type away, so... I think she just burned her eyebrows off, I heard a loud "Pfoooommmmfff" and saw an ashy flash out of the corner of my eye and through the window to my left, the accompanying stifled yelp leads me to believe my suspicions might be correct so I'm kinda gonna have to go now - but let's do this again sometime real soon, okay?

What the hell, she can wait a moment while I wrap this up proper - The show was awesome, the crowd was nothing short of spectacular (love the mid-west, being from Ohio myself) or at least I remember it that way! Uh-oh, that stifled yelp I heard has now progressed to a moan-full whimper - I'd really better go and extinguish my wife's eyebrows now. Bon-Apetit!

 


Road Report by Steven Sweet, Jan. 31st, Clinton, OK "Lucky Star Casino".



Lucky Star Casino... what a misleading name... you would think that all of us so called "Stars" (Rock Stars, Movie Stars, TV Stars, Reality TV Stars, Child Stars... maybe not those, some aren't even old enough to vote let alone, gamble their life savings away at the Craps table) would have an inordinate amount of luck gambling at a place called the "Lucky Star Casino" but alas - what am I talking about, I don't even gamble anyhow. Scratch all that... let's start over.
ead More


You could barely hear the jingle jangle of overworked slot machines and raspy-voiced "cigar, cigarettes" coming from the even more raspy-faced cocktail waitresses beneath the din of the concert tent this evening. No we weren't inside the concert arena built as an afterthought to this Casino complex but a bigger than six ring sized, glorious white tent (complete with full on heating and cooling system, how swank). By the way, any of you who have read my reports in the past know that I just love to push the limits of complex sentence structure/verging upon "run-on" at any moment, as in get me going and I'll just run on like Forest Gump crisscrossing his way back and forth across America in the 1994 Robert Zemeckis directed gem of a film starring Tom Hanks as the enigmatic, somehow brilliantly zen-savant every-man, Forrest (see what I mean?!). I'm talkin' this tent was so big it could house likes of not only Ratt, but Ratt AND Dokken, and not just Ratt and Dokken, but Ratt, Dokken AND Warrant - a little misleading, not all at once mind you (that's what the trailers in the back were for), but one after another - hence the line-up that night. A virtual who's who of... well... Ratt, Dokken and Warrant, duh!



I had a great time, although as is with the Almighty's infinite design of the universe, we are eventually forced to trade the invincibility of youth for middle age and a bad back - my personal Achilles' Heel. As lame as it sounds, every so often I am afflicted with crippling pain while putting on my socks and pants... which as I am typing this am struck with the idea to just stop wearing socks and pants altogether - a little cold in the winter time perhaps, but a fair trade for fewer back pains, don'tcha think?



Anyhow, the show was a whole bunch of fun, thanks especially to the Percocet gifting Van driver - who nearly ran poor Erik Turner over by backing up while he was getting out of the front seat with the door still open - she'd had quite a few tablets herself turns out!



In closing, I'd like to leave this bit of Americana with you in honor of the great state of Oklahoma an homage to Rogers and Hammerstein's smash hit from the first time collaborators which produced the 1943 broadway debut musical by the same name - to be sung in the key of E Major with a "spirited" feel; READY?... I'll count it off... 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4: OOOOk-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain, And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet, When the wind comes right behind the rain - OOOOk-lahoma, Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I, Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky.

 


 

