Thursday, August 05, 2004

Highlights from Vacation

Well, this is my first of many "Highlights from Vacation" posts.

I took about 1000 pictures on my vacation. Some of them I will be doctoring up (reducing, cropping, etc) and posting here.

For those of you who don't know what I was doing, I was on an excursion through Southern Oregon, doing research for a novel I am working on. My novel partially takes place in 1857, in Southern Oregon, and deals with a stagecoach robbery that took place. (The stage coach robbery actually did take place in the summer of 1857, and I was able to track down the location for the most part while I was down there exploring old stage routes, stage stops, cemetaries, museums, roadside markers and stuff like that.)

Anyway, you will see some highlights from my vacation, so stay tuned.

But here's the first highlight. We took a break from the Dusty Trails of the Old West and went to a good old fashioned Rock Concert in Eugene OR.

Here's The Strawmen with Mike Roe of the Seventy Sevens singing with them.

On the prominent left that's Mike Roe (of the Seventy Sevens), then Bill Harmon (a.k.a. Reader Nektarios) in the middle, and his brother Mark Harmon on the right. On the far left in the dark (you can barely see him) is David Leonhardt (formerly of the Seventy Sevens), and somewhere back behind them all is the drummer. (I'm not sure if the drummer belongs to The Strawmen or the Seventy Sevens, and I never caught his name.)

Well, when I took that picture, I didn't like the way the flash seemed to mostly illuminate the backs of the people standing in front of me, so I turned the flash off and took these next pictures. This is what it REALY looked like!

I think the blurrrrr captures the excitement, the energy, the wonderful stage presence these two groups had.

I've been a big fan of the 77s for years. I had all their early albums on cassette tape 20 years ago, and played them so many times I could hear the back side of the tape bleeding through. I have several of their early albums on vinyl and (as my close friends know) still crank them out and play them from time to time.

I actually got to see the 77s in concert at PLU about 20 years ago. They were amazing, and I still remember how amazing they were on stage. Now, a recent sort of personal thing I'm going through, I've started listening to them (and Daniel Amos, and The Lost Dogs, and The Swirling Eddies, and the Choir) all over again.

For my wife and daughter it was a special time. This was their first time at a Christian Rock Concert. This was their first time at any Rock Concert. My daughter was really psyched, and although they didn't stay for the 77's (too tired, I walked them back to the hotel) they did get to see Mike play a wild bit of guitar for a while before I took them back. They loved the Strawmen, which made me happy. I knew they wouldn't care too much for the 77s (too loud and too wild for them) but they really loved the Strawmen. Bill came over and introduced himself and his wife, and it was a true pleasure to meet him. I enjoyed his music a lot and bought a CD.

Then, after I walked my wife and daughter home, I hung out and listened to the 77s. Mike played an awesome guitar (actually at least 4 of them he had there) and Mark a great bass. At least once they were doing a duo that went on and on, and you just didn't want it to quit. In fact nobody wanted that concert to quit. They came back on stage for one Encore at the end, and I think they may have gone back out for a second (I slipped away, somewhat reluctantly, but a bit nervous about walking several blocks in downtown Eugene by myself too late after dark.)

Someday I'll have to explain more about what I like about this sort of music.


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