Sunday, May 3, 2015

Godspeed, G-man

Rockapella in Reno IV
March 21, 2015
Sammy's Showroom at Harrah's Reno
Reno, NV

I got up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready for our Rockapella Road Trip to Reno.  This is not easy under normal circumstances, but is even more difficult when I've had about 3 hours of sleep.  The night before, I had made 2 batches of goodies for the guys, and then when KP said that Scott had asked where I was, I decided to add another batch for his favorites.  I mean, he ASKED for me!  So Sweet.  Linda arrived, and we packed up the car to meet up with Glendy at their house, then off we went to the Ontario airport to pick up our rental car.  There were only 2 rental agents in the building because it was so early.  Our guy, Richard, was a bit overwhelmed at first when he saw 4 people walking toward him, but eased up when he realized that we were all going to be in the same car.  He was cool and we talked about him playing basketball and getting injured when he ran into some huge guy on the court.  Our car was a Nissan Altima, which has a push button ignition, and tends to confuse us old-fashioned key users.

We left at about 6:15 a.m. and made our way north.  Our first stop was at McDonald's for breakfast, which was next to a Sweet Frog yogurt place.  The Sweet Frog guy looked like Keroppi from Sanrio.  Our drive went very smoothly, and we were blessed with pleasant weather.  There was snow on the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which made for a beautifully scenic drive.  Aside from the Sierra Nevadas, the flora was varied, like sometimes it was black with square-ish rocks, sometimes a bunch of green trees, some Joshua trees (which Cindy termed as "mangled trees"), and then a random red hill.  At one point, we saw people on a cattle drive, like on "City Slickers".  We stopped for lunch in Bridgeport, CA, at Rhino Bar and Grill.  There was a General Store located across the street, where I bought some needlenose pliers so that I could fix the clasp on my necklace for the night's outfit.  Rhino's had some pool tables inside and a modern-day jukebox, along with pool table lights with covers shaped as NASCAR vehicles.  There was also a strange-looking animal's head on the wall, which kind of looked like a flattened coyote or a huge rabbit or something.  When I couldn't figure it out, I decided that it must be a chupacabra.  

Do you see the chupacabra?

When we arrived in Reno, we had a couple of hours before the show, during which time I made sure that the Posse signed George's tribute book and Calvin's birthday card before getting gussied up for the show.  At one point, I tried to call the Showroom to find out if Vic was working so that I could give him a bag of goodies as a thank you for the fabulous birthday weekend in January.  Wendy and Karla saw that I was getting quite flustered, and went to the Showroom for me.  It's a good thing that they went to check, because whatever arrangements Wendy had made the previous night, this night was not all set as they had been told.  They remedied that, kinda.

I write "kinda" because when we arrived at Sammy's Showroom, we were ushered to tables that were *not* in the front row.  APPARENTLY, there were other VIPs that night.  Whatevs.  So we somehow made the tables work for us, since we were willing to be away from center stage, as long as we were at the front.  I ordered the "Brick House", which was an Angry Orchard hard apple cider with a shot of Fireball whiskey.  Yeah, baby.  The server told me that she mixes it all together, and it tastes like a cinnamon candy apple.  OK, let's do it!  I also supplied the posse with some goodies.  At one point when I left the table, Jim expressed his...concern (?) that the goodies were unattended, and quickly took care of the situation.  :)  KP was happy that the warm-up music was still Fred's mix even though he wasn't there. 
Oh, wow.  I just noticed there was printing on the shot glass.

Rockapella took the stage.  G E O R G E !!!!!!!!!

Tell Me That You Love Me / Rock Around the Clock / Tell Me Something Good
New song, new song!  YAY!  This is the one that Scott said they'd be debuting after the weekend of my 100th show.  Ooh, there's a bit of a vocal percussion section in there.  I like it, guys!

Jailhouse mash-up
(Yeah, that's what I'm calling it until I can figure out all the songs they included, because I don't learn from the past, and I'm writing this more than a month later, and I don't remember whatI wrote in my notes.  Perhaps the posse will help me before I post this...or not).  Scott shot a man in Reno.  JT was in jail.  In the song, I mean, in both instances.  They are not outlaws in real life...I think.