Okay so right away I lied, this really isn't a road report at all but rather a... I have been extremely slammed getting things ready for the impending doom... er, I mean holidays. Since you're sitting there (wherever "there" may be, home office, away from home office "yuck", in your car (keep your eyes on the road - fool), or sitting on the toilet with your iPhone (who am I to judge) I will indulge you with a few details about why I am slammed. I just finished painting a pet portrait for my brother's brother in-law to give to my brother's wife, my brother's brother in-law's sister, who is in fact my sister in-law - this was a huge undertaking as I had just finished painting a portrait for someone else just days earlier all of whom, wanted to give these paintings as Christmas gifts which meant they needed to be completed before I could (selfishly) leave with my family (daughter and wife) to visit my wife's sister and brother in-law, who incidentally also happen to be my brother in-law and sister in-law, NOT my sister... of which I have none - only two brothers, one of which you just heard of (remember the painting I just finished  which is also to be delivered to my brother's brother in-law's home so that he may give it to his sister, my brother's wife/my sister in-law, for Christmas) All of this has been somewhat difficult to orchestrate since my brother's brother in-law (from now on I'll just call him B.B.I.L. = brother's brother in-law) lives the opposite direction from where my wife, daughter and I will be headed for our Christmas vacation, which as I continue to type gets farther away since this year in review road report is just one of the things to get done, on my things to get done list before I can leave town. My B.B.I.L. lives not only in the opposite direction from where I am eventually headed, but is also out of town. This all means nothing to you I am sure, in fact I hate to bore you all with these little annoyances of mine, except that it is again, one of the things I have to get done before I can leave town ("type this" I mean, not bore you with little annoyances). My B.B.I.L. needs to approve my final work before I can even deliver this completed portrait/Christmas gift to his house (is there even anyone home to take delivery, I have asked myself over and over again). I also just finished recording some radio station I.D.'s and liner's (no, this doesn't have anything to do with illegal substance abuse) for Indiana's Y106 who is having a year end countdown of the top 106 Rock songs of all time - Cherry Pie is #91 incidentally, which is why I was asked to record a short introduction (liner) for their countdown. Anyone in the Y106 listening range be sure to tune in and hear me say... " Hey this is Steven Sweet from Warrant, let's end the year on a hard note shall we? You're listening to Indiana's Rock station, Y106 where we're counting down the top 106 songs of all time... now coming in at number 91 is a tasty little track called Cherry Pie... eat it up!" I thought I'd share that with you now, just in case you are nowhere near the Y106 listening area when the countdown reaches 91, or any other number (see, I STILL have time to give a little extra!).

 

Additionally, my parents are coming into town 2 days AFTER Christmas when I will still be out of town, they will be staying at our house which means the place needs to be cleaned up a bit, because let's face it, neither my wife or I like cleaning, in fact, if I could just take a hose and a leaf blower to my living room I'd be satisfied. (Okay, that is a gross exaggeration, I don't want anyone thinking I live in a pig stye, except maybe a pig because after all, I imagine a pig considers his stye quite a nice place to live and therefor would think that by my calling my home a stye, pigs the world over would be inclined to make a pilgrimage from the farthest reaches of the earth just to see such a sight, humans dwelling in a traditional Pig domicile. And maybe, just maybe these would be well to do pigs, or pigs of some higher stature within the pig culture, who might also be inclined to bring us gifts of great worth just to be in the presence of such humans.) Or maybe, now that I am out of that side note, none of that would happen at all. Life lesson: you should never do anything with the hopes of material reward - because you might wind up being disappointed that no pigs came bearing gifts and riches beyond your wildest dreams, but only mud and flies and a bit of a lingering after smell that takes forever to get out of the drapes... not a good thing when your parents are coming to visit, I'll tell you that much!

 

I do believe I have completely lost my train of thought, if there really was one to begin with. I'd like to close by saying that I wish each and everyone of you a safe, happy and healthy new year to come, together we can move mountains and...  (what the... I just turned into Oprah - sorry) Thanks to all of you who have stuck with us and continue to stick with us as we chug along - I promise good things to come from Warrant, better than ever things, in the year to come.

 

Happy New Year,

Steven

 

(Oh crap, I just realized I spilled the beans about my Sister in-law's Christmas gift from her brother... oh well, too late to go back now, cuz then I'd have to think of something else to ramble on about and I quite frankly don't have the time, as I am already one day past my intended departure date... see ya!)

 


Okay, okay so I'm playing "Catch-up" a little here being that it's now a couple of weeks later -  fact is I am finding myself challenged more and more by the prospect of keeping the reading interesting (and fresh - after all who wants stale text). Happy 4th of July everyone! (I know it's a little late but better little than not at all, er, something along those lines). The two hundred and thirty third birthday of our great nation was in full swing at the Toyota Park outside of Chicago, IL on the 4th this year where we actually played at a professional Soccer Arena (NOT a giant parking structure full of Japan's favorite import automobile, I agree the name is a little misleading). The line-up ranged from Tracy Guns' L.A. Guns to Adler's Appetite (which seems quite healthy these days - the appetite that is), to Lita Ford (who went to a party last Saturday nigh..... you know the rest), not sure if she got in a fight but I'm pretty sure she got the other thing as her husband, Jim, joined her onstage for a healthy portion of the show (I really don't know where I was going with that one).

