|<< April '06|
May was a celebration for barenakedfamily as we celebrated our fifth birthday (May 18) of living on the road! When we started we thought we would be on the road for about a year or so with the idea of starting a Family business and settling down. Well...ummmm... we love our life on the road and we have since started and worked several businesses on the road to keep us going! Some are still wondering when we are going to "settle down", but we know in our hearts that we are settled more than we have ever been. barenaked love in our hearts, kids happier than ever, and the world at our fingertips is all this Family needs (and some kickass music). Always.
The clerk at 7-11 just pointed out next month is 6/6/06 ~ 666. Wow. Seems that 7-11 knows about the apocalypse. Always thought it was going to be like a thief in the night. Hoping so. 6/6/6 seems too obvious... and so soon. We figured it was time to visit the Devil Without a Cause and find out what he's up to.
Got there early like pro-fans do. We were sooo early that we were totally alone. We walked around the venue the day before to find just where we needed to be in order to score a meeting with Kid Rock. This is going to be one awesome show and the kids were chomping at the bit to see how a real rock production is pulled off. We talked with the event staff and they filled us up with the info needed to be in the right place. Gotta love event staff people, they know things.
Before the show we met Pat, one of the head honchos wandering around outside. He was a cool guy that loves to hug and has been on tour with Kid Rock as well as several other rock stars for most of his career! He told us what a great boss Kid Rock is and how much he has enjoyed working with him. He is the older, wiser Yoda type of roadie with all the good stories which is a rare find in the rock business. We talked for quite a while before he headed backstage and we headed to our seats. Not before giving him a handful of FamiliesRock.com stickers which he said he would stick all over the road gear cases!
In true Pro - Fanship we noticed the buzz happening when a big badass tour bus pulled into the parking lot and parked. When rock stars show up in their busses all the crew people start gathering around that bus and prepare to escort them into the venue. There is a lot of activity and people so it's always a give away that they have arrived. Sure enough after a few minutes Kid Rock walked out of his bus, our dream home, into the venue. The kids hollered his name and he looked up with his gorgeous smile and threw a wave to the Family. Then he asked 'are you ready to rock?' We threw our rock n roll hands in the air and replied 'let's do it! Welcome to Texas!'
Waving to Kid Rock as he got off his bus. We were the only Pro - Fans there so early this day. Eventually the others started showing up but they missed out on all the action. See what happens when you don't get your Pro - Fan belt.
The show was incredible and left the kids high on life for hours afterwards! We scored seats just a few rows off the stage and had an amazing view of the production. The pyros, the music, the band were so awesome that we couldn't contain ourselves through the whole show! The kids were rocking out so hard that the security kept telling them to get back in their section. The heat and the blasts from the pryos were felt all through the evening which is sooo rock n roll! The kids had never seen a real rock show production like that and were so impressed that they are still talking about it! During the performance Kid Rock's executive manager came off the stage and walked right up to the kids handing them picks from the band. Talk about Pro - Fan! Then twice during the show Kid Rock himself came over to the corner of the stage where we were and picked the kids out with their K-I-D shirts, pointed to us and smiled huge! This was the most Pro-Fan we had felt in a long time! We really needed a show like this from a guy like Kid Rock and he came through! Thanks for a great show Kid Rock!
The day after the show, we took some time off to enjoy the Texas rivers. Texas is full of great places like this and we love taking the kids to see all that it has to offer! What a beautiful place to sit and chill before heading back to work... well, kinda work anyway...
...work to hug the world!?! We kicked off another hug campaign to promote Families Rock at the Pecan Street Festival. We hugged hundreds of people and even hugged some repeat customers from years back. Like the John Kerry group. They rock.
