I don’t remember what festival it was. I know we traveled to get there, probably in that van we bought. I can hardly believe we were able to buy a van. And we were making payments on it too; a band in the late 70s, right? This should give you a clue to how much the world has actually changed.
That reminds me of another moment in time on some tour – but it was in the back of that same van, which didn’t have back seats (I am sure I will hear plenty of corrections about this). We were on a mattress in the back. The important part of the memory is that we were taking turns reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, out loud.
Anyway, we finished playing this festival and piled into the van and drove off to somewhere, our next gig or home. For some reason I keep thinking it was in Connecticut. We used to stay in motels and Karen would cook in the room. We brought a cook stove and she made dinners for the band. We were very food conscious, even then. We had the most amazing contract. I wish I had a copy of. It specified all this stuff we required at concerts, like fresh fruit. I specifically remember the line: Frostwater may bring their dog, in our standard contract.
We didn’t have kids, but we had this little black dog we called the ridiculous Rat Dog – there is a song about her. And this was decades before the band of the same name fronted by Grateful Dead members. Her real name was Carolina. I named her from a line in a James Taylor song. She would sit by the stage when we played and sing along when the harmonies got intense. She had lousy pitch, but it was a joy to witness her abandon to the music. We brought her everywhere.
About an hour down the road someone realized, “Oh shit, man. We forgot Carolina.
When we got back we found her sitting under the bleachers looking dazed. It was a loving reunion, Carolina didn’t hold grudges. I think some local told us that they were wondering why we’d left our dog. We piled back in and continued on like nothing happened. Just another day on the road with Frostwater.