Scott said that JT had mics on his throat, something about Sammy. (Gosh, I hope this gets better).

Scott asked who had seen Pella before, and there was a big response.  "Wow, usually it's just mom and dad."

Dancing in the Streets
Hi, Steve!  Hi, Scott!  Nice dance solos.  JT got really into his own dance solo.  I've gotten used to hearing Steve sing this because of "Motown and More", although it still won't be the same without Kevin dancing with me.  You know, Steve, there's nothing stopping you from coming over to our section and dancing with us.  I'm just saying.

Just My Imagination / Imagine
CALVIN!!!  Nice.  I love that.

When Scott talked about finding Calvin, there was a big cheer.  "Tampa, or Busch Gardens, or just Busch?  BUSCH."

Hard Time
Geo and Steve:  HI!  
Haven't heard this song in a while.  I wonder if Ryan's learned it yet.

Scott:  "Hey, if you leave us your email, we can all be connected forever."
Then Scott said about Steve: "We all love Steven...great looking guy," to which Sherry responded with a way out of control "WHOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!"  Did I mention that I had some alcohol that night?

I got a wink from Steve.  HI!!!!  And Swoooon!  As he was talking to a reluctant audience member, he said to the rest of us, "He said, 'Don't gamble, and stop talking to me.'"  And from Sue, "I am, get away from me."  I would not say such things.  He probably knows that, though.  Drinks on Bob later!

My Cherie Amour
I really like the way Calvin sings that!  I like the little high hat beat from JT, too.

Scott said that Geo has been with Rockapella for over 13 years.  (My notes seem to say "JT telling KP to calm down."  Or melt down.  Or...something).  

Scott said the word "records", and Calvin turned to Geo to ask him what those are.  He talked about the plaque of the Mills Bros outside the showroom.  We showed that to him.  I'm so proud.

Paper Doll
Well, hello there, Steve!  So nice to hear Geo with that wicked bass part again.  I held hands with KP at this point, because who knows if we'll ever get to see that live again with Geo?  There would be more hand-holding later.  I was so very torn at this point, because I wanted to watch Steve AND Geo, and my eyes can't handle all of that at once.  Nor can my brain.  I think that I was too busy observing to cry.  Because if I had gone there, I might not have stopped.

Blame It On The Boogie
Calvin came over to get our attention for the shouting.  Go, Nick, Go!  Yup, Nick was all into it.  Steve's leg looked like he had been electrocuted.  Scott was dancing in circles with Calvin and they almost ran into each other.  Laughter ensued.  I love seeing them laughing and having such a good time.

Scott: "As we growed up."  
Geo saying "Chocolate!  Yum Yummm!" will never be topped, because it's Geo, and it reminds me of his old spiel about chocolate milk.  JT mouthed to us the word "coconut".  What's that supposed to mean?  OK, perhaps it wasn't personal.  Love the "NBC" with the JT flourish.  I may have been a little bit loud when I whispered "Steve's butt! Steve's butt!" during the ointment portion, because Wendy heard me from across the table.  I just hope they didn't hear it from the stage, because....well, really, it probably doesn't matter because I'm me.

Scott said that he noticed a moment of tension with someone in the audience, and asked Pat, "Do you like coffee?"  Pat said, "Love it."  So Scott brought her onto the stage.  He told Pat that they've had a few requests, and wanted to bring her on stage because she sings fantastically.  Pat:  "You got the wrong message."  HA!

Stand By Me
Pat sang anyway.  What a sport she was!  

Ain't Too Proud To Beg
Ooh, she was all touching everyone, and ignored Geo.  It was funny to see the tenors play up that part because the gal usually ignores them during that part.  As Steve helped her down the steps, he started to sing "I know you want to leave me" again, then said, "Just kidding."  He's so damn cute.   

Geo talked about his deep voice, and was singing this at 3 years old: Old Man River.  He then said that he wanted to sing to the ladies...

Thrift Shop / Celebrate
I like seeing Geo and Calvin riff off of each other.



Papa !!!!!
I held Cindy's hand throughout this song.  Sigh. Geo, you're just...I love you, man.
Also, Calvin sang "bills" instead of "debts" and all was right with the world.  Sorry, John, but it drives me crazy when you sing the wrong word.  One is not supposed to cry during this song.  Yet I fought back tears.

