Route 66 Backseat Driver: Illinois

Starting the day with an early checkout and breakfast the gang loaded up and drove the short distance to one of Springfield's famous Route 66 landmarks, Cozy Dog Drive In. Under overcast skies instruments were unloaded and prepared for a barnstorming impromptu performance at Cozy Dogs.

Only one problem though, as we approached the building their were only two or three total customers seated inside. Now here comes the dilemma, as we walked in they walked out even after numerous attempts to convience these folks that the band, in its entirety, had indeed taken showers that morning.

Overcast skies coupled with now low sprits and the restaurant that was to have received top notch "Free" entertainment was as empty as most gas tanks will be if and when gas climbs to $10.00 a gallon. Hmmm, what to do ? When in Rome you do as the Romans do. So CowBop played a few tunes right there in the parking lot. But after the first few practice bars a funny thing happened. A travel van pulled up with the nicest couple from Virginia inside. They were en route to St Louis and suggested that if the band would be around for a while twenty plus additional friends in vans were soon to arrive.

And arrive they did. The twenty friends ended up being over twenty vans each with more than a few future CowBop lovers inside. A one half hour stop ended up being a two hour party with very appreciative glances coming from a very happy Cozy Dog owner, Sue Waldmire.

Saying so long until next year, we headed back down the road to our next stop at the Stagger Inn Again located in Edwardsville, Il. Meandering allowed enough time for additional stops at other landmarks along the way such as Henry's Wabbit Wanch, Soulsby's Shell Station, a Dairy Queen for group cones and a quick stop to visit legendary jazz dj, Ross Gentile, from St Louis's 88.7 FM radio station. With the assistance of a local friend, Jim Widner, a last minute interview was put into motion to discuss and gain awareness about Jazz Masters Workshops. Thankx Jim.....

After arriving at our final destination we discovered that what was supposed to be a simple "Open Mic Night" one hour show, again ended up being a two hour plus show with plenty of crowd encouragement and continued coaxing from Stagger Inn open mic night host Steve Jones. On this special and fun evening the band responded warmly to what was perceived to be the most vocal and appreciative audience to date.

The evening also needs more than a few Thank You mentions. At one point in the evening the pic guard on Bruces' guitar gave way and guitar maven Rick Hayden appeared to save the day for the second set. Thankx Rick..... To "The Katsup Bottle" people, Mike Gassmann and Judy Demoisy who graciously opened the doors of their beautiful home to us for the two days we will be in the area. Best nights sleep yet..... Thankx Mike and Judy.

See ya at Fazios Frets and Friends Tomorrow.....

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