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Legend to Legend

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... with Mike Botts
Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The Chair

Since it was only about a 60-mile drive to our next gig in Philadelphia, we wisely stayed in Atlantic City for the night and hit the road the next day. That's when I discovered The Chair. It was a big black leather beauty of a reclining captain's chair at the front of the bus. This became my station -- my post, if you will. Yes, indeed! There I was, riding shotgun next to Jeff the Invincible, cruising through the highways of America in my own private land yacht while relaxing in a chair that could be the envy of any Monday Night Football Couch Potato. For me, it was the best seat in the house ....... err, I mean the bus! This was my armchair window on the world. Very cool!

You know, you can watch TV or listen to some music almost any time but how often do you get an opportunity to see America on a private bus with a panoramic view, and all while relaxing in a great big comfy chair? According to my "Road Bible" (that's what I call the itinerary) we were going to be doing gigs from coast to coast and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast. This was a great way to utilize those long slow hours on the road, enjoying the sights and relaxing in The Chair. And no matter how many years you've traveled, there's always a new place or a new city that you've never seen before.

It was only a short time after we arrived at our hotel and got settled that it was time to leave for the Keswick Theatre and do our sound check. The Keswick is a beautiful old theatre but, again, it was a totally different hall than the previous day's venue. You know what that means -- the lights and sound had to be adapted to the current venue. Amazingly, by the time we rolled up to the stage entrance, the crew had about 90% of everything dialed in and within an hour we were all finished and it was time to break for dinner.

It's the time between dinner and the start of the show that's weird. You have more time than you need to prepare for the concert but not enough time to really do anything, except sit on the bus in The Chair, sit in the dressing room or just hang out back stage.

Finally, 8:00 p.m. came around and I could hear the opening act starting their set. I made it back stage to take a peek from behind the curtain and the place was packed. This would be our third show and it was starting to feel like we were getting into the rhythm of the tour. Each night the band was improving and the shows pacing was getting smoother.

Dan is such a consistently strong performer that there's never a lack of intensity on stage. As usual, Dan started the fire and we helped fan the flames. It was a great show! It all went by so fast and the next thing I knew I was back on the bus, sitting in The Chair, heading back to our hotel for a possible nightcap before retiring. After all, tomorrow was going to be a big day. Tomorrow was a day off!

Stay tuned....Botts