A little manual labor never hurt anyone either. We went all Rent a Family on Austin again washing cars and mowing lawns. Isaac (blacksheepfamily.net) coined our new 'Wash and Mow Combo' slogan. It's always fun to see the reaction when people see Families with kids working together for something they believe in. It's like people don't expect that anymore and when we do it we are constantly reminded of just how important it is to stick to your dreams. No matter how crazy people think you are. Yeah, we wash cars for what we believe in. We also wash dogs, clean houses, move rocks... whatever it takes.
We showed up in Families Rock force to the Monte Montgomery performance hosted by the local radio station here in town. They have been hosting Wednesday night shows for free with local musicians at an outdoor venue. It's a great a place to take the kids and have a beer while listening to some real local music. At the last concert one of the DJ's went crazy cussing out the kids with f-bombs on the mics because Bob Schneider did some self editing with his lyrics out of respect for the kids. Apparently the DJ didn't believe this musician should self-edit for kids?!? So, we decided to show up as Families Rock in force to show our support that kids deserve to hear live music too and support the musicians that can appreciate their younger fan base as well. (we're thinking KLBJ's Dale Dudley is the sucky DJ that needs to learn to appreciate kids ~ he was conspicously absent for the Monte show).
Isaac Jr. and Monte Montgomery on stage not cussing out the kids, instead digging on the younger ones. Isaac Jr. was pumped about Monte Montgomery and his band so much that any opportunity he had he ran backstage to meet them, shake their hands, and get some photos with the band. The entire band welcomed the kids and even gave them picks and drumsticks! The way it should be.
The next day, barenakedfamily.com turned five years old.
This picture was taken May 18, 2001 ~ the day we left the last house we may ever have without wheels. (and Mt. St Helens 20th anniversary which we passed later that day ~ coincidence?) Just like now, we were determined to follow our dreams no matter how crazy it is to sell all your stuff and live in an RV.
Happy fifth birthday barenakedfamily! We were going to throw a huge celebration party but decided that going tubing in the river with the BlackSheepFamily would be way more fun and way less work!
Two of the most awesome Families ever! We couldn't have spent this special day with anyone better. Our two Families hit the river and went tubing celebrating the day we left to become the barenakedfamily! We love Isaac and Johnna's Family for everything they are. Just a Family trying to be true to what it means to be just that. Through the lacquer, through society, through the agreements other's want us to make. They are believers in being true to what is good for them, even if it means risking everything. True friends rule.
Turns out that barenakedfamily was going to celebrate their birthday season with some other true friends as well! Our great pals, the RoadSchool Family, drove out of their way from San Diego to Kansas City to come see us and the Live Music Capitol of the World! Anyone that drives across West Texas for us will get the tour of their lives in our favorite place to call home. We spent four days catching up with them and sharing stories and memories with them. We took them to see the Eric Tessmer Band, Monty Montgomery, K-Tel Hit Machine, and other local musicians playing around town. Ed and Cheryl have always been supportive of our ideas and provided just the right amount of words encouraging us to keep going. They probably know just how important they are to us and how much we appreciate and love the crap out of them. But just in case they don't ~ ya'll are one cool bunch of people that we were privileged to be in a Japanese documentary with... what the?!? Can you believe that's how we met one the coolest road Families? It's a good thing that we all spoke English (dubbed Japanese).
Sunny and Mitch hanging out waiting for the world's largest urban bat colonies to come out from under the Congress bridge at sunset. Austin is famous for the 1.5 million bats that migrate and spend the summer here and tons of people come to watch them fly out every night. We first met Mitch when he was around twelve and our kids were way younger. They all have since grown up on the road with different kinds of people and experiences crossing paths across the country from time to time. But all these years later they still share a human connection that is beautiful and deep no matter how old they are. It's so great to see just how easy it can be to be friends. He is now driving and an exceptional young man and literally knows everything. We're not kidding. Everything.
While the Nodlands were in Austin we took them to see one of our favorite musicians the Eric Tessmer Band. We have to watch the performance from the outside because the kids are under 21 and are not allowed inside. Eric and the band are really cool to the kids and always turn and play to them tossing them picks, broken guitar strings, and drum sticks. Mitch and Max were inspired to see the way Eric plays the guitar since they are learning to play themselves. The kids were glued to the area for hours watching everything Eric did. Ed and Cheryl hung out inside and got the rare frontal view of the band.
