I may not be feeling the same psychedelic effects as I would from those little “brown squares” that Wavy Gravy suggested Woodstock revelers avoid. However, in these waning hours of officially sanctioned thankfulness and over indulgence of turkey, my head is spinning and I’m feeling like a fall-to-the-floor nap is in the offing. Ok, I know, by now the whole tryptophan Thanksgiving myth has been scientifically debunked as more of an effect of overeating and then washing it all down with booze. Either way, techno-colored hallucinations or not, I am still in quite the post turkey plate state.
In my present food-stupor, I am thinking about my creative life, especially as a member of Runaway Home, and all that I have to be thankful for. Most people believe that singers and musicians are too filled with ego and self-importance to allow themselves to be truly thankful. But, like the much heralded tryptophan effects of eating too much turkey, the thanklessness of musicians is also a farce. In fact, it couldn’t be farther from the truth, especially among those of us flying at more blue-color altitudes, unburdened by stardom. We think about events and people we are thankful for all the time. We do that in part because we are constantly amazed that we get to do this job at all, much less do it past the prime of smaller waists and bigger hair. Primarily, as a band, we are thankful for each other, because good bands are hard to come by and even harder to keep together. Considering my current lack of focus tonight and the risk of waxing philosophical or worse, waxing weird, I think I will leave you with another of my burst writing lists. Hold on to your giblets, here comes some big thanks!
Runaway Home is thankful for:
Fans who would rather buy a song than a fart app. People singing along to our songs even when they don’t know them and when it’s clear that we don’t know them either. Last second upgrades to beach houses that are way above our pay-grade. Public toilets with doors that lock. Left over green room food that we can put in our van cooler. Duct tape that holds the driver’s side window up. Fans stuck in the 1970’s. Microphones that don’t send volts of electricity into your mouth. Forgiving camera angles. Pork Rinds. Air freshener. Inside jokes. Being paid what you were promised. Knowing people are really listening because they laugh and cry at the right lines. Simple road games that we are too stupid to figure out like, “Miss Happy likes moons but she doesn’t like stars” (good luck with that one.) Tollbooths that require the exact amount of change in our ashtray. Big-ass Ferris wheels. Promoters who offer us “$10, a sandwich and tell us how good we are.” Blow up whale rodeo. Fat Tuesday on a Wednesday. The view from the high jump at Lake Placid. A couch longer than my body. Riding a cool carousel at 1am. Bushwhackers. Breaking even when you think that you’re losing your ass. Making money when you think that you’re breaking even. Receipts to write-off. Go Pro cameras that float. Fans with a big boat and even bigger hearts. A sound-man who gets it right and then leaves it alone. New strings and the patience to put them on. Re-tweets and status shares. Flowers in the dressing room. The drummer owning a big van. A gig yesterday, one today and another one tomorrow. Margaritas’ with extra salt. Lagavulin Scotch that I don’t have to buy myself. Putting us up in your house and cooking us breakfast. Multiple monitor mixes. A full house. Burning retinas. Shooting stars in a midnight windshield. Waffle House. Nailing the three-part harmonies a-capella. Radio DJ’s who spin our records and let us invade their studios. Extra toilet paper, shampoo and coffee. Detour function on our GPS. Fresh brake pads and well-rotated tires. Every time a John Denver song comes on the radio when you least expect it. And quite simply, the opportunity to finally make music on our own terms.
I have to stop now, because I could go on forever, and some of you might argue that I already have. We are incredibly thankful for the support of our families. We are thankful for the wonderful cast of musicians who play with us. Thank you Ron de la Vega, Chip Chipoletti, Malinda Fields, Laura McGhee, Catrina Joy, Tom Good, Lisa Horngren and Aaron Till. Thank you to Marilee Chipoletti who keeps us booked and Chip winter who keeps us primed and on time. Thank you to the great venues and promoters who have taken a chance on Runaway Home and keep having us back. Most of all, a heartfelt thanks to all of you who have allowed us, and our music, into your hearts and have generously shared so much with us. See you when the Tryptophan/Blotter Acid wears off!
Mark Elliott – Runaway Home
“It’s the Music That Makes Us Smile”