Chapter 12 - HILTON HEAD
woke up at mid-morning to an absolutely beautiful day on Hilton
Head Island. We were actually staying at a private resort
in Harbor Town, which has two of the finest golf courses in
the country. I mean, these are championship courses! So, on
a day like this I figured I'd have a nice leisurely breakfast,
for a change, and then I'd go to the clubhouse, rent a set
of clubs and play 9 holes before the sound check that afternoon.
After all, who knew when I'd get an opportunity like this
again? Right? Well, I was in for a big surprise.
was going to be one of those Roadzilla days. There's a section
in the "Great Book of Roadzilla" titled 'The rules
of the road' and we were about to be reminded of a few of
them. And one of the big rules was, "As quick as things
can change, they'll change again". Figure that one out!
Anyway, things were changing fast.
started when the crew had a hassle with the load in. The concert
was being held in the outdoor tennis arena connected to the
resort, so there was no way to back the trucks up to a loading
dock. There wasn't any! This added some time and difficulty
to the situation since everything had to be rolled some distance
and then pushed up a ramp to the stage. Throw in some South
Carolina summertime heat and humidity and the crew started
to feel like they were setting up for a Dan Fogelberg concert
on Devil's Island.
I heard that McEntee had to see a dentist early that morning
because of a flair up around a particularly painful molar.
Robert thought he might be able to baby it through the tour
and get it taken care of when he got back home. WRONG!! The
rules of the road state, "If it can flair up, it shall
do so on the road". And this was a show night!
I was told there was a thunderstorm moving in and the golf
course may be closed soon because of the chance of lightning.
It was shortly after I found out about the thunderstorm that
it started to rain. Lightly at first, but there were some
very dark, very nasty clouds coming over the horizon and it
was easy to see that things were going to get very moist.
Think Woodstock except in miniature and without the mud. Road
rule #51 states, "Chances of bad weather shall increase
by a factor of 10 at all outdoor venues".
course golf was out of the question, but what was more important
was that there was a whole stage full of equipment that didn't
like water and had to be protected from the elements. That
meant covering all the equipment with everything from space
blankets to plastic tarps from local hardware stores. As we
had no side protection on the stage, we had a rather soggy
sound check. The storm was increasing and this also brought
into question whether or not we would be able to play a concert
when I thought we would have to cancel the show, amazingly,
the rain stopped and the sky began to clear. The worst part
of the storm had passed through and it looked like we would
be doing a concert after all. That was the good news!
bad news? Well, as I mentioned it was a private resort and
by show time you would have thought it was a social event
and we were just a wedding band. These were not all Dan fans,
this was a schmooze fest for the country club crowd who seemed
more interested in eating, drinking and talking than listening.
As I looked out over the sea of linen tablecloths, candelabras
and champagne bottles I knew it was going to be a struggle
just to get their attention much less entertain them.
opened with his acoustic set but soon realized he'd have to
bring out the big guns. So, he cut a couple of songs from
the acoustic set and brought the band out early. It was a
tough crowd, to say the least, but we played louder than they
could talk so we finally got their attention and went on to
give them a great show. Yes, we had faced our first bout with
the great Roadzilla and prevailed.