We took the Nodlands all over Austin since they had never been here before. We ate at some great places, swam in the swimming holes, and listened to lots of live music. It was great getting to see them and showing them around our town. We were all excited to hang out with Mitch and Max and loved seeing them appreciate the live music scene here in Austin. They got a bunch of CD's from the local musicians here in town and we're sure that they are practicing their guitars now more than ever! Thanks for making a special trip to come and see us! We love you guys!
We also got to celebrate some of our cousins' graduations here in Texas. It was fun explaining all the public school lacquer to the barenaked kids and how important graduation is after spending twelve years in school. We told the kids how most of the graduates usually get ready to take off to college and start their lives right afterwards. As we talked about that process, we shared our thoughts of how they should take some time to relax, find what works for them, and when they are ready then venture into the world on their terms. The kids agreed but were more interested in putting on her cap and gown as we headed to the after party.
The next day our nephew graduated so we joined him for his day. He is not sure what he wants to do after school and is happy to work at the job he has now. He loves getting dirty at work and seems to be pretty focused on that right now. We totally support what he thinks works for him and since we were the ones who taught him how to head bang properly at the age of three, we kept that on the down low.
After heading back from all the graduations we finally got to meet the FreeRangeFamily for the first time since internet dating them for years! They found our website some years ago while deciding that they wanted to simplify their lives and spend more time together as a Family. They have since sold their home and moved to Houston where they will home base and travel from there. We were all chomping at the bit to finally get to see them in person and get to know all of them. Our Families spent several days together getting to talk about life, love, Family, and friends. These guys inspired us in ways we never expected. Most people think we have it all figured out, but it's people like the FreeRangeFamily that teach us more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. We admire the things they have overcome in order to become the Family they want to be and the amount of Faith they have in each other. It's so nice to meet people who care so much about what it means to be Family. To have the guts to take back their Family lives from other's American Dream. Sure, we are not perfect people but we love our Families, we love our marriages, we all love rock n roll, and we love the hell out of our kids. I can't think of anyone better to celebrate barenakedfamily's birthday than with all these Families.
Look at dim free range barenaked blacksheep ~ We took the FreeRangeFamily over to Isaac and Johhna's house for Nate's birthday party. It was funny introducing all the internet Families to each other, but in the end we all hit it off and had a great time. The kids spent the afternoon playing dodgeball, flag football, and playing in the hose while Isaac made us dinner. It was something right out of the 'how to have a summer bbq in your backyard' handbook.
Then we all went to the children's museum's and unleashed the kids into society on the free day. Totally ghetto and way proud of it.
Of course we took them to the street side performance of Eric Tessmer and ended up meeting the self proclaimed governor of Louisiana Ryan Campbell (in blue). Though we had no idea who he was, he came up to us and in true politician style he paid the kids off with cash when some homeless guy wouldn't shake his hand for a dollar. Then he posed for a picture with us. The kids thought he was weird and in turn tipped the Eric Tessmer band the dollars Ryan Campbell had given them.
You think that's weird? Meet Lesley. A local cross dressing guy who ran for mayor here in Austin and received a number of votes for office. He can often be seen around town in women's clothing and a g-string. In the old days he had a huge bicycle cart full of political signs that he pushed all over town in his two piece thong bikini. The cart(?) distracted a driver behind Jenn at a stoplight and rear ended her car while she was eight months pregnant with Sunny. Jenn was on bed rest for a month and the car was fine. Sunny was born one month later (still waiting on her condition) and is meeting Lesley for the first time at the age of ten. Greg told him the story and Lesley was intrigued and posed for a picture with Sunny then finished dancing the samba with college drunks.