 

 

The night before (July 3rd - you know, when the country is all a-buzz with anticipation of the big B-Day bash!!!!... no?) I was told that Billy Squire played on the same stage (no not with Lita Ford's husband, Jim) but at the Toyota Park, again reminding you it's a soccer arena, not a parking garage. He was said to have spent a good amount of time skipping, yes "skipping" backstage during the show when ever he wasn't needed on stage to sing or something Billy Squier-ey. Now this isn't particularly strange if you know anything about Billy Squire (and I think most folks do) but what was most entertaining about this little anecdote was the manner in which it was relayed to me. Here I am behind the stage rigging where they stage all the gear that's not yet ready to be brought to stage, it's sort of the first stage of staging the gear before it hits the main stage (how many ways can one use the word stage in one sentence?). So I'm doing my little tweaking of drum gear and there are about 4 or 5 stage riggers (no that's not any kind of insult or slur) standing around idly shooting the breeze about the show the night before. Now bear in mind these guys are kinda big, kinda hairy, maybe kinda in need of a shower and a good night's rest since they've been working long hours to pull everything together so that the audience can enjoy a pleasant concert going experience. So they're all standing in this group of 4 or 5 right in front of me when one of these fine (although kinda big, kinda hairy, decidedly in need of a shower, now that he's right up close and personal like) gentlemen approaches to relay the 411 that Billy Squire played last night. One of the other kinda big, kinda hairy, more in need of a shave and a good brushing, guys chimes in with "yeah! he would leave the stage and skip from stage left aaallllll the way around the back of the stage and across the rear staging area and back across stage right and back on stage to sing again". Now you're asking what's so funny about any of this "Steven"? If there were ever a moment where "you had to be there" were more true, I can't think of one because the guy took off skipping across the rear staging area to demonstrate how Billy Squire "skips". This guy was about 6'3" and 280 if not more.... and ya know what, he actually looked quite natural as he skipped "heel to toe" across the cement, not even spilling a drop of his coffee, or ashing the cigarette that hung from his furry lip,  while his "buddies" watched in awe. I of course buried my head in my work hoping not to make eye contact for fear of what might come next, jumping jacks, high kicks, moon-walking?

 

After all was said and done, the rain that had threatened most of the day relented to the evening where the sky cleared just enough for us to rip through our set to one of the most spectacular finale's I think I have ever seen. Just as we trashed the last chords of Cherry Pie the fire works began - for a moment it reminded me of the old days where we would blow up about $5,000 of pyro every night... were we stupid??? NOPE, just having some fun while the opportunity presented itself. As I close for now, I'll leave you with just that thought - have fun when the opportunity presents itself, skip if you feel like skipping, it ain't no big thing!

 

Later,

Steven

 


THE SWEET SPOT" Steven Sweet Road Report: Comanche Nation Casino, Lawton, OK.

 

 

This was a strange trip to say the least. As a band, you become accustomed to traveling together which equates to spending time together in close quarters most of the time. Four of us live in the "Greater" Los Angeles area; one in the San Fernando Valley, one in the Foothills between the valley and Pasadena, one in the Hills of Anaheim and one in the lovely wine country a little further South (okay two of us live in the "Greater" Los Angeles - not sure why they refer to it as "Greater" because I've been to many places on this globe and L.A. is not necessarily what I would call  "Greater" than any place else, maybe "Bigger", or "Stranger" or full of more "Fake-pretenders" - yes).

 

