Concert Dates

with special guest Laura Sandage!
When: December 18th 7-9pm
Where: Davis Odd Fellows Hall
Tickets are $20 on sale now at Armadillo Music in downtown Davis!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Melissa Manchester - Life on the Road

My friend Poppy and I are so excited because we’re going to go see Melissa Manchester in concert tomorrow night!

Singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester is one of my best friends. She will always be one of my best friends – even if I never speak with her again. When I think of what a “friendship” is ultimately about – love and support, growth, inspiration, challenge, the people I think of as my “best” friends are the ones who have given so much to me in those areas that the effects are everlasting. I wouldn’t be who I am today without Melissa Manchester.

I toured with Melissa for about 8 years. We experienced swanky restaurants, limousines, and lobster in Maine; roadside dives and four-star hotels…one and two-star hotels… and some hotels that were wishing for a star.

The band members were the entertainment industry’s equivalent of salty-dogs. They had been there, twice, seen it three times and tried it at least once. I was the baby of the band (except for when we hired a sub background vocalist named Kellie Coffey. Amazingly sweet girl who went on to win a Country Music Award.) I travelled so much with Melissa that I would literally forget where I had been sometimes, and I mean by the next day! So & So would ask me, “Where were you this weekend?!” And I’d have to say, “Hold on, let me look at my calendar… Oh, yea! I was in St. Louis.” And all too often Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

‘Less touring life should seem too exciting, let me say that often the most exciting thing each of the band members would see was some special on “Tornados”, on The Weather Channel. Life on the road can be painfully exhausting and often there isn’t enough time to truly sightsee (if one has the energy after all the planes, trains and automobiles). Very often a trip could be rated by the number of premium channels offered by the hotel. - The high-end hotels were gorgeous, but it could get tideous paying $50 for a $10 cheeseburger just because it was delivered via Room Service on an overpriced tray! We weren't rich, and our daily perdiems went a much longer way in the cheaper hotels. :-)

In the end however, I got to experience a lot of truly beautiful places (which I remembered far past the next day.) And most importantly, made some lifelong friends – one of whom I’ll be seeing tomorrow night! :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Exotic Animals

Growing up, I thought I would live in some kind of high tech, ultra modern mansion in Beverly Hills. Better yet, Bel Air! (which is sort of the rich man’s Beverly Hills) I know… “Huh?” – But it’s true. And that’s where I wanted to be.

I figured I’d have some kind of snazzy, red sports car, a motorcycle (we already know how much I love motorcycles) and exotic animals. Exotic meaning purebred Alaskan Malamutes, Siamese cats and colorful salt water fish.

- So why am I out in the middle of (a very lovely) nowhere… with a pet mouse; (actually bought at the pet store, although the field mice that get in are so cute I’d keep them as pets if they weren’t so terrified), 3 goats (who jump up and down and twirl like dogs when they’re being fed), and 7 chickens (who like to eat their eggs as much as I do!)? (True. They peck their own eggs. Farmers have all kinds of theories as to why: The eggs accidently crack and the chickens realize their youngins are yummy!; They need more calcium; ...They’re bored. All I know is that it’s annoying. And I’ve warned them more than once that if they keep it up they will end up on a plate. (I'm not a vegetarian.)

Recently, my 9 year-old son invented and constructed a new contraption for the hen coop: A row of laying boxes that are slightly slanted. So, as soon as the chicken gets her butt off of the egg, it rolls backwards onto a padded wall and then drops into a protected chute. And it works(!) … most of the time - well, enough of the time for me to think he’s a genius!!

Oh… that’s why I’m here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bono and the Motorcycle

I also had a huge... I mean HUGE crush on a producer/engineer named Niko Bolas. I am not the only girl who had a crush on Niko Bolas. Seemed to me that there was almost a catfight-like atmosphere swirling around Niko. I was the tamest cat in the bunch by a long shot. Anyway - Niko did invite me out to dinner once. Well... let me clarify that: I had to "run" some material over to Niko at another studio and he asked me to join him for dinner. I told him I probably should get back to A&M and he said, "Have you had dinner?"

"You have to eat sometime, don't you?" For once in my stupid life I said the "wrong thing" and said,... "Yes! You're right. I WILL go to dinner." Yeah! Yeah Me! I really treasured that dinner with Niko - very Zen (and okay, gorgeous beyond belief, beautiful brown eyes... but it was mostly the Zen-ness).

Here's a yummy sandwich: Niko was a motorcycle guy - I'm thinking a Harley (forgive me Niko if I'm wrong) but Niko rode some kind of cool motorcycle. And then Bono bought a motorcycle - yes, a Harley. I heard about the bike before I saw it! Then, one day, I was on my way into the studio. Bono and Niko were out in front, discussing their bikes. I smiled and waved. Two of my favorites! How sweet!? "Vatrena, have you ever been on a Harley?" Bono asked.

"No." I replied.

"Would you like to ride on a Harley?"


"I'll take you on the Harley."

Oh my gosh... "I'm going to ride on the Harley with Bono. I'm going to ride on the Harley with Bono." That was the only thing I could think for the next two minutes. I ran into Larry Mullen, Jr. in the hallway. "I'm going to ride on the Harley with Bono!"

"You are NOT going to ride on the Harley with Bono." said Larry, definitively. His relationship to me was like a big brother, which was great... most of the time.

"Oh yes..." I said, "I am.... Bono promised me he'd take me."

Larry: "Promise me you will not get on that bike with Bono."

Me: "Why not?!"

"Because he doesn't know how to ride the damned thing!" he practically yelled.

I paused... but just enough to take a quick breath "... "I'm definitely going."

Two weeks later, Bono crashed his bike.