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Legend to Legend

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... with Mike Botts
Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Casino Chaos

All the food, drink and other distractions we enjoyed, while we cruised down the highway on our land yacht, did the trick and had the desired effect of dulling our senses enough to get to sleep shortly after our arrival at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. Adapting to these strange hours and new surroundings was to become second nature for all of us after awhile, but right now it was going to require some time and effort to get used to it.

The land yacht pulled up in front of the Trump Plaza in the wee small hours of the morning -- I think around 3:00am But once inside the lobby, you would have thought it was only 8:00pm, judging from all the action on the casino floor. It's amazing! There's a never ending, 24/7 supply of fools who are more than anxious to give their money to Mr. Trump. And in that respect, nothing has changed much from the old days when I first worked the casino lounges in the Reno / Vegas / Tahoe circuit during the sixties.

Well, I finally trundled up to my room, ready to nod off but there was one more obstacle between me and a good nights sleep – THE BED! What can I say? It's not YOUR bed, not YOUR pillow. The bed was as hard as a rock; the pillow felt like it's made of tissue paper and it was hard to get to sleep. Aha! Now I get it! That's the whole idea! You're not supposed to sleep, you're supposed to gamble! I guess that also explains the bad TV with only 14 channels, all of them boring. Anyway, thanks to the drive and the post show mobile smorgasbord, oh!, and a large gin & tonic, I was too tired to let this get in the way of at least a minimal amount of slumber.

I got up the next day and joined Zoot for a quick trip to Starbucks and a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk. As I mentioned earlier, the casino reminded me of being in a Fellini film but outside, on the boardwalk, it looked like a casting call for a Fellini film. Whew! There's some odd looking folks out there. Anyway, after a couple of hours of checking out the boardwalk and people watching, we were both ready to go hide in our rooms until sound check.

It was late afternoon and it was time to make it to the stage for our sound check. The short trip soon became a long walk and reminded me of the scene in the movie, "Spinal Tap", when the band gets lost in a labyrinth of hallways underneath the stage. There's a maze of these hallways that lead all over the Trump Plaza, one wrong turn and you could end up in the employee's cafeteria or maybe something worse. I was thinking it might have been wise to leave a trail of breadcrumbs so I could find my way back to my room when I finally saw the stage door entrance. What a relief!

I was back in Dan World again and happy to be there. I felt comfortable when I saw the crew busy at work. It felt really good to jump behind my drums and start jamming a little to warm up. Things made sense -- I had a mission, a purpose. It was like being with a circus family. Everyone on the tour was essential to its success. Everything else would change on a daily basis but this would remain the constant throughout the tour.

The hours between sound check, dinner and show time seemed to whiz by. It was once again time to hit the stage! It was a beautiful concert hall and the majority of the audience were obviously big Fogelberg fans. It was quite evident when Dan came out and the crowd was already cheering. You know, it's always a big plus factor to have an enthusiastic audience supporting your efforts. Needless to say, we had a great show and the audience let us know how much they had enjoyed it. And all too soon, it was time to break it all down and load it up. I guess it's true that time flies when you're having fun.

More to come....Botts