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
O.M.G.  I absolutely love this!  Scott's got Moves Like Jagger.  No, really, he does.  It was awesome to see him do the Jagger strut. 

Up On The Roof / Wonderful World
Sung from the stairs and in the audience area.  Cindy loves that they end the show without mics.  It's especially nice in this intimate setting.

I needed a picture of Sammy before leaving the showroom.  Here it is.

Meet and Greet

JT thanked us for leading the clapping for the encore.  You're welcome!  He touched my hair.  A LOT.  So, of course, I said, "Jeff touched my hair, you guys."  Then he touched it again.  He also pet Kyoko's hair.  Then he pet my hair again.
I tried not to faint, and went back to our conversation of the venue in Oakland, "Did you like it?"  
JT:  Your hair?
Sher:  No.  I mean, well, yeah...but Yoshi's.
JT:  That's our new home.  We love it.
Sher: I didn't go to that one.
JT:  Well, that's not my fault, Dear.
Sher: I know!  I'm just saying.
Just pet my hair again, and we're good, Dude.  Also, please keep calling me "Dear".

Scott was told about this exchange and he said, "Oh, he strokes my hair all the time.  He does it in his sleep."  Ooooohhhhkkkkaaayyyy...  He also said that they tried to straighten Elliott's hair once.  "It was horrible."

We told Steve that we'll be pledging to his CD fund for the house concert deal.  He was excited about it and started to talk about flights and inside/outside, potlucks, and whatnot, saying that he's looking forward to it.  I hugged him, like, a lot of times.  He talked about the video that they shot while they were in Reno, and that it was for "Rock Around the Clock".  I was not paying attention to this because I kept thinking that he and I kept hugging each other.  But here's the link to the video.  

I punched Geo in the arm.  (I told the Posse that this would happen, so I needed to live up to my promise).  Then I hugged him and said, "How dare you leave me!"  We talked a lot about Sandra, as well as his excitement about going to Japan one more time. He said that when he walks into the office, nobody applauds like they do when he's with Rockapella, and he misses it.  I told him that he needed to give us all a chance to say goodbye.  He agreed.  I hugged him a lot of times, too.  Geo said that he sees me and Cindy on FB: "You guys and your Olympics or whatever you've done, getting those medals." Cindy showed him her Avengers race purse.   I told him Liz couldn't make it because Joe was teaching all day.  He said that he had hoped he'd see her.  Awwww....then he made a face at her for my camera.
To Liz, From Geo

I told Calvin that I was excited to finally see him in a non-holiday show, especially because he sings "bills" on Papa.  He laughed.  He was excited about going to Japan for the first time, and said that he'd be awake for 6 days straight because he'd be looking at everything.  I told him that he *was* Stevie during My Cherie Amour.  I mean, it was awesome.  Linda and Cindy said they noticed he was having a good time.  He said, "I'll tell you a secret.  I was."

Scott said that he'd try to get me into his dressing room.  I mean, Sammy Davis Jr.'s dressing room.  Same same.  I told him that I heard that he had been looking for me the night before, and he said, "Yeah, I was, like, 'She's the one that asked to go!' and you weren't here."  He was worried that he wouldn't be able to get me in because they were striking that night.  I'm just happy that he wanted to grant my request.  I told him that I love Satisfaction.  Linda said that she loved all of the new stuff. Cindy talked about having cable and watching "Law and Order" all day.  Scott tried to get the right pitch of the theme song/sound, and finally got it right because he's seen so many episodes.  Cindy is happy that she has something to talk about with him now. 

Then Scott led me back into the Showroom and asked the stagehands if he could show us the dressing room.  It turned into "us" because the Posse came along, naturally, as well as a couple of fans that I didn't know (Steve asked them if they wanted to join us).  Perhaps Steve thought maybe Scott and I needed a chaperone or 7.  The dressing room was Swank To The Max, man.  The table was Sammy height.  There was a shower.  (Don't get me started).  There was a whole lounge area with a bar and couches and a TV, which Scott told me was always on TCM.  Linda told him that he needs to have this kind of pad everywhere they go, and it should be on their rider.  Oh, had there been alcohol, we might have had some at that point.  It was awesome.  Scott couldn't wait to open the card and goodies I gave him, so he dug into his gift bag as we stood at the bar (Kyoko also put some mochi in my bags for the guys).  The card I included for the guys was a thank you for the 100 shows and Scott's was especially heartfelt from me.  He said, "That's really nice, Sherry.  Thank you so much."  I tried not to cry while beaming with happiness.
The table is even short for Scott and me!