The FreeRangeFamily got to see Austin, Texas and some of it's weirdness which is why people live here. We were so glad that they came down to spend some time with us and sure they will come back and see more of what this town has to offer. Thanks for the wonderful gifts you left us at our RV, they meant a lot to us. You guys rock and we miss you already! WooHoo!
On May 23 we were extremely saddened when we heard that that Clifford Antone passed away at his home in Austin. This picture was taken on April 22 and posted last month. Clifford Antone is a legendary blues club owner that believed in musicians and their work opening a club for them to come play in. Clifford is credited to promoting a young Stevie Ray Vaughn to stardom and Cliff would reach out nationwide to other famous blues musicians to play his club. He's recognized as pioneering Austin's Live Music Scene. He was a man that believed in his passion, believed in others, and loved what he did. He was generous to let the kids in and have a place to listen to real music, one of the few places in Austin that you can do that. We had just seen Clifford a few days before he died at a concert and thought how cool it would be to go say hello. Greg tried to get the kids together so we could go and say hello, but it never came about. We look back and wished that we had tried much harder than we did and regret that we didn't make the effort to do so. It hurts us to know that he passed away days later and we never went and said hello. He was a great man even though we only got to know him a little. His personality was so strong and so many people were affected by him, we got know more about Clifford as the stories came out. He has taught us a lot about who we are and what we stand for and we are grateful for the time that we got to share with him. RIP Clifford Antone (1949-2006). Thanks for letting the kids in.
The next day the musicians around town came together and hosted a memorial for Clifford at Antone's. They all got up and said wonderful things about him and played some music in his honor. Clifford was so important to these people and it was so awesome to see the support for him. We cried, we laughed, and we danced for Clifford. The club was packed with people and the line went around the block from 4p-2am with people who came to pay their respects to Clifford.
Leann Atherton sang with Guy Forsyth on stage for Clifford and did an amazing job. It was so brilliant to see these people get up and let loose with what they know how to do. To hear all these people singing for Clifford was something we will never forget. We also got to see performances by Gary Clark Jr, Ty Vaughan, Del Castillo, Monte Montgomery, Ruthie Foster, LZ Love, and some drunk chick that got it as good as anyone when she jumped on stage and slurred 'it's all about Clifford'. We left around 9pm because the rest of the place was getting too drunk and rowdy for the kids nap time.
Guy Forsyth spent some time with the kids after his performance signing some photos. The day that we heard that Clifford passed away we just got in the car and headed down to the club to lay flowers and hang the picture with Clifford and the kids on the window. When we got there people were walking around stunned at the news that he was gone. Others came to lay flowers and be together at this time outside the club. Tons of news crews were there watching all the people who came to the club throughout the day. People hugged, cried, and left messages all over the place. Jenn had been thinking about Guy all day since one of the stories from Clifford himself was one of Guy arriving in Austin as a young blues musician looking for a place to play. He talked Clifford into letting him play on stage every Sunday afternoon and did so for ten years. Guy Forsyth has since made a name for himself not only with his music but with his life. Knowing that Clifford was a big part of his life, Jenn couldn't help but think of how Guy was doing. As we were talking to people Jenn turned around to see Guy Forsyth walking around the corner with a backpack on his back and music instruments in hand. He showed up ready to jam with any musicians who wanted to play for Clifford. Jenn just looked at him and with a release of emotions said 'oh, Guy' as they both reached for each other and hugged like never before. As they hugged Jenn remembers just holding onto a friend and onto a legend. Guy hugged her barely holding onto to his emotions and she just held on. It was something she will never forget.
One of the greatest things we heard about Clifford was a quote from Jimmie Vaughn saying 'if you want to make a scene, you have to create it.' We understand just how true that is and feel so passionately about that. When people asked Clifford if he was a musician he described himself more of a Pro - Listener. What a great answer. It's nice to see someone be so successful at doing something they believe in and being able to describe who they are. We love you Clifford Antone. Rock on.
June '06 >>