Let's begin again...  two of us live around L.A. and two of us live in the O.C. (Orange County - and yes, they are rich and fabulous beyond all comprehension - the television show is spot-on!). Now the fifth of Warrant and quite possibly the most travel savvy of us all is a desert dweller - Arizona to be more specific. Why am I telling you this, well, because there are occasions when we don't all fly out of the same airport (LAX = "Los Angeles Xairport"). For this particular Warrant outing we came in from three different locales which meant we were.... "dun, dun DUUUUUUUU"... traveling separately, not only were we traveling from different ports of air, we were flying into different cities all together. I KNOW - WTF Right?! Jerry and I flew from Burbank's Bob Hope Airport ( "let me tell ya something..." that was my Bob Hope impression... loses something in translation, not to mention when it's only written word without audio, sorry) directly into Lawton, out-ternational airport (since it's a small airport not sure what to call it when it's not International). Joey and Erik flew from Ontario (California, NOT Canada - that would be stupid since Ontario Canada, albeit the most populous and second-largest province of Canada, is in no way near Southern California let alone the O.C. - NOT an acronym for Ontario Canada) into Oklahoma City (or the O.C., not Orange County or even Ontario Canada, that would be really, I MEAN REALLY stupid because then they would have to get to Lawton Oklahoma by show time the next day which would be a pain, not to mention horrible travel planning). Robert travelled by Camel to Oklahoma City, which is what Desert-dwellers do. (Sure, I made that last part up because I'm sure you know that Robert doesn't even own a Camel - it's an Alpaca Llama, which as we all know don't take kindly to people jumping on their backs, as I found out the hard way once - they're cute, but really quite nasty when provoked). So, there we all are in different Oklahoma cities (not that there are more than one city in Oklahoma named Oklahoma City, but different cities in Oklahoma) the night before the show at the Comanche Nation Casino in Lawton, Oklahoma - which turns out, you don't even need a passport to get into, just a willingness to throw your money away in exchange for some free drinks... "ca-chingg" (cash register sound)... "burp" (free drink sound).

 

Another fun detail about this particular trip was that we were accompanied by the Brown brothers, Ryan and Joe. Ryan is our fearless get'er done guy who handles various duties like production detail, travel detail, food detail, drink detail, merchandise detail, can I get some duct tape please detail, etc. (fun fact: Ryan did a summer tour of duty with the "Girls Gone Wild" party bus - woo hoo, which doesn't explain at all why he came back to Warrant - or DOES it????). Joe is Ryan's brother who is an accomplished sound engineer, currently taking a break from Extreme travel (not "extreme" extreme, as in "Man VS Wild" stuff where he has to find his way back from the wilds of South America with only a pair of socks and some swizzle sticks). What I mean to say is that he's usually out on the road with the band Extreme (incidentally, Joe is a man of few words, ironic considering.... never mind, you see where I was going?). So here we are with Ryan and Joe, "The Brown Brothers" (they are both White Italian boys from Boston - NOT actually Brown-Brothers which would be a redundant nick name anyhow) they are quite something to witness, they aren't twins, there is an age difference of about 3 years but there remains something eerily twin-like about them nonetheless. Their mannerisms and their pattern of speech are incredibly similar as is the way that the lights glint off their neatly polished heads - though they have two distinctly different physical appearances from the cranium down. Ryan bears the appearance of a man who might dabble in Cage Fighting now and then (does one really "dabble" in things like Cage Fighting? Dabbling is better suited to activities like baking and needlepoint, even pharmacology but not mashing someone else's face into a bloody chain-link cage while twisting their arm behind their back with a forearm-breaking knee-drop maneuver), while Joe looks as though he has run the Boston Marathon, more than once in his lifetime (which spanned the mark of 40 years on this exact weekend) or perhaps more than once in the same day even. Great guys to be around and to work with, I consider myself blessed that even with all our differences as a band and as a people we manage to pull together to bring the Warrant show to life each chance we get, even if it means dealing with sometimes difficult travel arrangements (referring to our 6 hours of missed flights and delays returning home from this weekend) Note to self: avoid out-ternational airports if given the choice!

 

I realize I haven't even mentioned the show. Here I am babbling on about different O.C. locations, airports and Brown brothers and haven't even mentioned the show... it was fun, great crowd - thank you Comanche Nation and all your Comanche nationals (no passport needed), and of course all you Warrant fans, for without you... I'd have no one to purge my writing upon. Gotta go for now - I am expecting a case of O.C.D. shortly (no, not Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - I am expecting a delivery of Orange Crush Diet - it's very hard to come by, most stores don't stock it anymore, you have to special order online). Okay, that was really dumb I realize that, and my apologies go out to each and everyone of you who spent all this time reading through my aimless text only to be whapped with something like that at the end. So I will leave you with this... a little something in honor of Father's Day:

The memories of my family outings are still a source of strength to me and have informed who I am today. I remember we'd all pile into the car (I forget what kind it was) and drive and drive. I'm not sure where we'd go, but I think there were some trees there, maybe some water too. The smell of something was strong in the air as we played whatever sport we played. I remember a bigger, older guy we called "Dad". We'd eat some stuff, or not, and then I think we went home at some point. I guess some things never leave you.

