After a long, twisty bus ride during the night we arrive at this ski village at 7AM. The morning has scattered clouds and brisk temperatures. A ski lift rises across a field outside my window.
Our show is early — 4 PM — because it's a festival and we're on before Sheryl Crow. By mid-afternoon, it starts raining heavily and, at 4 PM, we meet on the site to decide whether to play or not. The stage is half-soaked from blowing rain; the tarps covering the drums and percussion are all pretty wet.
I ask about the risk of getting electrocuted. There are no guarantees offered, but it seems unlikely if power cables and junction boxes are not placed in the rain. There is too much rain blowing in to allow the strings to risk ruining their instruments, so we discuss doing a short set with Graham, Mauro, Paul and I by ourselves. I hastily throw together an 8- or 9-song set and we're on stage by 5.
Incredibly, as the rain has now let up, people emerge from tents and neighboring fields and form a pretty fair crowd. They're jumping up and down and dancing in their ponchos and muddy boots.
A few of our folks stick around to catch Sheryl Crow's set, some mainly to catch a glimpse of Lance Armstrong, her boyfriend.
Later, we head into Aspen proper to a restaurant called Ajax; friends of Deanne and her sister run it. Deanne tells a story of the wild life in this town in the 70s and early 80s; it was a Mecca for rich hippies. The high life was so prevalent that one friend's house had a mirror and pile of coke permanently laid out in the entrance foyer for visiting guests to help themselves to a line.
The food and wine is delicious and we all head back to our hotel for an early night. Well, some of us do.
The Republican convention has left NYC. My neighborhood is no longer in a frozen restricted zone (something Republican's seem to love to establish wherever they go).
About 1,500 protesters were arrested one afternoon; 500 of them were held illegally without bail or charge. A judge orders them released, which the police allow in condescending dribbles.
An article in the financial pages follows the economy and the size of the government during the past decade or so. Contrary to all their vehement claims, every recent Republican administration has increased the size of the government — sometimes drastically. The current administration has bloated government budgets so much that the increase alone almost counter-balanced the loss of jobs across the nation.
In Democratic administration the size of the government tended to go down, the exact opposite of the conservative claims every election year.
Tracy introduces me to Lyle Lovett in the lobby. He's playing later today and we've been sort of criss-crossing over the last few weeks. Looks like he'll have sunshine for his show. I admire his yellow leather western jacket and think to myself that he must be the best-dressed musician out there.