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2010-04-08 — 1:18 p.m.

Hell's Belles January 2009

Here is an entry from over a year ago that for some reason I never posted. Weird. Well, here it is.

Nature was one pissed off Mother. Why? Well how the hell should I know? What I do know, is that I had plans to spend the weekend rocking out with my friend Jamie (and the rest of the band Hell’s Belles) in Eugene and Portland, Oregon, and the rains, snows, typhoons, torrential downpours, deluge, precipitation, convection, and water falling from the sky into the Cascades had put all of the rivers into flood stage, and I-5 between Seattle and Portland was closed. Shit. Drive around? Nope. Snoqualmie pass was closed too. Shit, Shit.

Jamie sings with the all-female AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Belles, and they had shows booked in Eugene, OR on Friday, January 9th, 2009, and in Portland on Saturday, January 10th. Canceling the shows was not an option, come Hell or *snigger* high water. Thursday January 8th Frantic call from Jamie:
Me: “Hey Jamie, what’s up?”
Her: “hey Timmy, you’re still coming out this weekend, right?”
“Did you book at our hotels and get a car?”
“Yes, I’m flying into Portland tomorrow afternoon around 2:30.”
*sigh of relief* “Awesome. Hey, the weather’s fucked and the road [I-5] is closed and Julianne is going crazy trying to book us all last minute tickets because normally we would drive down there but the rivers flooded out the roads and we can’t drive and so if I fly in earlier can I drive down with you and then I can tell Julianne she won’t have to worry about me and I can take some merch and that way she can have less stuff to worry about and since you already have a car I think that could work out and it would make things easier. Would that be OK?”
“Sure, that’s fine Jamie. Call me later when you know what time your flight is coming in.”
“OK! I’ll call Julianne and let her know! Thanks Timmy!”

Later that night, I found out that Jamie was flying in at 4:40. She had to fly through Spokane, and was on the flight after me, so after I got to Portland I just hung out in the airport for a few hours rather than get my rental car and sit in the parking lot. ‘Cause how lame would that have been?

Jamie texted me when she landed, and I texted back that I was at the gate. She walked out a few minutes later, video camera in hand, and hugs were exchanged. We stopped for a Red Bull, which she also videoed, and were on our way to baggage claim. The luggage came off right away, in fact it was just arriving when we got there (ROCK!) and we grabbed her two bags, the merchandise suitcase, and headed out to Dollar for the rental, which I had gotten a sweeeeet deal on.

Dollar came through, and rental car dude noticed my Concrete Blonde shirt, asking me if I’d ever seen them. Jamie remembered that we had seen them together at the Gothic Theatre in Denver about 5 years earlier, and we talked about it a bit. I’ve seen them 3 times as well as Johnette solo, but the show that Jamie and I went to wasn’t very good. Johnette was really bitchy that night and even though the performance was OK, she kept getting on her soapbox about random stuff and even berated one fan for calling her a ‘chick’ when he yelled something like “CHICKS RULE!” The sentiment was not meant to be derogatory, but she was really cantankerous that night.

Jamie and I decided that a Camry would not do for this weekend, so we upgraded to a RAD 4, because it was RAD! I don’t know what happened to RAV’s 1-3, but that’s not important right now. We piled the stuff into trunk, I pulled out the Porcupine Tree CDs that I had burned for the road, and we jumped hood-first into the Friday night rush hour traffic, heading south to Eugene, which was about 110 Miles.

Traffic was not too bad, and Jamie and I caught up, over various snippets of video, laughter, and rocking out. We stopped at Burger King in Somewhere, OR, and kept driving, arriving at the show about 7:15, and immediately dropping the stuff in the green room, and dragging the merch bag to the lobby to start setting up. Guido, the guy that was setting everything up with the green room and whatnot brought me some hangars, and I hung up a bunch of t-shirts while Jamie laid out the sample merchandise on the table.

From the moment that the bag was opened, there was a crowd in front of the table as people came up wanting to buy this or that, wondering if we had this in this size or that, or wanting to buy thing that were in one of the other 2 merchandise bags that Stephanie and the rest of the girls had in their van – and they were not to arrive until 9:05 it turns out. So we stuck it out for a while. A friend of Mandy’s (whose name I didn’t catch) had a cute daughter named Destiny that insisted on staying with Jamie behind the Merch table. I think the girl was about 10, and was no bother at all.

I called my niece, Kristina, and she said she was on her way, which was awesome since I hadn’t seen her in nearly 2.5 years. I wandered a bit checking the place out and it was a pretty cool theater. Standing room only, but that’s no big deal. The thing that sucked was that there were only two tiny bathrooms, and a bar upstairs – as well as a separate, side bar downstairs – that were both crushed with people, and it would have taken a solid 20 minutes to get a drink. Weak.

After a good 45 minutes, I realized that Jamie still hadn’t had a chance to go to the bathroom since we arrived. “Jamie! You still need to pee, don’t you?” “YES!” she answered, ”Would you mind taking over for a few minutes?” and she looked at me so relieved my heart almost broke as she shoved the merch money into my hand and led Destiny to the bathroom line. I took the reins, selling a sweater, a button, a shirt, and a few stickers, when she returned with Destiny, saying that she had to go to the green room since the line was too long. So the two of us kept going a few more minutes, and Jamie came back, with a beer for me! Woohoo! That’s friendship, baby.

Kristina and Mitchell showed up shortly thereafter, and we tried to get a drink a few times, checking both bars – what a joke. I snapped a quick photo of them then tried to get a surreptitious photo of this guy who had brains tattooed on his head, but I just ended up taking a photo of the floor. Nice shot, Ansel Adams! Over the next hour we tried to get a drink, but the lines got no shorter, and the opening band rocked on.
When the rest of the band showed up and the regular merch girl took over the table, (and the rest of the merchandise was out and about), Jamie and the band were able to go and get ready. I went back to the green room and acquired a few more beers since trying to get to the bar was impossible, then I stood back with my niece and her boyfriend and we proceeded to get our asses rocked off.
This show was a little different than the 20 other Belles shows that I’ve seen, because they were doing “Highway to Black”, which was the “Highway to Hell” album, in its entirety, then a short break, followed by the complete “Back in Black” album. Wow. It was an amazing undertaking, but the women of Hell’s Belles, being the consummate rockers, pulled it off without a hitch and the show was truly amazing.
Needless to say, Kristina and Mitch were duly impressed and I even introduced them to a few members of the band (before the show). After Saying goodbye to them, we piled into the 2 vehicles and went off to the hotel, which was just down the street. There were some more beers had and Melodie got on a soapbox about something, which caused the neighbors to complain, since she has a really loud speaking voice. By this time it was getting near to 3am anyways, so I bade Melodie and Jamie (who were sharing a room) goodnight and went to my own room a few doors down. Fuck, I was tired.

The next morning we went to this really neat little restaurant for brunch, then headed up to Portland for Saturday’s show and a short visit with my best friends Christian and Janet. Adrian rode with me and Jamie and the drive was uneventful, except for me getting the bird from a guy on a motorcycle that didn’t like one of my lane changes. Well, you can’t please everyone, right?

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Want to comment? Speak up! 2 Quips to Date

Jessica M - 2010-06-12 00:50:15
I read that post in like two seconds, I was out of breath by the time I was done! You had to many details and such huge energy, I loved reading it! :) Keep it up!
sjb - 2010-08-24 05:57:51
wow - quite a story

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