 

Happy Father's Day Dad's - you know who you are (or maybe you don't?)

Steven

 


 

"THE SWEET SPOT"

Steven Sweet Road Report: 7 Clans Paradise Casino, Red Rock, OK.

 

The date? I don't remember and really don't feel like retracing my mental steps at this point to write it down here. Because after all, in the grand scheme of things does it really matter what number the calendar read when the happenings of this report took place - or is it enough to just sit back, relax (perhaps with your favorite hot tea, ice cream... jerky? my favorite's "Bridgeford Farms" Smoked Squirrel, 'case you're wondering) and read on in sublime leisure.

 

Oh yes, welcome back for another fresh-steamed literary platter of random imaginings from my personal recollective experiences of Rock N Roll travelogging with Warrant. This time the big jet bird took us to Oklahoma (... again) to a wonderfully rain-soaked suburb of Oklahoma City, called Red Rock, where, once again, they've erected a casino seemingly in the middle of this great Country of ours (ha, some of you might have thought I was going to say "nowhere" as in the middle of...). (Strange, that last sentence was randomly placed in the middle of parenthesis brackets... as was this one!?) NO, I would never refer to any locale in all of these United States as the middle of nowhere because that would be like proclaiming that all of us in the good ole U. S. of (freakin') A actually live IN "Nowhere". As a proud native United States-ian, (NOT Native American) I will tell you that the Natives are ALWAYS restless and this evening I am about to tell you of was no exception. Now let me set the mood for you, after a 1 plus something hour drive from our home-base in Oklahoma City, we arrive at the "7 Clans Paradise Casino" (Not to be confused with the 7 CLAMS Paradise Casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, next to but enormously overshadowed by, Trumps). The casino is nothing to sneeze at unless of course, you happen to be suffering from a nasty head cold and facing in the general direction of the casino, then there' s just not a whole lot else that you can do. Full of the usual smoking, gambling, drinking, buffet-eating (tonight was "Sea food" buffet night - just like "7 Clams", come to think of it), ATM-bleeding, risk-taking, casino-thrill-seekers (and a whole slew of other un-mentional hyphenates)- but with one added twist... they were drawn out into the elements by a common primal need to hear some good old fashioned, melodic rock. Tonight's bill consisted of Great White (Unfortunately it WASN'T Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, but damned if we didn't all just want to pretend anyways), and Skid Row making a Rock and Roll sandwich with Warrant as the meat in the middle ("... did he really say "meat in the middle"?) YES HE DID (er, I did!) and He's (I mean I'm) not afraid to say it again, don't temp me (HIM!!!) I mean ME!!!

 

The big problem as I saw it, and anyone who was there feel free to write in and add your 2 cents (Actually, I'm just saying that, don't write in because what's done is done, and there's no fooling mother nature)... yeah, the big problem was that the skies loomed heavy with storm clouds as the evening sun set nearing show time. There's no way to predict the weather no matter how we try, with our Doppler forecasts, Uncle's trick Knee that aches when the weather changes, watching the mating pattern of fire ants on the prairie kick into overdrive (just my little forecasting trick) to tell us whether a tent is going to leak or not. (WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN... you ask). I'll tell ya, I downed a 2 liter bottle of Niquil about a half an hour ago (it's Monday evening so what the hell right?) and I'm waxing prophetic (or as I once said many, many years ago when responding to something Jani Lane said) feeling "Full-a-Shitacle". The rain just came anyway, as if to say, here's what you get for making fun of our Rain Dancing, and our Casinos in the middle of no..., I mean, EVERYwhere, and for bringing your Devil's music to our sacred lands and corrupting the people with your messages of "Swinging it to the left, and swinging it to the right". As the slot machines poured out their war cries and the roulette table rattled it's hypnotic, red, black, red, black, red, black,... occasional green, then red, black, red, black again all the while pretending to be our friend - When all along you could have just gone to Best Buy and purchased a Plasma instead of second-hand smoking for hours on end only to wind up penniless and Plasma-less.  Why is that? (Rhetorical question, don't answer, don't write back, just ponder)

