Sugar Ray Journal – Vancouver 2001

Sugar Ray on GetMusic
Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect/Getty Images

*after reading this post it’s kind of redundant and a little boring perhaps… but such is the way of life on tour sometimes. It’s not always the most exciting thing. You’re just trying to do things right sometimes and not drink yourself into a coma to be some lame-ass rock star casualty. So, sometimes you turn in early and don’t go big after a show. This post reminds me of how business like some days can be. When I read the ‘signed a few autographs.. ‘ it seems flippant as I read it back, but it wasn’t meant that way. It was just something I did. You always feel grateful if ANYBODY ever wants your signature. But it was also just one of the things out of many that you do during the day: eat, sleep, drink, perform, meet, hang out, screw around, watch TV, read, rest, rinse & repeat. So although this may never be counted as great prose, it does capture a very typical day on the road. Some days were more controversial that others. This wasn’t one of them. Cheers.

7/23/01

Vancouver, British Columbia. Show day.

For some reason, when I woke up, I thought it was 3am or something, but it was 8am. Maybe it was because all my room lights were on. ( I actually, technically didn’t leave them on, the hotel had a blackout at one am, and they came back on at five am) You ever wake up cause you left all the shit on, TV, lights, etc? I have, anyway, I thought that was the deal, but it wasn’t. So I get back into bed I check my watch- 8:00am. I’m like, what? Okay, fine, I thought, I’ll go play some golf. Then I remembered we had press to do. Kinda bummed me out. It’s beautiful up here, and I would have loved to play golf.

I opted for the James in instead of golf. Got down there around 10am, Rod was already there on a horizontal bike, pedaling away, and that pumped me up, so I rocked the treadmill. Did that for 31 minutes. The TV in front of me had no sound, it was a Samurai movie with subtitles, but the TV a few feet away to my right had the Today show blaring loud. I’d watch some of the screen in front of me only for so long, but I couldn’t watch any of the lame ass Today show, so instead I  focused on a pointed rooftop in the distance, framed by giant trees with huge green leaves. It was a clean image, so I latched onto it. After the treadmill I did weight training on my arms. I did curls, shoulder press, pushups, some stretching and called it quits. Grabbed two mini smoothies on my way out, Vitamin C and Spirulina Soul Food.

We did press at one o’clock in room 909. I met two German journalists, both named Stefan, and I met two guys from MUCH MUSIC (Canada’s MTV) named Chris, a skinny fella and this camera operator guy who sweated heavily as he recited his questions.

The place we played was kind of like the paramount theater in Seattle. It seemed better suited for plays, theater, and classical music, things of real talent. The rows of seats came all the way to stage front, not the best environment for slam pits. This wasn’t the kind of place you’d find thousands of bands hardened by the road scribbling messages on the backstage walls. The place had an aristocrat vibe to it, chandeliers hung from high ceilings, an upper row of balcony seats wrapped around the upper level to end above stage left and right. It was all very proper. Interesting….

I say that because sometimes the type of venue makes or breaks a show. Venues have vibes and energies of their own, Some places just feel good and cool and people feel like themselves, they don’t feel constricted or stuffy. I guess it’s what the gig calls for. I couldn’t think of a better venue to watch a string quintet led by Yo Yo Ma perform Beethoven. Or perhaps, scaled down, a local production of Cats, Miss Saigon or Fiddler On The Roof. Something intimate. Elvis Costello on acoustic guitar. Something where you have to pay attention, and the name of the game is not bashing your head and feeling the energy. But that’s how it goes, so you do the best you can. Our backstage rooms were all connected by four doors that were in between bathrooms. Stan was on one end, Craig the other, then two bathrooms then the main band room. All skinny and connected.

Catering was good tonight. A big selection. BBQ chicken, grilled tofu, corn on the cobb, potato salad, pork, stuffed potato skins, Caesar salad, cole slaw, grilled marinated vegetables, garlic bread, and all the trimmings. A healthy selection of deserts too, the main selection being cheesecakes. There was lemon, chocolate swirl, mocha, plain w/almonds, and a varied assortment of carrot cakes, chocolate chip muffins, and cookies. Everything to temp your belly and stuff it full of garbage just before you jump around onstage. I had the chicken and veggies and half a choc cheesecake.

Took a nap backstage and then went to the bus. Did the gig. Had a great in ear monitor mix, best of the tour, and drank lightly. Went back to the hotel, singed autographs on the way, got to my room and ordered some aftershow food. Bed.

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One thought on “Sugar Ray Journal – Vancouver 2001

  1. I love your take on the venue. I’ve been to a few venues that look to accommodate symphonies, plays or musicals and am heading to one in August. I’m not complaining (as I’ve aged I have come to appreciate the fully air conditioned venue, especially in the dead of summer) but I wonder how some of these places get picked. I remember going to Wolf Trap last summer up in Virginia and thinking that was the most amazing venue I’d ever been to. I still think that. Gorgeous outdoor venue with amazing acoustics. There’s only one other venue I want to visit in my life and that’s Red Rocks Amphitheater. I can only imagine how perfect it must be. When you go to a place like Ruth Eckerd Hall, it gives you that vibe of being stuffy and leaves me feeling underdressed or just not in the right place all together. It will be interesting to see how the tour stop goes. So, totally off topic but something I wanted to ask you. Are all your journals on computer or do you have handwritten ones as well? Just curious because all mine are handwritten and because of my joint issues I’ve not written at length in a journal for quite some time. It gets to be too painful when you’re a detail person like me. I like this journal entry because it’s so normal. I wouldn’t call it boring by any means, rather, refreshing. You mentioned the cliches and then you debunked them all. I like that. Out of curiosity who or what made you decide to quit drinking so much? Were there personal reasons or just a mere, “Hey, maybe I should lighten up a bit.”? I’d love to read how the crazy days were. Another great read, Murphy.

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