I feel blessed and honored on an hourly basis to get to do this! It’s a lot of work. It’s exhausting. It often doesn’t pay well financially. We’re in tight, uncomfortable places for hours at a time and sometimes quite annoyed with one another but it’s all worth it. Every second of it! When you shake our hands after our performance and thank us for giving it all that we’ve got on stage, it’s all worth it. When you talk to us about why you love the music and what it reminds you of in your life, it’s worth all of the discomfort. And when you dance, it is the ultimate compliment!
Dance. Please. Always. Dance. Always!
One of my favorite parts of traveling and touring is the people. The fans, the tour mates, their friends and family, the random people on the street, the employees at the establishments we buy our Chai tea and cookies from. All of the interactions with strangers in strange towns keeps me fueled.
I quickly learned that the trombonist from Hot Damn Scandal is Jewish. Upon anticipating being away from home for Passover, he wanted to figure out how we could all get together at someone’s house on the road and have a Seder. I thought it was a great idea (even though I had no idea what a Seder was) but wasn’t sure how we could make that work.
But the planets aligned my friends and a Seder we had!
I learned more about Jewish culture and beliefs in those few hours of helping prepare the food and waiting (waiting…waiting. at the table…for a loooo-ooong time) to eat said food, than I had in my entire life. And it was quite fascinating!
We had played a little musical-tour-vans and I ended up staying in Portland an extra day with three members of Hot Damn Scandal. Mickey, the bassist, had an aunt and uncle that said they’d be willing to host us for a night. Turns out, they didn’t realize they’d be hosting us the day that we actually showed up. However, they were warm and welcoming and so happy to have us there.
Jimmy was in constant contact with his mother (and the internet) to make sure he got everything just right (or as right as he could). This was his first time presenting a Seder and with no help from any other Jews (in person anyway), he had a lot of work ahead of him.
After all of the proper ingredients were acquired, Beth, one of our gracious hosts, allowed us to take over her kitchen and we began preparing the meal.
Pete working on the brussels sprouts. (Everyone in attendance actually liked brussels sprouts!!)
Mickey being quite generous with the paprika for what we called “Jewish lasagna”.
I will definitely be eating Matzo ball soup again!
I love cooking with other people and this experience was no different. I especially love it when it’s a combined effort between several people. It brings people together in a way that no other activity does. Jimmy put so much effort and thought into every detail, it was a pleasure to help turn his Seder dream into a reality.
Jimmy giving me the low-down on forming Matzo balls.
Somewhere around 10pm we sat down to eat?!?…not so fast!
We sat down to….listen to the story of years of Jewish suffering and what every single piece of this meal represented in their culture. It was intriguing! And after roughly forty-five minutes of information and a few precious nibbles of parsley, salt water and Matzo, Jimmy mentioned how it was supposed to be an excruciatingly long wait to eat. So we could gain some understanding into the suffering of the Jewish ancestors.
Ahhhhh…okay. That made it all a bit easier to wait for (but only a little).
The evening was a complete success! We had fantastic food, lively conversation and learned a bit about Jewish traditions.
We all got to know each other on a deeper level that evening. Steve and Beth became instant friends after allowing us into their home. We all gathered and celebrated something we wouldn’t normally, to support our friend. To give him a little home away from home.
Throughout the entire meal preparation and meal itself, I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. I was so happy to have this experience. I don’t think I can adequately put into words the feeling I had all evening. Something to the tune of total submergence into gratitude.
What a fantastic gift to walk into a stranger’s house that didn’t even know you were coming, with some people you know somewhat and be able to create an entire evening that we will all remember fondly for years to come.
All this, only three days into tour. I look forward to so much more. The lack of a comfortable night’s sleep doesn’t even matter when you get days like this. Not one single bit.
Worth. Every. Single. Second!