 

Meanwhile back at the tent-site... (oh yeah, they had erected a giant Circus tent - see road report about "Lucky Star Casino" - I just wanted to type Circus tent again) it was raining like cats and dogs but not just any ordinary cats and dogs like people always say, but like big genetically mutated, perhaps by gestating in close proximity to a nuclear (NOT Nuke-you-ler) reactor and overgrown, Saber-toothed uber-cats. I'm talkin' hard rain. It was also a little cold, so cold even the toughest nipples stood at attention for fear of being told to "drop and give me twenty" by a manicly overbearing drill sergeant. The entire set I felt like I was being subjected to some sort of Chinese Water Torture because there was this ONE DRIP of water coming through a pin hole in the tent roof above that kept hitting me square on the right shoulder - no matter how I shifted on my drum seat, it kept pelting me insistently in the same place at about a 30 second interval. DROP, DROP, DROP... for a half an hour I was poked by drops of water. Now you might think that this is no big deal, "what are you complaining about, you're sweating anyway, aren't you"? Yeah, but the difference is (well, there are several) that my sweat is warm, for one, and two, it doesn't hit me in the same place like a poking finger for a half an hour straight as if to say, "HEY YOU... you're not busy are ya? you don't mind my reminding you that it's raining outside, oh, let's say... every thirty seconds??? DO YA! HUH, HUH, HUUUUHHHHHH????!!! Besides, I'm made of water soluble material and might be reduced to nothing more than a pool of ectoplasm on the drum stool if subjected to too much rain water, as in this case. ( I know that's all B.S. - I'm actually made up of mostly water as are all of you - don't be scared it's perfectly normal, this is a well established biological fact - look it up).

 

Sorry to do this to you, but my daughter is looming about and it's her "Shower" time, I think she just read this last bit and got a little worried (no, not about dissolving in the shower) but that her dad might be a little crazy, so I must see to it that I confirm this fact with her (no, not that I'm crazy) but that it's time for her to take her shower - so, gotta go - thanks for reading and look forward to our next story time!

Nite, nite - Steven

 


Road Report by Steven Sweet, Jan. 31st, Clinton, OK "Lucky Star Casino".



Lucky Star Casino... what a misleading name... you would think that all of us so called "Stars" (Rock Stars, Movie Stars, TV Stars, Reality TV Stars, Child Stars... maybe not those, some aren't even old enough to vote let alone, gamble their life savings away at the Craps table) would have an inordinate amount of luck gambling at a place called the "Lucky Star Casino" but alas - what am I talking about, I don't even gamble anyhow. Scratch all that... let's start over.



You could barely hear the jingle jangle of overworked slot machines and raspy-voiced "cigar, cigarettes" coming from the even more raspy-faced cocktail waitresses beneath the din of the concert tent this evening. No we weren't inside the concert arena built as an afterthought to this Casino complex but a bigger than six ring sized, glorious white tent (complete with full on heating and cooling system, how swank). By the way, any of you who have read my reports in the past know that I just love to push the limits of complex sentence structure/verging upon "run-on" at any moment, as in get me going and I'll just run on like Forest Gump crisscrossing his way back and forth across America in the 1994 Robert Zemeckis directed gem of a film starring Tom Hanks as the enigmatic, somehow brilliantly zen-savant every-man, Forrest (see what I mean?!). I'm talkin' this tent was so big it could house likes of not only Ratt, but Ratt AND Dokken, and not just Ratt and Dokken, but Ratt, Dokken AND Warrant - a little misleading, not all at once mind you (that's what the trailers in the back were for), but one after another - hence the line-up that night. A virtual who's who of... well... Ratt, Dokken and Warrant, duh!



I had a great time, although as is with the Almighty's infinite design of the universe, we are eventually forced to trade the invincibility of youth for middle age and a bad back - my personal Achilles' Heel. As lame as it sounds, every so often I am afflicted with crippling pain while putting on my socks and pants... which as I am typing this am struck with the idea to just stop wearing socks and pants altogether - a little cold in the winter time perhaps, but a fair trade for fewer back pains, don'tcha think?



