All Things Must Pass….And so it is with the amazing Hank III/Turley West Coast Tour. FIRST!! A JUGGERNAUT of a THANK YOU has to go out to Mr.Shelton Hank III for giving us this opportunity to come out with him and his ENTIRE BAND (Damn Band & ASSJACK: Shawn, Andy, Zach, Gary, Manesh, Daniel, Davey, Adam, James, Bobby, and Perry )and have the blessing to open for them every night at some of the most amazing places we’ve ever been and play before the best crowds ever!! We were constantly amazed and awed at the tenacity, terror, power, sharpness, speed and depth that the HANK III camp puts out every night. Never have we ever seen such a musical throw-down as they bash the crowd’s heads in with every show!! We also need to thank YOU and everyone who supported us on this western flight. We met alot of great people and fans in every city. And you all are spreading the word!! We can’t do any of it without your support. Thank You!!
Jumping backwards, we left off in Spokane, WA. A few special things rounded out the evening for both Hank III & Turley as Kyle’s family were just up the road in Othello, WA. Having put the entire band up in good cooking and clean showers, everyone was fully refreshed for the evenings power pack. On the other bus, both sound engineers for the Hank III camp (Bobby and James), were Spokane originals. On top of that, they both were from the evening’s venue “The Knitting Factory”!! A homecoming of sorts, both Bobby and James were to engineer the entire music for both bands that night. Only a few other nights on the tour had we got to fully work with both of these great guys. And both of those nights we had exceptional stage and house sound. The Knitting Factory probably had never sounded so good after both men had meticulously worked as hard as ever to get the sound perfect! We thank them BOTH for their outstanding work and patience with the opening band!! We are very lucky! And it musta shown, as record breaking merchandise sales really put the cherry on the entire evening. Knitting Factory=WIN!
The next tour stop, post Spokane, was in Missoula, MT, at the Wilma Theatre. With a beautiful mix of the wide open skies, green and snowy mountain-scapes, and the vintage and homey vibe of the Wilma, everyone was buzzing about the show. Plenty of room on stage to open up, great sound, even a few showers to clean up (which is a rare commodity on the road sometimes), helped the early grind of load in and soundcheck mesh fluidly with the electricity the leads up to a performance. Another Sold Out event, Turley Band cranked in some heads with the “Power Country” the band had worked hard to form over the past while. Cleaner, tighter, harder. A well oiled machine. Montana didn’t get outta there easy, with either band! By the end of the night, seats were broken, blood was splattered, sweat was everywhere. Another success story.
Headed even further east, the tour rolled into Ft.Collins, CO, just north of Denver. A special trip indeed, Ft. Collins is not only home to Colorado State University, and a great music/live scene. It’s also home to one of our most favorite beers, Fat Tire. Or, more notably, The New Belgium Brewery, makers of Fat Tire, Ranger, and a host of amazing beers. Originally thought of as a sold out guided tour, Turley bus driver, Geo, Holy Driver, came up with the ins to a special VIP tour of the brewery just for us!!! Excited is not the word. Elated? Who knows? Grinning, yes! We ambled into the (largest micro-brew) to meet our guides, Seth and Penelope, both of whom were very happy to take care of us, give us plenty of free beers, and make sure we saw everything they could show us. A bar with free New Belgium beers greets everyone who shows up at the brewery. Not a bad way to say welcome. Then a winding path through numerous pipes, cauldrons, funnels, spickets, more bars, knobs, steam, yeast, water, barley, hops, steel fixtures, more bars, tiny pieces of art, a machine shop of frankenstein bikes, more bars, mosaic tiling, taps, rock climbing walls, more bars, giant kegs, spinning bottles, robots, metal kegs, goggles, more art, more cool bikes,fresh beer, giant pallets, slides, more bars….it goes on! Thank you to ALLLL the New Belgium crew ( and the Holy Driver) for giving us a fine fine time at their amazing brewery. Which apparently is an ingredient for a kick ass show. As the Aggie Theatre in Ft. Collins was a freaking mad house the whole night. The reception was “well beyond driven”, and Turley Band laid an onslaught of amplified sound to the very open audience! Check!
Denver, Denver, Denver! The last night of the official pairing of both Hank III & Turley Band. Ogden Theatre. The band had done another acoustic performance at Best Buy earlier in the day, but were very excited to get on with the evening. People were wrapped up and down the sidewalk way before the sun went down and the doors opened. Just up from the Fillmore, The Ogden is no slouch. An historic Denver theatre, Ogden has played host to just about everyone. We all realized it was the last night of both the bands. Turley Band had the ceremonial “shotski” just before leaving the bus, sliding across the street, through the back door, then onto the stage to a rabid crowd of hippies, cowboys, bootleggers, skinheads, punk-necks, amboy dukes, and motorheads!! “Another Whiskey” cranked up on the peaked sound system, and before we knew it..the set was over! And probably the best set of the whole tour!! Another night of record breaking merch sales (Gracias Ben “Roofee” Ruoff, merch master), and another raised performance bar. After the band had packed up (hauling gear across the street, again!), we all slithered through the packed house to catch the last Hank III/Assjack set. Yup, still amazed!!! Trying to say goodbyes to everyone proved a harder task than thought. But what was done was done. Assjack played their final song, the crowd went wild, and eventually the lights were on and the busses were rolling.
The final few shows booked were just of Turley Band. Vail, Breckenridge, and Kansas City. Each night allowing the band to open back up the album and reacquaint themselves with those tunes that had been put on hold since the initial tour. Final Drive, Wings, Only God Knows, I’ll Breathe for You, and Shinin’ all had a bit of new life to them as the sharpness of playing every night had chiseled away the fat. Kyle, himself, got in a few drum jams with Brad Cummings (drums) on guitar to an unsuspecting audience in Vail. Breckenridge was a great room (the Sandbar) and great staff and showed some appreciation for the band. Another night for Turley to open up, the band took its time and let the flow take the show where it needed to , which was a nice change form the previous weeks of fast paced eat some rock for breakfast mentality. Packing up, we rolled onto Kansas City for the last night at Knuckleheads. Opening for the legendary J.D. Williams (check him out), the laid back fluidity of the Knuckleheads staff and beautiful weather helped Turley ease on out of the long legged behemoth that was the West Coast Tour. After watching most of J.D.’ set, Geo fired up the bus and rolled us to home.
Awaking to Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” was a bittersweet finale to what had come before. On one hand, you miss your family and friends and the comforts you know so well. On the other, you’re at the end of an experience. Good times, rough times, but times indeed. You take from the experiences. Sometimes it takes a little while for it to show up on the radar…but they’ll get there.
Thanks to Kyle and Stacey, the band(Matty, Rob, Brad, Ben) ,Hank III and his band(s), Tim, Geo, the and y’all. Time for another whiskey….until the next run….JRok