Swanky Bar

Stylin' with the Posse
In the hallway
Another wall in the hallway
My favorite musical

As we walked out of the dressing room and back up to the stage, the guys were assembling to take a picture with all of the stagehands.  Being in Reno for 3 months, the guys made some lasting friendship with some folks, and they'd be missing each other.  Sweet.  We watched them from the wings of the stage.

Steve then walked us out, and as we walked down the stairs together, he turned around and started, "I know you want to leave me..." and we all laughed.  I told him that I honestly forgot about that when I was on stage with them.  

I saw Geo again and hugged him one more time before leaving, saying, "I love you!" He said he loved me, too.  
I like that Geo's holding up his book for this picture.

We finally said good night to the guys and some of us went to Hash Hash A Go Go for some eats and debriefing.  Later, I made sure to bring some goodies to Karla and Jim to enjoy during their road trip back to Sacramento.

The next morning, I was up early and got breakfast at Starbucks.  When we checked out of the hotel, I think I talked the ears off of the desk clerk about Rockapella.  She said that she had seen them, and liked Nate and Ryan, and that she also saw the show last night.  I told her that I had yet to see Nate.  She didn't know most of the songs.  I said to her, "Oh, you're so young."  She knew Thrift Shop, of course, which was her favorite on their set list.  I realized that I left my sweatshirt in the hotel room, and had to go back to get it.  I woke up the earliest and ended up being the one to delay us the most.  Crazy Sherry.

We stopped at Burger King for French Toast sticks for Glenn and Linda, then we were on our way.  More silliness.  At one point, I was driving and could not get around a white Subaru station wagon.  I thought that I would be able to pass it when we finally got to an intersection.  But the 2 cars in front of me decided to slow me down and turn into a gas station, so I cursed at them.  Let's just say that my language was particularly colorful, and when I was thwarted from passing again later, I added on to it.  If you hear my friends saying to watch out for your grandmas and their horses, they are referring to this day.  

We stopped for lunch in Bishop at Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ.  So did an entire high school marching band.  Well, the whole band wasn't at the BBQ place, but a whole lot of them were there in line.  Turns out that they were traveling back to Reno from Disneyland.  We told a couple of them that we traded places with them, because if we hadn't been in Reno, we probably would have been at Disneyland.  The food there was quite yummy.  I was grubbing on their banana pudding.  It was banana-y.  We were happy.

We talked about the show and the meet and greet, and wondered if Steve takes requests for his house concerts.  Cindy wants him to sing "Venus", and proceeded to sing the song for us.  Later on, the traffic was getting pretty bad, and I needed to put gas in the car, so we stopped at a gas station.  We decided to wait out the traffic by having dinner at Summit Inn Restaurant in Oak Hills.  Glenn used to stop by this place a lot on his road trips, but it had been a while since he'd been there.  Their decor was filled with Route 66 stuff, and they had a jukebox.  Lo and behold on the jukebox:  "Venus" by Frankie Avalon.  Of course we played it.  We also added Sam Cooke's "We're Having A Party" to keep with the Steve theme.  Before getting back on the road, we used the facilities.  On my way out of the restroom, I noticed a picture on the wall.  Of the Rat Pack.  Yup, we had come full circle, and Sammy Davis, Jr. was in the restroom.  I mean, his picture was there.  It was perfect.

We returned the rental car, and when we arrived at Glendy's house, Linda and I spotted a white rabbit on their neighbor's lawn.  Curious.

I had a great time.  I am going through withdrawal, but looking forward to seeing Steve before whenever I see the whole group again.  Sigh. 

Thank you, Harrah's Reno!  Thank you, especially, to George, for letting us see you perform with Rockapella (at least) one more time.  We love you!

On the Ceiling of Sammy's Showroom

No comments:

Post a Comment