Anyhow, the show was a whole bunch of fun, thanks especially to the Percocet gifting Van driver - who nearly ran poor Erik Turner over by backing up while he was getting out of the front seat with the door still open - she'd had quite a few tablets herself turns out!



In closing, I'd like to leave this bit of Americana with you in honor of the great state of Oklahoma an homage to Rogers and Hammerstein's smash hit from the first time collaborators which produced the 1943 broadway debut musical by the same name - to be sung in the key of E Major with a "spirited" feel; READY?... I'll count it off... 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4: OOOOk-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain, And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet, When the wind comes right behind the rain - OOOOk-lahoma, Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I, Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky.

 


 

Grizzly Rose , Denver, C0

Hey friends, I trust that each and everyone of you is up and running head first into a great new year - although it IS a little early to tell where the road will ultimately lead it's safe enough to say that with each new year there is renewed hope for positive change and chance. Cheers to that!


My latest travels with the Warrant road show (and rockin' fun machine) led to Denver Colorado's one and only "Grizzly Rose". What is a Grizzly Rose you ask? Well I for one had all sorts of floating questions about what the answer would be prior to the actual experience. One thought was that the term referred to a brutal attack involving Valentine's day bouquets, exacted upon an unsuspecting lover by a not so amorous, but rather psychotic florist. Another preconceived notion was one of a not-so-attractive mountain woman named Rose, whose forays into bear hunting and subsequent occasional maulings led to a not-so-feminine nick name - "Grizzly Rose". But I think the most accurate belief is that it was and still is a really cool "Country Dance Emporium", that's C.D.E. for you my friend Robert (exact words on the sign out front) that also put on a rock show now and then. Unless there was some kind of mix-up in the booking department, and we horribly let the crowd that night down by NOT including line dancing in our act, I think we did our jobs extremely well this night, and I'll tell you why.  Firstly Jerry, Erik, Joey and myself were set to fly out of our beloved (see: what other choices do we really have) LAX around 4 p.m. and being that it was the last weekend before the big Christmas vacation for what seemed like 2 hundred billion other travelers - we were soon informed we were going to participate in an airport wide holiday party (read: after a freaking 5 hour delay and a bottle and a half of wine later, compliments of my pal Joey) we obliged (again, what other choices did we really have). Our good friend Robert was engaging in a similar "celebration" in Phoenix.  All of which came about because the Farmer's Almanac, and Nostradamus both probably knew but didn't want to spoil the surprise for the rest of us that Las Vegas would be snowed in the night before. Now THAT'S a bet with amazing odds I would imagine NO ONE in their right mind would EVER take but are now kicking themselves for not. The end result prevented many a traveler from getting on their planes on time. Ooops, sorry... back to the timeline - so then we land in Denver at close to 1 am and sit on the runway, or tarmac, or "Screw you flight attendants, I gotta pee" landing strip for another hour putting us to bed around 3 am for a 6:30 am lobby call. Now I know, many of you have taken precious time out of your busy lives to read these little "road reports" in the past and if you're reading this one now, you're... uh, reading this one now (hey, dejavue?!) and have taken precious time out of your busy lives to read (there it is again!!) this one also (what?). The point is leading to my point which is that the Warrant band was working on little to no sleep performed a few tracks live on the air with Denver's own FOX 103.5 FM and the infamous "Lewis and Floorwax" show. The band sounded great, and managed to NOT doze off until the "On Air" sign was turned off.  To quote Beetlejuice, and That is why I will NOT do two shows in one day... nope, I won't do it - ah, but I probably will who am I kidding. The only disappointing part of the whole trip was that once again, I was unable to pay a visit to the Stanley Hotel, which played the part of the "Overlook Hotel" in the Stephen King penned, Stanley Kubrick directed, Jack Nicholson starring film "The Shining" which King wrote most of while staying in room 217 (That entire sentence was the epitome of "trivial", by the way)! Although on second thought, getting lost in its elaborate, snow-covered hedge maze and missing my flight home was not an option this time, especially after the trouble it took to get to Denver in the first place - I'll take a rain check. Well, dinner's waiting (for me to cook it) so I'll sign off until next time. And remember... All work and no play make jack a dull boy all wirk and noo pley mak jack a dul boyy  alll werrrkk an d nop layy mek jaackk a duelll biooouy all worirna dn kn pwke     REDRUM!!!!

 
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