The desert is a redundant terrain to traverse. Flat, dusty, beigeish-orangeish, you don’t find much between Venice, CA and Arizona. Thus, when you reach an oasis such as Phoenix, it should be your number one priority to shake off the comatose that one can be lulled into while driving down I-10.
On our first major excursion in the Jam Van we chose to freshen up outside of The Crescent Ballroom by cracking open a case of beer and a bottle of vodka and circling our wagon up beside the Stone Foxes’ less colorful wagon. These boys had come a bit farther than us. Their trip had begun in San Francisco, where they make their home, and of course, they’d been rambling around on tour to begin with, so they had a bit more dust on their jeans and wear to their shoes. In essence, we were playing catchup, to not just them, but to a good many of the road-warrior bands that were in route to the same destination that we and the Foxes were headed towards, SXSW, in Austin, TX.
We however are livers of the present, and at that point SXSW was in our future. So we sat and played a while in Phoenix. The Stone Foxes provided the tunes, we provided the booze.
They must have realized that we’d slept in a McDonald’s parking lot the night before. Because they made it easy on us, sticking to an all acoustic set-up, they fashioned music out of guitars, a harmonica, a melodica, and of course the wooden wedge that we use to block our tires from rolling off when we’re not looking. Everything made that day was pretty damn sweet. The music and the memories, both.