Sunday, September 05, 2004

Louiemania, Pt. 3

Louie Fest 2, Day 2. We 1000 Guitars registrants were asked to check in Sunday morning no later than 9:30. That was asking a bit much, especially considering the light turnout of the day before, but Cap’n Bob and I managed to roll in shortly after 10. And standing there ahead of us in line was Brian Trainer (aka Tough Jim Gaston), our cohort from Louie Fest 1.

Brian, a long-time professional guitarslinger, had been unable to attend on Saturday due to a gig with his band Rock Residue (see But as he stood before us he was no longer just plain Rock Star Brian. He was now Jedi Guitar Master Brian, having brought along the Luke he was playing Yoda to, a young Portlander by the name of Alex Mills. After Bob and I finished genuflecting, we all got our equipment stashed and began prowling the hall.

Since the music wouldn’t start until 11:00, there wasn’t much happening, so we all trotted a block down the street to Tacoma’s best used bookstore, the Tacoma Book Center. (It had been book collecting, you see, that had brought Bob, Brian and I together 20 or more years ago, under the influence of the late King of Paperbacks, Mr. Lance Casebeer.)

By the time we’d finished booking, the music was cooking back at the Dome. We spent the next few hours drifting from one stage to another, sampling a little of this band and little of that. And checking out the rod and custom car exhibit. And roaming past the vendor booths: Guitars, African art, sunglasses, a temporary tattoo parlor, rap CDs, belts and wallets, a music store, guitar instruction, Jesus T-shirts, John L Scott real estate, Wailers merchandise, semi-official event T-shirts, CDs, more guitars, Kingsmen stuff, battery-operated jewelry, still more guitars, massages, Oberto snacks, Kettle Chips, coffee, balloons, homemade guitar straps. Almost none of them got any of our cash. I did a little shopping at the Kingsmen and Wailers booths, of course. Brian bought a “Wailers at the Castle” T-shirt and a Kent Morrill Orbison tape. Cap’n Bob bought nothing but vittles and drinks. We all scarfed up what free guitar picks we could find.

Brian bought one other item of interest, a rock and roll novel called Front Row Lady by Kate Kimberlee. The author was there, claiming the book was loosely based on her experiences with a number of Northwest rock bands of the late 60s. In the book, she hung out and traveled with a fictional group called “Jolly Roger and the Pirates,” which could easily be a pseudonym for Paul Revere and the Raiders or a dozen others. I was tempted, too, but barely managed to resist. I’m awaiting Brian’s review. (Hear that, Brian? How about posting it to these pages?)

Paul Revere himself swaggered in around 2:30, and was soon signing photos and Ride to the Wall CDs at his booth. I got Drew on the phone, then handed it to Paul and asked him to say hello to a fan who couldn’t make it. Paul squawked “Hello? Hello?” into the phone and announced there was no one on the line. When I got the phone back, Drew was there, no doubt wondering Who the hell was that? But I guess Paul did what I asked of him. And by way of apology, he autographed a free 8x10 for the gall-bladderless one. (For Ride to the Wall and other cool stuff, see

That brings you up to the brink of the main events, but I've blabbed enough for one day. Tomorrow we'll get down to some serious Me-Gotta-Going.


Blogger Cap'n Bob Napier said...

For someone who didn't buy anything I sure went through $40 quickly. To keep the record straight, I did buy that dumb hat I'm wearing in the photo, which was a remainder from LouieFest 1. I also bought a CD of Elvis Presley's 30 greatest hits, mainly because I like the song "Don't" a lot and never seem to hear it. Other than that my money went to sustenence, which I needed to drive my body's engine up those steep Tacoma hills.

September 5, 2004 at 6:13 PM  

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