Oingo Boingo Dance Party went into full on "beast mode" for May 2018. As you may or may not know, I've been a member of Johnny Vatos' Oingo Boingo Dance Party since he started it back up for Halloween in 2005. This band has become a real family and I'm proud to hold down the trumpet chair in one of the great horn section bands in rock history.
We started off our tour with May 4th & 5th in Salt Lake City, Utah at a club called Liquid Joe's. This was perfect for me because it gave me a great opportunity to connect with the good people of my horn company, Cannonball Instruments, which is based in SLC.
For some reason, Johnny Vatos likes to fly out of the Long Beach airport. Don't get me wrong, it's a relatively easy airport to deal with, but it's not exactly close to where I live in Los Angeles.
So, the lead singer of OBDP, Brendan McKian, and I met at the guitar player Mike "The Spike's" house and shared a Lyft to the aiport. We had an 8am flight so we met at Mike's at 5:30am....ouch. Remember that means I had to leave my place in L.A. by around 4:30am...Rock-n-Roll.
We arrived at the airport in plenty of time so Brendan and I grabbed some breakfast at the airport. I had forgotten that it was May the 4th ("Be with you") until we saw the waitress was dressed like Princess Leia.
She was more than happy to take a photo with me. We finally got on the plane and on our way to Salt Lake City.
When we arrived in SLC, we were greeted warmly by the owner of Liquid Joe's and his assistant and they transported all of us to our hotel, the Embassy Suites in West Valley.
Okay, now for the fun part! If you've read my blog at all, you probably know that one of the things I love about traveling and playing the trumpet is the constant surprise of your travel accommodations. It's like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, "You never know what you're gonna get." Well, on this trip, we had a pleasant surprise. The Embassy Suites in SLC's West Valley is a wonderful hotel! Very friendly staff, a clean/modern room, an excellent breakfast spread, and the two most important things, a shower head that works and a curtain that completely blocks out the light.
After we got checked in and settled we headed right over to Liquid Joe's for a sound check. Sound check for a band of this size and complexity takes a few hours. It also takes a good sized stage.
Luckily, we were able to make extra room on the stage by getting rid of the dreaded smoke machine, the bane of any rock-n-roll horn players' existence.
After the sound check, the club owner generously treated the band to dinner at the Red Iguana, great Mexican food in the heart of SLC.
The gig that night went great and the band tore the club apart with it's energy! The next morning, I was able to arrange a trip over to the Cannonball Instrument headquarters. I've been playing a Cannonball trumpet model 789RL in raw brass since 2012 and I love it. But I had never been to their headquarters so this was a very special treat. Thanks to Leesa McBeth of Cannonball not only was I able to bring Sam "Sluggo" Phipps along with me to try some saxes, but they had several trumpets and flugelhorns for me to try. My favorite new Cannonball trumpet was their 790RL with the black nickel finish. It sounds a looks great!
The other amazing thing that Leesa McBeth did was to arrange a photo shoot for me with my horn and the 790RL. Here are just a few of the amazing shots that they took that day.
In the next edition of Trumpet & Travel, I'll cover the rest of the Oingo Boingo Dance Party tour for May 2018, which includes sold out dates at the Whiskey a Go Go, The Canyon clubs in Agoura and Santa Clarita and the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. Also coming soon will be a blog about my trip in June 2018 with John Beasley's Monk'estra to New Zealand!
Until then, safe travels and go hear some live music!